Summary Judgment Granted to Employer Under Washington Industrial Insurance Act

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, March 16, 2020

WASHINGTON – On March 16, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington granted summary judgment to defendant, Alcoa, holding that the plaintiff’s claims were barred by the Washington Industrial Insurance Act (WIIA). The plaintiff, Clinton Casey, worked as a utility laborer and pot tender for Alcoa Wenatchee Works, an aluminum manufacturing facility, from 1973 to 2005. He alleged that during this time he was exposed to asbestos from other …

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Federal Court Declines to Exclude Testimony of Certified Industrial Hygienist

WASHINGTON – In the matter of Jill Diane Clayton v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington denied the plaintiff’s motion to exclude the expert testimony of Certified Industrial Hygienist, Kyle Dotson, finding that Dotson’s testimony was both relevant and reliable under Federal Rule of Evidence 702. The plaintiff alleged that the decedent, William Richard Clayton, was exposed to asbestos while serving aboard the United States Navy ship, the U.S.S. Badger, in …

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Covenant Judgment Found Reasonable Despite Challenge by Insurer

WASHINGTON – United States Fidelity & Guarantee (USF&G) intervened in a recent mesothelioma matter arguing that a covenant judgment entered at the trial level was unreasonable. By way of background, the plaintiffs, Robert and Karen Ulbricht, and their children sought damages from several defendants, including PM Northwest for Robert Ulbricht’s alleged development of mesothelioma. Ulbricht alleged exposure to asbestos while working at the Texaco Oil Refinery in Anacortes, Washington from 1973-1999. PM was alleged to have been the maintenance contractor at the site. However, PM …

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Multiple Defendants Granted Summary Judgment in Maritime Action on Lack of Causation

WASHINGTON – The plaintiffs filed suit against multiple defendants, including Foster Wheeler Energy Corporation, Warren Pumps, and Air & Liquid Systems Corporation, alleging that their decedent, Deem, developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos-containing products while working as a machinist at the Puget Naval Shipyard from 1974-1981. Two co-workers testified as to work performed at the shipyard. Work included repairs on lots of equipment including valves, pumps, catapults, distilling plants, turbines, compressors, and steam traps. Additional tasks included removal of old flange gaskets, …

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Summary Judgment Denied to Honeywell and Granted to Foster Wheeler under Washington Law

WASHINGTON – On December 12 and December 16, 2019, the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington issued summary judgment decisions for defendants Honeywell International, Inc. Honeywell and Foster Wheeler Energy Corporation respectively, in the Estate of Rudie Klopman-Baerselman matter. In brief, the court denied summary judgment to Honeywell, and granted summary judgment to Foster Wheeler.

The plaintiff alleged that the decedent, Rudie Klopman-Baerselman, was diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of his alleged exposures to asbestos while performing automotive maintenance work …

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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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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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Two Discovery Disputes Resolved in Favor of Plaintiff; One Resolved in Favor of Toyota

WASHINGTON – The court recently ruled on a motion for protective order filed by the defendants, Toyota Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (collectively, Toyota), regarding second amended notices of deposition directed to their corporate representatives, pursuant to F.R.C.P. 30(b)(6). Toyota objected to a series of inquiries, which were distilled down to three primary areas:

  1. Overbreadth and disproportionality as to time frame
  2. Overbreadth and disproportionality as to products at issue
  3. Invasion of attorney-client privilege and/or work product protections.

Toyota provided red-lined versions of …

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Unclear Corporate Representative Topics Leads to Grant of Protective Order for Brake Manufacturer

WASHINGTON – In a case extensively covered by the Asbestos Case Tracker, the defendant Pneumo Abex  filed a motion for protective order in reply to the plaintiff’s Third Amended Notice of 30(b)(6) deposition of Abex. The first 30(b)(6) notice identified 71 topics, and after a meet and confer, was whittled down to 34. Abex agreed to tender the witness for 32 of the 34 topics, and filed the instant motion.

The two disputed topics were:

  1. Abex’s corporate values and codes of conduct regarding the
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