Virginia District Court Affirms Magistrate Decision on Admissibility of Naval Expert Testimony

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, April 27, 2020

Plaintiffs Herbert H. Mullinex and Patricia E. Mullinex alleged that Mr. Mullinex was exposed to asbestos from working with sheet gaskets and valve and pump packing manufactured by John Crane, Inc. during his service in the U.S. Navy from 1969 to 1978. John Crane, as part of its defense, intended to rely on the opinion of retired Rear Admiral David P. Sargent, Jr., in an attempt to refute some of Mr. Mullinex’s allegations …

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Plaintiff’s Experts Stricken for Failure to Comply with Scheduling Order

U.S. District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Northern Division, February 26, 2020

NORTH CAROLINA – On December 21, 2017, the plaintiff, Karen Cahoon  filed a complaint alleging state law claims of negligence, breach of an implied warranty, failure to warn and punitive damages against, among others, the defendant, Edward Orton, Jr. Ceramic Foundation. A scheduling order was issued by the court on May 11, 2018.  After multiple joint requests on behalf of  Cahoon and the defendant, on Jan. 8, 2019, the court issued new deadlines for …

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Federal Court Declines to Exclude Testimony of Certified Industrial Hygienist

WASHINGTON – In the matter of Jill Diane Clayton v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington denied the plaintiff’s motion to exclude the expert testimony of Certified Industrial Hygienist, Kyle Dotson, finding that Dotson’s testimony was both relevant and reliable under Federal Rule of Evidence 702. The plaintiff alleged that the decedent, William Richard Clayton, was exposed to asbestos while serving aboard the United States Navy ship, the U.S.S. Badger, in …

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Lack of Causation Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment for Friction Defendant in Lung Cancer Case

NEW YORK – The plaintiff, Glen Schrank, sued multiple defendants, including Ford Motor alleging that he developed lung cancer from his work as an automobile mechanic from approximately 1972-1991. Schrank smoked Parliament filtered cigarettes beginning in 1966 and smoked between one and one and a half packs per day. Ford moved for an order precluding the plaintiff’s expert witnesses or in the alternative a Frye Reed hearing. In support of its position, Ford offered an affidavit from Dr. Anil Vachani. Dr. Vachani’s testimony illustrated various …

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Delaware District Court Rules on Pre-trial Motions in Maritime Law Case

DELAWARE – The plaintiff filed this asbestos-related wrongful death action in Delaware on June 11, 2015. While the court does not explain the underlying case facts, motion practice regarding admiralty law and expert exclusion indicates that the decedent was exposed to asbestos while a member of the United States Navy. As trial is approaching for this case, the plaintiff and the defendant, John Crane, Inc. (JCI), both filed motions in limine. The plaintiff’s motion sought to exclude discussion or reference to collateral sources, including …

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Honeywell Rebuffed in Effort to Preclude Plaintiff’s Experts

MARYLAND – Honeywell filed a Daubert motion to preclude the plaintiff’s experts from opining that chrysotile asbestos used in automobile brakes causes pleural mesothelioma or that every exposure is causative. The plaintiff retained Dr. Arthur Frank, Dr. John Maddox and Dr. John Finkelstein as experts. Honeywell argued that each expert offered the “each and every exposure” theory, which is barred under Daubert. The plaintiff agreed, and instead argued that his experts’ opinions were based on the plaintiff’s specific exposure level and not the general fact …

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Talc Defendant Successfully Excludes Expert Opinion Pursuant to Daubert

The plaintiff, Doris Gordon, alleged that she developed fatal mesothelioma in part from her use of asbestos-contaminated Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder that was manufactured, marketed, and sold by the defendant, Colgate-Palmolive. Colgate sought exclusion of the testimony of the plaintiff’s expert, Dr. Ronald Gordon. The court considered Colgate’s Daubert motion to exclude Dr. Gordon’s testimony and a separate motion in limine to preclude evidence regarding the plaintiff’s testing because of lack of authenticity and relevance of the talc tested. The Daubert motion was granted, and …

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Component Part Supplier Successfully Excludes Expert Testimony Regarding Failure to Warn

DELAWARE – The plaintiff Icom Henry Evans worked as a fireman and boiler tender in the United States Navy from 1957 to 1967. He filed suit and alleged that his fatal mesothelioma was caused in part by exposure to asbestos-containing gaskets and packing that were manufactured, sold, distributed, licensed, or installed by John Crane, Inc. (JCI).  JCI moved the court to exclude testimony offered by the plaintiffs’ expert Captain Arnold Moore, a marine engineering authority. They contended that Captain Moore lacked expertise to interpret relevant …

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Denial of Talc Defendant’s Motion for JNOV Reversed on Appeal

NEW YORK – In unanimously reversing an order denying the defendant Whittaker Clark & Daniel’s, Inc.’s (WCD) motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, today New York’s First Department determined that the plaintiff Claudine DiScala did not present sufficient evidence to establish a level of exposure that could have caused the decedent, Joan Robusto’s, mesothelioma. They determined that although there was not a requirement to quantify a mathematically precise exposure level, the plaintiff’s causation expert failed to express a legally sufficient opinion because he “merely opined …

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Directed Verdict Reversed for Floor Tile Defendant Based on Admissibility of Expert Opinion

CALIFORNIA – The plaintiff, Robert Friedman, alleged that he developed mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos through remodeling work undertaken in his home. He proceeded to trial against the defendant, American Biltrite, Inc. (ABI), a manufacturer of asbestos vinyl tile that was allegedly cut and installed in Friedman’s presence over three days in 1966. The plaintiff specifically testified that he observed the tile installers cutting the tile with a circular saw, which created dust.

ABI presented testimony from their corporate representative stating that vinyl tile was …

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