Summary Judgment Affirmed and Reversed for Three Premises Defendants Relating to Several Duty Issues

Court of Appeals of Georgia, Fourth Division, March 10, 2022

In this asbestos action, plaintiff Kevin Sinyard developed malignant pleural mesothelioma following a 25-plus year career as a pipefitter. Sinyard commenced an asbestos-related action against several defendants. Three of the defendants include premises defendants (Georgia Power, Ford Motor Company, and Piedmont Hospital), where Sinyard worked from 1975 until 1989. The trial court granted summary judgment to all three defendants. Following the plaintiff’s appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part the …

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Denial of Premise Owner’s Motion for Summary Judgment Affirmed in Part and Remanded in Part on Interlocutory Appeal

Court of Appeals of Georgia, First Division, June 30, 2021

The plaintiff, Colen Campbell, alleged asbestos exposure from his work removing and installing insulation at a nuclear power plant owned by Georgia Power in the 1970s. The plaintiff was employed as an independent contractor by North Brothers. The defendant, Georgia Power, filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that (1) there was no duty owed to the plaintiff because it had ceded possession and control of the plant to North Brothers, (2) the testimony of …

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Appeals Court Affirms Estate Plaintiff’s Right to Refile Loss of Consortium and Wrongful Death Claims

Court of Appeals of Georgia, First Division, June 25, 2021

Alleging that he contracted malignant pleural mesothelioma due to his workplace exposure to asbestos, Charles Brannan and his wife, Louise Brannan, filed a complaint for damages against several defendants in 2015. The plaintiffs asserted claims for negligence, product liability, and loss of consortium. Later that year, Charles Brannan passed away, and one of the defendants filed a notice of suggestion of death. Two months later, his wife, Louise, was appointed as the executor of the …

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Plaintiff’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment Re-Affirmed as to Defendants’ Affirmative Defenses

Court of Appeals of Georgia, Fourth Division

Defendants Pneumo Abex, LLC and Genuine Parts Company appeal the trial court’s partial grant of summary judgment to Sheila Long, individually and as personal representative of her late husband’s estate. Long alleged that her husband Ron died from lung cancer as a result of exposure to asbestos contained in certain products. Long sought summary judgment on affirmative defenses that she anticipated the appellants might pursue. Now, the appellants argue that the trial court erred in granting summary judgment to …

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Georgia Declines to Accept Duty to Warn of Another Manufacturer’s Product Theory

GEORGIA — In their consolidated appeal, the Court of Appeals of Georgia considered whether the plaintiff, Leisa Davis sufficient evidence to create an issue of fact that her deceased husband, John Davis was exposed to asbestos-containing products manufactured by John Crane, Inc. (JCI) and FMC Corporation (FMC) during his employment at a fiberboard mill. JCI and FMC were both granted summary judgment by the trial court.

The plaintiff contends that summary judgment was improper for JCI because she met her burden by showing her husband …

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Summary Judgment Reversed for Gasket Manufacturer, But Affirmed for Pump Manufacturer

GEORGIA – Leisa Davis filed suit against the defendants John Crane (JCI) and FMC Corporation (for Peerless pumps hereinafter FMC), alleging her husband developed and passed away from mesothelioma as a result of his asbestos exposure to products for which the defendants were liable.

Davis worked at the Louisiana Pacific Corporation fiberboard mill from 1984 to 1988 as a laborer and boiler operator. As a laborer, he swept up dust in the mill and removed gaskets and packing from the boilers, pumps, and valves. Davis …

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Court Grants Unopposed Motion for Summary Judgment for Pump Manufacturer

GEORGIA – In Sheila Carter, Individually and as Executrix of the Estate of James R. Carter v. 3M, et al., the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia granted a pump manufacturer’s (the defendant) motion for summary judgment due to the plaintiff’s failure to oppose the motion. This action alleged that the decedent James R. Carter developed lung cancer as a result of his exposure to asbestos during his career at the ITT Rayonier Plant in Jesup, Georgia from 1968 through 2010. …

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Denial of Workers’ Compensation Claim Affirmed After Incorrect Standard of Review Applied by Lower Court

GEORGIA – Kevin Sinyard worked as a union pipefitter since 1978; from 1986-1989, the plaintiff worked for the defendant, McKenney’s Inc. at Piedmont Hospital. In 2014, the plaintiff was diagnosed with mesothelioma and he and his wife filed a complaint in Illinois against more than 80 defendants. Although the complaint named several companies and premises owners where he worked after McKenney’s, the plaintiffs did not name McKenney’s as a defendant. The plaintiffs dismissed the Illinois lawsuit without prejudice, and filed workers’ compensation claims against McKenney’s …

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Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment in Talc Case Granted Based Upon Lack of Causation Evidence

GEORGIA — The plaintiff, Sharon Hanson, used Colgate Palmolive’s Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder product for 12 years, from 1961 to 1973. She was later diagnosed with both ovarian cancer and mesothelioma, and passed in April 2018. On September 15, 2017, Colgate moved for summary judgment and also later filed Daubert motions to preclude plaintiff’s four causation experts. On September 24, 2018, the court entered an order excluding the opinions of each of those experts.

Colgate’s motion for summary judgment argued that 1) the plaintiff had …

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Summary Judgment Denied Based on Potential Successor-In-Interest Liability of Pump Manufacturer

GEORGIA — The plaintiff Mary Farmer, individually and as the surviving spouse of Bobby Lee Farmer, initiated this action in the Superior Court of Dougherty County, Georgia on February 26, 2016. On March 28, 2016, the defendants filed a Notice of Removal, invoking Federal Court diversity jurisdiction. With leave, the plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint on December 22, 2016. The plaintiff sued 25 defendants, alleging negligence, product liability negligence, loss of consortium, punitive damages, and wrongful death.

Three defendants, Fisher Controls, Inc., Honeywell International Inc. …

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