Premises Owner Obtains Summary Judgment Based on Lack of Vicarious, Strict, and Direct Liability

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, July 6, 2020

In Lopez v. McDermott, Inc., pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Exxon Mobil moved for summary judgment. In the operative complaint, the plaintiffs allege that Mr. Lopez (the plaintiff) was exposed to asbestos-containing products while employed as a welder/pipefitter at Kellogg Brown & Root between 1973 and 1986, which caused him to develop malignant mesothelioma. With regard to Exxon, the plaintiffs’ claims against them sounded in …

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Summary Judgment Upheld for Brake Manufacturer Based on Statute of Limitations

Supreme Court of Minnesota, July 1, 2020

In 2009, Gary Palmer’s (the decedent) pulmonologist informed him that he had calcium deposits on his lungs due to asbestos exposure. On December 24, 2011, the decedent was diagnosed with mesothelioma and in January 2012, he learned that asbestos exposure had caused his mesothelioma. The decedent passed away on March 1, 2015.

On February 23, 2018, Appellant, Deborah Palmer, filed this action against Honeywell International (the manufacturer of Bendix brakes) (Bendix) under Minn. Stat. § 573.02, subd. 3 (2018).

The appellant alleged the decedent …

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Summary Judgment Reversed in Drywall/Joint Compound Matter

Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, Division Seven, June 24, 2020

In December 2011, the plaintiff, Jovana Collantes, and the decedent, Joel Hernandezcueva, filed a lawsuit against numerous defendants arising from the decedent’s alleged exposure to asbestos while employed as a janitor at a large complex occupied by Fluor Corporation (the Fluor Complex) from 1992 to 1995 (the December 2011 action). The plaintiff and the decedent alleged the decedent inhaled drywall debris containing asbestos. The December 2011 action went to trial in September 2013 against …

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Electrical Manufacturers Motion for Summary Judgment Based on Cigarette Warning Labels Denied as Speculative

Supreme Court of New York, New York County

Plaintiffs brought the instant action alleging the decedent, Thomas Fahey, was exposed to asbestos from his work in a variety of ways including his work with transformers and electric panels. Specifically, it is alleged that the defendants’ electrical panels and transformers were insulated with asbestos materials or contained asbestos wrapped rope from about 1980 through 2015 while the decedent was employed as an apprentice and union electrician with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local #3 from …

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Motion for Summary Judgment Denied for Fireproofing Contractor at World Trade Center

Supreme Court of New York, New York County

The plaintiff alleged that Arthur Shanahan (the decedent) was exposed to asbestos while employed as a carpenter at various commercial, residential, and industrial sites in Manhattan from approximately 1982 to 2016. During this time, the decedent worked at the World Trade Center framing walls where it is alleged he removed asbestos-containing fireproofing spray that had been previously applied on the ceilings. He removed the fireproofing spray with a claw hammer and then swept the dust off the …

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No Actionable Asbestos Exposure Attributed to Electrical and Contractor Defendants

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, May 21, 2020

Plaintiffs Larry and Anne Woolard filed the instant lawsuit against 14 separate defendants, alleging that exposure to their asbestos-containing products and equipment while Mr. Woolard worked as an HVAC apprentice, mechanic, and supervisor at Weyerhaeuser Paper Mill caused him to develop mesothelioma. After the close of discovery, four defendants filed for Summary Judgment: Fisher Controls International, LLC; Schneider Electric Systems, USA, Inc.; Chicago Bridge and Iron Company; and Chicago Bridge and Iron …

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Pump Manufacturer’s Partial Motion for Summary Judgment Denied Under Jones Act

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana

The plaintiffs alleged that James T. McAllister (the decedent) was exposed to asbestos while working as a machinist mate aboard various vessels while serving in the United States Navy. The plaintiffs claim the decedent was exposed to asbestos from a variety of products including pumps manufactured by Nash while working in engine rooms on submarines. The decedent passed away from mesothelioma and his surviving spouse and sons seek damages for the decedent’s pre-death pain and suffering, …

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North Carolina District Court Grants Summary Judgment to Six Defendants on Causation Grounds

The plaintiffs alleged that the decedent, James T. Whitehead, was diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of his alleged exposures to asbestos from working with and around a myriad of products and equipment over the course of his career as a sheet metal and maintenance mechanic. Mr. Whitehead was not deposed prior to his death, so the plaintiffs intended to rely primarily on testimony from individuals who worked alongside him in order to identify the products and equipment to which he was allegedly exposed. The …

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Johns Manville Cannot be a Joint Tortfeasor Without Filing a Bankruptcy Trust Claim

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, May 13, 2020

The plaintiffs alleged that Cary Gomez (decedent) contracted and died from mesothelioma as a result of take home exposure to asbestos through the decedent’s father’s work at Avondale Shipyards in the 1960s. The decedent was also allegedly exposed to asbestos through his own work as a plumber with Aardvark Contractors, Inc. from 1988 to 2011. The plaintiffs also named Wayne Manufacturing Company as a defendant, alleging that the company “manufactured and distributed asbestos …

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Louisiana District Court Denies Summary Judgment on Plaintiffs’ Intentional Tort, Fraud, and Concealment Claims

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, April 27, 2020

The plaintiffs alleged the decedent, Callen L. Dempster was exposed to asbestos and asbestos-containing products while employed at the Avondale Shipyards from 1962 to 1994. Defendant Huntington Ingalls Incorporation (f/k/a Avondale Shipyards, Inc.) (Avondale) moved for partial summary judgment on the plaintiffs’ intentional tort, fraud, and concealment claims, arguing the plaintiffs could not show that Avondale either consciously desired the decedent contract lung cancer, or knew that his lung cancer was substantially certain …

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