Orders Dismissing Merchant Mariners’ Claims for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction Reversed After Finding of Waiver United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, April 9, 2019

OHIO — The appeals for this matter stem from the dismissal of claims filed in the Northern District of Ohio. In 1989 several ship owner defendants moved to dismiss a multitude of merchant mariner claims suits for lack of personal jurisdiction. In sum, the defendants argued that the merchant mariners’ claims for nationwide jurisdiction were invalid. The court found a lack of personal jurisdiction but denied the motions to dismiss and indicated that the court would transfer the cases to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania…
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Lack of Personal Jurisdiction Leads to Dismissal for Talc Defendants in Meso Matter U.S. District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division, February 25, 2019

ALABAMA — The plaintiff Billie Smith filed suit against the defendants alleging she developed mesothelioma from the use of talcum powder on herself and son from the 1950’s through 2015. The defendants included Cyprus Amax Minerals Company (Amax), Cyprus Mines Corporation (Cyprus), Imerys Tac America Inc. (Imerys) and Johnson and Johnson (J and J). The defendants moved for dismissal based on lack of jurisdiction. In addition to allegations of negligence, wantoness and breach of warranty, the plaintiff claimed that the Imerys defendants (Amax, Cyprus and…
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Plaintiff’s Motion to Remand Denied Due to Fraudulent Joinder of Talc Defendant U.S. District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division, February 14, 2019

MISSOURI — The plaintiff Shawnee D. Douglas originally filed suit against multiple entities, contending that her use of talc product caused her malignant mesothelioma. Johnson & Johnson (J&J) removed the case to federal court on the grounds that diversity of citizenship exists because, inter alia, the only Missouri-based defendant, PTI Union, was “fraudulently joined.” Numerous motions were filed by the parties, including: Imerys Talc America, Inc.’s Motion to Dismiss the plaintiff’s Petition for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction, the plaintiff’s Emergency Motion to Remand with…
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In Talc case, Motion to Dismiss Denied Based on Business Registration; Case Not Remanded to State Court U.S. District Court E.D. Pennsylvania, January 16, 2019

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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Lack of Personal Jurisdiction Leads to Dismissal for Industrial Supply Defendant U.S. Supreme Court, New York County, September 29, 2018

NEW YORK — The plaintiff filed suit in New York against Grainger Inc. (Grainger) alleging her decedent, Myron Miller, passed from mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos for which Grainger was liable. Specifically, Mr. Miller was alleged to have been exposed to packing and gaskets while refurbishing and selling used equipment he bought from liquidation sales from 1980-1987. Mr. Miller resided in Georgia from 1973 but would travel to New York later to purchase used parts. Grainger, an Illinois corporation, moved to dismiss…
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Business Registration in Pennsylvania Confers General Personal Jurisdiction Over Talc Supplier Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, October 1, 2018

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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General Denial Insufficient Objection to Personal Jurisdiction in NYCAL Supreme Court of the State of New York – New York County, October 2, 2018

NEW YORK — Wayne Gibson alleged that he developed mesothelioma in part from occasional work assisting mechanics with brakes, clutches and gaskets on Mack and Kenworth trucks while working as a driver for a Virginia based trucking company. With the exception of a six month stint in the Navy, Gibson never lived in the state of New York, nor was he exposed to asbestos in New York. The defendant Mack Truck, Inc., a Pennsylvania corporation with its principal place of business in North Carolina filed…
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Gasket Manufacturer’s Motion for Summary Judgment Denied Based on Residual Market State of New York Supreme Court, County of Monroe, August 3, 2018

NEW YORK — The plaintiff’s Decedent Joseph Tolan allegedly worked with asbestos-containing gaskets, including sheet gaskets, manufactured by Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company (Goodyear) starting in 1977 at the United States Army’s Seneca, NY Depot. Goodyear filed a motion for summary judgment, stating that it ceased making asbestos-containing gaskets in 1969. Goodyear further argued that it had no sales of asbestos-containing gaskets to the Depot.  Goodyear continued to make non-asbestos gaskets after 1969, and they had similar markings and logos to the asbestos-containing versions. Goodyear…
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Lack of Personal Jurisdiction over Successor-in-Interest Defendant Leads to Dismissal in Environmental Contamination Case Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department, July 25, 2018

NEW YORK — The plaintiffs filed suit against the defendants alleging damages for environmental contamination within the City of Rochester. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that the successors in interest to the defendants caused contamination to their property throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s. Defendant Valero Corporation (Valero) moved for dismissal of the plaintiff’s second amended complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction. The trial court denied the motion finding that the plaintiffs had established facts that demonstrated justification to “exercise” personal jurisdiction over Valero because “it was…
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New Jersey Talc Manufacturer’s Motion to Dismiss New York Case With Exposure In Virginia Granted Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County, July 27, 2018

NEW YORK — The plaintiffs sued Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and Johnson and Johnson Consumer Inc. (JJCI), alleging that Mrs. Hammock’s exposure to asbestos-containing J&J baby powder caused her to develop mesothelioma. Mrs. Hammock was a Virginia resident her entire life, and all of her alleged exposure took place in Virginia.   JJCI is the sole entity responsible for manufacturing and distributing J&J baby powder during the subject time period. JJCI is a New Jersey Corporation  with its principal place of business in New Jersey. JJCI…
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