Brake Manufacturer’s Grant of Summary Judgment Upheld on Reconsideration Due to Lack of Causation

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, Southern Division, June 9, 2021

The plaintiffs, William and Karla Dickens, allege that William Dickens developed mesothelioma due to his exposure to asbestos-containing products during automotive mechanical work. The plaintiffs sued multiple defendants, including Ford Motor Co. (Ford). Ford moved for summary judgment in two motions, seeking to dismiss the substantive and punitive damage claims against it. The court determined that there was insufficient evidence of asbestos causation and granted summary judgment. The plaintiffs moved for …

Continue Reading

Brake Manufacturer Obtains Summary Judgment on Causation and Punitive Damages Grounds

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, Southern Division

In this action, the plaintiffs allege that Mr. Dickens was exposed to asbestos from his work with brakes and clutches manufactured by Defendant, Ford Motor Co. Ford moved for summary judgment on causation and punitive damages grounds. Ultimately, the court granted both motions and dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint against Ford with prejudice.

With regard to the causation issue, the court first noted that the Mississippi State Court has adopted the “frequency, regularity, and proximity” …

Continue Reading

Mississippi Federal Court Applies Delaware and Tennessee Law to Grant Summary Judgment

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, Southern Division, October 23, 2020

The plaintiff alleged that he developed mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos from various products he worked with throughout his career. Of note in this matter, the plaintiff alleged that defendant Trinity Marine Products is liable for his injury after he worked with asbestos-containing brake pads incorporated in Nabrico winches. The defendant did not manufacture the brake pads or winches. Instead, the defendant purchased the assets from the winch manufacturer New Nabrico, …

Continue Reading

Summary Judgment Granted to Automotive Manufacturer Due to Lack of Causation

United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, February 18, 2020

MISSISSIPPI – The plaintiffs allege that the decedent, Beverly Bedford, developed mesothelioma from asbestos exposure through her work at Honda of Tupelo, a motorcycle dealership and service center she owned from the late 1970s to 2014. It is alleged that she was exposed to asbestos from Honda’s brakes, clutches, and gaskets. The decedent primarily worked in an office separate from the service shop area. Honda moved for summary judgment dismissing all of the plaintiffs’ claims.

Honda …

Continue Reading

Court Grants Protective Order Prohibiting Plaintiff’s Deposition

MISSISSIPPI – In the matter of William Bedford, Individually, and as Co-Executor of the Estate of Beverly Bedford, deceased and Kim Waddle as Co-Executor of the Estate of Beverly Bedford deceased v. American Honda Motor Co., the plaintiffs requested a protective order to prohibit the defendant, American Honda Motor Co., from taking the deposition of the plaintiff, William Bedford, in the lawsuit filed on behalf of himself and the estate of his wife, deceased mesothelioma claimant Beverly Bedford.

The plaintiffs’ counsel advised defense counsel …

Continue Reading

Assertion of Innocent Seller Defense Leads to Dismissal of Auto Supplier in Mesothelioma Matter

MISSISSIPPI — The plaintiff filed suit against A-1 Auto Parts and Repair (A-1) alleging he developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos from his work as a mechanic and exposure to talcum powder. A-1 moved for dismissal under Federal Rule 12 (b) 6 arguing that it was an “innocent seller” under Mississippi Products Liability Law (MPLA). The plaintiff did not respond or oppose the motion. The MPLA states that a seller shall not be liable for claims unless the “seller or designer exercised …

Continue Reading

Partial Motion to Dismiss Granted in Favor of Detroit Diesel Corporation

MISSISSIPPI — Detroit Diesel Corporation moved to dismiss certain claims filed against them by the plaintiffs, who alleged that William Dickens developed mesothelioma following exposure to Detroit Diesel engines from 1980 to 2010. The motion to dismiss was unopposed. Detroit Diesel moved to dismiss four alternative theories of liability not recognized under Mississippi law: enterprise liability, market-share liability, concert of action and alternative liability. The court recognized that these claims were not viable under Mississippi law and granted that portion of the motion, with prejudice. …

Continue Reading

Brake Manufacturer Obtains Dismissal on Alternative Theories of Liability in Lieu of Product Identification & Proximate Cause

MISSISSIPPI – The plaintiffs William Dickens and Karla Dickens (plaintiffs) allege that the plaintiff William Dickens’s (Mr. Dickens) mesothelioma was caused by exposure to asbestos within products he used while employed as a mechanic, and within talcum powder products he used.  Ford Motor Company (Ford) was named as one of the defendants since it, “designed its braking systems for asbestos-containing brake linings such that no other material could be utilized as brake linings in those systems.”  Ford moved to dismiss, under Rule 12(b)(6): (i) the …

Continue Reading

Case Remanded to Determine Setoff Amounts from Settlements with Asbestos Trusts

MISSISSIPPI — On February 13, 2009, Clara Hagan filed a complaint, as the representative of Bennie Oakes, against Illinois Central Railroad in the Warren County Circuit Court. The complaint, brought under the provisions of the Federal Employers Liability Act, sought to recover damages for personal injuries and/or death sustained by decedent Bennie Oakes while decedent was employed by Illinois Central and while engaging in interstate commerce. The decedent was employed by Illinois Central from 1952 through 1994 and alleged he was exposed to asbestos “on …

Continue Reading

Trial Court’s Reaffirmation of Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict in Favor of Defendants Reversed

Larry Smith worked on various drilling rigs from the mid-1960s until the early 1990s. He was also a heavy smoker. He was diagnosed with lung cancer and died shortly thereafter. His widow and other heirs filed a wrongful death action against several defendants in 2006. At trial, only Union Carbide Corporation, Montello, Inc., and Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. remained. The plaintiffs brought a strict liability claim under a products liability design-defect theory and claimed that Mr. Smith’s exposure to the defendant’s asbestos-containing products on the …

Continue Reading