Court Grants Chemical Manufacturer’s Motion to Dismiss on Personal Jurisdiction Grounds

United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, April 5, 2022

In this asbestos action, plaintiff John R. Andres passed away in April 2020, allegedly as a result of his diagnosis with mesothelioma. His son subsequently filed suit in Florida against 51 defendants, alleging that his father came into contact with numerous asbestos-containing products over the course of his life. One of the defendants, Huntsman Corporation, filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that theywere not subject topersonal jurisdiction in Florida. While the plaintiff’s …

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Recovery of Damages Permitted as to Adult Children, Disallowed as to Spouse in Wrongful Death Action

Court of Appeal of Florida, Fourth District, March 30, 2022

In this matter, the decedent alleged exposure to asbestos during military service, throughout his career working at various industrial plants, and at his own home from the 1950s to the 1990s. On May 22, 2015, the decedent was diagnosed with mesothelioma. On July 4, 2015, he married the woman (the spouse) with whom he had lived for many years. On July 23, 2015, the decedent sued multiple defendants, asserting claims for negligence and strict liability. …

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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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Two Navy Defendants Dismissed on Personal Jurisdiction Grounds Under U.S. Supreme Court Ford Decision

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, April 28, 2021

The plaintiff alleged that he was exposed to asbestos during his 22-year career as a Machinist’s Mate in the U.S. Navy from 1958 to 1980. He filed suit against numerous defendants, including Alfa Laval, Inc. and Viad Corp. in Florida. Only one of the ships on which the plaintiff served while in the Navy was stationed in Florida during the time that he was onboard—the U.S.S. Pawcatuck, which was docked …

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Case Remanded to Trial Court on Issues of Admission of Alternative Causation Evidence and Jury Instruction

District Court of Appeal of Florida, Third District, February 26, 2020

FLORIDA – An appeal was brought on behalf of the defendant, Union Carbide, after a second jury trial was completed and a jury verdict entered in favor of the plaintiff.  The plaintiff, Paula Font, filed a wrongful death lawsuit alleging her father, Luis Torres, contracted and died of mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos-containing products.

The defendant raised three issues on appeal. First, the defendant claimed the trial court erred in denying the …

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Corporate Representative for Power Company Defendant Can’t Escape Deposition Notice Based On Long Period of Inquiry

FLORIDA – The plaintiff, Larry Cook, sued his employer Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) under negligence and premises liability theories for injuries allegedly sustained while working with or around asbestos in FPL power plants. Cook issued several notices for the deposition of a corporate representative of FPL to discover information regarding their use of asbestos, and requested documents and other materials from the company dating back to 1925.  FPL moved for protective orders arguing that compliance would be burdensome and costly. The court denied …

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Johnson & Johnson’s Motion to Stay Denied

FLORIDA – The plaintiff, Patricia Matthey, filed suit against Johnson & Johnson (J&J), Imerys Talc and Publix Super Markets in Florida State Court, alleging that asbestos in J&J baby powder caused her to develop ovarian cancer. Imerys was dismissed due to a lack of personal jurisdiction and subsequently declared bankruptcy. As it did in thousands of other cases, J&J recently removed the matter to federal court based on federal court jurisdiction over pending bankruptcy actions. J&J filed a motion to stay while its motion to …

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Third Party Distribution of Talc Products in Florida Ruled Insufficient to Confer Personal Jurisdiction Over Talc Supplier

FLORIDA — A divided Florida Appellate Court granted a motion to dismiss based on a lack of personal jurisdiction over a cosmetic talc supplier, Imerys Talc America, (Imerys). See Imerys Talc Am., Inc. v. Ricketts, No. 4D17-3815, 2018 WL 6719406 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. Dec. 19, 2018). In opposition to the motion, Plaintiff argued that under the stream-of-commerce doctrine Imerys was subject to specific personal jurisdiction based on its out-of-state sales to a downstream manufacturer, who later distributed their talc containing cosmetic products in …

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In-State Product Distribution Ruled Insufficient to Confer Personal Jurisdiction Over Out-Of-State Asbestos Product Manufacturer

The plaintiffs, Silverio and Faye Onorato, brought suit against numerous asbestos manufacturers and distributors alleging that Mr. Onorato developed mesothelioma from his exposure to asbestos, which occurred entirely in the State of Florida. The defendant, Highland Stucco and Lime Products, Inc.,(Highland) moved to dismiss the plaintiffs’ claims by arguing that there was no personal jurisdiction over it, as its manufacturing business operations were confined to Southern California.  In support of its motion, Highland annexed an affidavit of its president who alleged a complete lack of …

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Supreme Court Rules Frye Standard Applies to Florida Cases, Overturns District Court’s Decision Excluding Plaintiff’s Experts’ Causation Testimony

FLORIDA — The plaintiff Richard DeLisle filed a personal injury action against sixteen defendants, claiming that each caused him to be exposed to asbestos. Of the sixteen, DeLisle proceeded to trial against three: Crane, Lorillard Tobacco Co., and Hollingsworth and Vose (H&V). At trial, the plaintiff presented evidence that he was exposed to “Cranite” sheet gaskets containing chrysotile asbestos fibers and Kent cigarettes; the cigarettes were produced by Lorillard’s predecessor, and the filters were supplied by a former subsidiary of H&V. The filters contained crocidolite …

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