Incorrect Rule Applied to Determine Whether Compensatory Damages Were Excessive; $40.6 Million Verdict Remanded Supreme Court of Delaware, December 2, 2019

DELAWARE – On June 8, 2018, a Delaware jury awarded $40.6 million in compensatory damages to the plaintiff, Paula Knecht, in a case previously reported by this blog. The defendant, Ford Motor Company (Ford), was assessed 20 percent liability, meaning the plaintiff was awarded $8.1 million against Ford. Subsequently, Ford filed two post-trial motions:
  1. for judgment as a matter of law, or in the alternative, a new trial
  2. for a new trial, or in the alternative, remittitur.
The trial judge denied both motions and Ford…
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Ten Motions for Summary Judgment Granted due to Lack of Identification United States District Court, D. Delaware, November 19, 2019

DELAWARE – The plaintiffs, Kent and Cathy Mosher, filed an asbestos-related action in Delaware Superior Court on January 25, 2018. The complaint alleged Kent Mosher contracted mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure during his employment as a boiler technician in the United States Navy from 1973 to 1977 and through his employment at the Henderson Mine in Denver, CO from 1977 to 1983. The defendant, Crane Co., removed this matter to Delaware District Court in March 2018 pursuant to the Federal Officer Removal Statute,…
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Court Denies Motion for Reargument; Finds No Misapprehension of Facts or Newly Discovered Evidence

The plaintiff, Janet Stimson, filed a Motion for Reargument on behalf of her husband, Gary Stimson, following the court’s decision granting summary judgment on behalf of the defendant, J-MM, on the issue of product identification. The plaintiff alleged that
  1. The court misapprehended the facts relevant to the decedent’s identification of J-MM’s A/C pipe
  2. The deposition testimony of a J-MM employee from an unrelated 2014 case constitutes newly discovered evidence that creates a genuine issue of material fact regarding product identification
The court was also provided…
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Delaware District Court Rules on Pre-trial Motions in Maritime Law Case United States District Court, D. Delaware, October 25, 2019

DELAWARE – The plaintiff filed this asbestos-related wrongful death action in Delaware on June 11, 2015. While the court does not explain the underlying case facts, motion practice regarding admiralty law and expert exclusion indicates that the decedent was exposed to asbestos while a member of the United States Navy. As trial is approaching for this case, the plaintiff and the defendant, John Crane, Inc. (JCI), both filed motions in limine. The plaintiff’s motion sought to exclude discussion or reference to collateral sources, including…
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Delaware Court Uses Ohio Law to Grant Summary Judgment for Asbestos Supplier Superior Court of Delaware, August 15, 2019

DELAWARE – The plaintiff, Marianne Robinson, brought failure to warn and strict liability claims against Union Carbide Corporation (UCC). She alleged that UCC sold its Calidria asbestos to Georgia Pacific (GP) for use in their joint compound products for a period of time. Finally, the plaintiff alleged that her late husband, Jack Robinson, purchased and used GP’s Ready Mix products in Ohio between 1971 and 1982, which caused or contributed to his fatal lung cancer. UCC moved for summary judgment. Applying Ohio law,…
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Cosmetic Talc Seller’s Motion to Fix Venue in Delaware for 2,400 Cases Denied United States District Court, D. Delaware, July 19, 2019

DELAWARE – In a substantial set of cases extensively covered by the Asbestos Case Tracker, Johnson & Johnson and Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc.’s (J&J) motion to fix venue was ruled on in the District Court of Delaware. The motion requested transfer of approximately 2,400 state court tort cases pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Sections 157(b)(5) and 1334 (b). Numerous parties filed briefs in opposition to the instant motion. The state court actions allege the following against J&J:
  1. They are directly liable for placing asbestos-containing talc

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Component Part Supplier Successfully Excludes Expert Testimony Regarding Failure to Warn United States District Court, D. Delaware, July 19, 2019

DELAWARE – The plaintiff Icom Henry Evans worked as a fireman and boiler tender in the United States Navy from 1957 to 1967. He filed suit and alleged that his fatal mesothelioma was caused in part by exposure to asbestos-containing gaskets and packing that were manufactured, sold, distributed, licensed, or installed by John Crane, Inc. (JCI).  JCI moved the court to exclude testimony offered by the plaintiffs’ expert Captain Arnold Moore, a marine engineering authority. They contended that Captain Moore lacked expertise to interpret relevant…
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Plaintiff’s General Statements of Defendants’ Alleged Successor Liability Insufficient to Withstand 12(b)(6) Motion U.S. District Court, D. Delaware, July 19, 2019

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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Despite Factual Evidence of Exposure, Ohio Causation Statute Still Requires Expert Medical Evidence Supreme Court of Delaware, July 22, 2019

DELAWARE – In an appeal of a case reported by the Asbestos Case Tracker blog in August 2018, the Delaware Supreme Court rejected the plaintiffs’ appeal and affirmed the superior court. Briefly, the parties had agreed that Ohio law applied to the case. During the pendency of the action, the Ohio Supreme Court issued its opinion in Schwartz v. Honeywell International, holding that the plaintiffs’ experts could not opine on a cumulative exposure theory. Rather, the Ohio asbestos causation statute requires that causation be…
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Lack of Specific Identification of Exposure Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment for Pump Manufacturer in Naval Case U.S. District Court of Delaware, July 15, 2019

DELAWARE – The plaintiff Hickman filed suit against several defendants including Air & Liquid Systems Corp. for its line of Buffalo pumps arguing that he developed asbestosis and asbestos related pleural disease as a result of his work with the defendants’ products while working onboard several ships in the United States Navy. Specifically, the plaintiff worked as a fireman onboard multiple naval ships from 1963- 1986. His work led him to encounter a variety of equipment and products including pumps, valves, generators, and insulation. A…
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