Specific Jurisdiction Established Under “Stream of Commerce Plus” Theory U.S. Northern District of California, May 16, 2019

CALIFORNIA – The plaintiff Thomas Toy alleged that his mesothelioma diagnosis was a result of asbestos exposure that incurred in multiple Navy shipyards to a variety of products throughout his machinist career. He claimed he was exposed to friction products in his role as a mechanic for the Army while stationed in Germany, Korea, and other U.S. locations and to construction products he used during home renovations. The defendant Viking Pump, Inc. moved to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule 12(b)(6), arguing that the plaintiff failed…
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Forum Non Conveniens Stay Upheld Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 4, California, April 30, 2019

CALIFORNIA — Wisconsin resident Charlene Rickert filed a wrongful death suit in the Superior Court of Los Angeles, and alleged that American Honda, Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA, and Kawasaki Motors Corporation, USA (respondents), among others, contributed to the mesothelioma death of Wisconsin resident Gary Staszewski, through his use of the respondents’ brakes, clutches, and gaskets. All of the relevant work and medical treatment occurred in Wisconsin, and all witnesses necessary to prove exposure and damages remained in Wisconsin. While the respondents maintained corporate headquarters in…
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Auto Trade Association Successfully Challenges Plaintiff’s Claims of Specific Personal Jurisdiction United States District Court, N.D. California, April 29, 2019

CALIFORNIA — The plaintiff Thomas Toy filed suit against several defendants including National Automotive Parts Association (NAPA) alleging that he developed mesothelioma from the use of its asbestos containing products while maintaining vehicles. NAPA moved to dismiss the matter for lack of personal jurisdiction. The plaintiff opposed the motion arguing that the court had specific jurisdiction under the “stream of commerce theory” or NAPA’s “efforts to serve directly or indirectly the market for asbestos containing products in this State.” Both parties agreed that the court…
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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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Workers’ Compensation Exclusivity Provision Leads to Dismissal of Construction Worker’s Complaint U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin, March 31, 2019

WISCONSIN — Plaintiff Johnson Carter filed suit against Henry Carlson’s Construction Company (HCCC) alleging he suffered “a variety of severe medical symptoms” after exposure to asbestos while working for HCCC as a temporary construction worker. Specifically, he claimed that he was exposed to asbestos during a demolition of a hospital in the late 1980s. He could not recall the name of the temporary agency or hospital, but stated that he was provided a dust mask for the tear-out work. HCCC moved to dismiss the complaint…
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Denial of Motion to Add Additional Defendants Found to be Dispensable Upheld U.S. District Court, D. Colorado, March 19, 2019

COLORADO — The plaintiff filed suit against several defendants alleging exposure to asbestos caused their development of mesothelioma. As for the plaintiff Mestas, he alleged exposure to asbestos from the work clothes of his father from 1953-1974. He also alleged direct exposure to asbestos while working on personal vehicles from 1968-1992. The plaintiff Muse sought damages for loss of consortium. General Electric removed the case based on diversity. The plaintiffs sought leave to file an amended complaint arguing that they needed to add four additional…
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Balance of Justice a Factor in Court’s Granting of Motion for Leave to Add Gasket Defendant U.S. District Court, W.D., Washington at Tacoma, March 11, 2019

WASHINGTON — The plaintiff filed suit against numerous defendants alleging his decedent was exposed to asbestos for which the defendants were liable. The plaintiff sought leave of court to amend the pleadings three times. The instant request to add the defendant DCo LLC was made after the case was removed. The paintiff contends that not adding DCo LLC was an oversight until a family friend testified that he believed that the plaintiff had a box of Victor gaskets in his garage. The plaintiff also believed…
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Multiple Actions Dismissed Against Brake Manufacturer Due to Forum Non Conveniens Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, March 05, 2019

NEW JERSEY — Multiple deceased plaintiffs brought actions against Honeywell alleging they contracted mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos from Bendix brakes while working as mechanics in the United Kingdom. The plaintiffs filed in New Jersey despite the alleged exposure oversees. Honeywell moved for dismissal based on the doctrine of forum non conveniens after discovery was conducted. Judge Cantor granted dismissal in the majority of the cases and Judge Viscomi also granted dismissal in the remaining case. The plaintiffs appealed arguing abuse of…
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Talc Meso Case Remanded After Fraudulent Joinder Theory Fails U.S. District Court, S.D. New York, February 26, 2019

NEW YORK — The plaintiff Laura Shanahan sued Kolmar Laboratories, Inc. (Kolmar), Johnson & Johnson (J&J), and seven other defendants in state court in New York, alleging that her use of their asbestos-containing talc products led to the development of mesothelioma. While the plaintiff and Kolmar were both residents of New York, J&J nonetheless removed the matter to federal court and invoked the doctrine of fraudulent joinder to establish diversity jurisdiction. J&J argued that the plaintiff failed to plead specific facts showing what role Kolmar…
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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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