Supplier Defendant Granted Summary Judgment for Lack of Evidence of Exposure

As the Asbestos Case Tracker recently reported, on August 5, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington recently ruled on several defendants motions for summary judgment. In the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that Rudie Klopman-Baerselman (decedent) was exposed to asbestos-containing products sold or supplied by the supplier defendant, causing the decedent to develop mesothelioma in July 2017 and pass away in November 2017. In the supplier defendant’s motion for summary judgment, it argued that:
  1. The plaintiff was unable to identify

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Summary Judgment Denial Upheld by Kentucky Court of Appeals Denying Application of Workers’ Compensation Bar

In Schneider Electric USA, Inc. v. Paul Williams, as Executor of the Estate of Vickie Williams, the court of appeals affirmed a trial court’s denial of the sole defendant’s motion for summary judgment. In this case, Vickie Williams’ father worked for Schneider Electric USA, Inc., formerly known as Square D Company (Square D), for several years. During that time, she allegedly encountered asbestos brought home on her father’s clothing. Ms. Williams also worked for Square D for a few months as a teenager. She…
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Talc Defendant Successfully Excludes Expert Opinion Pursuant to Daubert

The plaintiff, Doris Gordon, alleged that she developed fatal mesothelioma in part from her use of asbestos-contaminated Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder that was manufactured, marketed, and sold by the defendant, Colgate-Palmolive. Colgate sought exclusion of the testimony of the plaintiff’s expert, Dr. Ronald Gordon. The court considered Colgate’s Daubert motion to exclude Dr. Gordon’s testimony and a separate motion in limine to preclude evidence regarding the plaintiff’s testing because of lack of authenticity and relevance of the talc tested. The Daubert motion was granted, and…
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SC District Court Grants Motion to Realign, Preserves Jurisdiction Covil Corp. v. Zurich Am. Ins. Co., No. 18-3291-BHH, 2019 WL 2482382, June 14, 2019

The federal district court for the District of South Carolina granted the motion of defendant Sentry Insurance, a Mutual Company, to realign certain defendants in the case as plaintiffs in order to create diversity jurisdiction in the federal court. The overall matter is an insurance coverage dispute among Covil Corp., a now-defunct company that once manufactured asbestos-containing thermal insulation, and its insurers, regarding underlying personal injury claims. In 2018, Covil was subjected to a $38 million judgment in one of the underlying suits, and it…
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Auto Parts Supplier’s Personal Jurisdiction Motion Denied U.S. District Court, W.D. Washington, June 4, 2019

WASHINGTON – The plaintiff’s decedent, Rudie Klopman-Baerselman, was a merchant mariner, serving aboard several vessels while allegedly working with and around asbestos-containing products. The plaintiff additionally alleged that Klopman-Baerselman performed all maintenance and friction work on his vehicles for 30 years, and that he purchased asbestos-containing gaskets, brakes, and clutches from the Defendant, NAPA, contributing to his fatal mesothelioma. NAPA filed a motion to dismiss, and alleged that the court had no jurisdiction as NAPA lacked sufficient contacts with the State of Washington, since it…
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Court Denies All Post-Trial Motions of Valve Defendant and Plaintiffs New York Supreme Court, April 24, 2019

NEW YORK — In James and Lynn Stock v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al, the Supreme Court of The State of New York, Eighth Judicial District, recently considered the defendant’s and the plaintiffs’ post-trial motions. At the trial of the original case, the plaintiffs James and Lynn Stock (plaintiffs) filed suit for James Stock’s (Stock) mesothelioma allegedly caused by exposure to asbestos while he was employed at New York Wire Mills in Tonawanda, NY from 1979 through 1986. The plaintiffs argued that…
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Subjective Generalization Regarding Frequency of Exposure Held Legally Insufficient to Support Jury Verdict

As recently reported on March 28, 2019 on the Asbestos Case Tracker, the First Department of the New York Supreme Court issued a significant causation decision. In Joanne Corazza as Executrix of the Estate of George Cooney v. Amchem Products Inc., et al, the plaintiff sued multiple asbestos related defendants, alleging they were all the cause of Mr. Cooney’s lung cancer. Notably, Mr. Cooney was a two-and-a-half pack-per-day smoker of 52 years prior to his death. The case was tried to verdict over…
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Upcoming Developments in Asbestos Litigation — in Pennsylvania and Nationally

With 2019 now in its second month, there are a number of imminent developments on which members of the asbestos bar should keep an eye. While this post will primarily focus on litigation in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, it touches on one national topic as well. The following is a summary of four important pending events: First Talc Trial in Philadelphia Trial of the first talc mesothelioma case in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas begins this week. The plaintiff alleges the decedent, Sally Brandt, developed…
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Asbestos Litigation Remains Strong Impetus for Inclusion on Judicial Hellhole Jurisdiction List

Last month, the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) issued its always anticipated annual report on Judicial Hellholes. Not surprisingly, asbestos litigation remained a common engine driving the same familiar jurisdictions to repeated billing on the list. ATRA’s report attempts to shine a light on the conduct of all tort litigation in the United States, with attention to the uneven application of equal justice under the law, pretrial rulings, decisions during trial, unreasonable expansions of liability, and reflections on judicial integrity. Below, we’ll offer a…
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New Behrens Article Proposes Legislation to Promote Bankruptcy Trust Transparency & Fairness to All Parties

In most cases asserting asbestos-related injuries resulting from alleged exposure, the plaintiffs will also file proof of claims (POCs) with asbestos bankruptcy trusts. These trusts are set up when companies that mined or supplied asbestos or manufactured asbestos-containing products can no longer afford to defend a barrage of costly asbestos-exposure lawsuits and, accordingly, file for bankruptcy. The primary goals of the trusts are to compensate plaintiffs for exposure to products for which insolvent entitles are liable in a less costly and more efficient manner and…
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