Closeup of a sculpture with balance

Plaintiffs’ Fraud and Loss of Consortium Claims in Shipyard Action Dismissed; Various Other Claims Remain

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California

In this asbestos action, decedent Dennis Freeman worked as an insulation contractor at shipyards in several states, including California, from approximately 1980 into the mid-1990s. Several defendants moved to dismiss certain claims in the plaintiffs’ complaint, as well as moved to dismiss the plaintiffs’ complaint in its entirety.

Defendant BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair Inc. (BAE) challenged the court’s subject-matter jurisdiction of this action. However, drawing all reasonable inferences in the plaintiffs’ favor, the court disagreed. …

Continue Reading

Supreme Court Upholds Constitutionality of Consent-by-Registration Statutes

Court: Supreme Court of the United States

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a long-awaited decision June 27 on personal jurisdiction in the Robert Mallory case, holding that consent-by-registration statutes do not violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The case arose out of a Pennsylvania state court asbestos case. 

The plaintiff Robert Mallory worked for the defendant Norfolk Southern for nearly 20 years in Ohio and Virginia. As a freight-car mechanic, he allegedly sprayed boxcar pipes with asbestos and handled other chemicals in …

Continue Reading
judge's gavel and books

Denial of Talc Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction Reversed on Appeal

Court of Appeal of Florida, Fourth District

The plaintiffs, John and Joanne Fleemin, filed the instant products liability lawsuit against numerous defendants, including Lornamead, Inc., a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in New York. The plaintiffs alleged that Joanne developed mesothelioma as a result of her exposure to asbestos-containing cosmetic talcum powder products between 1978 and 2015. They attributed Yardley Lavender talcum powder to Lornamead. The plaintiffs further asserted that the defendants were subject to jurisdiction in Florida based on having “maintained …

Continue Reading
court of appeals

First Department Reverses Denial of Valve Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss on Personal Jurisdiction Grounds

Court: Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department

Plaintiff Ralph Vavala alleged his lung cancer diagnosis arose from alleged exposure to asbestos from a variety of products, including valves manufactured by the defendant, Jenkins Bros., during his employment as a steamfitter and welder from the 1960s through the 1980s. Upon commencement of the plaintiff’s lawsuit, Jenkins Bros. moved to dismiss the complaint against it for lack of personal jurisdiction. In response, the plaintiff cross-moved for jurisdictional discovery. On December 6, 2021, the trial …

Continue Reading
Hand on bible, swearing in

Plaintiffs Allowed Additional Discovery to Establish Personal Jurisdiction over Hydraulic-Pump Defendant

Court: United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Western Division

Plaintiffs William Weaver and Judy Weaver filed suit, claiming that William Weaver was exposed to the defendants’ asbestos-containing products while employed as a railway yard worker from approximately 1966 to 1977. One of the defendants, Eaton Hydraulics LLC f/k/a Eaton Hydraulics Inc. — sued as successor to Vickers Inc. (“Eaton”) — filed an original and renewed motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure …

Continue Reading
Court of Appeals Court

PPE Manufacturer’s Motion to Dismiss on Personal Jurisdiction Grounds Denied

Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department, November 2, 2022

In this asbestos action, Steel Grip Inc., a personal protective equipment manufacturer, was sued along with other defendants for decedent Giacinto Pira’s alleged asbestos exposure, which allegedly contributed to his mesothelioma diagnosis.  

At his discovery deposition, Pira testified that his employer purchased asbestos-containing safety gloves from SGI in New York, and that he used these gloves for welding on his jobsite.

SGI moved to dismiss the case for lack of personal jurisdiction, …

Continue Reading
Judge chamber with gavel

Brake Manufacturer’s Motion to Dismiss on Personal Jurisdiction Grounds Denied

Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, October 6, 2022

In this asbestos action, Plaintiff George Sweikart alleged that his mesothelioma resulted from exposure to asbestos-containing products, including brakes and clutches from defendant Akebono Brake Industry Co., Ltd. (“Akebono”). Akebono, a Japanese company, filed a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, alleging that no personal jurisdiction exists over it in California.  

A non-resident defendant is subject to a state’s general jurisdiction if its contacts “are so continuous and systematic, as to render …

Continue Reading
Business and lawyers discussing contract papers with brass scale on desk

Automotive Defendant Obtains Dismissal for Lack of Jurisdiction

United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, July 21, 2022

In this asbestos action, defendant Honeywell International Inc., f/k/a Allied Signal Inc. as successor-in-interest to The Bendix Corporation filed a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. Plaintiff failed to respond to Honeywell’s motion.

A district court has personal jurisdiction over a defendant “who is subject to the jurisdiction of a court of general jurisdiction in the state where the district court is located.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(k)(1)(A). An Illinois district …

Continue Reading

Brake Supplier Permitted to Present Evidence of Fault Against Non-Parties for Apportionment Considerations

United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, Owensboro Division, July 12, 2022

In this asbestos action, the plaintiff Jack Papineau sued various manufacturers alleging that these manufacturers produced asbestos-containing products, which caused plaintiff’s mesothelioma. One of the defendants, Brake Supply, sought indemnification or apportionment from an outside party, Frans-Le South America (“Fras-Le”), alleging that Frans-Le sold Brake Supply asbestos-containing brakes. The court dismissed Brake Supply’s indemnification claims against Frans-Le for a lack of personal jurisdiction. However, the court left the question of …

Continue Reading

First Department Reverses Denial of Valve Manufacturer’s Motion to Dismiss

Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department, June 7, 2022

In this asbestos case, Crosby Valve LLC (“Crosby”) appealed a June 2021 decision from the New York Supreme Court, New York County, which denied its motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. By way of background, George Seger, III (“Plaintiff”) allegedly developed colon cancer, which he attributed to his exposure to asbestos during his naval service, specifically from working on boilers onboard the USS Hepburn. The plaintiff alleged that he worked …

Continue Reading