Iowa Law Found to Apply to Plaintiffs’ Mesothelioma Claim Based on Place of Injury Presumption

U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, July 1, 2021

Plaintiffs Rickey Thorne and Barbara J. Thorne initiated this action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. The plaintiffs allege exposure to asbestos and products containing asbestos during the plaintiff’s service in the United States Air Force which caused his mesothelioma. The plaintiff was stationed at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota where he maintained gas appliances, including stoves, hot water heaters, and furnaces, …

Continue Reading

Plaintiffs’ Federal Court Action Time-Barred After Choice of Law Analysis

U.S. District Court for the Western District Court of New York, April 6, 2021

In this asbestos action, plaintiffs John and Joyce Castro commenced this lawsuit against several talc defendants in February 2019. As per their interrogatory responses, the plaintiff was diagnosed with mesothelioma on February 29, 2016. As to defendant Revlon, the plaintiff’s alleged indirect exposure to one of Revlon’s talcum powder products occurred only in Virginia.

Revlon filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiffs’ claims are time-barred under New York …

Continue Reading

Burner Defendant Granted Summary Judgment; No Evidence of Product Nexus

Superior Court of Rhode Island, Providence

In this matter, the decedent alleged asbestos exposure from his work as a plumbing and heating installer/repairer in the state of Maine from 1949 until 1966. Specific to this motion, the decedent installed Wayne burners, and converted Wayne burners from coal to oil. During this work, the decedent mixed asbestos powder and applied asbestos-containing mud to seal the tube of the burner.

With regard to the choice of law analysis, both parties agreed that Maine law should be applied …

Continue Reading

Mississippi Federal Court Applies Delaware and Tennessee Law to Grant Summary Judgment

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, Southern Division, October 23, 2020

The plaintiff alleged that he developed mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos from various products he worked with throughout his career. Of note in this matter, the plaintiff alleged that defendant Trinity Marine Products is liable for his injury after he worked with asbestos-containing brake pads incorporated in Nabrico winches. The defendant did not manufacture the brake pads or winches. Instead, the defendant purchased the assets from the winch manufacturer New Nabrico, …

Continue Reading

Despite Factual Evidence of Exposure, Ohio Causation Statute Still Requires Expert Medical Evidence

DELAWARE – In an appeal of a case reported by the Asbestos Case Tracker blog in August 2018, the Delaware Supreme Court rejected the plaintiffs’ appeal and affirmed the superior court. Briefly, the parties had agreed that Ohio law applied to the case. During the pendency of the action, the Ohio Supreme Court issued its opinion in Schwartz v. Honeywell International, holding that the plaintiffs’ experts could not opine on a cumulative exposure theory. Rather, the Ohio asbestos causation statute requires that causation be …

Continue Reading

Plaintiff Waived Choice of Law Causation Issue; Kansas Law Applied to California Case

CALIFORNIA — The plaintiff Gerald Hake was born in Kansas and allegedly exposed to asbestos from friction products from age 10 until age 19 while working at the family-owned Hake Standard Service Station. In 1962, he joined the Navy; he then moved to Washington state in 1966. He lived in that state until the present time. The case went to trial against Honeywell and BorgWarner  in the state of California.

The parties filed a series of motions to apply either Washington or Kansas law to …

Continue Reading

Turbine Manufacturer’s Choice of Law Motion Granted Based on Location of Asbestos Exposure and Diagnosis

MASSACHUSETTS — Plaintiff Ruth Burleigh, the widow of the plaintiff’s decedent Ernest Burleigh, filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts against numerous defendants alleging that decedent developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos while working as a mechanic at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (the shipyard) from 1960-1981. The shipyard is located in Kittery, Maine, approximately 20 miles from the Massachusetts border. The plaintiff’s decedent alleged exposure to asbestos in Maine only, was a resident of Maine for the …

Continue Reading

Rhode Island Court Applies Maine Law to Deny Summary Judgment to Insulation Contractor

The plaintiffs alleged negligence and breach of warranty based upon asbestos exposure sustained by decedent during his work at various job sites through the Laborer’s Union from 1969-1990. Defendant New England Insulation Company (NEI) filed a motion for summary judgment based upon various theories, which the court denied.

During his deposition, the decedent testified that he worked as a laborer for general contractors at job sites in Maine.  From 1973-1976 he worked at International Paper Mill around other trades, such as pipefitters and insulators. His …

Continue Reading

Laws of Two States Applied to Two Different Issues

The plaintiff alleged the decedent, who died of mesothelioma, was exposed to asbestos while serving as an engineman, machinery repairman, and machinist mate in the U.S. Navy during the 1960s. Although the majority of the decedent’s exposure occurred on four ships, to which maritime law applied, the plaintiff also alleged exposure during the six months decedent trained at a land-based naval academy in Idaho. Here the court decided whether Idaho or Louisiana applied to this six-month time frame. The plaintiff argued Louisiana law applied, and …

Continue Reading