American Oil Company Defendants Had No Control Over Iranian Oil Company, Summary Judgment Upheld on Appeal

Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, Division Seven, October 28, 2020

Houshang Sabetian and his wife, Soraya, (the plaintiffs) filed this action on March 28, 2018 alleging causes of action for negligence, strict liability, premises liability, negligent joint venture, alter ego, and loss of consortium. The complaint alleged Houshang contracted mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos while he was an Iranian citizen working for the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) from about 1960 to 1979. The complaint further alleged the Chevron and Exxon defendants …

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Pump Manufacturer Granted Partial Summary Judgment in Maritime Case; Plaintiff’s Motion Denied

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

The plaintiff, Christopher Clarke, alleged he was diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of his alleged exposure to asbestos while serving as a Machinist Mate for the United States Navy from 1962 to 1981. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that he was exposed to asbestos from replacing gaskets and packing on pumps manufactured by the defendant, Warren Pumps, LLC on numerous ships and submarines. The plaintiff moved for partial summary judgment on Warren’s general contractor defense, and …

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Cooling Tower Defendant Granted Summary Judgment Due to Lack of Product ID

United States District Court for the Northern District of California

In the instant complaint, the plaintiffs allege that Ronald Viale used, handled, or was otherwise exposed to asbestos and asbestos containing products provided by or manufactured by the defendants, that he contracted the terminal cancer, mesothelioma as a result of such exposure, and that, in July 2018, he died. Based on these allegations, plaintiffs, who are, respectively, the decedent’s wife and daughter, asserted against defendant SPX the following four Causes of Action: “Negligence,” “Strict Liability,” “False Representation,” …

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Court Reverses Grant of New Trial, Affirms Defense Verdict for Electrical Product Manufacturer

Court of Appeal of California, First Appellate District, June 29, 2020

In Estes v. Eaton Corp., 2020 Cal. App. LEXIS 594, the Court of Appeal of California, First Appellate District reversed an order granting a new trial, and affirmed a defense verdict for Eaton Corporation. In this case, the jury heard the trial court case, and returned a defense verdict. However, the trial court granted the plaintiff a new trial on the ground of insufficient evidence. Eaton appealed the new trial order on multiple …

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Summary Judgment Reversed in Drywall/Joint Compound Matter

Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, Division Seven, June 24, 2020

In December 2011, the plaintiff, Jovana Collantes, and the decedent, Joel Hernandezcueva, filed a lawsuit against numerous defendants arising from the decedent’s alleged exposure to asbestos while employed as a janitor at a large complex occupied by Fluor Corporation (the Fluor Complex) from 1992 to 1995 (the December 2011 action). The plaintiff and the decedent alleged the decedent inhaled drywall debris containing asbestos. The December 2011 action went to trial in September 2013 against …

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Court Grants Plaintiff’s Motion for Jurisdictional Discovery for Turbine Manufacturer

United States District Court, S.D. New York, March 3, 2020

NEW YORK – Eugene Paroni, the plaintiff’s spouse, was diagnosed with and died of mesothelioma. The plaintiff alleges that the decedent’s mesothelioma was a result of his asbestos exposure from his work with a turbine manufactured by Ruston Gas Turbines, Ltd. The plaintiff brought suit against Alstom SA, successor-in-interest to Ruston. The plaintiff originally filed suit in California where he resided. Shortly thereafter, service of the summons on Alstom was quashed for lack of personal …

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Johnson & Johnson Wins another Talc Trial

CALIFORNIA – On December 16, 2019, after a day-and-a-half of deliberations following a trial that had begun in October, a Los Angeles, California jury rendered a defense verdict in favor of defendant, Johnson & Johnson (J&J), finding that it was not liable for the plaintiff, Pui “Amy” Fong’s mesothelioma. Fong, a mother of two who immigrated to the United States from Hong Kong in 1984 at the age of 13, alleged that she had been exposed to asbestos from using J&J baby powder since 1971.…

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Refinery Defendants Owed No Duty of Care to Plaintiff Under 1954 Agreement with Iranian National Oil Company

CALIFORNIA – The plaintiff’s decedent, Farid Malek, died from mesothelioma after working almost 30 years at the Abadan oil refinery in Iran. Mary Malek, Farid’s surviving spouse, filed suit on his behalf. The matter is one of a number of coordinated asbestos-related actions in the Superior Court of Los Angeles County. The Maleks immigrated to the United States in 1981 and settled in California. Defendants Chevron USA, Inc. and Texaco, Inc. (Chevron/Texaco) and ConocoPhillips Company (CPC) filed for summary judgment, which the trial court granted. …

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Sugar Refinery Defendant’s Appeal of Trial Verdict Denied

CALIFORNIA – Mark Lopez’s widow, plaintiff Lannette Lopez, brought suit against the defendant, The Hillshire Brands Company, arguing that Mark was exposed to asbestos as a child from his father and grandfather’s work at a sugar refinery owned by Hillshire, causing his fatal epithelioid mesothelioma. A jury awarded the plaintiff $1.9 million dollars in economic damages and $11 million dollars in noneconomic damages. Hillshire appealed, and raised challenges to the jury’s failure to apportion fault; to the jury instructions given; and to the sufficiency of …

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Defense Verdict for Talc Defendant After Retrial

CALIFORNIA – In a case that was originally declared a mistrial in 2018 after a jury could not reach a verdict, yesterday a Los Angeles jury found that the defendant Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) talcum baby powder did not cause the mesothelioma of the plaintiff, Carolyn Weirick. While the plaintiff purported to present evidence of the presence of asbestos in J&J talc samples through several methods of testing, J&J contended that the fibers discovered in the talc were merely of similar dimensions to asbestos, but …

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