Final Judgment and Imposition of Sanctions Affirmed Against Automotive Defendant

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, March 24, 2022

In this asbestos action, Deborah Marino (the plaintiff) alleged that her mother, Anita Creutzberger (the decedent), developed peritoneal mesothelioma from the decedent’s history of washing her husband’s and son’s clothing following their automotive work.  The plaintiff sued Ford Motor Company, among other defendants. During discovery in an unrelated case, Matthew Fyie, Ford’s employee designated to search for responsive discovery, testified that he did not review documents prior to his deposition as there were no documents …

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Plaintiff’s Proof Against Exhauster Manufacturer Deemed Insufficient to Overcome Summary Judgment

U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Asheville Division, January 26, 2022

In this asbestos action, plaintiff Rita W. Barkley alleges that she contracted mesothelioma from laundering her father’s work clothes. Foster Wheeler, the only remaining defendant in this action, moved for summary judgment with respect to all of the plaintiff’s claims, and moved to exclude the affidavit of Richard Fay Carpenter, which was submitted in support of the plaintiff’s response in opposition of the motion for summary judgment.

First, the plaintiffs …

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Trial Court’s Denial of Motion to Seal Redacted Memo of In-House Counsel Affirmed by Appellate Division

Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department, December 2, 2021

We previously reported on a dispute concerning the discoverability of a defendant’s redacted, as well as unredacted memorandum from the defendant’s in-house counsel to its president. In 2016, a New York trial court held that privilege was waived by the defendant as to both the redacted and unredacted memo. In 2017, the New York Appellate Division, First Department, modified the trial court’s decision. They agreed that privilege was waived as to redacted memo, …

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Defendants’ Request of Sanctions for Plaintiffs’ Counsel Failure to Preserve Lung Tissue Denied

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, March 31, 2021

In this asbestos action, Mr. James LaFrentz (the decedent) wore a 3M dust mask while working for General Dynamics from 1978 until 1984. The issue of whether the decedent suffered from mesothelioma or lung cancer was in contention before his passing. Several defendants, including General Dynamics and 3M, informed the plaintiffs’ counsel that the decedent’s diagnosis was in dispute and requested that the plaintiffs’ counsel preserve the decedent’s tissue, both orally …

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Motion to Exclude Testimony of Witnesses Denied; No Duty to Remind of Witnesses Existence

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington

Defendant Auburn Technology Inc. filed a motion to exclude testimony of three witnesses who were shipmates of the plaintiff’s decedent. Several other defendants joined in on the motion. The defendants argued that the witnesses were not properly disclosed until the very end of discovery and should therefore be excluded under Fed. R. Civ. P. 37. 

By way of background, in the summer of 2019, the plaintiffs made their initial disclosures, identifying the muster rolls for the …

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Pump Manufacturer Withstands Challenge to Protective Order, Loses Personal Jurisdiction Argument

Appellate Court of Illinois, Fifth District, August 24, 2020

The Appellate Court of Illinois, Fifth District, recently issued a discovery decision in the matter of Linder v. A.W. Chesterton Co., which also touched on the issue of personal jurisdiction. In Linder, the plaintiffs alleged that asbestos dust attributable to industrial pumps manufactured by GIW contributed to plaintiff decedent, Robert Linder’s mesothelioma. At the outset of the case, GIW filed a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, arguing that as a Georgia …

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Friction Manufacturer’s Objection to Motion to Compel Denied Due to Untimely Submission of Affidavit

KENTUCKY – The plaintiff, Jack Papineau, alleged that he was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma from exposure to Honeywell’s asbestos-containing brake products. The plaintiff sought an order from the magistrate judge to compel Honeywell to answer one interrogatory and respond to one request for production concerning lawsuits alleging exposure to Honeywell asbestos-containing friction products. Honeywell opposed.

Per the magistrate judge’s order, the plaintiff filed an amended request that limited the scope of the requested documentation. Honeywell responded to the supplemental request and attached the affidavit of …

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Evidence of Prior Asbestos Lawsuits Against Defendant Discoverable

KENTUCKY – The plaintiffs, Jack and Holly Papineau, filed a lawsuit against several defendants alleging damages suffered from exposure to asbestos. The plaintiffs filed a motion to compel the defendant Honeywell to supplement answers to interrogatories and requests for production, specifically regarding prior lawsuits. After oral argument, the court requested that the plaintiffs narrow the scope of their supplemental requests. The plaintiffs complied, requesting information and documents pertaining to all lawsuits filed against Honeywell wherein the claimant alleged an asbestos-related disease from exposure to Honeywell …

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Court Refuses Plaintiff’s Attempt to “Smuggle” New Discovery Requests through Motion Practice

PENNSYLVANIA – The plaintiff filed this lawsuit against several defendants alleging damages suffered from exposure to asbestos. The opinion did not provide any background into exposure, disease or procedural history, other than ongoing motion practice between the plaintiff and the defendant, Space Systems/Loral, LLC (SSL) regarding responses to discovery.The plaintiff filed a motion to compel SSL to provide more adequate responses to interrogatories, specifically Interrogatory No. 3, regarding company background information. On July 22, 2019, the court issued an order compelling the requested discovery from …

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Court Denies Plaintiffs’ Motion to Compel Supplemental Discovery Against Defendant

In McCallister v. McDermott & Co., Inc., et al., the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana recently ruled on the plaintiffs’ motion to compel discovery directed to Armstrong International, Inc., requesting supplemental responses to interrogatories and requests for production. The plaintiffs initially served requests to Armstrong, which were responded to in a timely manner. Several months after receiving the responses, the plaintiffs’ counsel emailed Armstrong’s counsel, arguing that the responses were deficient and required supplemental responses within seven days. On …

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