Previously Dismissed Federal Maritime Case Against Ship Owners on Personal Jurisdiction Grounds Subsequently Dismissed in NYCAL; Court Finds There Was No Tolling of Statute of Limitations Supreme Court of New York, New York County, December 10, 2015

In this NYCAL decision, it was alleged that the decedent, Eugene Quinlan, was exposed to asbestos and developed lung cancer from his work as a career merchant mariner. The case was originally filed in 1997 in the Northern District of Ohio for a non-malignant asbestos disease. The decedent subsequently developed lung cancer and the case was assigned to the MultiDistrict Litigation (MDL), which included the Maritime Docket cases (MARDOC), and laid dormant for seventeen years. In 2014, the case was assigned to the Eastern District…
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Decedent’s Incomplete Testimony Found Sufficient to Overcome Summary Judgment as Pump Manufacturer Should Have Re-noticed His Deposition to Question Him Prior to His Death Supreme Court of New York, New York County, December 14, 2015

In this NYCAL case, it is alleged that the decedent, Warren Taveniere, was exposed to asbestos while working aboard several vessels as a Merchant Marine for Moore McCormack Lines from 1953 to 1955. The plaintiff’s interrogatory responses included Aurora Pump Company and at his deposition, the decedent testified that he used asbestos-containing gaskets and packing on Aurora pumps. After four hours the deposition was adjourned due to the decedent’s failing health and Aurora’s counsel had not yet had the opportunity to question him. The decedent’s…
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New York Federal Court Grants Auto Repair Parts Defendants’ Motion to Transfer Case to Florida Federal Court United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, December 21, 2015

In this federal case, the plaintiff brought an action against defendants BASF Catalysts LLC, Superior Materials, Inc. and Whittaker, Clark & Daniels, Inc. for the asbestos exposure and death of her husband, Pedro Rosado-Rivera. The plaintiff alleges that each defendant sold an asbestos-containing auto body repair filler that the decedent worked with at auto shops in New York, Puerto Rico, and Florida.  The defendants moved to transfer the case to The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. The court granted the…
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Post-Trial Motion for Additur Granted, Increasing Mesothelioma Pain and Suffering Damages Supreme Court of New York, December 18, 2015

The plaintiff’s decedent, Richard Voelker, was diagnosed with and died from mesothelioma. A personal injury action was pursued and resulted in a verdict awarding the Estate various damages, including a pain and suffering award of $250,000. The plaintiff filed a post-trial motion for additur arguing that the jury’s award for pain and suffering was inadequate compensation for Mr. Voelker’s “extraordinarily horrific” suffering. The court granted the motion, increasing the pain and suffering award to $600,000. The court cited to the plaintiff’s video trial testimony and…
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New York Court Addresses Jurisdiction, Product Identification, and Duty to Warn Issues in Denying Valve Manufacturer’s Summary Judgment Supreme Court of New York, November 23, 2015

The plaintiff developed mesothelioma and asserted asbestos exposure to valves from Fisher Controls International LLC through his work in various states, including New York.  Fisher moved for summary judgment and dismissal of various counts if its summary judgment was denied. The court denied the summary judgment, but granted dismissal of certain counts because these were unopposed. First, Fisher argued that the New York court lacked both general and specific jurisdiction, because it only learned of the plaintiff’s nine-month occupational history in New York when plaintiff…
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NYCAL Court Grants Spoliation Motion Against Pipe Manufacturer for Lost and Destroyed Company Documents Supreme Court of New York, New York County, November 5, 2015

In this NYCAL case, it was alleged that the decedent was exposed to asbestos from work he and others in his vicinity performed with Johns Manville (JM) transite pipe. The plaintiff moved for a spoliation charge, alleging that in 1990 JM was grossly negligent in the disappearance of more than 10 banker boxes of business records when transferring headquarters and in 1997 intentionally destroyed another 27 boxes of business records. The documents destroyed in 1997 were done so by James Richert, a former JM employee…
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Boiler Manufacturer Ordered to Disclose All Documents Referencing Asbestos or Asbestos-Containing Materials Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department, November 12, 2015

In this NYCAL case, a June 23, 2014 order denied defendant Cleaver-Brooks’ motion to vacate a November 9, 2013 order of the Special Master directing the production of “all its commercial files, all other relevant documents and records, and its index card database.”  The order also denied Cleaver-Brook’s application for a confidentiality order and cost sharing. In a unanimous decision, the appellate court modified the order holding that Cleaver-Brooks had to produce all documents that reference asbestos or asbestos-containing products, parts or components used for…
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Boiler Manufacturer Denied Summary Judgment Based on Plaintiff’s Contradictory Testimony on Product ID Supreme Court of New York, New York County, October 14, 2015

In this NYCAL case, the plaintiff, Mark Ricci, claims secondhand exposure to asbestos from his father’s work with boilers, including boilers manufactured by defendant Cleaver-Brooks.  During the testimony of the plaintiff’s father, Aldo Ricci’s, he originally answered that he did not recall observing anyone working on a Cleaver-Brooks boiler. Later, during plaintiff’s counsel’s questioning, Aldo did identify Cleaver-Brooks. Based on the contradictory testimony, Cleaver-Brooks moved for summary judgment, arguing that Aldo’s identification of their product was prompted by the plaintiff’s counsel and should be disregarded.…
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Plaintiffs’ Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint to Delete Federal Question Neither Prejudicial Nor Futile Where Remaining Defendant’s Summary Judgment Motion Did Not Argue Federal Claims U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, October 19, 2015

The plaintiff was diagnosed with mesothelioma and filed suit against a sea of defendants in New York state court. After responding to interrogatories indicating that he was exposed to asbestos while in the Navy, Foster Wheeler timely removed this case to federal court based upon the federal government-contractor defense.  When the only defendant remaining was Crane,  the plaintiffs moved for leave to file a first amended complaint which would eliminate any federal claims or defenses.  At the time the paintiff moved for leave to amend,…
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After Supplier Defaulted Through Nonappearance, Court Awarded Damages In Unopposed Proceeding Supreme Court of New York, Erie County, Eighth Judicial District, October 9, 2015

An Erie County, New York court has issued a decision on damages in a default action where damages and liability were uncontested following a two-day bench trial in an asbestos case involving Joseph Muir, a 58-year-old man living with mesothelioma.  Defendant Hedman Resources, Ltd. was the only remaining defendant. Hedman had been served with  the summons and complaint pursuant to alternative service granted by the court two years earlier. Hedman never appeared in the action and was in default at the time of the trial.…
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