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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North Carolina District Court Grants Summary Judgment to Six Defendants on Causation Grounds

The plaintiffs alleged that the decedent, James T. Whitehead, was diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of his alleged exposures to asbestos from working with and around a myriad of products and equipment over the course of his career as a sheet metal and maintenance mechanic. Mr. Whitehead was not deposed prior to his death, so the plaintiffs intended to rely primarily on testimony from individuals who worked alongside him in order to identify the products and equipment to which he was allegedly exposed. The …

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Defendant’s Collateral Estoppel Argument Fails in Motion For JMOL

United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Western Division, March 5, 2020

NORTH CAROLINA – On June 9, 2015, Wade Miller Gore (decedent) and Faye Gore (plaintiff) filed an asbestos-related lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. The complaint alleged that the decedent was exposed to asbestos products while working at the DuPont plant in Leland, NC. 

Trial began on Sept. 16, 2019 with the plaintiff’s case-in-chief concluding on Sept. 20, 2019.  At that time, the defendant, John Crane, …

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Dryer Felt Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss for Personal Jurisdiction Denied

United States District Court, M.D. North Carolina, February 28, 2020

United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina recently denied a dryer felt defendant’s motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. The plaintiffs filed a lawsuit after William Brock was employed as an electrician and maintenance worker at RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company in Winston-Salem for over 30 years, and developed mesothelioma after exposure to various asbestos-containing materials. The dryer felt defendant moved to dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(2). …

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Plaintiff’s Experts Stricken for Failure to Comply with Scheduling Order

U.S. District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Northern Division, February 26, 2020

NORTH CAROLINA – On December 21, 2017, the plaintiff, Karen Cahoon  filed a complaint alleging state law claims of negligence, breach of an implied warranty, failure to warn and punitive damages against, among others, the defendant, Edward Orton, Jr. Ceramic Foundation. A scheduling order was issued by the court on May 11, 2018.  After multiple joint requests on behalf of  Cahoon and the defendant, on Jan. 8, 2019, the court issued new deadlines for …

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North Carolina Statute of Limitations Bars Mesothelioma Claim

NORTH CAROLINA – The plaintiff, Jody Ratcliff, filed a complaint on March 1, 2017 alleging that her mesothelioma was caused by exposure to asbestos. She sued several groups of defendants, including friction and talc defendants. She alleged that she was exposed to asbestos during the summers from 1987 to 1989 while visiting garages with her father, who was a tool salesman. She also alleged using talc products that allegedly contained asbestos, from 1977 to 2016. The four remaining defendants – Ford; Brenntag Specialties; Whittaker, Clark …

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