Plaintiffs Agree to Defendant’s Dismissal After Motion to Dismiss Filed in Talc Case

U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, July 29, 2020

On February 28, 2019, plaintiffs John Castro and Joyce Castro commenced this products liability action in state court against defendants, including CVS Pharmacy, alleging that Mr. Castro was diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of his exposure to asbestos from his use of asbestos-contaminated talc products.

On March 1, 2019, this matter was removed to federal court on motion by the defendants.  The plaintiffs filed a motion to remand. On June 2, 2020, the court accepted …

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Talc Manufacturer’s Motion to Dismiss on Forum Non Conveniens Denied

Supreme Court of New York, New York County, July 1, 2020

Glynnis Gale DeKlerk (the decedent) was born in South Africa in 1951 and lived there until 2017, when she and her husband moved to the United Kingdom. She was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in February of 2018 and died on January 20, 2019. The plaintiff commenced this action in New York on July 27, 2018 seeking to recover for injuries sustained by the decedent resulting from her alleged exposure to asbestos from talc and …

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Floor Tile Manufacturer Granted Summary Judgment on Both General and Specific Causation

Supreme Court of New York, New York County, June 25, 2020

The plaintiff, Carletto Lamenta (the decedent), was diagnosed with lung cancer in October of 2017 and subsequently filed this lawsuit alleging his injuries were a result of his occupational exposure to asbestos.  The decedent’s deposition took place over the course of seven days, during which he testified that he was exposed to asbestos in a variety of ways, including from his work with ABI’s Amtico vinyl asbestos floor tiles from the 1970s through the mid-1980s.

ABI filed a …

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Electrical Manufacturers Motion for Summary Judgment Based on Cigarette Warning Labels Denied as Speculative

Supreme Court of New York, New York County

Plaintiffs brought the instant action alleging the decedent, Thomas Fahey, was exposed to asbestos from his work in a variety of ways including his work with transformers and electric panels. Specifically, it is alleged that the defendants’ electrical panels and transformers were insulated with asbestos materials or contained asbestos wrapped rope from about 1980 through 2015 while the decedent was employed as an apprentice and union electrician with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local #3 from …

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Court Grant Plaintiffs’ Motion to Voluntarily Dismiss in Federal Court Under the Zagano Factors

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, May 5, 2020

On February 25, 2020, plaintiffs Laura McDaniel and Edward McDaniel filed a complaint in the New York Supreme Court, New York County, against the defendants, Whittaker, Clark & Daniels, Inc. (WCD) and Revlon, Inc., for asbestos-related personal injury claims relating to Laura McDaniels’ mesothelioma. The next day, on February 26, 2020, WCD removed the case to federal court under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a) on the basis of complete diversity between the plaintiffs and defendants. …

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Remand Granted After Finding that Removal Period was Triggered by Plaintiffs’ Discovery Responses

NEW YORK – The plaintiffs sued dozens of defendants, including Cleaver-Brooks, alleging that Frederick Brown developed an asbestos-related injury as a result of exposure to the defendant’s products. The complaint was filed in July 2017. The plaintiff served answers to interrogatories in October 2017. The responses stated in pertinent part “…While performing my sheet metal worker duties, I was exposed to asbestos from the work I did as well as from the work of tradesmen around and in close proximity to me who were cleaning, …

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New York County Jury Renders Defense Verdict in World Trade Center Case

NEW YORK – On Friday, March 6, 2020, a New York County jury rendered a defense verdict in the matter of Sharon Epstein, Individually and as Independent Administrator of the Estate of Ira Epstein v. Atlas Turner, Inc., et al., an asbestos personal injury and wrongful death action involving the decedent, Ira Epstein, and his alleged bystander exposures to asbestos-containing products while working at the World Trade Center. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that for approximately two months in 1970, Ira Epstein worked for an …

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Court Grants Plaintiff’s Motion for Jurisdictional Discovery for Turbine Manufacturer

United States District Court, S.D. New York, March 3, 2020

NEW YORK – Eugene Paroni, the plaintiff’s spouse, was diagnosed with and died of mesothelioma. The plaintiff alleges that the decedent’s mesothelioma was a result of his asbestos exposure from his work with a turbine manufactured by Ruston Gas Turbines, Ltd. The plaintiff brought suit against Alstom SA, successor-in-interest to Ruston. The plaintiff originally filed suit in California where he resided. Shortly thereafter, service of the summons on Alstom was quashed for lack of personal …

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Opposite Outcomes in Recent Removals Based on Diversity Hone in on Status of Remaining Defendants

A string of recent decisions on remand motions illustrates that diversity challenges are alive and well in asbestos litigation. As the landscape of defendants changes as trial approaches, so do the defenses. Whether by settlement or dismissal, the remaining defendant or defendants have taken advantage of diversity issues to remove cases to more favorable federal jurisdictions with stark contrast in results. That contrast should give defendants cause for pause prior to removal.

Recently, in Wieland v. Arvinmeritor, Inc., a brake defendant removed the case …

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Lack of Causation Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment for Friction Defendant in Lung Cancer Case

NEW YORK – The plaintiff, Glen Schrank, sued multiple defendants, including Ford Motor alleging that he developed lung cancer from his work as an automobile mechanic from approximately 1972-1991. Schrank smoked Parliament filtered cigarettes beginning in 1966 and smoked between one and one and a half packs per day. Ford moved for an order precluding the plaintiff’s expert witnesses or in the alternative a Frye Reed hearing. In support of its position, Ford offered an affidavit from Dr. Anil Vachani. Dr. Vachani’s testimony illustrated various …

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