Refinery Defendants Owed No Duty of Care to Plaintiff Under 1954 Agreement with Iranian National Oil Company Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 4, California, November 14, 2019

CALIFORNIA – The plaintiff’s decedent, Farid Malek, died from mesothelioma after working almost 30 years at the Abadan oil refinery in Iran. Mary Malek, Farid’s surviving spouse, filed suit on his behalf. The matter is one of a number of coordinated asbestos-related actions in the Superior Court of Los Angeles County. The Maleks immigrated to the United States in 1981 and settled in California. Defendants Chevron USA, Inc. and Texaco, Inc. (Chevron/Texaco) and ConocoPhillips Company (CPC) filed for summary judgment, which the trial court granted. …
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Fifth Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment After Experts Speculate Regarding Specific Causation United States Court of Appeal, Fifth Circuit, November 5, 2019

The plaintiff, Robert Schindler, alleged that his mesothelioma was caused in part by his work for the defendant, Dravo Basic Materials Co., aboard a dredge vessel called the Avocet that collected clam shells from the bottom of Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana. The plaintiff submitted expert reports from Dr. Robert Harrison and Dr. David Tarin that testified to both general and specific causation. The district court granted Dravo’s Daubert motions and excluded both experts’ specific causation testimony as not “based on sufficient facts or data,” and…
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Georgia Declines to Accept Duty to Warn of Another Manufacturer’s Product Theory Court of Appeals of Georgia October 29, 2019

GEORGIA — In their consolidated appeal, the Court of Appeals of Georgia considered whether the plaintiff, Leisa Davis sufficient evidence to create an issue of fact that her deceased husband, John Davis was exposed to asbestos-containing products manufactured by John Crane, Inc. (JCI) and FMC Corporation (FMC) during his employment at a fiberboard mill. JCI and FMC were both granted summary judgment by the trial court. The plaintiff contends that summary judgment was improper for JCI because she met her burden by showing her husband…
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Summary Judgment Reversed for Gasket Manufacturer, But Affirmed for Pump Manufacturer Court of Appeals of Georgia, October 29, 2019

GEORGIA – Leisa Davis filed suit against the defendants John Crane (JCI) and FMC Corporation (for Peerless pumps hereinafter FMC), alleging her husband developed and passed away from mesothelioma as a result of his asbestos exposure to products for which the defendants were liable. Davis worked at the Louisiana Pacific Corporation fiberboard mill from 1984 to 1988 as a laborer and boiler operator. As a laborer, he swept up dust in the mill and removed gaskets and packing from the boilers, pumps, and valves. Davis…
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Improper Exclusion of Plaintiff’s Affidavit and Testimony Leads to Reversal of Summary Judgment Pennsylvania Superior Court, October 28, 2019

PENNSYLVANIA – The plaintiff, Nicholas Kardos, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in January 2016, and he filed suit against numerous defendants in March of that year. On September 12, 2016, he submitted an affidavit regarding his work at Gulf Research and exposure to asbestos while employed there. He was deposed and cross-examined by numerous defendants over three days in October 2016, and passed away eight days after the last day of testimony. Numerous defendants filed motions for summary judgment. All of the defendants were present at…
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Pump Defendant Granted Summary Judgment Based on Lack of Proximate Exposure United States District Court, W.D. Washington, October 15, 2019

WASHINGTON – In a case extensively covered by the Asbestos Case Tracker, the court granted the summary judgment motion of pump defendant Ingersoll-Rand. Rudie Klopman-Baerselman, the decedent, alleged that he developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos through his work on equipment while he served in the Merchant Marines. As proof of exposure, the plaintiff had produced documents indicating the presence of Ingersoll-Rand pumps and compressors aboard ships on which the decedent served, as well as expert reports opining that he would have…
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Aircraft Manufacturer’s Opposition to Plaintiff’s Attempt to Apply English Law Granted United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division, October 15, 2019

MARYLAND – The plaintiff, Richard Fullen, alleged that he developed mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos during his work as an aircraft mechanic in the United States Air Force from 1994 to 2016. The court ruled on three motions:
  1. Defendant Velan Valves’ unopposed motion for summary judgment
  2. The plaintiff’s motion to strike defendant Lockheed Martin’s fact witness designation
  3. Defendant Lockheed Martin’s motion for a determination of governing law
Both defense motions were granted but the plaintiff’s motion was denied. Regarding the motion to strike, Lockheed had…
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Expert Report Summarizing Exposure to General Products Insufficient to Defeat Pump Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment United States District Court, W.D. Washington, October 9, 2019

WASHINGTON – , A federal court in Washington granted a summary judgment motion brought by pump defendant Air & Liquid Systems Corporation (Buffalo Pump) in a case extensively covered by the Asbestos Case Tracker dealing with Merchant Mariner Rudie Klopman-Baerselman, the decedent  who died of mesothelioma. As proof of exposure, the plaintiff had produced an inspection report for the HMS Ranee from 1943 referencing Buffalo Pump.  The plaintiff also produced an expert report by James Delaney, a navel expert, opining that asbestos-containing thermal insulation would…
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Plaintiff’s Failure to Raise Triable Question of Fact on Causation Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment for Talc Defendant State of New York, Supreme Court, July 22, 2019

NEW YORK – Marsha Madar filed suit against Colgate-Palmolive, alleging she developed perionteal mesothelioma as a result of her use of Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder in the 1970s. It was undisputed that she shared with her mother and sister just two bottles of Cashmere Bouquet. She also recalled using hundreds of bottles of other talcum powder. Colgate moved for summary judgment arguing that:
  1. The talc in its Cashmere Bouquet did not contain asbetsos
  2. There is no general causation as a matter of law, because even

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Court Denies Motion to Dismiss Coverage Action, But Grants Colorado River Abstention United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division, October 2, 2019

OHIO – The William Powell Company, which manufactured asbestos-containing valves and other products, fought a two-front coverage battle with its insurers regarding defense and indemnity for various personal injury cases filed against the company. In Ohio state court, Powell sought a declaratory judgment that it had the right to allocate sums expended to settle various cases, both retrospectively and prospectively. Powell later revised its claims to include breach of contract and a request for money damages. In federal court, Powell filed a lawsuit alleging breach…
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