Numerous Entries of Summary Judgment Reversed in Consolidated Appeal Court of Appeals of Tennessee, July 22, 2019

TENNESSEE – The plaintiff Donald Coffman worked at the Tennessee Eastman chemical plant from 1968 until 1997, mostly as a mechanic. In that capacity, he was responsible for repairing and replacing pumps, valves, steam traps and piping. Repairs were quite frequent due to the corrosive nature of the acid being used at the plant. The plaintiff developed mesothelioma and sued an insulation contractor, Daniel International Corp., along with a number of equipment and product manufacturers, claiming exposure to asbestos from insulation, gaskets and packing. All…
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Lack of Specific Identification of Exposure Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment for Pump Manufacturer in Naval Case U.S. District Court of Delaware, July 15, 2019

DELAWARE – The plaintiff Hickman filed suit against several defendants including Air & Liquid Systems Corp. for its line of Buffalo pumps arguing that he developed asbestosis and asbestos related pleural disease as a result of his work with the defendants’ products while working onboard several ships in the United States Navy. Specifically, the plaintiff worked as a fireman onboard multiple naval ships from 1963- 1986. His work led him to encounter a variety of equipment and products including pumps, valves, generators, and insulation. A…
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Gaps in Plaintiff’s Proof Not Enough to Warrant Summary Judgment Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York, July 11, 2019

NEW YORK – The first department unanimously affirmed the lower court’s denial of the defendant Harris Corporation’s (Harris) motion for summary judgment in NYCAL. The first department concluded that, when viewing evidence in light most favorable to the plaintiff Leonard Carriero, Harris failed to establish prima facie entitlement to summary judgment. Specifically, instead of submitting evidence as to why the plaintiff’s claims were insufficient, Harris “merely point[ed] to perceived gaps in plaintiff’s proof …”…
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After Multiple Re-Filings Summary Judgment Reversed on Multiple Grounds Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Summit County, June 28, 2019

OHIO – The decedent Garry Blakely was employed at Aerospace, a division of the defendant Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, which contained sub-divisions that manufactured aircraft brake assemblies. The decedent worked in the wheel and brake division, where he drilled, shaped, and incorporated linings into brake assemblies. Upon his diagnosis of mesothelioma in 2014, the decedent sued multiple defendants, including Goodyear. Goodyear moved for summary judgment on product liability, supplier liability, and premises liability, which the trial court granted in full, but prior to the…
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Failure to Provide Expert Evidence in Conjunction with Exposure Testimony Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment United States District Court, District of Connecticut July 1, 2019

CONNECTICUT – The plaintiff alleged that the decedent, James Schmidt, was exposed to asbestos during the course of his various careers. The defendant CNH Industrial America (CNH) moved for summary judgement, which was denied on the basis of decedent’s deposition testimony that he worked on asbestos-containing bulldozers and excavators CNH moved for reconsideration, and summary judgement was granted. CNH argued that the deposition testimony was inadmissible and the plaintiff lacked the expert evidence required to carry her burden of proof under the Connecticut Product Liability…
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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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