Pennsylvania District Court Denies Summary Judgment to Defendant Under Colorado Law

United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Plaintiffs alleged that Harald H. Mehnert developed mesothelioma as a result of his exposure to asbestos-containing laboratory equipment while working as a lab technician at the U.S. Geological Survey in Denver, Colorado from 1959 to 1995. Plaintiffs sued numerous defendants, including Fisher Scientific Company, LLC (“Fisher”), and Mr. Mehnert generally alleged that he used asbestos-containing paper tape, cloth, clamps with asbestos sleeves, gloves, and boards that he ordered from both Fisher and a company called …

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Under the Fair Share Act: Pennsylvania Asbestos Liability Share will be Allocated Per Capita

Supreme Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, February 19, 2020

The Trial Court

PENNSYLVANIA – The plaintiffs, William Roverano and Jacqueline Roverano, filed an asbestos-related lawsuit on March 10, 2014 in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County. The plaintiffs alleged that William Roverano contracted lung cancer as a result of his exposure to asbestos-containing products during his employment as a helper and a carpenter at PECO Energy Company from 1971 to 1981. On Jan. 7, 2016, the defendant, John Crane, Inc. filed a third-party complaint joining …

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Pennsylvania Personal Jurisdiction Update

The past three years have seen the scope of personal jurisdiction challenges expand on a national level, and Pennsylvania is no exception. Two areas in particular in Pennsylvania, jurisdiction by consent and jurisdiction by registration, have been tackled by both the state and federal courts in the Commonwealth. There have been inconsistent rulings in the courts, and there is potential for a continued sea change in this particular area of jurisprudence based on the outcome of a currently pending appeal in the Pennsylvania Superior Court.…

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Defendants Win Locomotive Inspection Act Preemption Argument on Summary Judgment Motion in Pennsylvania

PENNSYLVANIA – A personal injury lawsuit was filed in the court of common pleas of Philadelphia County in April 2016 on behalf of the decedent, Diane Shields. Thereafter, it was removed to federal court. The complaint alleged common law causes of action for negligence, wrongful death and survivorship claims due to the decedent’s exposure to asbestos through her employment at the Motor Coils Manufacturing Company in Braddock, PA.

The decedent worked as a laborer at Motor Coils where she cleaned pinion gears as part of …

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Plaintiff’s Motion for Leave to File Amend Complaint Against Auto Manufacturer Denied

PENNSYLVANIA – The plaintiff filed a motion for leave to file an amended complaint, after the court granted Ford and AT&T’s motions to dismiss. Ford argued that the motion should be denied because there was no new exposure information. The court denied the motion without prejudice because the plaintiff failed to adhere to longstanding Third Circuit rule that a motion to amend must contain a draft of the amended complaint so that the court can determine if the amendment is futile. Since the plaintiff failed …

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Eight Defendants Dismissed Due to Lack of Personal Jurisdiction

PENNSYLVANIA – In an order entered on November 19, 2019, Judge Robreno of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania dismissed eight defendants in the Fend matter based upon the court’s lack of personal jurisdiction over each. The plaintiff was allegedly exposed to asbestos while working on ships and aircraft while serving in the Navy. In a footnote opinion, Robreno stated that, “the court finds no reason to amend its ruling in Sullivan that Pennsylvania’s statutory scheme requiring foreign corporations to register to do business and, therefore, …

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Court Refuses Plaintiff’s Attempt to “Smuggle” New Discovery Requests through Motion Practice

PENNSYLVANIA – The plaintiff filed this lawsuit against several defendants alleging damages suffered from exposure to asbestos. The opinion did not provide any background into exposure, disease or procedural history, other than ongoing motion practice between the plaintiff and the defendant, Space Systems/Loral, LLC (SSL) regarding responses to discovery.The plaintiff filed a motion to compel SSL to provide more adequate responses to interrogatories, specifically Interrogatory No. 3, regarding company background information. On July 22, 2019, the court issued an order compelling the requested discovery from …

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Improper Exclusion of Plaintiff’s Affidavit and Testimony Leads to Reversal of Summary Judgment

PENNSYLVANIA – The plaintiff, Nicholas Kardos, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in January 2016, and he filed suit against numerous defendants in March of that year. On September 12, 2016, he submitted an affidavit regarding his work at Gulf Research and exposure to asbestos while employed there. He was deposed and cross-examined by numerous defendants over three days in October 2016, and passed away eight days after the last day of testimony. Numerous defendants filed motions for summary judgment. All of the defendants were present at …

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Court Cites Strong Policy Against Granting Motions to Strike in Denying Plaintiff’s Motion

PENNSYLVANIA — In a case previously covered by the Asbestos Case Tracker, the defendant, Viad Corporation, filed an answer to the plaintiff’s complaint on February 22, 2019, including a successor in interest defense, an assertion that was raised for the first time in their reply to the plaintiff’s response to their motion for summary judgement and not decided on by the court at that time. The plaintiff filed a motion to strike Viad’s answer, and Viad filed a reply.

“The issue in this case is …

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Asbestos Multidistrict Litigation Judge Rejects Pre-Daimler Third Circuit Authority Finding Personal Jurisdiction Based on Registration as a Foreign Corporation

PENNSYLVANIA – In Re Asbestos Products Liability Litigation, Jackie Sullivan, Executrix of the Estate of John L. Sullivan v. A.W. Chesterton, Inc., et al., the Asbestos multidistrict litigation court recently ruled on a motion to dismiss filed by a defendant. The court granted the motion as it concluded that the court lacked personal jurisdiction over the defendant.

The court analyzed the 2014 Daimler AG v. Bauman, decision, which brought about a sea change in the jurisprudence of exercising general personal jurisdiction over a foreign …

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