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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Court Recommends Granting Five Defendants’ Motions for Summary Judgment Based on Lack of Substantial Factor Causation United States District Court, D. Delaware, May 15, 2019

DELAWARE – The plaintiff Richard Rogers filed suit against multiple defendants in the Superior Court of Delaware, alleging that his exposure to asbestos caused him to develop mesothelioma; he asserted claims for negligence, punitive damages, and conspiracy. The defendant Foster Wheeler removed the case to the district court pursuant to the federal officer removal statute. Rogers was deposed in April 2018 and the plaintiff offered no other fact or product identification witnesses. Warren Pumps, General Electric, Air & Liquid, Wagner, and Asbestos Corp. subsequently filed…
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Summary Judgment Granted for Multiple Defendants in Naval Case Based on Failure of Specific Product Identification U.S. District Court, D. Delaware, May 14, 2019

DELAWARE – The plaintiff brought suit against several defendants alleging he developed lung cancer from exposure to asbestos while serving onboard the USS Shangri La and USS Edmonds. The plaintiff passed away prior to giving any deposition testimony. The case was removed to federal court by Crane Co. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The plaintiff’s sole fact witness, John Poggenburg, testified that he worked with the plaintiff onboard the USS Edmonds from October 1961 until July 1962. Poggenburg recalled the plaintiff starting as a…
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J&J’s Emergency Motion for Provisional Transfer Deemed Unwarranted, Denied United States District Court, D. Delaware, April 9, 2019

DELAWARE — Non-debtors Johnson & Johnson and Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. (J&J) filed an emergency motion for provisional transfer, seeking entry of an order directing provisional transfer of approximately 2,400 federal and state personal injury and wrongful death actions, pending the court’s decision on J&J’s motion to fix venue for claims. The motions relate to the chapter 11 cases of Imerys Talc America, Inc. and certain affiliates (debtors), which were filed on February 13, 2019. The plaintiffs in the approximately 2,400 federal and state…
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Plaintiff’s Failure to Establish Worksite Control Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment in Premises Liability Case” Superior Court of Delaware, April 18, 2019

DELAWARE — The plaintiff Werner Rath brought suit against several premise defendants including Delmarva Power and Light, Four Star Oil and Gas Company, Texaco, Inc. and Sunoco (defendants) alleging exposure to asbestos while working for Catalytic at worksites owned by the defendants. Specifically, Mr. Rath alleged exposure to asbestos from other trades working around him while he built and dismantled scaffolding at the different sites. The other trades were also employed by Catalytic. Relying on several precedent cases, the defendants moved for summary judgment arguing…
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