Various Defendants Summary Judgment Motions Upheld on Appeal Due to Statute of Repose

Court of Appeals of Washington

Cindy Maxwell, the personal representative of the Estate of Edmond Brown, and Marilou Brown (collectively the Browns) appeal the trial court’s order granting summary judgment in favor of Parsons Government Services, Inc. (Parsons) and Brand Insulations, Inc. (Brand). This action arises from Edmond’s alleged exposure to asbestos between 1971 and 1972 during the construction of Atlantic Richfield Corporation’s (ARCO) petroleum refinery at Cherry Point in Ferndale. Parsons was the general contractor who constructed the Cherry Point refinery and Brand was …

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Third-Party Defendant Not Responsible for Indemnifying Brake Supplier Prior to Existence

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, Owensboro Division, November 12, 2020

Plaintiff Jack Papineau was employed by Smith Coal from 1984 to 1992. In his complaint against multiple defendants, including Brake Supply, he alleged that he contracted mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos-containing friction products during his employment at Smith Coal. The plaintiff alleged that Brake Supply purchased friction products from suppliers and resold the products by either using the products to reline brakes or reselling parts.

Brake Supply filed a Third-Party Complaint and …

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American Oil Company Defendants Had No Control Over Iranian Oil Company, Summary Judgment Upheld on Appeal

Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, Division Seven, October 28, 2020

Houshang Sabetian and his wife, Soraya, (the plaintiffs) filed this action on March 28, 2018 alleging causes of action for negligence, strict liability, premises liability, negligent joint venture, alter ego, and loss of consortium. The complaint alleged Houshang contracted mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos while he was an Iranian citizen working for the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) from about 1960 to 1979. The complaint further alleged the Chevron and Exxon defendants …

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Boiler Manufacturer Granted Summary Judgment Based on Lack of Product Nexus

Superior Court of Rhode Island, Providence, October 27, 2020

The decedent, Gerard Wallace, and his wife, Ruth (the plaintiff) filed a complaint on November 16, 2016 after the decedent was diagnosed with mesothelioma in September 2016. The plaintiff alleged that the decedent worked as a plumbing-heating installer-repairer from 1949 to 1985. Specifically, the plaintiff argued while the decedent worked in Maine, Crane Co. (the defendant) boilers exposed him to asbestos. Due to the exposures occurring in Maine, the parties agreed that Maine substantive law should …

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Summary Judgment Awarded to Pipe Insulation Company Under Lohrmann Test

U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, Columbia Division, October 26, 2020

The plaintiff alleged that the decedent, Paul Cruise, was exposed to asbestos-containing products while serving as a boiler tender in the United States Navy, and while working as an electrician at various industrial facilities from 1965 to 1980. The defendant, Covil Corporation, moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff could not show evidence of the decedent’s exposure to a Covil product. The allegations against Covil arose from Mr. Cruise’s work …

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Pump Manufacturer Granted Partial Summary Judgment in Maritime Case; Plaintiff’s Motion Denied

U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

The plaintiff, Christopher Clarke, alleged he was diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of his alleged exposure to asbestos while serving as a Machinist Mate for the United States Navy from 1962 to 1981. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that he was exposed to asbestos from replacing gaskets and packing on pumps manufactured by the defendant, Warren Pumps, LLC on numerous ships and submarines. The plaintiff moved for partial summary judgment on Warren’s general contractor defense, and …

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Federal Workers’ Compensation Statute Preempts Plaintiff’s Negligence Claims; Shipyard Defendants Win Summary Judgment

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, October 14, 2020

This case arises out of plaintiff William Hulin, Sr.’s exposure to asbestos when he worked as a ship fitter, laborer, and tacker for Avondale from January 1954 to May 1973. In July 2019, the plaintiff was diagnosed with lung cancer. He sued a number of defendants, including the Avondale Interests, in state court on November 12, 2019. The case was removed to district court on March 17, 2020. The plaintiff alleged only negligence …

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Plaintiff’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment Re-Affirmed as to Defendants’ Affirmative Defenses

Court of Appeals of Georgia, Fourth Division

Defendants Pneumo Abex, LLC and Genuine Parts Company appeal the trial court’s partial grant of summary judgment to Sheila Long, individually and as personal representative of her late husband’s estate. Long alleged that her husband Ron died from lung cancer as a result of exposure to asbestos contained in certain products. Long sought summary judgment on affirmative defenses that she anticipated the appellants might pursue. Now, the appellants argue that the trial court erred in granting summary judgment to …

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Manufacturer and Distributer of Raw Asbestos Wins Summary Judgment under Sophisticated User Defense

Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle, September 28, 2020

Plaintiffs Deforest Gibbs and Sherryl L. Gibb asserted claims against multiple defendants, including Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), alleging Mr. Gibbs suffers from mesothelioma as a result of occupational asbestos exposure. Mr. Gibbs worked as a laborer, plumber, and shade tree mechanic for 50 years in South Carolina. He allegedly suffered exposure to asbestos by working with HVAC equipment, hot water heaters, electrical products, valves, drywall, sheetrock, joint compound, caulk, roofing materials, and flooring products.

From 1963 to 1985, UCC manufactured …

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Pump Manufacturers’ Motions for Summary Judgment Denied in Navy Exposure Case

U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, September 23, 2020

On July 26, 2018, John Pruitt (the plaintiff) sued multiple defendants asserting claims arising from his alleged exposure to asbestos. The plaintiff alleged he developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos-containing materials during his service as a machinist mate in the United States Navy and as a parts purchaser at Schroer Implement Co. He was deposed in August 2018. In addition to the plaintiff’s testimony, a fact witness, Edmond Dumas, provided testimony …

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