Public University Dismissed from Asbestos Case Under Eleventh Amendment Immunity

LOUISIANA – The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana has granted a public university’s motion to dismiss a mesothelioma case pursuant to immunity provided by the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution. The plaintiff, Carey Gomez, alleged that he was exposed to asbestos from several sources throughout his lifetime, including take-home exposure from his father, who was employed at a shipyard in the 1960s, and direct exposure from his own work as a plumber from 1988 to 2011. The plaintiff …

Continue Reading

Court Grants Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss Cross-Claims Based on Sovereign Immunity Doctrine

In Carey Gomez v. Aardvark Contractors, Inc. et al., the court recently opined regarding a defendant’s motion to dismiss in an asbestos-related action. The plaintiff filed suit in March 2018, alleging asbestos exposure from multiple sources, including his own work as a plumber from 1988 through 2011, as well as secondarily through his father’s employment at the Avondale Shipyards in the 1960s. The plaintiff was diagnosed with mesothelioma, which led to his petition of damages against multiple defendants. Two defendants filed their answers, affirmative …

Continue Reading

Motions to Dismiss Denied in Consolidated Cases Brought by Two Groups of Beneficiaries

LOUISIANA – The plaintiff, Federico Lopez, filed a lawsuit in June 2017 in Louisiana state court alleging his malignant mesothelioma was caused by his exposure to asbestos at unidentified facilities. He passed during the pendency of the lawsuit, and his surviving spouse and child maintained the case (the Lopez action), and asserted a wrongful death claim.

On November 8, 2018, the plaintiffs, Jessica and Alfred Soliz, filed suit in Louisiana state court (the Soliz action), asserting strict liability and negligence claims on behalf of Lopez …

Continue Reading

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 …

Continue Reading

No Minimum Contacts Results in Defendant’s Dismissal

The plaintiff, Daniel Bannister, filed a petition for damages against numerous defendants alleging asbestos exposure that resulted in his diagnosis of mesothelioma. After his death, plaintiffs Patricia Ann Bannister, Shannon Rose Jordan, Daniel E. Bannister Jr., Dolphus Jacob Bannister, Anna Kay Springer, and Grayson Humble Bannister were substituted as proper-party plaintiffs. The defendant did not file an answer to the lawsuit, but rather filed a declinatory exception raising the objection of lack of jurisdiction over the person, and challenging the propriety of Louisiana court’s jurisdiction …

Continue Reading

Trial Court’s Exception of Prescription Reversed; Decedent Found to Have no Prior notice of his potential Mesothelioma

LOUISIANA – David Lee’s heirs alleged that he was exposed to asbestos while working in various jobs from the 1950s to the 1970s. Lee had various abdominal issues throughout his life, and had a carcinoid tumor removed in 2008. The final pathology report for the tumor showed well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma. However, Lee was asymptomatic after the tumor removal and never learned of the specific diagnosis. In 2012, Lee suffered more abdominal discomfort, and peritoneal mesothelioma was discovered. Lee passed away that year, and his heirs …

Continue Reading

Court Nullifies Insurer’s Agreement with Insured to Allow Plaintiff to Proceed Directly Against Insurer

LOUISIANA – Nelcome Courville contracted and later died of mesothelioma. Before his death, he filed a lawsuit against a variety of parties based on his exposure to asbestos, and his wife and children were substituted as plaintiffs after Courville’s death. One of those parties, Reilly-Benton Company, Inc., filed for bankruptcy in 2017. Thereafter, the plaintiffs named Reilly-Benton’s insurer as a direct defendant pursuant to Louisiana’s direct action statute.

The insurer moved for summary judgment, arguing that a 2013 settlement agreement it had entered into with …

Continue Reading

Unclear Testimony Regarding Location of Exposure Leads to Dismissal Due to Lack of Personal Jurisdiction

LOUISIANA – The plaintiff, Terry BonDurant, alleged that he was exposed to asbestos while working as an electrician at various refineries in Louisiana, Texas and Florida from 1964 to 1979, and that he contracted mesothelioma from that exposure. He filed suit against numerous defendants, including Gould Electronics. However, at his deposition, the plaintiff did not provide any testimony with regard to exposure from a Gould product. Gould is incorporated in Arizona and maintains its principal place of business there. Gould filed a motion to dismiss …

Continue Reading

Allegation in Complaint of Exposure at Shipyard Renders Defendant’s Removal Untimely

LOUISIANA – The plaintiff, Charles Merlin Parfait, Sr., alleged that he contracted mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos during his work at the Avondale Shipyards from 1968 to 1978, and sued various defendants in state court in Orleans Parish Louisiana. The plaintiff alleged strict liability claims in his state court petition, but specifically disclaimed strict liability claims against Avondale Shipyards’ successor, Huntington Ingalls Incorporated.  Less than 30 days after the plaintiff’s deposition, Huntington Ingalls removed the case to federal court and claimed that the plaintiff’s deposition …

Continue Reading

Plaintiff’s Failure to Show General and Specific Jurisdiction Results in Premises Defendant’s Dismissal

LOUISIANA – The plaintiff, Terry Bondurant, alleged exposure to asbestos while working as an electrician at various chemical plants in Texas and Louisiana, including a plant located in Texas that belonged to the defendant, Eastman Kodak. . Kodak, however, was incorporated in New Jersey and has its principal place of business in New York. Kodak moved to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(2), on personal jurisdiction grounds, asserting that the court lacked general jurisdiction, as well as specific jurisdiction.

Kodak claimed that because neither its state of …

Continue Reading