$4.4 Million Verdict Affirmed in Asbestos Bowling Ball Trial

California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 8

The decedent, Donald Vanni, and his brother co-owned and operated Arcata Bowl bowling alley in California from 1957 to 1986. During this time, one of the decedent’s duties was to drill custom-fit finger holes in asbestos-containing bowling balls sold by Arcata Bowl. A press release issued by the Vanni family’s legal team stated, in part: “Asbestos, used as a filler in plastic Ebonite bowling balls, was supplied by Honeywell [International Inc.] in the form of discarded brake …

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Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss Granted as Specific Jurisdiction Not Established

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

In this asbestos action, plaintiff Frank Shelton alleged exposure to asbestos while serving in the U.S. Navy from the mid-1960s until the early 1970s. Defendant Superior Lidgerwood Mundy Corporation filed a motion to dismiss this matter, contending that the court did not have general or specific jurisdiction over the defendant. In support of its motion, the defendant submitted a declaration from its vice president and chief financial officer, setting forth that:

[Defendant] is not headquartered in …

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Plaintiff Prevails on Defendant’s Expert Appeal; Court Affirms Seven-Figure Judgment

Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, Division Eight, September 13, 2021

This matter was brought on behalf of decedent Donald Vanni in 2014, alleging two causes of action for negligence and strict product liability against defendant Honeywell International, Inc. among others. The plaintiff alleged that the decedent was exposed to asbestos from owning and operating a bowling alley from 1957 to 1986. Specifically, the decedent was responsible for drilling finger holes in plastic bowling bowls manufactured by Ebonite. The decedent was diagnosed with …

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Asbestos Action Remanded Based on Allegations Against Insulation Defendant

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, August 31, 2021

Plaintiffs David and Dorothy Bateman commenced this lawsuit in Broward County, Florida, alleging that Mr. Bateman developed mesothelioma as a result of his exposure to asbestos-containing products while serving in the British Royal Navy from 1967 to 1975. The defendants filed a notice of removal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332, 1441, and 1446. In response, the plaintiffs filed a motion to remand, alleging that the notice of removal was procedurally defective and …

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Remand Proper Without Evidence of Fraudulent Joinder

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, September 3, 2021

Plaintiff John Rathbun was diagnosed with terminal mesothelioma on July 8, 2020, and on December 22, 2020, he and his wife filed suit in state court, asserting claims for negligence, strict liability, negligent misrepresentation, fraud by nondisclosure, and loss of consortium. On April 30, 2021, Chattem removed this action to federal court on diversity grounds, and the plaintiffs have filed a motion to remand to state court.

The defendants argue that the two …

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Grant of Summary Judgment to Contractor Reversed as Expert’s Declaration Was Not Given Appropriate Weight

Court of Appeal of California, First Appellate District, Division Five, September 2, 2021

In this asbestos action, decedent Michael Harris testified that he served as a hull maintenance technician on the U.S.S. San Jose from August 1973 until May 1974. During this time, he patrolled every part of the ship to check for fires and leaks, including in the boiler room. In Fall 1973, the Thomas Dee Engineering Company performed repairs on the boilers, including removal of the existing insulation and refractory material. While Harris …

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Court Overrules Objections and Adopts Report Denying Boiler Manufacturer’s Motion for Summary Judgment

U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, August 18, 2021

As reported in July by Asbestos Case Tracker, the plaintiff filed this action against multiple defendants in the Superior Court of Delaware, asserting claims arising from the decedent’s exposure to asbestos. The plaintiff alleges that the decedent developed mesothelioma as a result of his exposure to Foster Wheeler’s asbestos-containing equipment and replacement boiler components during his service as a boiler tender in the United States Navy. Foster Wheeler removed the case to federal …

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Court Denies Boiler Manufacturer’s MSJ Finding Dispute of Fact over Substantial Factor Causation

U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, July 16, 2021

The plaintiff filed this personal injury action against multiple defendants in the Superior Court of Delaware asserting claims arising from the decedent’s harmful exposure to asbestos. The plaintiff alleges the decedent developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to defendant Foster Wheeler’s asbestos-containing equipment during the decedent’s service as a boiler tender in the United States Navy. Foster Wheeler removed the case to federal court based on the federal officer removal statute. Subsequently, Foster …

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Court Grants Valve Manufacturer’s MSJ Finding No Evidence of Exposure

U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, July 16, 2021

The plaintiffs filed this lawsuit alleging the decedent developed lung cancer and died as a result of asbestos exposure from several of the defendants’ products, including Crane Co. The decedent worked for the North Carolina Department of Administration as a plumber. He worked directly on various items, including boilers, pumps, compressors, and piping. The decedent’s brother offered testimony that the decedent worked on Crane Co. boiler steam header valves. However, he was not able …

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Summary Judgment in Favor of Oil Defendants Upheld Due to Lack of Control of Iranian Facilities

Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, Division Seven, July 7, 2021

In this case, the plaintiffs brought wrongful death and survivor claims, alleging that their deceased father contracted mesothelioma through exposure to asbestos while he was an Iranian citizen working for the National Iranian Oil Company from the late 1950s to the late 1970s in facilities controlled by the defendants. The plaintiffs appealed a judgment entered by the trial court granting motions for summary judgment filed by the defendants Chevron Corporation, Chevron U.S.A. …

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