South Carolina Workers Compensation Statute of Repose Bars Claims for Latent Asbestos Diseases United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division. November 13, 2018

SOUTH CAROLINA — A federal court in South Carolina granted the summary judgment motion of defendant E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont) on the theory that DuPont was a statutory employer, and South Carolina Workers Compensation law provided the exclusive remedy for the plaintiff.  For at least two years in the 1960s, decedent Jerry Matthews worked as an insulator for Armstrong Contracting & Supply Company at DuPont facilities in South Carolina, where he alleged he was exposed to asbestos insulation that caused his…
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Submission of Conflicting Expert Reports Leads to Denial of Summary Judgment in Talcum Powder Case

The plaintiff Donna Olson filed suit against the defendants Johnson and Johnson and Johnson and Johnson Consumer Inc. (defendants) alleging she developed pleural mesothelioma as a result of exposure to cosmetic talcum powder, including baby powder and Shower to Shower from 1953-2015. Additionally, the plaintiff claimed exposure from her mother’s application of the same. Ms. Olson stated in deposition testimony that there were no warnings. However, she conceded that she heard about a “possible link to ovarian cancer” in 2015. The defendants moved for summary…
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Apparent Manufacturer Theory of Liability Upheld for Subsidiary Insulation Cement Manufacturer Washington Supreme Court, November 1, 2018

WASHINGTON – In a case of first impression, the Washington Supreme Court adopted Section 400 of the Restatement (Second) Torts, recognizing a manufacturer’s liability for claims arising prior to the 1981 Product Liability and Tort Reform Act, and assessing such liability by applying the objective reliance test, which requires viewing all of a defendant’s relevant representations from the perspective of the ordinary, reasonable consumer, finding that a Court of Appeals Panel had erred in holding that objective reliance be judged only from the perspective of…
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Lack of Successor Liability Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment for Shipping Defendant United States District Court, W.D. Washington. October 25, 2018

WASHINGTON — The plaintiffs filed suit against Maersk Line alleging their decedent, Mr. Klopman-Baerselman, was exposed to asbestos from 1955-1959 while working as a merchant marine onboard the Rotterdam Lloyd. The plaintiffs named Maersk as a successor in interest to the Royal Rotterdam Lloyd. The defendant moved for summary judgment arguing that it had no connection to the Rotterdam Lloyd. The plaintiff sought discovery including the deposition of Defendant’s corporate representative Steven Hadder. In the meantime, The defendants removed the case and Maersk moved for…
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Applying Washington Law to Summary Judgment Based on Government Contractor Defense for Pump Manufacturer Results in Denial of Motion United States District Court, Western District of Washington, October 9, 2018

WASHINGTON –The court ruled on competing motions for summary judgment from the plaintiff Alice Mikelsen and the defendant Warren Pumps in this case involving allegations that Arthur Mikelsen developed mesothelioma from working around Warren Pumps in the machine shop at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard from 1942 to 1980.  The plaintiff challenged six of Warren Pumps’ affirmative defenses; the court granted five of the six, eliminating the defenses of failure to mitigate, contributory negligence, assumption of risk, sophisticated purchaser, and intervening/superseding cause.  The court denied summary…
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Lack of Exposure Evidence Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment for Railroad Defendant U.S. District Courtm D. Idaho, October 1, 2018

IDAHO — The plaintiffs filed suit against Union Pacific Railroad (Union Pacific) alleging that Rollie Stephens had brought asbestos home on his work clothes which caused his son, William, to develop mesothelioma. Specifically, the plaintiffs argued that Rollie Stephens was exposed to asbestos from his work at the Weiser roundhouse working on steam locomotives that contained insulation. Union Pacific moved for judgment as a matter of law. The plaintiff moved for summary judgment as to affirmative defenses. The court began its analysis with the standard…
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Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment in Talc Case Granted Based Upon Lack of Causation Evidence U.S.D.C. for the Southern District of Georgia, September 28, 2018

GEORGIA — The plaintiff, Sharon Hanson, used Colgate Palmolive’s Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder product for 12 years, from 1961 to 1973. She was later diagnosed with both ovarian cancer and mesothelioma, and passed in April 2018. On September 15, 2017, Colgate moved for summary judgment and also later filed Daubert motions to preclude plaintiff’s four causation experts. On September 24, 2018, the court entered an order excluding the opinions of each of those experts. Colgate’s motion for summary judgment argued that 1) the plaintiff had…
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Plaintiffs’ Causation Experts Stricken Under Daubert; Defendants’ Motions for Summary Judgment Granted United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, September 25, 2018

FLORIDA — The plaintiff’s Decedent Richard Doolin was diagnosed with mesothelioma in June of 2013 and passed away as a result on June 22, 2014. The plaintiff Stacey Doolin filed suit against multiple companies, alleging that Richard was exposed to asbestos when visiting his father’s automotive workshop as a child. The plaintiff further alleged that Richard did shadetree automotive work throughout his life that also exposed him to asbestos.  The last remaining defendants were Ford Motor Company (Ford) and Pneumo Abex LLC (Abex). Ford and…
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Summary Judgment Denied With Respect to Valve and Pump Exposure U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, September 21, 2018

NORTH CAROLINA — The plaintiff, Wade Gore, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in May 2015 and filed suit a month later. He alleged asbestos exposure while working at a DuPont plant in Leland, North Carolina. Gore worked as an insulator, with pipes, pumps and valves from approximately 1975 to the 1980s. He was allegedly exposed to asbestos from gaskets, pumps, valves and packing. Numerous defendants filed motions for summary judgment based upon a purported lack of evidence of exposure. With respect to defendant Powell, the court…
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Multiple Motions for Summary Judgment and Affirmative Defenses of Railroad and Auto Parts Manufacturers Denied in Part and Granted in Part United States District Court, W.D. Washington. September 17, 2018

The plaintiff Patrick Jack filed suit against several defendants alleging he contracted mesothelioma from take-home, bystander and direct exposure to asbestos for which the defendants were liable. The plaintiff’s take-home and bystander exposure was alleged from his father’s work at Union Pacific. He also claimed exposure while serving as a machinist in the Naval Reserve and Navy from 1955-1962 and while working as a machinist at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Also, The plaintiff contended that he was exposed to asbestos while working as a…
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