Pennsylvania District Court Grants in Part Motion to File Amended Complaint

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania, April 1, 2020 .

Plaintiff, Rhonda Gorton, filed this asbestos-related lawsuit in Pennsylvania on behalf of her husband, Thomas Gorton (“Decedent”).  Mrs. Gorton’s Complaint alleged Decedent suffered and died from mesothelioma as a result of his exposure to asbestos from his work as a service technician for AT&T Inc. and AT&T Communications, Inc. in Ohio from 1986 to 1988, among other things.  Specifically, she alleged that Decedent was exposed to asbestos-containing bags or pillows “believed to be manufactured by …

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Case Remanded as Res Judicata Bars Plaintiffs’ Survival Action

LOUISIANA – In 1982, Gistarve Joseph, Sr. filed suit against Avondale Industries, Inc., its executive officers, and their insurers seeking damages for occupational exposure to asbestos during his employment with Avondale between 1969 and 1982. He alleged that his exposure caused him to contract pneumoconiosis. In November 1985, Joseph settled his claims against Avondale executing a Restrictive Release and Discharge with Indemnification Agreement, which released Avondale, its executive officers, and their insurers:

“from any and all liability, claims, demands, liens, remedies, debts, rights, actions and …

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Plaintiffs’ Motion for Leave to File Second Supplemental & Amended Complaint Granted

LOUISIANA – The plaintiff, Victor Michel, filed suit in Louisiana State Civil Court against 29 defendants on July 28, 2017. Specifically, the plaintiff sought damages from the defendant, Ford Motor Company, as an asbestos miner, manufacturer, seller, supplier, or distributor. In his complaint, the plaintiff alleged that between 1968 and 1969, he worked as a mechanic at Crescent Ford in New Orleans, Louisiana where he conducted routine maintenance on vehicles, including changing brakes and clutches and overhauling engines. The plaintiff also alleged employer and premises …

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Court Grants Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss Cross-Claims Based on Sovereign Immunity Doctrine

In Carey Gomez v. Aardvark Contractors, Inc. et al., the court recently opined regarding a defendant’s motion to dismiss in an asbestos-related action. The plaintiff filed suit in March 2018, alleging asbestos exposure from multiple sources, including his own work as a plumber from 1988 through 2011, as well as secondarily through his father’s employment at the Avondale Shipyards in the 1960s. The plaintiff was diagnosed with mesothelioma, which led to his petition of damages against multiple defendants. Two defendants filed their answers, affirmative …

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Limitations Challenge on Railroad Worker’s FELA Claim Denied

ILLINOIS — The plaintiff Theresa Romcoe filed suit under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) against the defendants, Illinois Central Railroad Company and Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corporation dba Metra Rail, alleging that her husband had passed away from esophageal cancer as a result of exposure to asbestos during the course of his employment. Specifically, the decedent had worked in several positions, including as a switchman to conductor from 1974-1984.  The decedent was diagnosed with cancer on September 5, 2013 and passed on November …

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Plaintiff’s General Statements of Defendants’ Alleged Successor Liability Insufficient to Withstand 12(b)(6) Motion

DELAWARE – The plaintiff initially filed her asbestos-related wrongful death lawsuit in New Jersey claiming the decedent Robert Fish suffered exposure to asbestos during his service as a civilian at New York Shipbuilding and Drydock in Camden, NJ. The court noted the plaintiff specifically alleged the decedent’s exposure from Arnot, a joiner contractor who cut paneling around the decedent at New York Shipbuilding and Drydock. Shortly after the plaintiff filed the complaint, the defendants removed the case to the U.S. District Court for the District …

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Louisiana Court of Appeal, Fourth Circuit Modifies Trial Court’s Denial of Motion to Quash Trial Subpoenas

LOUISIANA – In McMaster v. Union Carbide Corp., et al, pending in the Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit, plaintiff Ronald McMaster filed suit against various defendants alleging that he was exposed to asbestos while employed at Gulf Oil from 1978 to 1980. The plaintiff requested that the clerk of court issue trial subpoenas to multiple corporate defendants, but did not specify the names of any witnesses sought for examination, nor the subject matter of which the witnesses would be examined. Two defendants …

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Denial of Rail Defendant’s Forum Non Conveniens Motion Upheld on Appeal

ILLINOIS — The defendant, BNSF Railway Company (BNSF), made an interlocutory appeal of the trial court’s denial of their forum non conveniens motion, seeking transfer from Cook County, Illinois to Knox County, Illinois, in a matter involving brakeman and locomotive engineer, Randall Alley. Alley alleged that his lung cancer was caused in part by unsafe working conditions at BNSF, where he worked for 40 years. He worked on BNSF trains that departed from train yards in Fort Madison, Iowa and Kansas City, Missouri for 28 …

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Additional Discovery Ordered to Determine Location of Exposure in Facility Defendant’s Personal Jurisdiction Challenge

LOUISIANA — The plaintiff, Frederico Lopez, filed suit against the defendants, alleging he developed mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos while working as a gasket cutter for Lamons Gasket Company from 1971-1973 and as a pipefitter for Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR) from 1973-1986. Lopez passed away on November 9, 2017. The plaintiffs amended their complaint to include ConocoPhillips (Conoco) as a defendant. The amended complaint claimed that Lopez was “exposed to asbestos during his work for KBR at premises/sites owned and/or operated by…ConocoPhillips, as successor …

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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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