Outcome of Instant Matter Would Not Impact Non-Party Talc Supplier’s Pending Bankruptcy Estate, Remand Ordered

PENNSYLVANIA – The defendant Johnson & Johnson (J&J), in a topic that has been extensively covered by the Asbestos Case Tracker, indicated in its notice of removal that this case is one of many in the United States which involve claims concerning personal injuries and deaths allegedly caused by J&J’s cosmetic talc. J&J’s motion further indicates that the “sole supplier” of the talc which the defendant used in its product, filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11.

The plaintiffs’ complaint is similar to those filed by …

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Court Reverses Grant of Summary Judgment for Two Fire Door Manufacturers

PENNSYLVANIA – In Lamson v. Georgia-Pacific LLC f/k/a Georgia Pacific Corporation, Individually and as Successor-in-Interest to Bestwall Gypsum Company, et al., the Superior Court of Pennsylvania recently reviewed the plaintiff’s (appellant) appeal from an order granting summary judgment to two defendants (appellees) in the case. The trial court had concluded that the appellant failed to demonstrate that he was exposed to asbestos from fire doors manufactured by the appellees. The superior court, held that the appellant submitted sufficient evidence to create a genuine issue …

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Estate’s Claims of Exposure from Steam Pipes That Were Not Connected to a Locomotive Survive Preemption Challenge

PENNSYLVANIA — The plaintiff’s decedent worked in Texas as an electrician from 1945 until 1989, and alleged exposure to asbestos from insulation that was incorporated into passenger railcars manufactured by Defendants from 1945 until the mid to late 1970s. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that asbestos exposure from pipe insulation and “arc chute” insulation in the passenger cars manufactured by the defendants was a cause of decedent’s mesothelioma and subsequent death. The railroad manufacturing defendants moved for summary judgement under the theory that the plaintiff’s claims …

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Summary Judgment Motions Denied for Four Defendants in Two Maritime Cases Filed by Same Plaintiff

PENNSYLVANIA — Shortly before his death, Obediah Walker, Jr., filed an action in Pennsylvania state court alleging he was exposed to asbestos while serving on the USS Plymouth Rock while enlisted in the Navy from 1969 to 1971. He served as an electrician onboard the Plymouth Rock and was later diagnosed with lung cancer. He was deposed six days after filing suit and was only cross-examined by one defendant before he passed. The defendants Ingersoll-Rand, Warren Pumps and Blackmer Pumps did not cross-examine Walker. Obediah …

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Preclusion of Plaintiff Experts Leads to Defense Win in First Philly Talc Trial

PENNSYLVANIA – The plaintiff Charles Brandt (plaintiff), on behalf of the decedent Sally Brandt (decedent), commenced an asbestos-related action against, among other defendants, Colgate-Palmolive Company (Colgate), alleging that the decedent’s use of Colgate’s Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder exposed the decedent to asbestos, resulting in her mesothelioma diagnosis.

Following a Frye hearing, the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas precluded the expert opinions of the plaintiff’s geologist and pathologist, finding numerous methodological flaws in their research claiming asbestos was found in Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder. Colgate …

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In Talc case, Motion to Dismiss Denied Based on Business Registration; Case Not Remanded to State Court

PENNSYLVANIA -The plaintiffs filed suit in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas against Imerys and Johnson & Johnson, alleging that the plaintiff Carrie Youse’s use of cosmetic talcum powder caused her to develop mesothelioma. Imerys filed a notice of removal, including within the notice J&J’s consent. Soon thereafter, Imerys filed a Motion to Dismiss for lack of jurisdiction which was rendered moot by the plaintiffs filing an amended complaint. In the amended complaint, the plaintiffs added a claim against Walmart. The plaintiffs subsequently moved to …

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Insured’s Asbestos Claims Considered Multiple Occurrences But With Aggregate Limits

PENNSYLVANIA – The plaintiff Ohio Valley Insulating Company (OVI) filed a motion for partial summary judgment and the defendants Continental Insurance Company, Zurich American Insurance Company, and Granite State Insurance Company (collectively, Insurers) cross-moved for summary judgment. The court granted and denied in part both motions.

With regard to the first legal issue addressed by the Western District of Pennsylvania, OVI sought a declaration that various asbestos-related suits filed against it were based on multiple occurrences related to OVI’s “operations” (installation and removal of asbestos-containing …

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Pennsylvania Superior Court Refuses to Extend Statute of Limitations for Employee’s Exposure Claims

PENNSYLVANIA — The Pennsylvania Superior Court, in an unpublished opinion, recently declined to extend the statute of limitations for workplace exposure claims brought by employees. Since the Tooey case was decided in 2013, Pennsylvania law has allowed employees to bring lawsuits against their employers if the diagnosis of an occupational disease occurred more than 300 weeks after the date of last exposure to the hazardous substance. However, the new case law did not alter the statute of limitations for brining such claims.

In Moeller v.

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Business Registration in Pennsylvania Confers General Personal Jurisdiction Over Talc Supplier

PENNSYLVANIA The plaintiff Ellen Kleiner filed suit in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, alleging that she developed ovarian cancer through her use of Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder and Shower to Shower products. She named Johnson & Johnson and the talc supplier, Imerys Talc America, among other defendants. The case was originally removed based upon the fraudulent joinder of a non-diverse party, but the Eastern District of Pennsylvania remanded the case in October 2017. Imerys then filed preliminary objections to the complaint, arguing that …

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U.S. Supreme Court Set to Hear Bare Metal Defense Argument

PENNSYLVANIA — On October 10, 2018, the United States Supreme Court will hear argument in Air and Liquid Systems Corp. v. DeVries, a case involving the bare metal defense under maritime law. The case was originally filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas in December 2012. It was then removed to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania based upon the federal officer removal statute, due to the decedent’s work on Navy ships. Several defendants’ motions for summary judgment were granted on plaintiff’s negligence claims, based …

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