Summary Judgment Denied as Court Finds Issues of Material Fact in Shipbuilder’s Claim

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, September 23, 2022

In April 2020, Paul Hotard (“decedent”) received a mesothelioma diagnosis despite never handling or working with asbestos-containing materials while employed at the Avondale Shipyards.  While employed, decedent’s duties consisted of handing pipe to the pipefitters and tacking pipe together for a welder to weld.  Nevertheless, decedent brought this action alleging the inhalation of asbestos fibers during vessel construction at Avondale caused his malignant pleural mesothelioma diagnosis.  Mr. Hotard died in September 2021 and his widow …

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Summary Judgment Affirmed for Trailer Manufacturer

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit, September 28, 2022

In this asbestos action, John Brindell (“Brindell”) allegedly contracted mesothelioma as a result of working as a mechanic for Puerto Rico Marine Management, Inc. (“PRMMI”) at the Port of New Orleans. Brindell’s surviving spouse and children (“Plaintiffs”) asserted a wrongful death and survival action against several defendants. Defendant CRA Trailers, Inc. f/k/a Great Dane Trailers, Inc. (“CRA/Great Dane”) moved for summary judgment, arguing that CRA/Great Dane trailers were not present at the Port during Brindell’s …

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Naval Expert’s Testimony Limited on Duty to Warn Issue

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, September 29, 2022

The Callen Cortez (“Plaintiff”) matter has been previously reported by the Asbestos Case Tracker. At current issue is the plaintiff’s motion in limine to exclude the testimony of Dr. Samuel Forman, a former Navy officer and occupational medicine specialist, as his testimony would lack relevancy under Rules 403 and 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence. Plaintiff also argued that the testimony would not “fit” under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals

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Plaintiff unable to provide any legitimate evidence against motions for summary judgment

United States District Court of the District of Nevada, September 19, 2022

The plaintiff commenced this action in early 2020 by filing his Complaint against 13 defendants.  He suffers from mesothelioma and alleged exposure through his father, James Potter.  James Potter served in the United States Air Force as an aircraft mechanic.  He routinely worked on aircraft engines and was responsible for the repair and maintenance of hoses, clamps, grommets, gaskets, fire sleeves, and brakes, among other aircraft components.  The plaintiff alleged these various parts …

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Summary Judgment against Reinsurer Affirmed where Exhaustion and Attachment Point Provisions were Ambiguous

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, September 15, 2022

Fireman’s Fund Ins. Co. v. Onebeacon Ins. Co., 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 25863

            Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company (“Fireman’s Fund”) issued three excess insurance policies to ASARCO, Inc., in 1983 and 1984, which functioned as layers of a coverage tower assembled for ASARCO. Two of the Fireman’s Fund policies provided $20 million in coverage for losses in excess of $30 million, one in 1983 (“policy 1”) and the other in 1984 (“policy 2”). …

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Carpentry Subcontractor Not a ‘Manufacturer’; Obtains Partial Summary Judgment

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, September 8, 2022 

Plaintiff Ora Jean Adams alleges she developed lung cancer from secondhand asbestos exposure from laundering the clothing of her deceased husband. Decedent worked at Avondale in the 1970s as a pipefitter and welder on various vessel construction projects. The plaintiff contends that defendant Hopeman Brothers Inc. was an Avondale subcontractor that performed marine carpentry or “joiner” work while decedent worked at Avondale, and that Hopeman provided both marine carpentry services and the …

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Micarta Manufacturer’s Motion for Summary Judgment against third-party plaintiff Avondale denied

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, September 6, 2022

Plaintiff Ora Adams alleges that her husband, Lional Adams, was exposed to asbestos at defendant, Avondale’s, New Orleans area shipyards in the 1970s while Mr. Adams was employed as a pipefitter and welder. She contends that this work resulted in asbestos dust on his clothing, which Mr. Adams wore home and Ms. Adams would shake out before washing. Ms. Adams alleges that this exposure caused her lung cancer and filed suit against …

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Grant of Summary Judgment Reversed as to Friction Product Manufacturers/Sellers

Court of Appeals of Iowa, August 31, 2022   

Plaintiffs Mary and Paul Fankhauser filed a lawsuit against multiple defendants, including Honeywell International Inc. and Pneumo Abex LLC, alleging that Paul’s mesothelioma was caused by exposure to asbestos-containing products while employed by the Iowa Department of Transportation between 1968 and 2006.   

Honeywell sold asbestos-containing brake linings and brake blocks. Abex manufactured and sold asbestos-containing friction materials and clutch facings. 

Honeywell and Abex filed motions for summary judgment, claiming that Iowa Code section 686B.7(5) “limits …

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Summary Judgment Not Warranted Where Issues of Material Fact Exist on Successor-Liability Issues 

Supreme Court of New York, County of Erie , August 25, 2022

In this asbestos action, plaintiff Eric Cislo alleged take-home exposure to asbestos from his father’s work with Bison boilers from 1969 until the early 1980s.  

Prior to 1969, Farrar and Trefts Inc. manufactured and sold Bison boilers, and underwent “a series of acquisitions, mergers, name changes, and successors,” becoming ADSCO Manufacturing Corp. Soon thereafter, ADSCO Manufacturing Corp. changed its name to Sterlstand Incorporated.  

Following several successive acquisitions, successions, and name changes, ADSCO Manufacturing …

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Intentional Tort and Fraud/Concealment Counts Dismissed for Several Defendants Court

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana , August 24, 2022

The Asbestos Case Tracker continues to cover the Becnel matter, in which the plaintiffs allege James Becnel was exposed to asbestos at the Avondale Shipyards in 1965.   

For purposes of these motions, the plaintiff alleged intentional tort and fraud/concealment counts against the defendants. Recently, several defendants filed for partial summary judgment on these counts the court granted.  

With regard to the intentional tort claim, the plaintiff argued that a …

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