Equitable Considerations Warrant Granting Plaintiff’s Motion to Remand in Talc Matter

LOUISIANA – In the first motion to remand ruled on after Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J)motion to fix venue in the United States District Court, District of Delaware was denied, the court considered the plaintiff Phyllis Lea’s motion. The plaintiff filed suit against multiple defendants, including J&J, alleging that her exposure to asbestos-containing talcum powder products caused her to develop ovarian cancer. On April 24, 2019, J&J removed the matter to the district court, and the plaintiff filed the instant motion on June 6, 2019.

The …

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Louisiana Court of Appeal, Fourth Circuit Modifies Trial Court’s Denial of Motion to Quash Trial Subpoenas

LOUISIANA – In McMaster v. Union Carbide Corp., et al, pending in the Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit, plaintiff Ronald McMaster filed suit against various defendants alleging that he was exposed to asbestos while employed at Gulf Oil from 1978 to 1980. The plaintiff requested that the clerk of court issue trial subpoenas to multiple corporate defendants, but did not specify the names of any witnesses sought for examination, nor the subject matter of which the witnesses would be examined. Two defendants …

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Additional Discovery Ordered to Determine Location of Exposure in Facility Defendant’s Personal Jurisdiction Challenge

LOUISIANA — The plaintiff, Frederico Lopez, filed suit against the defendants, alleging he developed mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos while working as a gasket cutter for Lamons Gasket Company from 1971-1973 and as a pipefitter for Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR) from 1973-1986. Lopez passed away on November 9, 2017. The plaintiffs amended their complaint to include ConocoPhillips (Conoco) as a defendant. The amended complaint claimed that Lopez was “exposed to asbestos during his work for KBR at premises/sites owned and/or operated by…ConocoPhillips, as successor …

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Shipyard Defendant Obtains Summary Judgment as to Whether Certain Prior Asbestosis Releases Apply to Future Mesothelioma Claim

LOUISIANA – The family of Joseph Savoie, Jr. filed suit against multiple defendants alleging he passed away from mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos while working at Avondale Shipyards from 1948-1995. Savoie was originally diagnosed with asbestosis in 1990 and settled with several defendants. Years later, he developed mesothelioma. Avondale sought summary judgment on the issue of whether the plaintiff released his future claim for mesothelioma with respect to eight entities with whom he previously settled in his asbestosis action. Avondale’s reasoning for …

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Court of Appeals of New York Rejects Argument that Coke Ovens Are not Products For Purposes of Strict Liability

NEW YORK – The plaintiff, Donald Terwilliger, brought an asbestos suit against multiple defendants. The complaint included a count that Honeywell, as successor in interest to the Wilputte Coke Oven Division of the Allied Chemical Corporation (Honeywell), was strictly liable for emissions coming from its coke ovens at Bethlehem Steel’s Lackawanna Plant in New York. Specifically, Terwilliger alleged that he was exposed to the coke oven emissions while working as a lid man from 1966-1993. He passed away from lung cancer in 2012.

At the …

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Motion to Remand or Sever Claims Ruled Premature

LOUISIANA – In March 2017, the plaintiffs filed a lawsuit alleging that decedent, Wayne Knight, who developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos while employed by Avondale Shipyard from 1967 to 1982. Avondale removed the case in October 2018, pursuant to the federal officer removal statute. The plaintiffs then filed a motion to sever claims and remand.

Pursuant to the federal officer removal statute, removal is proper if a defendant can establish four elements:

  1. That it is a person within the meaning of
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Plaintiffs’ Claims Against Employer Barred Under Workers’ Compensation Grounds; May Plead Alternative Premises Liability Claims

LOUISIANA – The plaintiff, Victor Michel, filed a lawsuit in state court in July 2017, alleging that his work as a mechanic exposed him to asbestos which caused him to develop peritoneal mesothelioma. The case was removed to federal court on May 8, 2018 and the plaintiff passed away five days later. The court substituted his survivors as the plaintiffs on July 10, 2018, and as of January 25, 2019, Ford Motor Co. was the only remaining defendant. On February 20, 2019, the …

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Jury Verdict Upheld Against Boiler Defendant

LOUISIANA — Lynda Berry alleged that she was exposed to asbestos through the electrical work of her husband, William, at a Louisiana paper mill, causing her peritoneal mesothelioma. William Berry testified that he was present when defendant Foster Wheeler removed and replaced asbestos insulation materials on their boilers, which were installed in the paper mill. The matter was tried before a jury who determined that Foster Wheeler was liable for the plaintiff’s injuries, and assessed a final award of $2.25 million against them.

Foster Wheeler …

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Plaintiff’s Future Medical Award Reinstated Against Defendant Stevedore Company Based on Strength of Evidence Presented

LOUISIANA — The plaintiff Jerry Craft (plaintiff) filed suit against multiple stevedore companies, alleging that his work as a longshoreman on the New Orleans riverfront from 1953 until 1989 exposed him to asbestos that caused him to develop mesothelioma. Multiple other stevedore companies for which the plaintiff worked settled out of court, were dismissed from the litigation, or did not appear in the litigation at all. The defendant Ports America Gulfport, Inc. (defendant) pursued litigation, and went to trial.

The jury was given a special …

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Summary Judgment Granted in Secondary Exposure Case

LOUISIANA – The plaintiffs, the children of Theresa Rodrigue (Ms. Rodrigue), allege their mother was secondarily exposure to asbestos contained in products manufactured by multiple product manufacturers (defendants) who moved for summary judgment, respectively, when Ms. Rodrigue washed the clothing of her brother, a rigger in a shipyard. The court granted the defendants summary judgment on the basis that the evidence in the record was insufficient with respect to an essential element of the plaintiffs’ claims. Consequently, since no genuine factual dispute existed, summary judgment …

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