Plaintiffs’ Motion to Remand Granted as Defendants Failed to Show Fraudulent Joinder

United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, August 31, 2021

In this asbestos action, plaintiffs David and Dorothy Bateman commenced an action alleging that David Bateman developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos from eleven defendants’ products, including Bigham Insulation & Supply Company, Inc., a Florida corporation with a principal place of business in Florida. The plaintiffs filed a Motion to Remand following the defendants’ filing of a Notice of Removal. The plaintiffs argue that the defendants failed to prove that Bigham …

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Court Grants Pump Manufacturer’s MSJ Finding No Evidence Decedent was Exposed to Defendant’s Products

U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, July 16, 2021

The plaintiff filed this personal injury action against multiple defendants in the Superior Court of Delaware asserting claims arising from the decedent’s harmful exposure to asbestos. The plaintiff alleges the decedent developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to defendant Nash Engineering Co.’s (Nash) asbestos-containing products during the decedent’s service as a boiler tender in the United States Navy. The lawsuit was removed to federal court on the basis of the federal officer removal …

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Court Grants Water Heater Defendant’s MSJ Finding Plaintiff Failed to Proffer Sufficient Exposure Evidence

United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, June 17, 2021

Plaintiff sued Defendant Yuba Heat Transfer, LLC and various manufacturers and distributors alleging that decedent developed mesothelioma from exposures to Defendant Yuba’s asbestos-containing products. Plaintiff alleged decedent was exposed to asbestos from Yuba’s feedwater heaters while working at the Niagara Mohawk Power Station. 

Prior to decedent’s passing, he sat for a deposition during which he did not identify Yuba by name or feedwater heaters.  Defendant Yuba filed a motion for summary judgment arguing …

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Court Grants Valve Defendant’s MSJ Finding Plaintiff Failed to Proffer Sufficient Exposure Evidence

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, June 17, 2021

Plaintiff sued Defendant Honeywell Inc. and various manufacturers and distributors alleging that decedent developed mesothelioma from exposures to Defendant Honeywell’s asbestos-containing products. Plaintiff alleged decedent was exposed to asbestos from Honeywell’s controls, valves, and instruments while working at the SM-1 facility in Virginia and PM-1 facility in Wyoming.

Prior to decedent’s passing, he sat for a deposition during which he recalled Honeywell controls and equipment at the SM-1 and PM-1 facility. Defendant Honeywell …

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Study Identifies New Genetic Mutation Linked to Mesothelioma—LRRK2

In a study published on May 18, 2021 in Human Molecular Genetics, researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, along with a team of international researchers, identified another genetic mutation, in addition to BAP1, that may predispose individuals to malignant mesothelioma.

The authors of the study, which was overseen by Joseph R. Testa, PhD, FACMG of the Cancer Signaling and Epigenetics Program at Fox Chase, first recognized that at this point, “[t]here is irrefutable evidence that germline BAP1 mutations contribute to malignant mesothelioma …

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Gaps in Plaintiffs’ Proof Not Enough to Grant Summary Judgment to Valve Manufacturer

Supreme Court of New York, New York County, March 31, 2021

Defendant The William Powell Company filed this instant motion for summary judgment pursuant to CPLR 3212 to dismiss plaintiff’s complaint and all cross-claims, based on the plaintiffs’ alleged failure to make a prima facie showing that plaintiff Nicholas J Esposito, Jr. (the decedent) was actually exposed to fibers released from a product sold, supplied and/or distributed by Powell. The decedent was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer in May 2019 which led to his …

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Zoom Trial Ends With Defense Verdict

Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, September 3, 2020

In one of the first asbestos-related Zoom trials in the country, Honeywell International, Inc., successor in interest to Bendix Corp., won a defense verdict. The plaintiff, Ricardo Ocampo, alleged that he was exposed to asbestos from working as a janitor at various auto dealerships and manufacturing businesses between 1991-1997 and that his exposure caused him to develop mesothelioma.

The jury deliberated for two days before returning the defense verdict.…

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Opposite Outcomes in Recent Removals Based on Diversity Hone in on Status of Remaining Defendants

A string of recent decisions on remand motions illustrates that diversity challenges are alive and well in asbestos litigation. As the landscape of defendants changes as trial approaches, so do the defenses. Whether by settlement or dismissal, the remaining defendant or defendants have taken advantage of diversity issues to remove cases to more favorable federal jurisdictions with stark contrast in results. That contrast should give defendants cause for pause prior to removal.

Recently, in Wieland v. Arvinmeritor, Inc., a brake defendant removed the case …

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New York Federal Court Orders Trial in Asbestos Coverage Dispute

NEW YORK – Utica Mutual Insurance Company and Clearwater Insurance Company, which entered into reinsurance agreements regarding umbrella policies that Utica issued to Goulds Pumps, will go to trial over whether Utica can recover from Clearwater certain defense costs it paid to Goulds in underlying personal injury actions by asbestos claimants.

Utica will be able to recover the costs from Clearwater only if the umbrella policies obligated Utica to pay defense costs to Goulds. Clearwater argued that the umbrella policies provided no such obligation. Specifically, …

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Motion to Remand Denied Despite Disclaimer Regarding Federal Officer Jurisdiction

LOUISIANA – The plaintiff, Terry Bondurant, alleged that his mesothelioma was caused in part by his service as a welder for the United States Navy aboard the USS Ticonderoga, and by his work as an electrician in civilian refineries and chemical plants. The plaintiff brought strict liability failure to warn and design defect claims against defendants GE and Westinghouse and others in Louisiana State Court, but specifically disclaimed “any cause of action for injury caused by exposure on a federal enclave and by any act …

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