Partial Summary Judgment Denied to Shipbuilding Company and Auto Parts Retailer

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, March 30, 2021

Before the court are motions for summary judgment filed by defendant National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) and Pep Boys-Manny, Moe & Jack of California.

Defendant NASSCO moves for summary judgment on the theory that, as a government contractor, it enjoys derivative immunity from asbestos- related liability. In the alternative, should material facts regarding its overhaul of the USS Bristol County remain in dispute, NASSCO moves for partial summary judgment as to the plaintiffs’ premises …

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Plaintiff’s Motion to Remand Denied Based on Federal Officer Removal

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, March 16, 2021

The plaintiff filed suit against Avondale and Lamorak Insurance Co. (defendants) in state court on February 12, 2020. The defendants removed the case under the federal officer removal statute alleging that the lawsuit pertains to action by Avondale’s taken pursuant to the direction of a federal officer. By way of background, this case rises out of Harvel A. Landreaux’s (the plaintiff) alleged exposure to asbestos while working as an employee of defendant Avondale …

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Shipyard Defendant’s MSJ Granted as Plaintiffs Failed to Establish the Amount and Duration of Decedent’s Exposure

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, March 4, 2021

Defendant Puget Sound Commerce Center, Inc. formerly known as Todd Shipyards Corporation filed an amended motion for summary judgment/partial summary judgment. The plaintiffs allege the decedent John Dale Wineland worked at Todd Shipyards in 1974, where he was negligently exposed to asbestos, including asbestos-containing insulation supplied by Todd Shipyards, and that this exposure caused the decedent’s mesothelioma and death. Todd Shipyards seeks dismissal of both the negligence and strict liability claims asserted against …

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Pump Manufacturer Granted Summary Judgment on Causation Grounds

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, March 1, 2021

Defendant Aurora Pump Company filed this instant motion for summary judgment and motion to strike. By way of background, plaintiff Ronald H. Berhmann worked on ships while serving in the U.S. Navy and while working in the Todd and Lockheed Shipyards in Seattle, Washington. Aurora manufactured pumps and asbestos-containing gaskets and packing for those pumps for use on ships. The plaintiff was an electrician, therefore, he did not work directly on pumps. Rather, …

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Various Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment Denied on Duty to Warn in Naval Action

U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, August 31, 2020

The plaintiff, Linda Hammell, alleges that her husband decedent Arthur Hammell contracted mesothelioma and died from exposure to asbestos. By way of background, the decedent enlisted in the Naval Reserve in 1960, and served on active duty in the U.S. Navy from April 1962 through September 1964.

During the decedent’s time on active duty, he was assigned to the U.S.S. Charles H. Roan (Roan) where he maintained boilers, forced draft blowers, valves, pumps, …

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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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