Prior Depositions of Non-Party Asbestos Supplier Representative Ruled Inadmissible on Appeal Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, March 21, 2019

NEW YORK – In 2014, the decedent, Kimberlee Billok, was diagnosed with mesothelioma and died three months later at the age of 42. She claimed to have been exposed to Georgia-Pacific joint compound as an infant, and sued Union Carbide based upon it having supplied asbestos to Georgia-Pacific. Prior to trial in 2017, Union Carbide filed a Motion in Limine to Preclude depositions of Georgia-Pacific’s corporate representative taken in 2001 and 2003, or in the alternative, to permit introduction of a 2007 deposition of the…
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Motion for Nonsuit Granted in Los Angeles Talc Trial California Superior Court for Los Angeles County February 5, 2019

CALIFORNIA — Following a four-week trial, nonsuit was entered just prior to closing arguments in a talc mesothelioma trial venued in Los Angeles state court. At the conclusion of the plaintiffs’ case, Colgate-Palmolive moved for nonsuit, arguing that the plaintiffs had failed to present a prima facie case linking the use of Cashmere Bouquet talcum products to the plaintiff’s injury. The plaintiffs responded by arguing that they only had to prove that fibers from the defendant’s product contributed to the aggregate dose of asbestos to…
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Delaware Court Upholds Jury Verdict in Favor of Auto Mechanic Superior Court of Delaware, January 31, 2019

DELAWARE — Following up on a prior ACT post, where a Delaware jury returned a verdict of over $40 Million in favor of the widow of a deceased auto mechanic, defendant, who was attributed a liability share of 20 percent, filed a renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law under Rule 50(b) and a motion for a new trial, or in the alternative, remittitur. The defendant argued among other things, that the jury’s verdict was irreconcilably inconsistent and the amount of damages…
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New York’s Highest Court Upholds Defense Judgment as a Matter of Law Based on Lack of Sufficient Scientific Evidence New York State Court of Appeals, November 27, 2018

NEW YORK — New York’s highest Court issued its first decision addressing causation standards in an asbestos case, and upheld the trial and intermediate appellate court decisions granting Ford Motor Company judgment as a matter of law in Juni v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co. et al.. ACT has previously reported on the Juni matter here and here. The majority found that “[v]iewing the evidence in the light most favorable to plaintiffs, the evidence was insufficient as a matter of law to establish…
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Summary Judgment in Favor of Bankrupt Wisconsin Company Affirmed on Statute of Limitations Grounds California Court of Appeal, First District, November 26, 2018

CALIFORNIA — Plaintiff David Hart appealed the entry of summary judgment in favor of Special Electric Company on the basis that the claims against the company were time-barred under Wisconsin law. The plaintiff sued Special Electric alleging that his mesothelioma was caused by exposure to asbestos from products supplied by the company. Special Electric, a Wisconsin corporation, filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 in 2004, and by 2006, a plan of reorganization had been entered. By then, all of the company’s assets had been sold…
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Plaintiff’s Deposition Testimony Presents Sufficient Evidence to Overcome Automobile Manufacturer’s Motion for Summary Judgment U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, August 15, 2018

DELAWARE — Plaintiffs John and Vicki DeCastro originally filed a personal injury action against multiple defendants in the Superior Court of Delaware, asserting claims arising from Mr. DeCastro’s alleged harmful exposure to asbestos. The case was properly removed to Federal Court under the federal officer removal statute. Mr. Castro alleged that he developed lung cancer as a result of his exposure to asbestos during his service in the United States Air Force, civilian employment with Pacific Bell Telephone and United Airlines, and personal automotive and…
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Gasket Manufacturer’s Motion for Summary Judgment Denied Based on Residual Market State of New York Supreme Court, County of Monroe, August 3, 2018

NEW YORK — The plaintiff’s Decedent Joseph Tolan allegedly worked with asbestos-containing gaskets, including sheet gaskets, manufactured by Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company (Goodyear) starting in 1977 at the United States Army’s Seneca, NY Depot. Goodyear filed a motion for summary judgment, stating that it ceased making asbestos-containing gaskets in 1969. Goodyear further argued that it had no sales of asbestos-containing gaskets to the Depot.  Goodyear continued to make non-asbestos gaskets after 1969, and they had similar markings and logos to the asbestos-containing versions. Goodyear…
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Take Home Exposure Insufficient to Overcome Demurrer Based Upon Exclusivity Provision of Workers’ Compensation Act California Court of Appeal, First District, Division 5, July 23, 2018

CALIFORNIA — Plaintiffs, Allen and Pamela Rudolph, filed suit against Rudolph & Setten, Inc. (R&S), a general contracting company started by Allen Rudolph’s father, alleging that the plaintiff was exposed to asbestos as a child from take home exposure via his father, and also while employed by the company himself.  R&S filed a demurrer to the suit, alleging that the claims were barred by the exclusivity provision of California’s workers’ compensation act.  The demurrer was sustained by the trial court.  The plaintiffs filed an amended…
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PA Superior Court Affirms Entry of Summary Judgment for Three Friction Defendants Pennsylvania Superior Court, July 23, 2018

PENNSYLVANIA — The plaintiff, Sharon Gilbert, filed suit as the executive of the estate of her husband, Guy Gilbert, and in her own right, alleging decedent was exposed to asbestos while working as an auto mechanic at Alray Tire in Pittsburgh, PA from 1975 to 1985.  The plaintiff alleged that such exposure caused decedent’s mesothelioma.  The decedent was not deposed before his death.  Two witnesses, decedent’s co-worker and manager at Alray, were deposed.  The manager testified that Alray purchased replacement parts from several automotive suppliers,…
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Judgment on the Pleadings Upheld for Dissolved Washington Corporation U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, July 20, 2018

WASHINGTON — The plaintiffs allege that William Clayton developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos during his military service. They sued numerous defendants, including Saberhagen Holdings, Inc. (Saberhagen), which was a Washington corporation that dissolved on August 22, 2013. Based on plaintiffs’ failure to file suit against Saberhagen within three years of dissolution, as required by Washington law, Saberhagen filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings. The plaintiffs opposed the motion and filed their own to extend the response deadline. Pursuant to Washington statutory…
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