Naval Contractor’s Summary Judgment Win Overturned on Appeal Court of Appeal, First District, Division 5, California, June 26, 2019

CALIFORNIA – Yesterday, a three-judge panel reversed a California trial court’s grant of summary judgement for the defendant, Triple A Machine Shop (Triple A), Inc., and remanded the matter to the trial court for further determination of Triple A’s arguments in support of summary adjudication. The decedent, Michael Harris, sued Triple A, among others, and alleged that their subcontracted work overhauling the USS San Jose in San Francisco for over three months in 1973 disturbed asbestos and contributed to the development of his mesothelioma. The…
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Summary Judgment Granted Based on Prior Order United States District Court, W.D. Washington, June 10, 2019

WASHINGTON – The plaintiff, Sherri Deem, filed suit on behalf of herself and the estate of her husband, Thomas Deem, alleging that his exposure to asbestos as a machinist at the Puget Sound Naval Yard caused him to develop mesothelioma. Thomas Deem passed away on July 2, 2015 and Sherri Deem filed suit on November 20, 2017 against certain defendants, not including Cleaver-Brooks, and filed a nearly identical suit on June 28, 2018 against 23 other companies, including Cleaver-Brooks. The cases were consolidated for the…
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Shipyard Defendant Obtains Summary Judgment as to Whether Certain Prior Asbestosis Releases Apply to Future Mesothelioma Claim U.S. District Court, E.D. Louisiana, June 10, 2019

LOUISIANA – The family of Joseph Savoie, Jr. filed suit against multiple defendants alleging he passed away from mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos while working at Avondale Shipyards from 1948-1995. Savoie was originally diagnosed with asbestosis in 1990 and settled with several defendants. Years later, he developed mesothelioma. Avondale sought summary judgment on the issue of whether the plaintiff released his future claim for mesothelioma with respect to eight entities with whom he previously settled in his asbestosis action. Avondale’s reasoning for…
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Court of Appeals of New York Rejects Argument that Coke Ovens Are not Products For Purposes of Strict Liability Court of Appeals of New York, June 11, 2019

NEW YORK – The plaintiff, Donald Terwilliger, brought an asbestos suit against multiple defendants. The complaint included a count that Honeywell, as successor in interest to the Wilputte Coke Oven Division of the Allied Chemical Corporation (Honeywell), was strictly liable for emissions coming from its coke ovens at Bethlehem Steel’s Lackawanna Plant in New York. Specifically, Terwilliger alleged that he was exposed to the coke oven emissions while working as a lid man from 1966-1993. He passed away from lung cancer in 2012. At the…
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Steam Trap Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment and Motion to Exclude Evidence Denied United States District Court, W.D. Washington, June 7, 2019

WASHINGTON – As recently reported on the Asbestos Case Tracker on May 22 and May 28, 2019, in Varney v. Air & Liquid Systems Corporation, et al., the court ruled on several of the defendants’ motions for summary judgment. The plaintiff, Donald Varney, filed suit against numerous defendants alleging exposure to asbestos while working as a marine machinist at multiple shipyards in Washington as well as personal and secondary exposure from automotive work caused his mesothelioma. The complaint was removed to federal court. The court…
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Additional Defendants’ Motions for Summary Judgment Granted Where Plaintiff’s Affidavit and Related Expert Testimony Ruled Inadmissible United States District Court, W.D. Washington, at Tacoma, May 22, 2019

WASHINGTON – As reported on the Asbestos Case Tracker on May 6, 2019, in Varney v. Air & Liquid Systems Corporation, et al., the court ruled on several defendants’ motions for summary judgment. The plaintiff, Donald Varney, filed suit against numerous defendants alleging exposure to asbestos while working as a marine machinist at multiple shipyards in Washington caused his mesothelioma. The complaint was removed to federal court. One day before he passed away, the plaintiff signed an affidavit stating that he worked with various defendants’…
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Court Reverses Grant of Summary Judgment for Two Fire Door Manufacturers Superior Court of Pennsylvania, May 22, 2019

PENNSYLVANIA – In Lamson v. Georgia-Pacific LLC f/k/a Georgia Pacific Corporation, Individually and as Successor-in-Interest to Bestwall Gypsum Company, et al., the Superior Court of Pennsylvania recently reviewed the plaintiff’s (appellant) appeal from an order granting summary judgment to two defendants (appellees) in the case. The trial court had concluded that the appellant failed to demonstrate that he was exposed to asbestos from fire doors manufactured by the appellees. The superior court, held that the appellant submitted sufficient evidence to create a genuine issue…
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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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