Multiple Motions for Summary Judgment and Affirmative Defenses of Railroad and Auto Parts Manufacturers Denied in Part and Granted in Part

The plaintiff Patrick Jack filed suit against several defendants alleging he contracted mesothelioma from take-home, bystander and direct exposure to asbestos for which the defendants were liable. The plaintiff’s take-home and bystander exposure was alleged from his father’s work at Union Pacific. He also claimed exposure while serving as a machinist in the Naval Reserve and Navy from 1955-1962 and while working as a machinist at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Also, The plaintiff contended that he was exposed to asbestos while working as a …

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Delaware Take-Home Summary Judgment Reversed for Paper Manufacturers

DELAWARE — Decedent Dorothy Ramsey’s husband Robert Ramsey worked as a maintenance worker at Haveg Industries, Inc. from 1967 to 1992, and allegedly handled asbestos products manufactured by defendants Herty and Hollingsworth and Vose (together, the manufacturers) on a regular basis. The plaintiff alleged that Mrs. Ramsey developed her fatal lung cancer from regularly laundering Mr. Ramsey’s clothes which were contaminated with asbestos dust emanating from his use of the manufacturers’ products, among others. The trial court had granted the manufacturers’ summary judgment motions, finding …

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Compressor Manufacturer’s Appeal Denied Based on Finding of Substantial Contribution to Decedent’s Disease

Myra Williams died on August 8, 2013 of complications from malignant mesothelioma. Plaintiff Jimmy Smith, along with his four children, filed suit against several defendants alleging that their products cause Myra’s mesothelioma. Smith alleged that he was exposed to asbestos fibers while working at the Placid Oil Facility in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Smith unknowingly brought fibers and dust home on his clothing after each day of work. Myra would handle and wash Jimmy’s clothing, and sustained what is commonly referred to as bystander asbestos exposure. Ingersoll–Rand …

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No New Facts Alleged in Plaintiff’s Motion for Reargument; Reargument Denied

On February 2, 2017 the Superior Court of Delaware granted defendant Georgia Southern University Advanced Development Center’s (Herty) motion for summary judgment. The plaintiffs since filed a motion for reargument and reconsideration of that order. Dorothy Ramsey alleged that Herty, a manufacturer of an asbestos paper product, negligently failed to warn her of the risks of take-home asbestos exposure due to her husband’s workplace exposure from 1976-80. The plaintiff alleged that Herty’s failure to warn of the danger was a proximate cause of the decedent’s …

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Employer Found to Have Duty to Prevent Reasonably Foreseeable Injuries in Take-Home Exposure Case

Barbara Bobo was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma in 2011. Her husband, James Bobo, worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) from 1975-1997 as a laborer and labor foreman, primarily at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant in Athens, Alabama. Mr. Bobo was previously diagnosed with asbestos-induced lung cancer but passed away from a heart attack in 1997. Mrs. Bobo passed away in 2013 from mesothelioma, and prior to her death, she filed a lawsuit against TVA and eight other defendants alleging “take-home” asbestos exposure, from …

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Summary Judgment Granted to Asbestos Paper Products Manufacturer in Take-Home Exposure Case Based on No Duty to Warn

Plaintiff Dorothy Ramsey, through her estate, alleged that the defendant Georgia Southern University Advanced Development Center (Herty) negligently failed to warn her of the risks of take-home exposure to Herty’s asbestos paper products used at her husband’s work from 1976-80. She alleged this exposure caused her to develop lung cancer. The defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing it did not owe Plaintiff a duty of care. The central issue in this case was whether Price v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. and Riedel

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Summary Judgment Affirmed in Favor of Successor Premises Owner Where Bankruptcy Code Extinguished Claims

Jacqueline and Thomas Wagner filed suit against Standard Steel LLC for Ms. Wagner’s alleged development of mesothelioma as a result of take home exposure from the work clothes of her husband. Mr. Wagner worked as a laborer and crane operator at Freedom Forge from 1970-72. Freedom Forge filed for Chapter 11 protection in 2001. Appellee Standard Steel LLC purchased the sale of Freedom Forge’s assets in 2002. The bankruptcy court confirmed the sale and found: 1) the sale price was fair and reasonable at an …

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Verdict Against Brand Insulation Upheld on Various Grounds, Including that General Negligence Duty of Care Recognized for Take Home Exposure

The trial court found in favor of the plaintiff, finding Brand Insulation, Inc. liable for the mesothelioma suffered by Barbara Brandes due to secondary asbestos exposure from her husband’s work at ARCO. Brand appealed, and the plaintiff appealed the remittitur reducing the damages award from $3.5 million to $2.5 million. The court affirmed the verdict and reversed the remittitur.

Brand was an insulation subcontractor during construction of the ARCO Cherry Point Refinery. At first Brand installed asbestos-free insulation, but later switched to asbestos insulation due …

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No Duty To Warn Third Parties for Take-Home Exposures in Georgia

On November 30, 2016, the Georgia Supreme Court issued a ruling, that affirmed in part and reversed in part, a Georgia Court of Appeals decision, which was previously reported on in the ACT.

For a brief background, the plaintiff, Marcella Fletcher originally filed suit against CertainTeed after being diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma. Fletcher attributed this diagnosis to years of laundering her father’s asbestos dust covered work clothing to which she alleges CertainTeed manufactured the asbestos-laden water pipes that her father had worked with. In …

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Foreseeability of Harm or Relationship Between The Parties: The Difference in Liability for Premise Owners in Take-Home Exposure Cases

Depending on the state, liability of a premise owner in a take-home toxic tort case will hinge either on foreseeability of harm or the relationship of the parties. This distinction is illustrated below in two recent take-home exposure cases, one from New Jersey and one from Arizona.

In the New Jersey case, Schwartz v. Accuratus Corp., 225 N.J. 517, 139 A.3d 84, (N.J. 2016) , the New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the premise liability of a landowner can go beyond the spouse …

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