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Reargument of Summary Judgment Denied; Decedent’s Exposure Affidavit Admissible for Motion

Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle

In this matter, the plaintiff alleges that the decedent’s asbestosis was caused by exposure to the defendants’ asbestos-containing products throughout his career as a mechanic. Pertinent to this motion, the decedent executed an affidavit containing details of his work history and the products with which he worked on July 16, 2014. The decedent was subsequently hospitalized on two separate occasions, and was deemed a candidate for hospice care. He executed a second affidavit on October 8 and passed on …

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New Trial Denied Against Boiler Manufacturer; Jury Verdict Not Against Weight of the Evidence

Superior Court of Delaware, December 22, 2020

On December 20, 2019, following a 10-day jury trial, a jury returned a verdict in favor of Cleaver Brooks, Inc. (Cleaver Brooks), the sole defendant at trial. The jury found that this defendant nor any of the other non-party entities listed on the verdict sheet failed to meet the standard of care of providing a safe work place or defective product to the decedent, Gary Stimson.

During trial, each side presented expert testimony on the issue of whether …

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Railway Company Denied Summary Judgment; Service and Expert Issues Remain

The plaintiff, the Estate of Gregorio Sanchez Valdez, alleged occupational exposure to asbestos and diesel fumes while working as a machinist for defendant BNSF Railway Company from 1996 until 2016. Valdez was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer in 2014. BNSF moved for summary judgment on three grounds, of which the court denied all three.

First, BNSF argued that Valdez failed to serve BNSF with process within the three-year statute of limitations under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act. The court observed that the crux of this argument …

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Trial Court’s Refusal to Reduce Plaintiffs’ Recovery of Costs by Amounts Attributable to Settled Defendants Affirmed

Court of Appeal of California, First Appellate District, Division Three, December 11, 2020

The heirs of decedent Richard Booker filed suit, alleging that Booker developed fatal mesothelioma from his exposure to defendants’ asbestos-containing products. The plaintiffs settled with most of the defendants, and a trial was held against the two remaining defendants, Vanderbilt Minerals LLC and Imerys. The jury found the two defendants liable for increasing the decedent’s risk of mesothelioma and apportioned 60-percent fault to Vanderbilt and 40-percent fault to Imerys.

The plaintiffs filed …

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Punitive Damages Award Eliminated on Appeal in Take-Home Exposure Case

Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, Division Three, November 19, 2020

The plaintiff, Alfred Mata, alleged he developed mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure. Alfred’s father, Francisco, worked as a serviceman for Park Water from 1970 until 1989. Francisco’s responsibility of cutting water pipes with a power saw caused visible dust to settle on his clothing, which he took home to his son. Park Water used both asbestos-containing cement pipes and non-asbestos pipes. The asbestos pipes contained both chrysotile and crocidolite asbestos. …

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Third-Party Defendant Not Responsible for Indemnifying Brake Supplier Prior to Existence

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, Owensboro Division, November 12, 2020

Plaintiff Jack Papineau was employed by Smith Coal from 1984 to 1992. In his complaint against multiple defendants, including Brake Supply, he alleged that he contracted mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos-containing friction products during his employment at Smith Coal. The plaintiff alleged that Brake Supply purchased friction products from suppliers and resold the products by either using the products to reline brakes or reselling parts.

Brake Supply filed a Third-Party Complaint and …

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Case Remanded to State Court as Brake Manufacturer Failed to Obtain Consent From all Remaining Defendants

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

Eugene Longobardi sued numerous asbestos manufactures in Illinois state court after he developed mesothelioma, alleging that his disease was caused by his exposure to asbestos while serving in the U.S. Army from 1974 to 1981. Shortly thereafter, Longobardi died and Pamela Langobardi was named plaintiff and administrator of his estate. Pamela amended the complaint to add Honeywell International (Honeywell) as a defendant. Honeywell removed the suit to federal court premising jurisdiction on the diversity …

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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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