Denial of Rail Defendant’s Forum Non Conveniens Motion Upheld on Appeal Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, Fourth Division, June 28, 2019

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 U.S. District Court E.D. of Louisiana, June 21, 2019

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 U.S. District Court E.D. of Pennsylvania, June 6, 2019

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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Lack of Specific Personal Jurisdiction Leads to Dismissal of Alleged Successor to Joiner Contractor U.S. District Court D. New Jersey, June 05, 2019

NEW JERSEY – The plaintiff filed suit against multiple defendants alleging her decedent developed mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos containing products used or installed by the defendants including, RBC Sonic. It was alleged that Robert Fish was exposed to asbestos panels installed by a joiner contractor while working at the New York Shipbuilding and Drydock located in New Jersey in 1960. Sonic Industries, Inc. (Sonic) moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of specific personal jurisdiction. The court stated that a plaintiff must “present a…
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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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