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Appellate Court Affirms Finding of Liability against Talc Defendant; Vacates Apportionment of Liability

Court: Superior Court of Pennsylvania

In this asbestos action, appellant American International Industries (AII) appealed from a judgment entered in December 2022 awarding damages to appellee, Holly Fisher, executrix of the Estate of Sandra Reichart (decedent), following a jury trial.

Decedent owned a beauty salon from 1960 through 1985. During that time, decedent allegedly used the following talcum powders on clients: Clubman, Jeris, Jean Nate, and Cashmere Bouquet. Following decedent’s passing from mesothelioma in 2019, Fisher field a lawsuit claiming that the aforementioned talcum powders …

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Gasket Manufacturer’s Motions for Summary Judgment Granted, in part, Pursuant to Maritime Law

Court: United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Plaintiff’s decedent, Joseph Pine, served as a fireman aboard the USS Constellation from 1965-1967. After he died from mesothelioma a month after his diagnosis, his widow Lydia Pine (plaintiff) brought suit against defendant John Crane Inc. and a number of other asbestos manufacturers. As the final remaining defendant, Crane moved for summary judgment and to strike plaintiff’s jury demand.

According to the pleadings, the decedent worked on auxiliary equipment including pumps, gaskets, valves, generators, and steam-driven …

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Grant of Summary Judgment to Employer Defendants Reversed on Appeal

Jurisdiction: Superior Court of Pennsylvania

Richard and Pamela Shellenberger filed a lawsuit to recover damages from several defendants, including Mr. Shellenberger’s employers — Kreider Dairy Farms Inc. and Noah W. Kreider & Sons LLP (Appellees) — as a result of his exposure to asbestos and subsequent mesothelioma diagnosis, from which he ultimately died. Specifically, they alleged that Mr. Shellenberger was exposed to asbestos through maintenance work he performed on the boiler at Kreider Farms’ dairy processing plant from 1972 through September 1980.    

The appellees …

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Plaintiffs’ Motion to Remand Granted Based on Claim Disclaimer in Action against Boiler Manufacturer

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, August 2, 2022

Plaintiffs Kathryn and Earl Heilner filed a lawsuit against Foster Wheeler and 71 other defendants in the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas to recover damages Earl allegedly sustained due to asbestos exposure, which caused him to develop lung cancer. The complaint asserted claims for product liability, breach of implied warranty, negligence, fraudulent concealment of the harmful nature of asbestos, conspiracy, and loss of consortium. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that Earl was exposed …

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Grant of Summary Judgment to Premises/Employer Defendant Upheld on Appeal

Superior Court of Pennsylvania, June 23, 2022

In this asbestos action, decedent John Wheeler alleged asbestos exposure from his work as a millwright at a U.S. Steel (USX) plant. Wheeler’s co-workers testified in this matter as Wheeler passed away before he could be deposed. The trial court granted USX’s motion for summary judgment and the plaintiff subsequently appealed the trial court’s decision.

The plaintiff first appealed the trial court’s determination that an employee was not a business invitee. The appellate court first established that the …

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Multiple Defendants Obtain Summary Judgment on Claims of Take-Home Plaintiff

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, May 27, 2022

In this matter, the plaintiffs allege that decedent Shirley Hilster was exposed to asbestos from contact with her husband’s work clothes and person from laundering his work clothes and spending time in his vehicle. Defendant Eckel Industries, Inc. filed motions for summary judgment and to exclude the plaintiffs’ expert, Dr. Edwin Holstein. In its motion for summary judgment, Eckel argues that the plaintiffs’ claims against it must be dismissed because there is no …

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Court Grants Summary Judgment to Turbine Defendants Finding Manufactures Entitled to Bare-Metal Defense

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, April 1, 2022

The decedent’s widow brought this suit on behalf of the decedent alleging that the decedent’s occupational exposure to asbestos during his time in the Navy is attributable to turbines manufactured by the Westinghosue Corporation. The plaintiff also brought suit against the defendant CBS Corporation alleging CBS is a successor by merger of Westinghouse. The plaintiff also contends decedent’s injuries were caused in part by turbines manufactured by General Electric Company.

The defendant …

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Summary Judgment Granted as Premises Owner Did Not Owe a Duty to Independent Contractor’s Employee

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, February 15, 2022

In this asbestos action, Carl Gay alleged that he developed mesothelioma after a forty-year career. From 1974 until 1976, Gay worked as a quality control supervisor for engineering company Stone & Webster at the Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Station, which was owned and operated by Duquesne Light. Duquesne Light filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that they did not owe a duty to Gay as a landowner or as an employer of …

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Court Upholds Plumbing and Heating Employer’s Motion for Summary Judgment Finding No Successor-In-Interest Liability

Superior Court of Pennsylvania, January 26, 2022

In these asbestos actions, Kelly Smith, the executrix of the estate if Daniel R. Harrity, and Maxine Rosenkeimer, the executrix of the estate of Arthur W. Rosenkeimer, appeal a December 2020 order dismissing all claims and parties and an August 2020 order granting summary judgment to Appellee Vanadium Enterprises Corporation. With regard to the August 2020 order, the court concluded that the record lacked insufficient evidence to support a finding that Vanadium was liable as a successor to …

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Default Judgment Vacated by Plaintiff’s Failure to Serve Amended Complaint

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, January 7, 2022

The plaintiff Rhonda J. Gorton filed this asbestos-related lawsuit on behalf of her husband, the decedent Thomas Gorton, alleging the decedent contracted mesothelioma as a result of his exposure to asbestos-containing products. The defendant Warren Pumps did not respond to the complaint or otherwise have counsel enter an appearance on its behalf. On or about March 6, 2018, the decedent passed away. On July 9, 2018, the plaintiff filed an amended complaint alleging …

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