Summary Judgment Upheld for Brake Manufacturer Based on Statute of Limitations

Supreme Court of Minnesota, July 1, 2020

In 2009, Gary Palmer’s (the decedent) pulmonologist informed him that he had calcium deposits on his lungs due to asbestos exposure. On December 24, 2011, the decedent was diagnosed with mesothelioma and in January 2012, he learned that asbestos exposure had caused his mesothelioma. The decedent passed away on March 1, 2015.

On February 23, 2018, Appellant, Deborah Palmer, filed this action against Honeywell International (the manufacturer of Bendix brakes) (Bendix) under Minn. Stat. § 573.02, subd. 3 (2018).

The appellant alleged the decedent …

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Loss of Valid Statute of Limitations Defense after Re-Filing Not a Bar to Dismissal Without Prejudice

U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, June 12, 2020

Family members (plaintiffs) of the decedent Cynthia Cartwright alleged exposure to asbestos-containing talcum powder attributed to defendants Cyprus Amax Minerals Company, Avon Products Inc., and Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. (JJCI), which the plaintiffs claim resulted in the decedent’s fatal mesothelioma. The plaintiffs initially filed an action in Maryland, and JJCI moved to federal court.  Cyprus and Avon subsequently moved to dismiss based on personal jurisdiction, whereas JJCI moved for partial judgment on the …

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North Carolina Statute of Limitations Bars Mesothelioma Claim

NORTH CAROLINA – The plaintiff, Jody Ratcliff, filed a complaint on March 1, 2017 alleging that her mesothelioma was caused by exposure to asbestos. She sued several groups of defendants, including friction and talc defendants. She alleged that she was exposed to asbestos during the summers from 1987 to 1989 while visiting garages with her father, who was a tool salesman. She also alleged using talc products that allegedly contained asbestos, from 1977 to 2016. The four remaining defendants – Ford; Brenntag Specialties; Whittaker, Clark …

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Limitations Challenge on Railroad Worker’s FELA Claim Denied

ILLINOIS — The plaintiff Theresa Romcoe filed suit under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) against the defendants, Illinois Central Railroad Company and Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corporation dba Metra Rail, alleging that her husband had passed away from esophageal cancer as a result of exposure to asbestos during the course of his employment. Specifically, the decedent had worked in several positions, including as a switchman to conductor from 1974-1984.  The decedent was diagnosed with cancer on September 5, 2013 and passed on November …

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Several Claims in Consolidated Action Dismissed Based Upon Statute of Limitations

Following W.R. Grace’s filing for bankruptcy in April 2001, a series of cases were filed against Maryland Casualty, which was the company’s primary general liability insurer from 1962 to 1973. Specifically, the twenty-nine plaintiffs in this matter filed a lawsuit relating to their diagnosis of asbestosis, in the District Court of Montana in November 2001. The plaintiffs originally named the State of Montana only. Maryland Casualty was named in March 2002. Additionally, seven of the twenty-nine plaintiffs had previously filed suit against Maryland Casualty, in …

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Summary Judgment in Favor of Bankrupt Wisconsin Company Affirmed on Statute of Limitations Grounds

CALIFORNIA — Plaintiff David Hart appealed the entry of summary judgment in favor of Special Electric Company on the basis that the claims against the company were time-barred under Wisconsin law. The plaintiff sued Special Electric alleging that his mesothelioma was caused by exposure to asbestos from products supplied by the company.

Special Electric, a Wisconsin corporation, filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 in 2004, and by 2006, a plan of reorganization had been entered. By then, all of the company’s assets had been sold …

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Pennsylvania Superior Court Refuses to Extend Statute of Limitations for Employee’s Exposure Claims

PENNSYLVANIA — The Pennsylvania Superior Court, in an unpublished opinion, recently declined to extend the statute of limitations for workplace exposure claims brought by employees. Since the Tooey case was decided in 2013, Pennsylvania law has allowed employees to bring lawsuits against their employers if the diagnosis of an occupational disease occurred more than 300 weeks after the date of last exposure to the hazardous substance. However, the new case law did not alter the statute of limitations for brining such claims.

In Moeller v.

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Notice of Claim Provisions Bar Jurist’s Asbestos Claims Against Municipality

TEXAS — Judge James Farris spent almost his entire legal career, until retiring in December of 1996, in the Jefferson County courthouse, which included a period of asbestos remediation at the courthouse, during which he was allegedly exposed to asbestos. Judge Farris developed mesothelioma in October of 2004 and tragically passed away just nine days after he first sought medical treatment. Judge Farris’s widow, Ellarene Farris, asserted wrongful death and survival causes of action against numerous entities, including Jefferson County, in its capacities as premises …

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Louisiana Statute of Limitations Bars Wrongful Death Claim Filed in Delaware

DELAWARE — The plaintiff, Sandra Kivell, filed a wrongful death and survival claim alleging her husband’s death was caused by mesothelioma. He passed on September 5, 2015, and the new claims were filed on September 30, 2016. The plaintiff’s decedent had originally filed a complaint before his death. Georgia-Pacific filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings, arguing that the claims were filed beyond Louisiana’s one year statute of limitations for wrongful death and survival claims. The plaintiff did not contend that the Louisiana statute …

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Plaintiffs’ Asbestos-Related Claims Time-Barred Due to Prior Settlement Agreement

LOUISIANA — Plaintiffs-Appellants are the widow and surviving children of Raymond J. Lemieux, Sr.. Mr. Lemieux, Sr. worked for Johns-Manville in Marrero, Louisiana from 1956 to 1970 during which time he wore a respirator designed by American Optical, Defendant-Appellee. Raymond, Sr. developed asbestos-related lung cancer, which eventually caused his death in 2015; prior to his death, he filed suit in 2011 against American Optical stemming from his use of their respirator. Represented by his attorney, Raymond, Sr. entered into settlement negotiations with American Optical. The …

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