Burner Defendant Granted Summary Judgment; No Evidence of Product Nexus

Superior Court of Rhode Island, Providence

In this matter, the decedent alleged asbestos exposure from his work as a plumbing and heating installer/repairer in the state of Maine from 1949 until 1966. Specific to this motion, the decedent installed Wayne burners, and converted Wayne burners from coal to oil. During this work, the decedent mixed asbestos powder and applied asbestos-containing mud to seal the tube of the burner.

With regard to the choice of law analysis, both parties agreed that Maine law should be applied …

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NYCAL Judge Grants Car Manufacturer Motion for Summary Judgment Based on Supporting Affidavit

Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County, January 6, 2021

The within matter was filed on behalf of the decedent, Patrick O’Sullivan, based on his alleged exposure to asbestos over the course of his career as a mechanic at various service stations throughout the 1970s. In 2012, the decedent died as a result of lung cancer allegedly caused by his exposure to asbestos. At his deposition, the decedent testified that he worked on Nissan branded vehicles in the 1970s, but he …

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Plaintiffs’ Asbestos-Related Claims Not Time Barred Under Vermont’s Statute of Repose

Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle

In this asbestos matter, the plaintiff, Thomas Pearsons, alleged exposure from maintaining and cleaning a Mergenthaler Model 8 Linotype machine in connection with his employment in a newspaper printing shop. The defendant, Heidelberg, as successor in interest of Mergenthaler Linotype Company, moved for summary judgment on several grounds. First, Heidelberg argued that the plaintiff failed to satisfy the causation standard under Vermont law. However, the court set forth the plaintiff maintained the machine a couple times a day and …

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Trailer Manufacturer Awarded Summary Judgment on Component Parts Defense

Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County

The plaintiff’s decedent, James Martinez, alleged that he was exposed to asbestos from, among other things, performing mechanical work, and specifically brake work, on a fleet of delivery trailers and vehicles from 1974 to 1976. During his discovery deposition, Martinez identified “East” as one of the manufacturers of trailers on which he performed this work. However, he was unable to identify the manufacturer of the old brakes that he removed from the trailers or …

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Talc Manufacturer Granted Summary Judgment; Lack of Regular, Frequent, and Proximate Exposure

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Western Division

The plaintiff alleged that her daughter (the decedent) died from peritoneal mesothelioma, which she contracted after exposure to asbestos as a student in a ceramics technology course at Appalachian State University. The defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing the plaintiff failed to properly identify a product attributable to the defendants. In addition, if the plaintiff was able to establish product identification, the plaintiff failed to proffer evidence the decedent was exposed to the …

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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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Defendant Contractor Denied Summary Judgment for Plaintiff’s Work Performed at World Trade Center

Supreme Court of New York, New York County, November 30, 2020

The plaintiff, Walter Cannon, filed a complaint against defendant Tishman Realty & Construction Co., Inc., among others, alleging that his lung cancer was caused by his exposure to asbestos when he worked as an electrician installing lighting fixtures at the World Trade Center (WTC) in the 1970s. The plaintiff was employed by Forest Electric at the WTC on weekends for approximately two-and-a-half to three months, shortly before the WTC opened. While working at the …

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Denial of Daubert Motions in Navy Yard Case Leads to Denial of Summary Judgment for Valve Manufacturer

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, November 30, 2020

The plaintiffs filed two lawsuits in New York state court alleging that the decedent, John Grimes, was diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of his exposure to asbestos while working as a coppersmith apprentice at the Brooklyn Navy Yard from 1961 to 1963. During his discovery deposition, Mr. Grimes testified that he believed he was exposed to asbestos while working in the shop at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and aboard warships. He …

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Floor Tile Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment Denied Due to Conflicting Expert Reports

Supreme Court of New York, New York County

In this action, defendant American Biltrite Inc. filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff has failed to establish general or specific causation for the plaintiff’s lung cancer in relation to American Biltrite’s products. The deceased plaintiff had alleged that his fatal lung cancer was caused by his exposure to asbestos over the course of his career as an electrician at three worksites, and the plaintiff had testified that floor tile made by American Biltrite …

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“Credibility Issue” of Experts Leads to Denial of Sheet Flooring Manufacturer’s Motion for Summary Judgment

The plaintiff alleges that the lung cancer was caused by his exposure to asbestos over the course of his career at various locations in New York between 1975 and 1983. Defendant Mannington Mills, Inc. filed a motion for summary judgment on the grounds that the plaintiff had not established general or specific causation of his lung cancer related to the defendant’s products (sheet flooring).

A defendant seeking summary judgment in a products liability case involving asbestos must make a prima facie case that its product …

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