Finding of Admiralty Jurisdiction Leads to Denial of Gasket Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss

U.S. District for the Eastern District of Virginia

This is a follow up to Asbestos Case Tracker’s recent post on this matter. Plaintiff Herbert Mullinex alleged he developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos while working as a machinist mate in the U.S. Navy from 1969-89. The plaintiff worked aboard multiple ships docked in Norfolk, Virginia and others around the world. Defendant John Crane (JCI) removed the case to federal court based on government contractor defense. JCI then moved to dismiss the …

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Sailor’s Transferred Mesothelioma Case Dismissed for Lack of Jurisdiction

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit.

Plaintiff William Traser filed suit against multiple defendants in the United States District Court for Michigan. Mr. Traser passed away from mesothelioma two years later. His case was then consolidated into the Multidistrict Litigation (“MDL”) in 1991. Thereafter, his case was transferred to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. His case was then dismissed “for lack of personal jurisdiction in the Northern District of Ohio, where the court perceived the cases had been transferred to decades earlier.” Mr. Traser’s …

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Multiple Defendants Granted Summary Judgment in Maritime Action on Lack of Causation

WASHINGTON – The plaintiffs filed suit against multiple defendants, including Foster Wheeler Energy Corporation, Warren Pumps, and Air & Liquid Systems Corporation, alleging that their decedent, Deem, developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos-containing products while working as a machinist at the Puget Naval Shipyard from 1974-1981. Two co-workers testified as to work performed at the shipyard. Work included repairs on lots of equipment including valves, pumps, catapults, distilling plants, turbines, compressors, and steam traps. Additional tasks included removal of old flange gaskets, …

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Lack of Admissible Evidence Against General Electric Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment in Maritime Meso Case

CONNECTICUT – The Carlson’s brought suit against several defendants including General Electric (GE) alleging that Kurt Carlson developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to the defendants’ asbestos-containing products while working as a radiological control technician for General Dynamics/Electric Boat Corp. from 1973-1974. The plaintiffs provided answers to interrogatories to GE. The answers did not list GE as the plaintiff’s employer or as a product to which he was exposed. The plaintiff was also deposed and did not name GE as a product to which …

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Attempt to Revive MARDOC Cases on Jurisdiction Fails as to all but Four Appellants

OHIO – The plaintiffs in this matter are merchant mariners who originally filed their cases in the Northern District of Ohio. Subsequent to filing, their cases were transferred to multidistrict litigation (MDL). Prior to trial in Pennsylvania, the court dismissed the cases after a finding that the Ohio court lacked personal jurisdiction, and appeal ensued.

By way of background, the merchant mariner cases were in the thousands. Filings began in the 1980s against several ship owners, manufacturers, and suppliers of asbestos products. Their claims were …

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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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Three Defendants Granted Summary Judgment in Maritime Case Pending in Washington

WASHINGTON – The plaintiff, Donald Yaw, filed a lawsuit against numerous equipment manufacturers alleging that he suffered injuries as a result of asbestos exposure. The plaintiff experienced his exposure while working as a shipfitter at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard from 1964 to 2001. The plaintiff was deposed before he passed away, but did not remember working on any particular product on any ship. The plaintiff’s expert, Captain Arnold Moore, opined that the plaintiff was exposed to asbestos while others were removing insulation, packing, and gaskets …

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Lack of Specific Identification of Exposure Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment for Pump Manufacturer in Naval Case

DELAWARE – The plaintiff Hickman filed suit against several defendants including Air & Liquid Systems Corp. for its line of Buffalo pumps arguing that he developed asbestosis and asbestos related pleural disease as a result of his work with the defendants’ products while working onboard several ships in the United States Navy. Specifically, the plaintiff worked as a fireman onboard multiple naval ships from 1963- 1986. His work led him to encounter a variety of equipment and products including pumps, valves, generators, and insulation. A …

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Duty to Warn Recognized in Maritime Tort Context

In a case extensively covered by the Asbestos Case Tracker blog the US. Supreme Court examined a multi-district asbestos product liability action. In the claim, widows of deceased veterans brought negligence and strict liability action against several defendants, including manufacturers of engines and other equipment installed on Navy ships, alleging veterans developed cancer due to exposure to asbestos on board Navy ships. Following remand from the court of appeals, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted manufacturers’ motions for summary judgment. …

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Bare Metal Defense Does Not Apply To Negligence Claims Under Maritime Law

The U.S. Supreme Court held that manufacturers are liable for injuries caused by parts with asbestos that were subsequently added to their products by third parties, affirming the special protections extended to sailors under maritime law. The court reviewed the following question: “Can products-liability defendants be held liable under maritime law for injuries caused by products they did not make, sell, or distribute?”

In a case previously reported by the Asbestos Case Tracker, the court, in a 6-3 ruling, upheld a third circuit decision that …

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