Statute of Repose Applied and Summary Judgment Granted U.S.D.C. for the District of Massachusetts, May 14, 2019

MASSACHUSETTS – On March 30, 2018, the U.S.D.C. for the District of Massachusetts held that Massachusetts’ statute of repose did not apply to asbestos exposure claims and denied the motion for summary judgment of General Electric (GE). The question was without controlling precedent, and was therefore certified to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. On Mach 1, 2019, the court ruled that the statute of repose “completely eliminates all tort claims arising out of any deficiency or neglect in the design, planning, construction, or general administration…
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Washington’s Statute of Repose Determined to Not Apply to Premises Owners Court of Appeals of Washington, Division 1, May 13, 2019

WASHINGTON – For approximately seven months in 1971, Gary Cameron worked as a boilermaker at the Centralia Steam Plant in Washington State during its construction, which was completed in 1972. Asbestos-containing thermal insulation was used in building the plant, and Cameron’s estate alleged that his fatal mesothelioma was caused in part by exposures during his time at Centralia. They sued appellee PacifiCorp, who was among those responsible for constructing the plant, and who maintained an ownership interest until 2000, bringing claims against them as both…
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Massachusetts Statute of Repose Bars Construction-Related Asbestos Claims Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, March 1, 2019

In Stearns v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, the Massachusetts Supreme Court addressed whether the six-year statute of repose for claims against those involved the design, planning, construction, or general administration of improvements to real property, applies to asbestos personal injury claims, which would typically arise after the statue would bar their assertion. The statute at issue, Mass. Gen. Laws. c. 260 Section 2B, provides in relevant part that: “Action[s] of tort for damages arising out of any deficiency or neglect in the design, planning,…
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Application of Statute of Repose Upheld for Material Supplier Court of Appeals of Wisconsin, August 7, 2018

WISCONSIN — The plaintiff Thomas Mohn alleged that he developed lung cancer from exposure to asbestos while working with insulated turbine blankets supplied by defendant Sprinkmann during the construction of the Genoa power plant in the 1960s. Sprinkman filed a motion for summary judgment on statue of repose grounds, which the trial court granted. The plaintiff appealed, and the Wisconsin Appellate Court affirmed. Wisconsin’s statute of repose imposed a time limit of ten years for bringing claims related to the improvement of real property. The…
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Vexing Statute of Repose Question Sent to Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court United States District Court, District of Massachusetts, May 14, 2018

MASSACHUSETTS  — The plaintiffs sued multiple defendants in the United States District Court, District of Massachusetts, alleging that the plaintiffs’ decedent, Wayne Oliver, was exposed to asbestos during the construction of two nuclear power plants.  Defendant General Electric (GE) filed a motion for summary judgment on counts I,II,IX, and X in the plaintiffs’ Third Amended complaint; both parties agreed that the affected counts were governed by the substantive law of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. GE invoked the Massachusetts statute of repose for improvements to real…
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Maryland’s Court of Appeals Rules on Applicability of Statute of Repose

MARYLAND — The Maryland Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the Court of Special Appeals in the matter of Duffy v. CBS Corporation, making two holdings relating to Maryland’s Statute of Repose. First, the court held that an injury related to asbestos exposure that underlies a cause of action for personal injury or wrongful death arises at the time of exposure. The court held that the “exposure approach,” as adopted by the Court in John Crane Inc. v. Scribner, 369 Md. 369,…
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Federal Court Denies Summary Judgment Under Massachusetts Statute of Repose, But Grants Defendants’ Motions on Other Grounds U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, March 30, 2018

MASSACHUSETTS — The plaintiffs allege that the decedent, Wayne Oliver, developed mesothelioma from bystander exposure to asbestos during his work as a pipe inspector on the construction of two power plants in the 1970s. Defendant General Electric Company (GE) specified and produced steam turbine-generators for the power plants, and supervised their installation. Defendant NSTAR, formerly known as Boston Edison Company (NSTAR/BECO), owned one of the power plants during the time of the decedent’s work. The decedent worked for non-party Bechtel Corporation, who acted as the…
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Maryland Court Affirms Application of Statute of Repose in Asbestos Matter Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, May 31, 2017

On December 13, 2013, plaintiff James F. Piper was diagnosed with mesothelioma and filed suit in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City on March 26, 2014 for damages caused by his occupational asbestos exposure. Piper worked as a steamfitter at the Morgantown Generating Station in Woodzell, Maryland. In early 1970, defendant Westinghouse installed a turbine generator at this site to which the specifications called for the use of insulation containing asbestos. Piper testified that while he did not work directly on the installation of the…
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Dissolved Company Failed to Meet Notice Requirements of Statute of Repose Superior Court of Rhode Island, March 13, 2017

Defendant Grover S. Wormer Company, individually and as successor-in-interest to Wright-Austin Company, brought a motion to dismiss the asbestos litigation filed on behalf of Frank D’Amico in the Superior Court of Rhode Island, Providence.  Wormer originally brought its motion under Super. R. Civ. P 12(b)(6) and contended that the plaintiff’s claims for liability are barred under Michigan’s Business Corporation Act Chapter 8 (the BCA), which governs the dissolution of corporations and provides a Statute of Repose to bar continued liability.  The plaintiff did not contest…
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Rhode Island Court Applies Maine Law to Deny Summary Judgment to Insulation Contractor Superior Court of Rhode Island, March 13, 2017

The plaintiffs alleged negligence and breach of warranty based upon asbestos exposure sustained by decedent during his work at various job sites through the Laborer’s Union from 1969-1990. Defendant New England Insulation Company (NEI) filed a motion for summary judgment based upon various theories, which the court denied. During his deposition, the decedent testified that he worked as a laborer for general contractors at job sites in Maine.  From 1973-1976 he worked at International Paper Mill around other trades, such as pipefitters and insulators. His…
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