Automotive Defendant Obtains Dismissal for Lack of Jurisdiction

United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, July 21, 2022

In this asbestos action, defendant Honeywell International Inc., f/k/a Allied Signal Inc. as successor-in-interest to The Bendix Corporation filed a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. Plaintiff failed to respond to Honeywell’s motion.

A district court has personal jurisdiction over a defendant “who is subject to the jurisdiction of a court of general jurisdiction in the state where the district court is located.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(k)(1)(A). An Illinois district …

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Lube Oil Purifier Manufacturer Successful on Motion to Dismiss Based on Lack of Personal Jurisdiction

United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division; April 11, 2022

The plaintiffs, George Lishman and Vicki Lishman filed a complaint on January 26, 2021 against Alfa Laval Inc., (“defendant” or “Alfa Laval”) in addition to other defendants, alleging that Mr. Lishman developed mesothelioma resulting from exposure to the defendants’ asbestos-containing products. Mr. Lishman was a life-long Illinois resident. Alfa Laval is a New Jersey corporation with its principal place of business in Virginia, and serves as successor-in-interest to the Sharples …

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Plaintiff’s Expert Opinions on Causation, Historical Literature, and “Cumulative Exposure Theory” Precluded

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, November 23, 2021

The plaintiff alleged that her late husband, Bruce Johnson, was exposed to asbestos between 1971 and 1984 while working with ceramics for different companies and schools. Mr. Johnson was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2017 and died in 2020. The plaintiff filed suit against Vanderbilt, inter alia, alleging that Vanderbilt was liable under a negligent products liability theory for manufacturing, distributing, or selling asbestos-containing products used in the production of ceramics. …

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Ceramic Manufacturer’s MSJ Granted Because Plaintiff Failed to Establish Defendant’s Duty to Warn

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, June 25, 2021

Plaintiff Deborah Johnson alleges that her late husband, Bruce Johnson, contracted mesothelioma due to his exposure to asbestos. The defendant, Edward Orton, Jr. Ceramic Foundation, moved for summary judgment, which the court granted.

The plaintiff alleges that Orton was negligent for failing to warn or protect the decedent from the risk of asbestos in its product. Because the plaintiff failed to raise any questions of fact regarding the existence of a …

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Railroad Case Remanded to Lower Court to Determine “Other Activities”

Supreme Court of Montana, March 11, 2020

MONTANA – The defendant BNSF Railway Company’s (BNSF) appealed the lower court’s decision arguing that the court erred in granting partial summary judgment in favor of the plaintiffs on the issues of preemption, strict liability, and non-party affirmative defenses.

As an overview, W. R. Grace acquired the assets of Zonolite Company, formerly known as Mineral Carbon and Insulating Company. W.R. Grace mined vermiculite seven miles outside of Libby, Montana. W.R. Grace’s operations produced approximately 80 percent of the …

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Opposite Outcomes in Recent Removals Based on Diversity Hone in on Status of Remaining Defendants

A string of recent decisions on remand motions illustrates that diversity challenges are alive and well in asbestos litigation. As the landscape of defendants changes as trial approaches, so do the defenses. Whether by settlement or dismissal, the remaining defendant or defendants have taken advantage of diversity issues to remove cases to more favorable federal jurisdictions with stark contrast in results. That contrast should give defendants cause for pause prior to removal.

Recently, in Wieland v. Arvinmeritor, Inc., a brake defendant removed the case …

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Remand in Meso Case Denied Upon Finding that Common Defense Exception Inapplicable

U.S. District Court C.D. of Illinois, February 25, 2020

ILLINOIS – The plaintiff sued several defendants alleging that Roy Hicks developed mesothelioma as a result of his exposure to asbestos for which the defendants were allegedly responsible. Specifically, Mr. Hicks alleged exposure to asbestos while working for the City of Bloomington, where he encountered asbestos from vehicles made by Ford, and others. He also alleged exposure to products from John Crane as a result of his wife’s work at General Electric. As trial approached, the …

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Court Grants Remand Based on Lack of Complete Diversity

United States District Court, Southern District of Illinois, February 20, 2020

ILLINOIS – The plaintiffs, Arland and Dina Wieland, originally filed the instant matter in the Circuit Court of the Third Judicial Circuit, Madison County, alleging that Arland sustained injuries due to asbestos exposure. Trial in the matter started on Feb. 20, 2020 and on Feb. 19, the defendant ArvinMeritor removed the matter, asserting diversity jurisdiction. The plaintiffs filed an emergency motion for remand. 

The plaintiffs are citizens of New Mexico. In their notice of removal, ArvinMeritor …

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Five Million Dollar Verdict Against Caulk and Tape Manufacturer Reversed for Lack of Evidence of Substantial Factor

ILLINOIS – The plaintiffs brought suit against more than 50 defendants alleging their decedent, Willard Krumwiede, developed and passed from mesothelioma as a result of occupational exposure to asbestos for which the defendants were liable. Specifically, the plaintiffs contended that Krumwiede was exposed to asbestos tape and caulk made by Tremco. Both products were purported to contain chrysotile fibers. According to the plaintiffs, Krumwiede used the products during his career as a window glazer where he installed panes of glass into wood and aluminum frames. …

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Illinois First District Appellate Court Affirms $4.89 Million Verdict

ILLINOIS – On December 19, 2019, the Illinois First District Appellate Court affirmed $4.89 million verdict rendered in favor of deceased pleural mesothelioma claimant, Patrick O’Reilly, against the defendant, John Crane, Inc.

The decedent O’Reilly was a union pipefitter from 1957 to 1998, and alleged that he was exposed to asbestos from replacing and installing valves using packing and gaskets manufactured by John Crane. Following trial, a Cook County jury awarded damages in the amount of $6,022,814.06. The court reduced the verdict by $1,137,500 in …

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