American Oil Company Defendants Had No Control Over Iranian Oil Company, Summary Judgment Upheld on Appeal

Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, Division Seven, October 28, 2020

Houshang Sabetian and his wife, Soraya, (the plaintiffs) filed this action on March 28, 2018 alleging causes of action for negligence, strict liability, premises liability, negligent joint venture, alter ego, and loss of consortium. The complaint alleged Houshang contracted mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos while he was an Iranian citizen working for the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) from about 1960 to 1979. The complaint further alleged the Chevron and Exxon defendants …

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Pump Manufacturer Granted Partial Summary Judgment in Maritime Case; Plaintiff’s Motion Denied

U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

The plaintiff, Christopher Clarke, alleged he was diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of his alleged exposure to asbestos while serving as a Machinist Mate for the United States Navy from 1962 to 1981. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that he was exposed to asbestos from replacing gaskets and packing on pumps manufactured by the defendant, Warren Pumps, LLC on numerous ships and submarines. The plaintiff moved for partial summary judgment on Warren’s general contractor defense, and …

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Control Manufacturer’s Motion to Exclude Plaintiffs’ Psychiatrist Denied After Daubert Hearing

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division

In the present action, defendant Johnson Controls, filed a motion to exclude a psychiatrist’s opinions about three plaintiffs’ mental health. By way of background, the plaintiffs retained Dr. Zachary Torry to evaluate whether those three plaintiffs suffered a psychiatric injury as a result of being exposed to asbestos and chlorinated chemicals and, if so, whether a reasonable person under similar circumstances would experience a psychiatric injury. To form his opinions, Dr. Torry met …

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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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Manufacturer and Distributer of Raw Asbestos Wins Summary Judgment under Sophisticated User Defense

Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle, September 28, 2020

Plaintiffs Deforest Gibbs and Sherryl L. Gibb asserted claims against multiple defendants, including Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), alleging Mr. Gibbs suffers from mesothelioma as a result of occupational asbestos exposure. Mr. Gibbs worked as a laborer, plumber, and shade tree mechanic for 50 years in South Carolina. He allegedly suffered exposure to asbestos by working with HVAC equipment, hot water heaters, electrical products, valves, drywall, sheetrock, joint compound, caulk, roofing materials, and flooring products.

From 1963 to 1985, UCC manufactured …

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Pump Manufacturers’ Motions for Summary Judgment Denied in Navy Exposure Case

U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, September 23, 2020

On July 26, 2018, John Pruitt (the plaintiff) sued multiple defendants asserting claims arising from his alleged exposure to asbestos. The plaintiff alleged he developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos-containing materials during his service as a machinist mate in the United States Navy and as a parts purchaser at Schroer Implement Co. He was deposed in August 2018. In addition to the plaintiff’s testimony, a fact witness, Edmond Dumas, provided testimony …

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Farm Equipment Dealer Wins Motion for Summary Judgment

U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, July 29, 2020

Plaintiff John Pruitt filed this asbestos lawsuit alleging he contracted mesothelioma from occupational exposure to asbestos. The plaintiff served in the Navy from September 1959 to April 1962. Upon his discharge from the Navy, he worked at Schroer, a John Deere farm equipment dealership in Valdosta, Georgia, from 1963 to 1974. He initially worked as a runner, delivering and picking up parts such as brakes, clutches, and paint decals. In 1966, he started working …

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Cooling Tower Defendant Granted Summary Judgment Due to Lack of Product ID

United States District Court for the Northern District of California

In the instant complaint, the plaintiffs allege that Ronald Viale used, handled, or was otherwise exposed to asbestos and asbestos containing products provided by or manufactured by the defendants, that he contracted the terminal cancer, mesothelioma as a result of such exposure, and that, in July 2018, he died. Based on these allegations, plaintiffs, who are, respectively, the decedent’s wife and daughter, asserted against defendant SPX the following four Causes of Action: “Negligence,” “Strict Liability,” “False Representation,” …

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Delaware Superior Court: Decedent’s Exposure Affidavit Admissible

Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle, July 1, 2020

A Delaware lower court has determined that an affidavit signed by a deceased plaintiff is admissible under that state’s “residual exception” to hearsay rules. Specifically, in Ogg, the plaintiff signed an affidavit regarding his work history prior to being hospitalized for end stage pulmonary fibrosis. After being discharged from the hospital, and about two weeks prior to his deposition, the plaintiff signed a second affidavit. The plaintiff passed away two days prior to a scheduled deposition. …

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Court Reverses Grant of New Trial, Affirms Defense Verdict for Electrical Product Manufacturer

Court of Appeal of California, First Appellate District, June 29, 2020

In Estes v. Eaton Corp., 2020 Cal. App. LEXIS 594, the Court of Appeal of California, First Appellate District reversed an order granting a new trial, and affirmed a defense verdict for Eaton Corporation. In this case, the jury heard the trial court case, and returned a defense verdict. However, the trial court granted the plaintiff a new trial on the ground of insufficient evidence. Eaton appealed the new trial order on multiple …

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