California Appellate Court Upholds Defendants’ Summary Judgment Based Upon Appellants’ Failure to Create a Triable Issue of Material Fact

CALIFORNIA – In July 2016, Ann Patrice Gibbons, the plaintiff/appellant, was diagnosed with mesothelioma. A lawsuit was filed by the appellant and her husband in December 2016, alleging the appellant’s exposure to asbestos through her own use, from 1980 to 2000, of Shower to Shower talcum powder manufactured by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. (JJCI), as well as take-home exposure from the appellant’s current and former spouses, who worked in the construction industry from 1981 to 2000.

JJCI, along with their supplier of talc, Imerys …

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Defendants Win Locomotive Inspection Act Preemption Argument on Summary Judgment Motion in Pennsylvania

PENNSYLVANIA – A personal injury lawsuit was filed in the court of common pleas of Philadelphia County in April 2016 on behalf of the decedent, Diane Shields. Thereafter, it was removed to federal court. The complaint alleged common law causes of action for negligence, wrongful death and survivorship claims due to the decedent’s exposure to asbestos through her employment at the Motor Coils Manufacturing Company in Braddock, PA.

The decedent worked as a laborer at Motor Coils where she cleaned pinion gears as part of …

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Lack of Admissible Evidence Against General Electric Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment in Maritime Meso Case

CONNECTICUT – The Carlson’s brought suit against several defendants including General Electric (GE) alleging that Kurt Carlson developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to the defendants’ asbestos-containing products while working as a radiological control technician for General Dynamics/Electric Boat Corp. from 1973-1974. The plaintiffs provided answers to interrogatories to GE. The answers did not list GE as the plaintiff’s employer or as a product to which he was exposed. The plaintiff was also deposed and did not name GE as a product to which …

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Plaintiffs’ Civil Conspiracy Claims Fail Due to Established Illinois Precedent

ILLINOIS — In John Jones et al. v. Pneumo-Abex LLC, et al., the Supreme Court of Illinois ruled on consolidated appeals of Owens-Illinois, Inc. and Pneumo Abex LLC regarding conspiracy claims related to suppressing information about the dangers of asbestos. Approximately 20 years ago, this court held that jury verdicts entered against Owens Corning and Owens-Illinois based on claims of civil conspiracy could not stand and that those defendants were entitled to judgment as a matter of law. The appellate court reached the same …

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Insurer’s Claim for Reimbursement Misses Pleading Deadline

MINNESOTA – The Continental Insurance Company sold general liability policies to McQuay-Perfex, Inc., a company that manufactured and sold products containing asbestos. McQuay-Perfex went through a series of mergers and name changes throughout its history, leaving Daikin Applied Americas, Inc. as its successor by merger. Daikin was named the defendant in a series of asbestos suits, and it tendered the suits to Continental. Continental provided a defense subject to a reservation of rights and filed a separate declaratory judgment action to determine coverage.

In August, …

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Application of Seven Lockwood Factors Creates Issues of Material Fact; Summary Judgment on Product Liability Claim Denied

WASHINGTON – The latest development in a case extensively covered by Asbestos Case Tracker finds the Western District of Washington denying defendant Pneumo Abex LLC’s motion for summary judgment.

This matter was filed on behalf of the decedent, Rudie Klopman-Baerselman, in the Pierce County Superior Court on October 27, 2017 and removed to United States District Court. The plaintiff alleged that the decedent was exposed to asbestos through his maintenance work on vehicles, including friction work, from approximately 1966 to 1997, as well as through …

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Reversal of Summary Judgment for U.S. Steel on Maritime Claims

OHIO – Edward Shaffer was allegedly exposed to asbestos while working in the boiler room of multiple vessels while serving as a merchant marine employed by the Pittsburgh Steamship Division of U.S. Steel, from 1960 to 1961. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2016 and subsequently filed suit against 23 defendants, including U.S. Steel. That defendant moved for summary judgment on the plaintiff’s third amended complaint addressing the Jones Act and unseaworthiness claims. The motion was granted, and the plaintiff appealed.

The plaintiff asserted three …

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Court Grants Summary Judgment for Valve Manufacturer due to Plaintiff’s Failure to Establish Causation

WASHINGTON – In a case extensively covered by the Asbestos Case Tracker, the court granted the summary judgment motion of defendant, Crosby Valve LLC. The decedent, Rudie Klopman- Baerselman, alleged that he developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos through his work as a merchant mariner aboard several vessels. The defendant argued that there was no evidence that the decedent was exposed to asbestos from a Crosby valve and that there is no evidence that asbestos from a Crosby Valve product was …

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Summary Judgment Granted for Cleaver-Brooks in Shipyard Case

WASHINGTON – The plaintiff’s decedent, Thomas Deem, worked at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard from 1974 to 1981. Two of Deem’s co-workers testified that he was exposed to asbestos while working around pumps, valves, turbines, compressors, steam traps, and other equipment on various ships as a marine machinist. Cleaver-Brooks filed a motion for summary judgment under maritime law because the plaintiff’s claim for wrongful death under Washington law was previously dismissed as time-barred.

Under maritime law, the plaintiff must show that the decedent was actually …

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Plaintiff’s Claims Time Barred Against Defendant After Expiration of Tolling Agreement

NEW YORK – The defendant Union Carbide Company (UCC) entered into a tolling agreement with the plaintiff’s former counsel that terminated on December 31, 2009. The plaintiff filed the instant matter on July 30, 2013, well after the two year deadline for filing a wrongful death action and three year deadline for filing a personal injury action based on exposure to asbestos. UCC filed for summary judgment based on those facts, which the trial court granted.

The plaintiff’s appeal centered on the argument that the …

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