Court Compels Discovery from Non-Testifying Expert Finding Exceptional Circumstances Under Rule 26

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, September 27, 2021

Plaintiff Laura M. Walls filed a products liability action on behalf of the estate of her husband, Robie W. Walls (decedent). The plaintiff alleged that defendant Pneumo Abex LLC, among others, manufactured, sold, and/or distributed asbestos-containing products or raw asbestos materials for use in North Carolina and other states at times relevant to this action, and the decedent’s exposure to such products caused him to develop mesothelioma, resulting in his death on …

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Summary Judgment Upheld as to Manufacturer and Supplier of Asbestos Insulation

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, April 27, 2021

On June 11, 2017, Charles F. Connor (the decedent) died at the age of 90 of mesothelioma. Following his death, his son Darrell Connor (the appellant), individually and as executor of Mr. Connor’s estate, brought a wrongful death action. The appellant named 22 defendants and stated a plethora of causes of action arising under both federal and North Carolina law. All of the appellant’s claims boil down to one straightforward accusation: that the …

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Molding Compound Defendant’s MSJ Denied as Federal Court Abandons Iowa’s Sole Proximate Cause Defense

U.S. District Court for Middle District of North Carolina, April 15, 2021

Plaintiff Marion Reed brings this case on behalf of his deceased wife, Barbara Reed, the decedent, who worked for a Square D manufacturing plant from 1972 to 1976, and died in 2017 from mesothelioma. Defendant Reichhold Liquidation, Inc. moved for summary judgment on all of the plaintiffs’ claims against it. Reichhold argued that the evidence established that the conduct of Square D was the sole proximate cause of the decedent’s injuries and that …

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Summary Judgment and Motion in Limine Awarded to Pipe Insulation Company Due to Speculation

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, March 23, 2021

Plaintiff Kenneth McDaniel was employed by Duke Power as an operator at its Belews Creek power plant in North Carolina from 1974 to 2005. Deborah McDaniel was married to Mr. McDaniel. Mrs. McDaniel was diagnosed with lung cancer, which the plaintiffs argue was a result of exposure to asbestos through her husband’s contaminated work clothing.

Mr. McDaniel recalled that Duke Power’s employees typically removed the insulation, while Covil employees typically installed new …

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Summary Judgment Granted to Contractor Defendant in Take-Home Exposure Case

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, March 22, 2021

Plaintiff Kenneth McDaniel worked as an operator for Duke Power at its Belews Creek Power Plant in North Carolina from 1974 to 2005. His wife, Deborah McDaniel, whom he married in 1978, was diagnosed with lung cancer and filed suit, alleging that her disease was caused by her exposure to asbestos dust on her husband’s work clothing, which she laundered throughout their marriage. Defendant, Daniel International Corporation, a contractor, filed a motion …

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Summary Judgment Granted to Four Defendants Based on Lack of Frequency, Regularity, and Proximity

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina

The plaintiffs allege that Mr. Brock (the plaintiff) was exposed to asbestos-containing materials, products, and equipment throughout his 30-year career at R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (RJR) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and that this exposure in the course of his employment has resulted in his mesothelioma diagnosis. Four defendants, Covil Corporation, Daniel International Corporation, ViacomCBS Inc., a successor-in-interest to Westinghouse Electric Corporation, and Air & Liquid Systems Corporation, a successor-in-interest to Buffalo Pumps, Inc. have filed …

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Summary Judgment Granted to Three Manufacturers on Causation Grounds

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina

Defendants Fisher Controls International LLC, Covil Corporation, and ViacomCBS Inc., successor-in-interest to Westinghouse Electric Corporation each have filed a motion for summary judgment. Additionally, the plaintiffs have filed for summary judgment against Daniel International Corporation.

By way of background, the plaintiffs allege that Mr. Kerry Vinson’s diagnosis of mesothelioma was because he was exposed to asbestos-containing materials, product and equipment through his 37-year career at Fiber Industries in Salisbury, North Carolina, and that this exposure …

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Talc Manufacturer Granted Summary Judgment; Lack of Regular, Frequent, and Proximate Exposure

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Western Division

The plaintiff alleged that her daughter (the decedent) died from peritoneal mesothelioma, which she contracted after exposure to asbestos as a student in a ceramics technology course at Appalachian State University. The defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing the plaintiff failed to properly identify a product attributable to the defendants. In addition, if the plaintiff was able to establish product identification, the plaintiff failed to proffer evidence the decedent was exposed to the …

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Court Holds Law Firm May Be Alter-Ego of Defunct Company

In October 2018, a jury in a federal district court in North Carolina granted a judgment in excess of $30 million against Covil Corporation, a company that formerly manufactured products containing asbestos but has been defunct since 1993. By the time the North Carolina litigation commenced, Covil had no officers, directors, agents, or employees. As a result, the litigation was directed by Covil’s insurers. After the jury verdict was handed down, a receiver for Covil was appointed in South Carolina.

In an effort to collect …

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No Actionable Asbestos Exposure Attributed to Electrical and Contractor Defendants

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, May 21, 2020

Plaintiffs Larry and Anne Woolard filed the instant lawsuit against 14 separate defendants, alleging that exposure to their asbestos-containing products and equipment while Mr. Woolard worked as an HVAC apprentice, mechanic, and supervisor at Weyerhaeuser Paper Mill caused him to develop mesothelioma. After the close of discovery, four defendants filed for Summary Judgment: Fisher Controls International, LLC; Schneider Electric Systems, USA, Inc.; Chicago Bridge and Iron Company; and Chicago Bridge and Iron …

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