Fifth Circuit Affirms Remand of Shipyard Case U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, March 11, 2019

LOUISIANA — The plaintiff James Latiolas, filed suit in Louisiana State Court alleging asbestos exposure while working at the Avondale shipyard. The plaintiff only asserted a negligence claim against Avondale and Avondale removed the case on the basis of the federal officer defense. The plaintiff filed a motion to remand, which was granted. On appeal, the fifth circuit affirmed. The evidence previously gathered in other cases demonstrated that Avondale built and refurbished naval vessels based on the Navy’s specifications and under the their supervision. However,…
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Trial Postponed In Mesothelioma Case To Allow Discovery on Premises and Employer Liability Claims U.S. District Court, E.D. Louisiana February 20, 2019

LOUISIANA — The plaintiff Victor Michel alleged that he developed peritoneal mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos in his work as a mechanic performing work on engines and brakes. Ford Motor Company is the only remaining defendant in this matter. The court ruled on motions by the plaintiff and Ford, and ultimately continued the trial. After learning that Ford may have owned the dealership at which the plaintiff worked, the plaintiff moved the court to amend their complaint to add premises claims, employer liability claims, and…
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Trial Court Did Not Abuse Discretion in Granting Plaintiff’s Motion to Dismiss Without Prejudice Prior to Ruling on Defendant’s Summary Judgment Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit, February 6, 2019

LOUISIANA — The plaintiff James Sizemore filed suit in Louisiana State Court against multiple defendants, alleging that his diagnosis of mesothelioma was caused by exposure to asbestos while working as a welder, pipefitter, and boilermaker at numerous industrial facilities. The plaintiff’s alleged exposure to certain defendants products occurred exclusively in South Carolina, and those defendants moved for dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction or forum non conveniens. In response, The plaintiff dismissed those defendants and filed a companion suit in South Carolina.  Viking Pumps…
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Exclusion of the Plaintiff’s Causation Experts Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment in Merchant Marine Mesothelioma Matter U.S.District Court, E.D. Louisiana, February 05, 2019

LOUISIANA — The plaintiff filed suit against multiple defendants alleging he developed mesothelioma while working for Radcliff Materials, a predecessor of Dravo Basic Materials Company (DBMC). Prior to filing suit in Louisiana, The plaintiff had filed a products liability suit against several defendants in California including DBMC. The plaintiff dismissed DBMC from the California suit based on jurisdictional issues. The plaintiff worked as an oiler onboard a dredge known as the Avocet in 1973 for approximately 6 weeks. His primary job duties included reading gauges,…
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Three Experts’ Opinions Deemed Reliable and Relevant Under Daubert Standard United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana, January 7, 2019

LOUISIANA — The defendants Ford and Cummins filed motions in limine to exclude or limit the expert testimony of the plaintiffs’ experts Dr. Brent Staggs, Dr. Murray Finkelstein, and Christopher Depasquale. The plaintiff Victor Michel filed suit in state court against multiple defendants, alleging that his exposure to asbestos while working as a mechanic and generator service technician caused him to contract peritoneal mesothelioma. Under Daubert, the district court “is to act as a gatekeeper to ensure that ‘any and all scientific testimony or…
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Louisiana Case Remanded Due to Lack of Causal Nexus Between Defendants’ Actions Under Color of Federal Office and Plaintiff’s Negligence Claims United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana, January 7, 2019

LOUISIANA — The plaintiff Callen Dempster filed suit against multiple defendants, alleging that he was exposed to asbestos and asbestos-containing products while employed by Avondale Industries, Inc. (Avondale) from 1962-1994.  The plaintiff originally filed suit in the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans, State of Louisiana, on March 14, 2018.  On June 21, 2018, the defendants Huntington Ingalls Incorporated, Albert Bossier, Jr., J. Melton Garret, and Lamorak Insurance Company (the Avondale Interests) removed the case to the eastern district under the Federal Officer…
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Defendants’ Joint Motion for Summary Judgment Failed Due to Unresolved Issues of Material Fact United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana, January 7, 2019

LOUISIANA — The plaintiff Victor Michel filed suit in state court against multiple defendants, alleging that his exposure to asbestos while working as a mechanic and generator service technician caused him to contract peritoneal mesothelioma. The defendants removed the action to the Eastern District of Louisiana, and Ford and Cummins Inc. filed a joint motion for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff could not show that their products substantially contributed to Michel’s mesothelioma.  Plaintiff opposed the motion. The defendants argued jointly that they were entitled…
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Plaintiff’s Experts Precluded for Untimely Disclosure United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, December 28, 2018

LOUISIANA — The plaintiff Victor Michel (plaintiff) initially filed suit in state court on July 28, 2017, alleging asbestos exposure as a result of his work as a mechanic and generator service technician from 1965-2005. The defendants removed the case to federal court on May 8, 2018. After the case was removed to federal court, a status conference was held at which the court asked the parties to notify it of any remaining discovery. There was no discussion as to any further expert discovery. The…
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Prescriptive Statute of Limitation Period Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment in Favor of Shipyard Defendant

LOUISIANA –The plaintiff filed suit against several defendants including Huntington Ingalls (Avondale) and Kaiser Gypsum (Kaiser) alleging her mother, Dolores Punch, developed and passed from mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos for which the defendants were liable. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that her decedent was exposed to asbestos fibers from washing the laundry of her husband who had worked as a pipe fitter at Avondale from 1948-1960. The plaintiff later amended her complaint to include exposure from the work clothes of her son…
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Welding Contractor Must Indemnify Premises Owner for Exposures to its Own Employee United States District Court, Eastern District Louisiana, October 10, 2018

LOUISIANA — Wayne Bourgeois worked as a welder from 1989 to 1994 at Chevron Chemical (Chevron) in Belle Chasse, Louisiana. His employer was J.E. Merit, a predecessor to Defendant Jacobs Field Services North America, Inc. (Jacobs). As part of their contract to provide maintenance for the Chevron plant, including welders, Jacobs agreed to indemnify Chevron against loss, damage, injury or death connected with their work under the contract. Bourgeois developed mesothelioma and sued Chevron, who tendered the defense to Jacobs who declined to defend. Chevron…
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