Appellate Court Affirms in Part, Remands Trial Court’s Ruling Regarding Mask Manufacturer’s Negligence

Court of Appeals of Washington, Division One, May 9, 2022

In January 2020, the plaintiff, Larry Roemmich, sued 3M, among others, for product liability and negligence based on his diagnosis of mesothelioma, which he alleged was a result of his exposure to asbestos. The plaintiff worked at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard from 1968 to 1995 and alleged he was exposed to asbestos and asbestos-containing products as part of his work from 1968 until the early 1980s. The plaintiff wore 3M 8710 masks from 1972 until …

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Appellate Court Reverses Plaintiff’s Verdict on Causation Grounds

New York Court of Appeals, April 26, 2022

The plaintiff’s decedent, Florence Nemeth, was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma in 2012 and passed away in 2016. She and her husband filed suit against numerous defendants, alleging that Ms. Nemeth’s exposure to asbestos-containing products throughout her lifetime caused her mesothelioma. Ms. Nemeth was deposed prior to her death, but died prior to trial. The plaintiff settled with all defendants prior to trial with the exception of Whittaker, Clark & Daniels (Whittaker), the entity that the plaintiff alleged …

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Prior Release Bars Plaintiff’s Claims Against Railroad Defendant

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Plaintiff Leopoldo Mendoza-Gomez worked for 20 years as a laborer for the defendant, Union Pacific Railroad Company. He alleges that, while working for Union, he was exposed to various toxic substances including asbestos, and that he was diagnosed with cancer and asbestosis in 2019. In response to his filing of a federal lawsuit, Union asserted that the plaintiff’s claims were barred due to a release that the parties entered into in 2012. In that release, the plaintiff specifically …

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Final Judgment and Imposition of Sanctions Affirmed Against Automotive Defendant

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, March 24, 2022

In this asbestos action, Deborah Marino (the plaintiff) alleged that her mother, Anita Creutzberger (the decedent), developed peritoneal mesothelioma from the decedent’s history of washing her husband’s and son’s clothing following their automotive work.  The plaintiff sued Ford Motor Company, among other defendants. During discovery in an unrelated case, Matthew Fyie, Ford’s employee designated to search for responsive discovery, testified that he did not review documents prior to his deposition as there were no documents …

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Plaintiffs Judgment Against Joint Compound Manufacturer Affirmed on Appeal

Court of Appeals of Washington, Division One, February 22, 2022

The plaintiffs, Raymond Budd and his wife, sued Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc. (Kaiser) and others for damages, alleging that Kaiser’s joint compound product caused Mr. Budd’s mesothelioma.  The plaintiffs sued Kaiser for negligence and strict liability, premised upon failure to warn and defective design theories. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiffs and awarded them nearly $13.5 million. Kaiser appealed, raising nine claims, including the following: (1) lack of proximate causation, (2) lack …

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Court Upholds Plumbing and Heating Employer’s Motion for Summary Judgment Finding No Successor-In-Interest Liability

Superior Court of Pennsylvania, January 26, 2022

In these asbestos actions, Kelly Smith, the executrix of the estate if Daniel R. Harrity, and Maxine Rosenkeimer, the executrix of the estate of Arthur W. Rosenkeimer, appeal a December 2020 order dismissing all claims and parties and an August 2020 order granting summary judgment to Appellee Vanadium Enterprises Corporation. With regard to the August 2020 order, the court concluded that the record lacked insufficient evidence to support a finding that Vanadium was liable as a successor to …

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Premises Defendant Appeal Unsuccessful, Verdict Upheld

Court of Appeals of Washington, Division One, December 14, 2021

From the mid-1950s until 1988, ExxonMobil operated a refinery in Ferndale, Washington. In 1979, Northwestern Industrial Maintenance (NWIM) contracted with Mobil to perform maintenance jobs at the Mobil refinery in Ferndale. NWIM employed the decedent, Warren Wright, as a working foreman at the Ferndale facility. The decedent was diagnosed with mesothelioma, and died in September 2015. In January 2018, the plaintiff filed a wrongful death suit individually and on behalf of the decedent’s estate, alleging …

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Jury Verdict Overturned: “Mere Possibility” of Exposure to a Product Insufficient to Meet Plaintiff’s Burden

Court of Appeal of California, First Appellate District, Division One, November 30, 2021

The plaintiff, Amos Webb, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2018, and filed suit againstnumerous defendants, including General Cable Corporation, alleging that he was exposed to asbestos while working as an electrician for various employers throughout his career. Specifically, during his discovery deposition, Mr. Webb testified that he worked “quite frequently” with a product known as “Romex wire.” Romex was a popular brand of cable used for interior wiring, and General Cable acquired …

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Plaintiff Prevails on Defendant’s Expert Appeal; Court Affirms Seven-Figure Judgment

Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, Division Eight, September 13, 2021

This matter was brought on behalf of decedent Donald Vanni in 2014, alleging two causes of action for negligence and strict product liability against defendant Honeywell International, Inc. among others. The plaintiff alleged that the decedent was exposed to asbestos from owning and operating a bowling alley from 1957 to 1986. Specifically, the decedent was responsible for drilling finger holes in plastic bowling bowls manufactured by Ebonite. The decedent was diagnosed with …

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Boiler Refractory Contractor’s Summary Judgment Reversed due to Exposure Question of Fact

Court of Appeal of California, First Appellate District, Division Five, August 4, 2021

In this matter, the decedent was diagnosed with mesothelioma in March 2014. The decedent and his wife sued numerous defendants, including Thomas Dee Engineering Company (Thomas Dee) based on the decedent’s exposure to asbestos while serving in the U.S. Navy. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that Thomas Dee performed repairs on USS San Jose boilers during fall 1973. The decedent testified that he worked in the boiler room and saw others work in …

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