Punitive Damages Not Allowed Against Bendix; Memos Showed a Corporation Struggling With Evolving Science on Asbestos and Mesothelioma

The plaintiff alleged that her husband was exposed to asbestos from brakes, and as a result died from mesothelioma. She sued Honeywell International, as successor-in-interest to Bendix, alleging negligence, breach of implied warranty, fraud, failure to warn, and wrongful death, and asked for actual and punitive damages. Bendix moved for summary judgment on the breach of implied warranty, fraud, and failure to warn claims, and punitive damages claims. The court denied summary judgment as to the breach of implied warranty and products liability claims, but …

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Reliance of Dr. Eugene Mark on MSDS Sheets Not Enough to Overcome Court’s Exclusion of His Testimony Based on Daubert

The court excluded the testimony of the plaintiff’s expert, Dr. Eugene Mark, on the basis of Daubert. After this order, defendant Ford filed a motion for summary judgment and a motion to dismiss, and defendant Honeywell filed a motion to reconsider the court’s summary judgment order; both were made pursuant to the court’s order excluding Dr. Mark. The plaintiff then moved to continue the trial to find a different causation expert and to file a motion for reconsideration. The court denied the motion to …

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John Crane Inc. Establishes Prima Facie Entitlement to Summary Judgment

In this federal court case, defendant John Crane Inc. moved for summary judgment. The plaintiffs did not oppose the motion, and the court stated that it “may consider the forecast of evidence presented by the movant to be undisputed for the purposes of the present motion. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e)(2).”

In granting Crane summary judgment, the court held: “To prove causation in North Carolina, a plaintiff in a personal injury asbestos case ‘must present “evidence of exposure to a specific product on a …

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North Carolina Federal Court Grants Summary Judgment

In this case, “plaintiffs allege that his condition resulted from exposure to asbestos during his employment as mechanics’ helper, maintenance laborer, inspector, construction worker, and salesman, in addition to automotive maintenance work performed on his own personal vehicles and those of his family.” The court granted JMM’s motion for summary judgment to the extent that plaintiffs alleged exposure prior to 1983 but denied with respect to any claimed exposure after 1983. This was based on JMM’S acquisition of assets of one of the Johns Manville …

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Mixed Ruling on Brake Defendant’s Motion in Limine on Expert Testimony Regarding Corporate Conduct

In this federal court action, it is alleged that the plaintiff, Graham Yates, was exposed to asbestos brake products while working as a gas station attendant from 1956-1957, as a parts salesman and delivery driver for a Ford dealership in the 1960s, as a clerk in an automobile parts warehouse from 1961-1962, and from working on his own vehicles in the 1950s and 1960s. The defendant, Ford, brought a motion in limine to exclude expert testimony regarding corporate conduct. The court provided a lengthy analysis …

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In an Extensive Decision, Court Excludes Many Post-Exposure Pieces of Evidence Against Brake Defendants

The plaintiff commenced this action alleging exposure to asbestos as a brake mechanic at various locations, with his last claimed exposure to Ford brakes in 1960 and Bendix brakes in 1962. In a pretrial motion in limine, defendants Ford and Honeywell sought to exclude all different types of post-exposure evidence the plaintiff sought to introduce at trial. The court issued a lengthy decision addressing many different issues. Here are some of the highlights:

As to whether post-exposure evidence generally is relevant under FRE 401

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