Plaintiff’s Deposition Testimony Presents Sufficient Evidence to Overcome Automobile Manufacturer’s Motion for Summary Judgment U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, August 15, 2018

DELAWARE — Plaintiffs John and Vicki DeCastro originally filed a personal injury action against multiple defendants in the Superior Court of Delaware, asserting claims arising from Mr. DeCastro’s alleged harmful exposure to asbestos. The case was properly removed to Federal Court under the federal officer removal statute. Mr. Castro alleged that he developed lung cancer as a result of his exposure to asbestos during his service in the United States Air Force, civilian employment with Pacific Bell Telephone and United Airlines, and personal automotive and…
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Delaware Supreme Court Affirms No Excess Coverage in GM Asbestos Cases Motors Liquidation Company DIP Lenders Trust v. Allstate Ins. Co. et al., No. 381, 2017, 2018 WL 3360976 (Table) (Del. July 10, 2018)

DELAWARE — The Delaware Supreme Court affirmed that several excess policies issues to General Motors do not provide coverage for asbestos-related and environmental claims against the company.  GM purchased primary coverage from Royal Insurance Company for more than 50 years ending in 1993.  Royal handled asbestos claims made under the policies during that period.  The claims at issue were filed after 1993.  Following declaratory judgment actions filed in both Delaware and Michigan, GM and Royal reached a settlement that released all of Royal’s policies from…
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West Virginia Law Applied in Granting Summary Judgment Due to Speculative Testimony” Delaware Superior Court, June 28, 2018

DELAWARE — The plaintiff’s decedent, Marchie Dolley, a lifetime non-smoker, passed from lung cancer. The sole product identification witness was his son, Ringo, who testified about his father’s work as a truck mechanic at Ryder Truck Rental and General Truck Delivery. Ringo visited his father at the former job and later worked with him at the latter. He could not offer any specific testimony about how many times he worked on certain manufacturer’s trucks at either job, or whether original or replacement parts were used.…
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Delaware Jury Issues $40.6 Million Verdict Superior Court for the State of Delaware, June 7, 2018

DELAWARE – On Friday, June 8th, the jury returned a $40.6 million verdict in Larry W. Knecht, et Ux. v. Borg-Warner Corporation, et Al, a Delaware asbestos case. The case was tried under New Mexico law. The jury found Ford strictly liable due to a failure to warn, and apportioned 30 percent fault to the decedent, Larry Knecht, and 20 percent to Ford. The remainder of the liability was apportioned as follows: General Motors and Chrysler (20 percent each) and…
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Valve Manufacturer Granted Summary Judgment as Court Finds No Evidence of Conspiracy U.S. District Court, District of Delaware, June 6, 2018

DELAWARE — Plaintiff Marguerite MacQueen filed claims in the Superior Court of Delaware against defendant Crane Co., among others, for manufacturing products that exposed her late husband David MacQueen to asbestos during his time aboard the USS Randolph and USS Independence in the United States Navy from 1956 to 1960, and during his time as a salesman for the Union Carbide Corporation from 1963 to 1980.  Crane subsequently removed the matter to federal court on federal officer jurisdiction. Crane moved for summary judgment on the…
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No Prejudgment Interest for Warren in Viking Pump Litigation Delaware Supreme Court, May 23, 2018

DELAWARE — In today’s episode of As Viking Pump Turns, a Delaware Superior Court denied Warren Pumps’ request for prejudgment interest on amounts owed by its excess insurers for asbestos claims in the long-running litigation.  In 2005, Viking Pump filed a declaratory judgment complaint against Liberty Mutual regarding coverage for asbestos claims under certain primary and umbrella policies.  In perhaps the high point of the litigation, the New York Court of Appeals in 2015 ruled that all sums allocation and vertical exhaustion applied to…
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Motion for Reconsideration Based Upon Change in Law Denied as Untimely U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, April 9, 2018

DELAWARE — Plaintiffs Icom and Johanna Evans filed a lawsuit on June 11, 2015 in Delaware Superior Court relating to Mr. Evans’ alleged asbestos exposure. Foster Wheeler removed the matter to federal court on August 4, 2015, pursuant to the federal officer removal statute. Defendants Foster Wheeler and Warren Pumps filed motions for summary judgment in October 2016. Both motions were opposed. The district court issued a Report and Recommendation (R&R) on August 30, 2017, recommending that the motions be granted pursuant to maritime law,…
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Limited Access to Exhibits Filed in Asbestos-Related Bankruptcy Cases was Proper Under Bankruptcy Code Section 107 U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, March 27, 2018

DELAWARE — Appellants Honeywell and Ford filed a request seeking unlimited access to thousands of exhibits (2019 Exhibits) filed in nine Delaware bankruptcy cases commenced in connection with the debtors’ asbestos-related liabilities (Consolidated Cases). All but one of the nine Consolidated Cases was closed. The appellants argued they were entitled to indefinite access to the 2019 Exhibits, including investigating potential fraud in the claims process and advancing the appellants’ legislative and lobbying activities. The appellees (various Trust Advisory Committees and Future Claimants Representatives) opposed the…
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Louisiana Statute of Limitations Bars Wrongful Death Claim Filed in Delaware Superior Court of Delaware, March 26, 2018

DELAWARE — The plaintiff, Sandra Kivell, filed a wrongful death and survival claim alleging her husband’s death was caused by mesothelioma. He passed on September 5, 2015, and the new claims were filed on September 30, 2016. The plaintiff’s decedent had originally filed a complaint before his death. Georgia-Pacific filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings, arguing that the claims were filed beyond Louisiana’s one year statute of limitations for wrongful death and survival claims. The plaintiff did not contend that the Louisiana statute…
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Plaintiffs’ Experts Permitted to Testify Regarding Conspiracy Claims U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, March 14, 2018

Defendant Crane Company filed motions to strike the plaintiff’s expert reports from James A. Bruce, M.D., Barry Castleman Sc.D, and Captain Francis J. Burger as violating Federal Rules of Evidence 402 and 702 in this lung cancer case that was removed to Federal Court. The plaintiff alleged asbestos exposure through his work on two ships in the United States Navy, and through his work as a salesman. Only one count remained from the plaintiff’s Fourth Amended Complaint following Crane’s summary judgment motion, and it alleged…
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