Court Denies Third Party Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss and Orders Jurisdictional Discovery

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky

In Jack Papineau and Holly Papineau v. Brake Supply Company, Inc., et al., the court recently denied a third-party defendant’s motion to dismiss a third-party complaint without prejudice. Plaintiff Jack Papineau alleged he developed malignant mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos from his employment at Smith Coal, and sued four defendants including Brake Supply.

Brake Supply then filed a third party action against Fras-le S.A. Fras-Le North for common law indemnity and apportionment under K.R.S. § …

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Friction Manufacturer’s Objection to Motion to Compel Denied Due to Untimely Submission of Affidavit

KENTUCKY – The plaintiff, Jack Papineau, alleged that he was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma from exposure to Honeywell’s asbestos-containing brake products. The plaintiff sought an order from the magistrate judge to compel Honeywell to answer one interrogatory and respond to one request for production concerning lawsuits alleging exposure to Honeywell asbestos-containing friction products. Honeywell opposed.

Per the magistrate judge’s order, the plaintiff filed an amended request that limited the scope of the requested documentation. Honeywell responded to the supplemental request and attached the affidavit of …

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Evidence of Prior Asbestos Lawsuits Against Defendant Discoverable

KENTUCKY – The plaintiffs, Jack and Holly Papineau, filed a lawsuit against several defendants alleging damages suffered from exposure to asbestos. The plaintiffs filed a motion to compel the defendant Honeywell to supplement answers to interrogatories and requests for production, specifically regarding prior lawsuits. After oral argument, the court requested that the plaintiffs narrow the scope of their supplemental requests. The plaintiffs complied, requesting information and documents pertaining to all lawsuits filed against Honeywell wherein the claimant alleged an asbestos-related disease from exposure to Honeywell …

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Talc Verdicts Remain a Mixed Bag in Second Half of 2019

In May 2019, we reported on the state of talc litigation following eye-popping verdicts in Missouri in July 2018 that saw Johnson & Johnson hit with $550 million in compensatory damages and over $4 billion dollars in punitive damages in 22 consolidated ovarian cancer cases. With hundreds of mesothelioma cases pending, alleging exposure to asbestos-contaminated talc and enormous damages potentially at stake, a further update is warranted. The last five months have seen several verdicts, and while it’s clear that talc asbestos cases are defensible, …

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Summary Judgment Denial Upheld by Kentucky Court of Appeals Denying Application of Workers’ Compensation Bar

In Schneider Electric USA, Inc. v. Paul Williams, as Executor of the Estate of Vickie Williams, the court of appeals affirmed a trial court’s denial of the sole defendant’s motion for summary judgment. In this case, Vickie Williams’ father worked for Schneider Electric USA, Inc., formerly known as Square D Company (Square D), for several years. During that time, she allegedly encountered asbestos brought home on her father’s clothing. Ms. Williams also worked for Square D for a few months as a teenager. She …

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J&J Wins Defense Verdict in Kentucky Talc Case

KENTUCKY – A Louisville state court deliberated for approximately a half hour on August 2, 2019 before finding in favor of Johnson & Johnson in a talc case. The lawsuit alleged that Donna Ann Hayes died from mesothelioma caused by her use of talcum powder products. The plaintiff’s lawyers argued that the talc was contaminated with asbestos, but J&J disputed those allegations.

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Plaintiff’s Failure to Establish Causation and Lack of Opposition Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment

KENTUCKY — Rojelio Surita brought this action against several defendants alleging his decedent, Nancy Surita, developed mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos containing products for which Defendants were liable. Nancy Surita gave deposition testimony stating that she assisted in brake jobs on the family farm while growing up in Illinois. She also recalled maintenance on vehicles while serving in the National Guard. Later she testified as to working on military trucks. Although she recalled Caterpillar as the manufacturer of the transmissions, she testified that she did …

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Possibility of Exposure Not Enough to Overcome Summary Judgment Motions of Brake Manufacturers and Supplier

Decedent Bobby Vickery died of mesothelioma and his estate was substituted as a party to this action.  The plaintiff estate appealed the granting of summary judgment to defendants Eaton Corporation, ArvinMeritor, Pneumo-Abex, and Brake Supply Company.  The appellate court affirmed, with one judge dissenting.

The plaintiff alleged Mr. Vickery was exposed to asbestos from a variety of different sources.  He had fifty employers between 1966 and 2003, and alleged asbestos exposure during three of those jobs.  For purposes of this appeal, the court summarized his …

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Kentucky Appellate Court Rejects “Any Exposure” Causation Theory

In September of 2012, William Stallings filed suit in Kentucky state court against Georgia Pacific and other manufacturers of the asbestos containing products he had been exposed to decades earlier, seeking punitive damages under theories of strict liability and negligence. Specifically, Stallings was diagnosed with mesothelioma allegedly caused by his four years of Naval Service, where he helped operate and maintain boilers aboard the USS Waller. After leaving the Navy, Stallings worked as a drywall finisher, where he alleged exposure from mixing and installing drywall. …

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Kentucky Appellate Court Affirms Trial Court Finding of Plaintiff’s Failure to Establish Causation to Brake Defendants

The plaintiff Hershel Mannahan brought an action against the defendants for his alleged development of mesothelioma as a result of his work as a laborer, driller, oiler, truck driver, mechanic, and welder for Peabody Coal Mannahan worked as a welder for Peabody at the Vogue Mine from March 1974 to February 1977 and at Riverview Mine from May 1977 to June 1978. He also performed welding and mechanic work at Vogue Mine from June 1978  until February 1986, when he retired.

The plaintiff allegedly performed …

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