Manufacturers of Generators, Turbines and Boilers Granted Summary Judgment on Bare Metal Defense U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, August 29, 2016

The plaintiffs brought this action against several defendants for alleged exposure to asbestos and development of mesothelioma while working as a ship fitter at several shipyards from approximately 1964 until 2014. Defendants Cummins, CBS, and Foster Wheeler moved for summary judgment. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that he rolled out amosite and cut it with an electric knife to make A-Cloth pads at the shipyards. He also stated that he had insulated various pieces of equipment including turbines, boilers, and generators. As to the defendants, Malone…
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Various Manufacturers Granted Summary Judgment Under Mississippi Law, Including Acceptance of Bare Metal Defense U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, July 13, 2016

The plaintiff, Robert Lee Winhauer, commenced this action alleging asbestos exposure from his personal work on his automobiles from the 1940s through the 1990s, from his work at the Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi from 1965 to 1976 and while working at Courtaulds North America Rayon Staple Plant in Le Moyne, Alabama from 1977 to 1998. Nine defendants, John Crane, John Crane Inc. (JCI), Flowserve US Inc., Carver Pump Co. , Sterling Fluid Systems (USA) LLC, FMC Corp., Velan Valve Corp., Borg-Warner (D.I. 173), and…
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Lack of Evidence of Asbestos Replacement Parts Supplied by Crane for Use in Crane Valves Key to Granting of Summary Judgment U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, May 27, 2016

The decedent died of mesothelioma; prior to his passing he filed a lawsuit in state court alleging exposure to asbestos while a production shift supervisor during his employment at a paper mill in Georgia. One defendant removed, and the action was transferred to MDL 875. Defendant Crane Co. filed for summary judgment, which was granted in part by the MDL court; however, it remanded to the Northern District of Georgia to determine whether the bare metal defense was available under Georgia law. Crane then moved…
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MDL 875 Clarifies That Absent Sufficient Exposure, Bare Metal Defense Applied in Maritime Law Bars Negligence and Strict Product Liability Claims U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, May 19, 2016

In January 2013, this case was removed on the basis of federal question jurisdiction and assigned to MDL 875. The plaintiffs alleged asbestos exposure while serving in the Navy. Applying maritime law, the court granted summary judgments filed by Buffalo Pumps, CBS Corporation, Foster Wheeler, General Electric, IMO Industries, and Warren Pumps, based upon the bare metal defense. The plaintiffs appealed and the Third Circuit remanded the case to the MDL court to clarify whether it: (1) considered the negligence theory of liability; (2) concluded…
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Valve Manufacturer Granted Summary Judgment Under Maritime Law Where it May Have Recommended, But Did Not Provide, Asbestos-Containing Flange Gaskets U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, Charleston Division, January 27, 2016

In this federal court case, it is alleged that the decedent, Thomas Dandridge, was exposed to asbestos while working as a pipefitter and coppersmith at the Charleston Naval Shipyard from 1965 to 1976. It was claimed that the decedent was exposed to asbestos from a variety of products, including flange gaskets used to link Crane Co. valves to pipe lines. The case was originally brought in the court of common pleas in Charleston County and was later removed federal court, where Crane moved for summary…
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Valve Manufacturer’s Bare Metal Motion for Summary Judgment Denied Supreme Court of New York, New York County, August 4, 2015

It is alleged in this NYCAL case that the decedent, Russell Gonzales, was exposed to asbestos products, including insulation on valves manufactured by Crane Co., in the 1970s at various sites throughout New York City. The decedent died prior to testifying, but his co-worker, Joseph Zgombic testified that he and the decedent were responsible for insulating Crane valves and that they worked near others repacking Crane valves. Crane moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff failed to prove the decedent had exposure to asbestos…
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Applying Alabama Law In Two Cases, Federal Court Grants One Motion and Denies Another to Engine Manufacturers Under Bare Metal Defense U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, Northern Division, August 4, 2015

In one case, the plaintiff claimed that the decedent was exposed to asbestos while working on Cummins engines in the Navy and Coast Guard. Defendant Cummins moved for summary judgment, arguing that the engines were 17 years old and were overhauled at least once. There was no proof the gasket materials were original to the engine. The plaintiff also argued that the decedent was exposed to asbestos blankets and lagging on the engines. The court recognized that Alabama would recognize the bare metal defense and,…
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Rhode Island Superior Court, Applying Ohio Law, Dismisses Claims Based on Bare Metal Defense and Statute of Repose Superior Court of Rhode Island, Providence, July 22, 2015

This case involves an interesting discussion regarding the conflict between Ohio and Rhode Island law on the bare metal defense, the sophisticated user doctrine, state of the art, the open and obvious defense, the statue of repose, joint and several liability, compensatory damages, and punitive damages. The Rhode Island court ruled that Ohio law applied to this case on those issues and proceeded to consider the defendants’ summary judgment motions under Ohio law. On the bare metal defense, the court granted summary judgment to the…
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General Electric Granted Summary Judgment on the Bare Metal Defense Under Maritime Law U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, June 24, 2015

The plaintiff commenced this action by claiming he was exposed to insulation on General Electric products while in the U.S. Navy. GE moved for summary judgment on three grounds: the government contractor defense, the bare metal defense under maritime law, and on no evidence of GE actually furnishing the component parts. The court ruled that maritime law — rather than New Jersey law — governed the case. The court only addressed the bare metal defense, ruling that GE was entitled to summary judgment: “The Court…
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California Appellate Court Reverses Dismissal of Two Cases Where Equipment Was Used in Connection With Asbestos Brake Linings California Court of Appeals, June 18, 2015

In the first California case, the plaintiff was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2014. He had previously worked as an auto mechanic in New York City and Los Angeles, during which he purchased an AMMCO machine equipped with a dust collection system. This machine was “an ‘arcing’ machine designed to grind drum brake linings for cars and light passenger trucks with standard sized brake shoes. From the early 1950’s to the 1980’s, the great majority of such drum brake linings contained asbestos. Because the AMMCO machines…
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