Talc Defendant Strikes Plaintiff’s Expert and Avoids Spoliation Sanctions United States District Court, M.D. North Carolina, June 8, 2018

NORTH CAROLINA — The plaintiff Ann Finch’s decedent Franklin Finch worked at a Firestone tire factory in Wilson, North Carolina from 1975-1995 and alleged that he was exposed to asbestos during his time there, causing his mesothelioma. Among other allegations of exposure, the plaintiff alleged that the decedent was exposed to talc-contaminated asbestos at Firestone, allegedly supplied by defendant Pfizer and others. In support of this allegation, the plaintiff offered an expert report from Sean Fitzgerald, who tested an identification badge worn by Decedent, and…
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Talcum Powder Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss Granted on Civil Conspiracy; Denied as to Punitive Damages U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, June 7, 2018

NORTH CAROLINA — American International Industries (AII) was sued by plaintiff Lloyd Bell. The plaintiff claimed his decedent had developed mesothelioma from her use of talcum powder during her work as a hairdresser and her education during beauty school. AII moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims for willful and wanton conduct, malice, conspiracy, and punitive damages. The court began its review with the standard for a motion to dismiss. According to the court, “a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state…
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Valve Manufacturer Granted Summary Judgment as Court Finds No Evidence of Conspiracy U.S. District Court, District of Delaware, June 6, 2018

DELAWARE — Plaintiff Marguerite MacQueen filed claims in the Superior Court of Delaware against defendant Crane Co., among others, for manufacturing products that exposed her late husband David MacQueen to asbestos during his time aboard the USS Randolph and USS Independence in the United States Navy from 1956 to 1960, and during his time as a salesman for the Union Carbide Corporation from 1963 to 1980.  Crane subsequently removed the matter to federal court on federal officer jurisdiction. Crane moved for summary judgment on the…
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Brake Lining Manufacturer’s Summary Judgment Affirmed in Part in Second Filing in Different Counties Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Summit County, June 6, 2018

OHIO — Plaintiff Margie Taylor, the executor of the estate of her father Russell Young, originally filed claims against Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, alleging that Young was exposed to asbestos from work on aircraft brake linings during his employment with Goodyear Aerospace Corporation. Goodyear filed a motion for summary judgment on premises liability, negligent undertaking, and intentional tort claims, which was granted by the court in an entry on the electronic “File & Serve” docket, and…
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Post-Trial Motions Denied Against Both Plaintiff and Defendant on Damages and Judgment as a Matter of Law United States District Court, W.D. Washington, June 4, 2018

WASHINGTON – The plaintiff filed suit against the defendants including Scapa Dryer Fabrics (Scapa) alleging her husband, Mr. Barabin, developed mesothelioma as a result of his work at Crown-Zellerbach paper mill in Camas, Washington. Mr. Barabin worked as a spare hand, which included working directly on the paper machines at the mill. Part of his work including using high pressure hoses to blow dust out of the dryers. Suit was brought against the defendants on theories of product liability design, failure to warn, and negligence.…
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3M’s Motion for Summary Judgment Regarding Allegedly Defective Respirators Denied USDC for the Western District of Wisconsin, June 1, 2018

WISCONSIN – In a consolidated case, two plaintiffs asserted strict liability and negligence claims against 3M regarding respirators they wore at a factory which manufactured fireproof doors containing asbestos cores. Both plaintiffs developed mesothelioma from alleged asbestos exposure. The plaintiffs were employed by Weyerhauser for approximately 40 years each. In 1972, a company memo required all employees to wear respirators whenever mineral core was machined or sanded. Testimony provided that plaintiffs wore 3M masks. In that same year, 3M received the necessary certificate of approval…
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Seventh Circuit Upholds Dismiss of John Crane’s Fraud Suit Against Plaintiff’s Counsel Based Upon Lack of Personal Jurisdiction Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, June 4, 2018

ILLINOIS – John Crane filed separate lawsuits against two plaintiffs’ law firms, Shein Law Center and Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett, alleging fraud, conspiracy and violations of the RICO Act related to asbestos lawsuits filed by the firms against John Crane. Shein Law Center is based in Pennsylvania, while Simon Greenstone is based in Texas. John Crane is an Illinois resident. John Crane filed suit against the firms in the Northern District of Illinois. The district court dismissed both matters due to a lack of personal…
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Iowa Supreme Court Clarifies Issues in Appeal of $6.5 Million Verdict Supreme Court of Iowa, June 1, 2018

IOWA — In 2014, the Estate of Larry Kinseth prevailed in a trial against boiler manufacturer, Weil-McLain, in Iowa District Court for Wright County. The plaintiff was awarded $4 million in compensatory damages, of which Weil-McLain was assessed 25 percent liability. The plaintiff then successfully argued for the application of punitive damages against Weil-McLain, and the jury awarded $2.5million in that phase of the trial. Weil-McLain appealed, based mostly on the conduct of the plaintiff’s counsel during closing arguments, and was successful on appeal in…
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Lack of Personal Jurisdiction Over Defendant Leads to Remand and Dismissal Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, Sixth Division, May 18, 2018

ILLINOIS — The plaintiff brought this action against General Electric (GE) arguing that he developed mesothelioma from exposure during his work at various locations for Republic Steel from 1961-1999. According to the plaintiff, the work took place in Illinois, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas. The plaintiff, a resident of Alabama, filed suit in Illinois. GE moved to dismiss the matter for lack of personal jurisdiction. Specifically, GE argued that the plaintiff’s complaint lacked facts establishing personal jurisdiction through Illinois’ long-arm statute. Moreover, GE took the position…
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Minnesota Court of Appeals Affirms Verdict Against Honeywell Court of Appeals of Minnesota, May 21, 2018

MINNESOTA —  In an unpublished opinion, the Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed four trial rulings made by the district court. The plaintiff, Ronald Conda, filed a lawsuit in July 2015 against numerous defendants, including Honeywell, alleging asbestos exposure caused his mesothelioma. The plaintiff passed and the complaint was amended into a wrongful death action. The case was first tried before a jury in the spring of 2016. The court granted Honeywell’s motion for a new trial on the basis that plaintiff’s counsel improperly displayed documents…
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