Jury Finds Pipe Manufacturer Did Not Have a Duty to Warn Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, March 23, 2018

PENNSYLVANIA — Decedent Ernest Schrader alleged that he developed mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos from dozens of products during 40 years of working in a DuPont facility in Delaware. Pipe manufacturer Ameron International Corporation was the lone defendant at a two week trial in state court in Philadelphia. Earlier this week, the jury determined that the decedent was exposed to asbestos from Ameron. However, the jury did not find that Ameron was negligent, evidently accepting evidence that the company complied with OSHA standards at the…
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Pennsylvania Statute Authorized General Personal Jurisdiction if Foreign Corporation Registered in Pennsylvania U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, March 19, 2018

PENNSYLVANIA — The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania held that the defendants were subject to general personal jurisdiction due to the consent provision in Pennsylvania’s long-arm statute. The facts are as follows: the plaintiff, Thomas Gorton, alleged he developed mesothelioma as a result of his work at various phone companies and from changing automobile brakes. None of the alleged exposure took place in Pennsylvania. The case was filed in state court and removed to federal court. Defendants Ford Motor Company, Pacific…
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Superior Court Affirms Five Post-Trial Rulings, Remands to Trial Court for Apportionment Under Pennsylvania Fair Share Act Superior Court of Pennsylvania, December 28, 2017

PENNSYLVANIA — Appellee William Roverano initially filed suit in 2014 against multiple defendants, alleging that his lung cancer was caused by exposure to asbestos while employed by PECO between 1971-81. Appellee Jacqueline Roverano also made a claim for loss of consortium. More than a dozen of the named defendants had filed for bankruptcy, and only John Crane, Inc. and Brand Insulations, Inc. had not settled before the jury’s verdict. Prior to the trial, the court held that the Fair Share Act, 42 Pa.C.S. Section 7102,…
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Pennsylvania Supreme Court to Consider Manufacturer’s Liability for Asbestos-Containing Component Parts Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, October 26, 2017

PENNSYLVANIA — The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit submitted a Petition for Certification of Question Law on the following issues for consideration: (1) Whether, under Pennsylvania law, a manufacturer as a duty to warn about the hazards of asbestos relating to component parts it has neither manufactured or supplied and (2) if such a duty exists, what is the appropriate legal test to determine liability. On October 26, 2017, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed to consider these issues and instructed parties…
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Possibility of Successor Liability Enough to Defeat Diversity Jurisdiction U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, June 28, 2017

The plaintiffs alleged Maynard Herman contracted mesothelioma due to occupational asbestos exposure. Defendants removed on the basis of diversity, and the plaintiffs moved to remand. The court granted the remand. The defendants argued that defendant Ametek, Inc., although a citizen of Pennsylvania, was fraudulently joined to defeat diversity. The plaintiffs argued Ametek was not fraudulently joined because it was the successor for Mr. Herman’s exposure to asbestos products made by Haveg Industries. The plaintiffs acknowledged that when Ametek purchased Haveg, the agreement facially concerned only…
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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Reaffirms Betz Decision Rejecting Each and Every Exposure

In December of 2010, a Philadelphia jury awarded a verdict in the amount of $14.5 million to the widow, and executrix of the estate, of James Nelson. Nelson had previously developed mesothelioma and passed away at age 54 in 2009. The defendants appealed the verdict, arguing that the plaintiff failed to meet the sufficient standard of causation under Pennsylvania law. The defendants specifically argued that the trial court improperly allowed plaintiff’s expert to testify that each and every exposure must be considered a substantially contributing…
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“Discovery Rule” Applied for Plaintiffs’ Claim to Survive Two-Year Statue of Limitations U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, March 2, 2017

The plaintiffs asserted that the decedent, Joseph Conneen, was exposed to asbestos while working as a pipefitter and plumber from 1962-80 at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and Rohm and Haas. The decedent died of lung cancer. The complaint was filed on January 20, 2015. In March 2015, the case was removed to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania as part of MDL-875. Defendant Goulds moved for summary judgment on the basis of Pennsylvania’s two-year statute of limitations. The court denied this…
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Summary Judgment Affirmed Against School Board Where Exception to Immunity Applied Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, January 25, 2017

The plaintiffs filed suit against 40 defendants and the Pittsburgh School District Board of Public Education (PBE). The plaintiffs contended the defendants were responsible for Ms. Geier contracting mesothelioma while she worked as a school teacher at South Hill High School from 1959-59. During discovery, Ms. Geier stated in an affidavit that she was occupationally exposed to 1) pipe coverings, 2) floor tile, 3) drywall, and 4) joint compound. At the close of discovery, PBE moved for summary judgment and asserted the defense of governmental…
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Summary Judgment Affirmed in Favor of Successor Premises Owner Where Bankruptcy Code Extinguished Claims Superior Court of Pennsylvania, January 26, 2017

Jacqueline and Thomas Wagner filed suit against Standard Steel LLC for Ms. Wagner’s alleged development of mesothelioma as a result of take home exposure from the work clothes of her husband. Mr. Wagner worked as a laborer and crane operator at Freedom Forge from 1970-72. Freedom Forge filed for Chapter 11 protection in 2001. Appellee Standard Steel LLC purchased the sale of Freedom Forge’s assets in 2002. The bankruptcy court confirmed the sale and found: 1) the sale price was fair and reasonable at an…
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Summary Judgment Affirmed Where Plaintiff Fails to Demonstrate the Frequency, Regularity, or Proximity of Decedent’s Alleged Exposure Superior Court of Pennsylvania, January 19, 2017

Appellant James Floyd, Jr.’s Father, James Floyd Sr. (the decedent), passed away after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Mr. Floyd alleged that the decedent was exposed to various asbestos-containing products, including AstenJohnson, Inc.’s dryer felts, while the decedent was employed at Sun Oil from 1939-1951 and at Scott Paper from 1951-1984. AstenJohnson made dryer felts used on paper machines that contained asbestos until 1980. Appellant provided deposition testimony that he worked with the decedent at Scott Paper from 1977-1984. Appellant testified that the decedent replaced…
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