Court Recommends Granting Five Defendants’ Motions for Summary Judgment Based on Lack of Substantial Factor Causation United States District Court, D. Delaware, May 15, 2019

DELAWARE – The plaintiff Richard Rogers filed suit against multiple defendants in the Superior Court of Delaware, alleging that his exposure to asbestos caused him to develop mesothelioma; he asserted claims for negligence, punitive damages, and conspiracy. The defendant Foster Wheeler removed the case to the district court pursuant to the federal officer removal statute. Rogers was deposed in April 2018 and the plaintiff offered no other fact or product identification witnesses. Warren Pumps, General Electric, Air & Liquid, Wagner, and Asbestos Corp. subsequently filed…
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Fire-Door Manufacturer’s Affidavit Based Only on Personal Knowledge Not Enough to Overcome Plaintiff’s Decedent’s Testimony About Exposure to Their Product Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York, May 16, 2019

NEW YORK – The defendant Algoma Hardwoods, Inc. filed a motion for summary judgment in the instant matter, contending via an affidavit signed by its principal that it did not sell or distribute asbestos-core fire doors in the New York metropolitan area where the plaintiff’s decedent worked during the relevant time period and therefore he could not have been exposed to their product. The affidavit was based on the principal’s personal knowledge, but was unaccompanied by documentation such as sales records substantiating the averments. The…
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Summary Judgment Granted for Multiple Defendants in Naval Case Based on Failure of Specific Product Identification U.S. District Court, D. Delaware, May 14, 2019

DELAWARE – The plaintiff brought suit against several defendants alleging he developed lung cancer from exposure to asbestos while serving onboard the USS Shangri La and USS Edmonds. The plaintiff passed away prior to giving any deposition testimony. The case was removed to federal court by Crane Co. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The plaintiff’s sole fact witness, John Poggenburg, testified that he worked with the plaintiff onboard the USS Edmonds from October 1961 until July 1962. Poggenburg recalled the plaintiff starting as a…
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Plaintiff’s Failure to Establish Causation Against Pump Defendant Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment U.D. District Court Washington W.D., May 14, 2019

WASHINGTON – The plaintiffs filed suit against several defendants alleging their decedent, Mr. Klopman-Baerselman developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos for which the defendants were liable. The case was removed to federal court. Viking Pump (Viking) moved for summary judgment arguing that the plaintiff could not establish the necessary element of causation. Specifically, Viking argued that the plaintiff had no evidence that he was exposed to a Viking product and therefore he could not prove that Viking’s products were a substantial factor…
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Summary Judgment Granted for Multiple Defendants in W.D. Washington When Plaintiff’s Affidavit Ruled Inadmissible U.S. District Court for the District of Washington, May 6, 2019

WASHINGTON — The plaintiff, Donald Varney, filed suit against numerous defendants alleging exposure to asbestos while working as a marine machinist at shipyards in Washington caused his mesothelioma. The complaint was removed to federal court. One day before he passed, plaintiff signed an affidavit stating that he worked with various defendants’ products or products supplied by the defendants, including those of defendants Crosby Valves, Goodyear Tire and Rubber, Foster Wheeler, Air and Liquid Systems, Weir Valves and John Crane, Inc. The plaintiff was not deposed…
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Sale Transaction Documents Obviate Need for Policy Interpretation Oregon Court of Appeals, May 8, 2019

OREGON – The plaintiff Allianz Global Risks US Ins. Co. defended and indemnified its insured, Daimler Trucks North America LLC, as successor to Freightliner, in three CERCLA cases and more than 1,500 asbestos personal injury cases. It then brought suit seeking contribution against several insurance companies that had issued insurance policies to Con-way, Inc., the former parent company of Freightliner, for policy years that were implicated in the underlying asbestos actions. The trial court ruled in favor of the defendants on several policy interpretation issues,…
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Boiler Manufacturer’s Affirmative Defenses of Sophisticated User and Superseding Cause Dismissed on Summary Judgment United States District Court, D. Maryland, April 29, 2019

MARYLAND — The plaintiff brought suit against several defendants including Foster Wheeler alleging her decedent, Mr. Morris, developed and passed from mesothelioma as a result of his occupational exposure to asbestos while working at Bethlehem Steel Sparrows Point Shipyard from 1948-1970’s. Foster Wheeler asserted various defenses in its amended answer including the defenses of sophisticated user and superseding cause. The plaintiff moved for summary judgment on those two defenses. The court started its analysis by noting the standard for summary judgment. Summary judgment is appropriate…
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Court Partially Grants Two Defendants’ Motions for Summary Judgment Based on Expiration of Statute of Limitations Under Washington Law U.S. District Court of Washington W.D, April 18, 2019

WASHINGTON — In Deem v. Air & Liquid Systems Corporation, et al., the United States District Court of the Western District of Washington recently ruled on two defendants’ motions for summary judgment. This case involved Thomas A. Deem (Mr. Deem), who worked at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard from 1974 to 1981 as an apprentice and journeyman, and alleged asbestos exposure from 1974 through 1979. Mr. Deem was diagnosed with mesothelioma in February 2015, and died in July 2015. In November 2017, Mr. Deem’s wife…
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Union Carbide Obtains Summary Judgment Due to Speculative Evidence Superior Court of Delaware, April 24, 2019

DELAWARE — The plaintiff, Jane Rowland, alleged she developed mesothelioma from washing her husband’s clothes. Her husband performed home remodeling projects in Ohio in the 1970s using Georgia-Pacific joint compound. the plaintiff alleged that Union Carbide was responsible for her injuries because it supplied asbestos to Georgia-Pacific for use in its joint compound. Specifically, Union Carbide supplied Calidria asbestos to Georgia-Pacific. The plaintiff argued in opposition to Union Carbide’s Motion for summary judgment that there was evidence that Georgia-Pacific’s Chicago plant distributed to the Midwest,…
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Plaintiff’s Failure to Establish Worksite Control Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment in Premises Liability Case” Superior Court of Delaware, April 18, 2019

DELAWARE — The plaintiff Werner Rath brought suit against several premise defendants including Delmarva Power and Light, Four Star Oil and Gas Company, Texaco, Inc. and Sunoco (defendants) alleging exposure to asbestos while working for Catalytic at worksites owned by the defendants. Specifically, Mr. Rath alleged exposure to asbestos from other trades working around him while he built and dismantled scaffolding at the different sites. The other trades were also employed by Catalytic. Relying on several precedent cases, the defendants moved for summary judgment arguing…
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