Plaintiff’s Expert Found Qualified to Testify, But Not Allowed to Give “Every Exposure” Causation Testimony U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, August 4, 2015

In this federal case, the decedent, Sally Gros Vedros alleges exposure to asbestos from laundering her father’s work clothes during the time he worked as a welder at the Avondale shipyard, from 1943-1976, and while she worked in the Avondale purchasing department, from 1960-1963. The defendants moved to exclude the plaintiff’s expert’s causation opinions at trial, arguing the expert, radiation oncologist Dr. Stephen Kraus, was not qualified to testify as an expert and that his causation opinions were not reliable because they relied on the…
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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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Plaintiff’s Motion to Remand Denied as Complaint Did Not Put Defendants on Notice of Federal Claims U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, July 30, 2015

In this federal court case, the plaintiff alleged exposure to various products while working at various worksites as a machinist, pipefitter, and electrician during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Several defendants removed the case based on the federal officer removal statute 28 U.S.C. 1442(a)(1) alleging that the federal court had jurisdiction because there is a “government contractor defense” to the claims.  The plaintiff moved to remand arguing that the removal was untimely as the defendants were initially put on notice of the federal claims from…
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Defendant Granted Summary Judgment Despite Allowance of Late Evidence of Product on Site U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, July 30, 2015

In this federal court case, the decedent, Wayne Perkins, alleges exposure to various asbestos products while working as a merchant mariner between 1952 and 1973. Defendant Honeywell International Inc., successor-in-interest to Bendix Corporation, moved for summary judgment,  arguing there is no evidence of the decedent being exposed to asbestos from a product manufactured by it or its predecessor. Despite discovery being closed, the court allowed affidavits of individuals who worked with the decedent, which were submitted by the plaintiff in opposition to Honeywell’s motion. However,…
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Illinois Appellate Court Reverses Verdict Based on Defendant Being Precluded from Introducing Alternative Exposure Evidence Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth District, July 30, 2015

In this Illinois case, the plaintiff claimed at that he was exposed to asbestos at property owned by the defendant. At trial, the defendant sought to introduce into evidence other substantial asbestos exposure at a different unrelated facility. The defendant’s argument was that the other, more substantial exposure was the sole proximate cause of the plaintiff’s asbestosis, not the minimal asbestos exposure at defendant’s facility. After a lengthy discussion of Illinois’ case law on proximate cause and burden, the appellate court decided the trial court…
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Plaintiffs’ Replacement Expert’s Testimony Limited in Scope to That of Originally Disclosed Expert U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, July 29, 2015

In this case, the plaintiffs timely disclosed the expert report of Dr. Samuel Hammar in accordance with the case scheduling order. Subsequently, Dr. Hammar was unable to provide trial testimony due to health issues and the plaintiffs sought to replace Dr. Hammar’s report with reports from either Dr. Kraus or Dr. Kradin. The defendants did not generally oppose the request to replace Dr. Hammar, but did oppose the replacement of one expert with two and argued that the new expert’s testimony should not go outside…
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Defendants Unsuccessful in Removal Effort Based on Diversity U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, July 28, 2015

In this New Jersey case, two defendants moved for summary judgment, motions for which were not opposed by the plaintiff. Following the dismissal of the two defendants, those remaining removed the case under 28 U.S.C. 1441(a) and 1446(b)(3) based on diversity of citizenship.  Under these sections, if a plaintiff voluntarily dismisses non-diverse parties — creating diversity of citizenship for the remaining parties — the case can be removed to federal court. In response to the plaintiff’s motion to remand, the remaining defendants argued that the…
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Willful and Wanton Claim Dismissed in Asbestos Case U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Western Division, July 27, 2015

In this case, the plaintiff worked as an auto mechanic and performed brake work in the 1960s and 1970s.  Defendant Genuine Auto Parts moved for summary judgment, seeking to dismiss the plaintiff’s claim for willful and wanton conduct. The plaintiff opposed the motion, essentially pointing to the general state of knowledge as to the hazards of asbestos, but failed to offer any evidence that Genuine Auto Parts consciously made a decision to sell asbestos-containing products with knowledge of the decision. The dismissal of the claim…
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Brake Manufacturer Obtains Dismissal of Claims of Willful and Wanton Conduct U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Western Division, July 27, 2015

In this federal court case, the plaintiffs alleged exposure to asbestos from a variety of automotive parts while working as mechanics’ helper, maintenance laborer, inspector, construction worker, and salesman, in addition to automotive maintenance work performed on his own personal vehicles and those of his family. The defendant, brake manufacturer Genuine Parts, moved for summary judgment to dismiss the plaintiffs’ claims that it committed false representation and fraud regarding the dangers of asbestos exposure. The plaintiffs opposed, offering among other things historical documents, an expert…
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