Court Denies Boiler Manufacturer’s MSJ Finding Dispute of Fact over Substantial Factor Causation

U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, July 16, 2021

The plaintiff filed this personal injury action against multiple defendants in the Superior Court of Delaware asserting claims arising from the decedent’s harmful exposure to asbestos. The plaintiff alleges the decedent developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to defendant Foster Wheeler’s asbestos-containing equipment during the decedent’s service as a boiler tender in the United States Navy. Foster Wheeler removed the case to federal court based on the federal officer removal statute. Subsequently, Foster …

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Court Grants Valve Manufacturer’s MSJ Finding No Evidence of Exposure

U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, July 16, 2021

The plaintiffs filed this lawsuit alleging the decedent developed lung cancer and died as a result of asbestos exposure from several of the defendants’ products, including Crane Co. The decedent worked for the North Carolina Department of Administration as a plumber. He worked directly on various items, including boilers, pumps, compressors, and piping. The decedent’s brother offered testimony that the decedent worked on Crane Co. boiler steam header valves. However, he was not able …

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Summary Judgment in Favor of Oil Defendants Upheld Due to Lack of Control of Iranian Facilities

Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, Division Seven, July 7, 2021

In this case, the plaintiffs brought wrongful death and survivor claims, alleging that their deceased father contracted mesothelioma through exposure to asbestos while he was an Iranian citizen working for the National Iranian Oil Company from the late 1950s to the late 1970s in facilities controlled by the defendants. The plaintiffs appealed a judgment entered by the trial court granting motions for summary judgment filed by the defendants Chevron Corporation, Chevron U.S.A. …

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Iowa Law Found to Apply to Plaintiffs’ Mesothelioma Claim Based on Place of Injury Presumption

U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, July 1, 2021

Plaintiffs Rickey Thorne and Barbara J. Thorne initiated this action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. The plaintiffs allege exposure to asbestos and products containing asbestos during the plaintiff’s service in the United States Air Force which caused his mesothelioma. The plaintiff was stationed at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota where he maintained gas appliances, including stoves, hot water heaters, and furnaces, …

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Pump Manufacturer’s Motion to Dismiss Based on Personal Jurisdiction Denied

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, June 30, 2021

In this asbestos action, Christopher Sibley (the plaintiff) alleged asbestos exposure from his work as a Navy electrician in California. Defendant Viking Pump moved to dismiss due to a lack of personal jurisdiction. As per Rule 12(b)(2), a defendant can move to dismiss the matter based on personal jurisdiction grounds. Since personal jurisdiction is not authorized by federal statute, the court applied California law. As such, “[a] defendant is subject to general jurisdiction …

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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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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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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 Verdict Reversed as Trial Court Gave Erroneous Causation Instruction

Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, Division One

Defendant The Marley-Wylain Company successfully argued that Michigan law should apply in this California action as all of the plaintiff’s exposure to asbestos manufactured or supplied in connection with Weil-McLain boilers occurred in Michigan. Marley-Wylain was the only remaining defendant at trial, where the jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff and entered a judgment against Marley-Wylain for $5,489,688.68. The trial court subsequently denied Marley-Wylain’s motions for a new trial and for judgment notwithstanding the …

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Court Grants New Trial to Boiler Defendant Based on Improper Jury Instruction Regarding Causation

Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, Division One, June 4, 2021

The decedent worked as a plumber in Michigan from 1969 to 1976. The plaintiff contends the decedent was exposed to asbestos during this time when working with boilers manufactured by Weil-McLain Company, Inc. (now a division of The Marley-Wylain Company (MW)). The decedent’s exposure to asbestos by MW products occurred entirely in Michigan. The plaintiff was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2014 and subsequently filed suit, under California law, against a number of …

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