Remand Granted and Attorneys’ Fees Awarded Against Valve Manufacturer

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, August 9, 2021

On June 1, 2021, David and Linda Welch filed claims in King County Superior Court against various defendants who are allegedly responsible for mining, manufacturing, and/or installing the asbestos that has caused David’s newly diagnosed pleural mesothelioma. The plaintiffs moved for an expedited trial pursuant to RCW 4.44.025 on June 23, 2021. Defendant Velan Valve Corp filed an instant motion to remove after the plaintiffs had filed for voluntary dismissal against Velan.

By …

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Summary Judgment Proper When Plaintiffs Fail to Establish Sufficient Exposure to Asbestos

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, August 5, 2021

Decedent John Dale Wineland, who developed mesothelioma and subsequently died, worked aboard Navy ships and in Navy offices between 1963 and 1984. The plaintiffs allege that the decedent was exposed to asbestos contained in Cleaver-Brooks products while aboard the USS Tuscaloosa, where he worked in the engine rooms. The plaintiffs assert that defendant Cleaver-Brooks is liable for the decedent’s illness and death under theories of negligence and strict liability.

Cleaver-Brooks filed a …

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Valve Manufacturer Granted Summary Judgment on Causation Grounds

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, August 2, 2021

In this asbestos action, the plaintiff alleges that the decedent, John Dale Wineland, worked aboard a series of Navy ships and in Navy offices between 1963 and 1984. The plaintiffs allege that Mr. Wineland was exposed to asbestos contained in Powell products while aboard the USS Tuscaloosa between 1972 and 1974. Mr. Wineland worked primarily in the engine rooms of the ships to which he was assigned, repairing and maintaining machinery and equipment …

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Military Contractor Defense Does Not Apply to Manufacturers of Commercial Insulation

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, July 22, 2021

Plaintiff George Kraemer alleges that he was exposed to asbestos and asbestos-containing products manufactured and sold by defendant Lone Star Industries (Lone Star) that were used at locations where his father worked as an insulator between 1942 and 1945. He also alleges that he was exposed to asbestos through his own workplace. On October 1, 2020, the plaintiff and his wife initiated this action in King County Superior Court against Lone Star and …

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Purifier Defendant Granted Summary Judgment as Plaintiffs Failed to Establish Causation

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, July 19, 2021

Defendant Alfa Laval filed this present amended motion for summary judgment. The plaintiffs allege the decedent, John Dale Wineland (decedent or Mr. Wineland), worked aboard a series of Navy ships including the USS Dynamic, USS Pledge, USS Loyalty, USS Tuscaloosa, and USS Esteem from 1963 to 1984, where he was exposed to asbestos from Alfa Laval products aboard these ships. The decedent worked in the engine room where he …

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$81.5 Million Verdict Reinstated Against Automotive Parts Distributor and Supplier

Supreme Court of Washington, July 8, 2021

The Asbestos Case Tracker previously reported on a significant verdict against Genuine Parts Company (GPC) and National Automotive Parts Association (NAPA) (Defendants). The defendants appealed the verdict and argued that the trial court erred on several grounds. The Court of Appeals reversed the verdict in part and set aside the verdict. While the Court of Appeals disagreed with the defendants’ argument as to the plaintiff’s counsel’s alleged misconduct, the Court of Appeals agreed that the trial court erred …

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Railway Defendant’s MSJ Denied on Statute of Limitations Defense Due to Decedent’s Constructive Knowledge Relating Workplace Exposures to Cancer

Decedent Gene Sponcler worked for over 40 years for defendant BNSF Railway Company and its predecessor in interest as a laborer, brakeman, and conductor. The decedent was diagnosed with kidney cancer in late 2010 (the exact date is disputed by the parties) and passed away on January 25, 2016. The decedent’s wife filed this action on January 24, 2019, one day short of three years after the decedent’s passing.

BNSF seeks summary judgment and contends that the plaintiff’s claims brought under the Federal Employers’ Liability …

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Shipyard Defendant’s MSJ Granted as Plaintiffs Failed to Establish the Amount and Duration of Decedent’s Exposure

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, March 4, 2021

Defendant Puget Sound Commerce Center, Inc. formerly known as Todd Shipyards Corporation filed an amended motion for summary judgment/partial summary judgment. The plaintiffs allege the decedent John Dale Wineland worked at Todd Shipyards in 1974, where he was negligently exposed to asbestos, including asbestos-containing insulation supplied by Todd Shipyards, and that this exposure caused the decedent’s mesothelioma and death. Todd Shipyards seeks dismissal of both the negligence and strict liability claims asserted against …

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Railroad Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment Granted Because Plaintiff’s Expert Failed to Address Negligence

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, January 22, 2021

James Jacobson, a long-time railroad worker, died of kidney cancer in 2015, and his widow brings this lawsuit pursuant to the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) on behalf of his estate. She alleges that his cancer was caused by the negligent use of known carcinogens by defendant BNSF Railway Company. The plaintiff identified one expert witness, Dr. Ernest Chiodo, as both a medical expert and liability expert. The railway defendant filed two motions: …

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Four Daubert Challenges Denied in Shipyard Case

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, November 30, 2020

Defendant Puget Sound Commerce Center, Inc. filed Daubert motions seeking to exclude the testimony of four of the plaintiffs’ experts: Captain Arnold Moore, Steven Paskal, Dr. David Zhang, and Charles Ay. On each motion, the court was charged with determining whether the expert’s testimony was reliable and helpful, and based on principles, techniques, or theories that were generally accepted in the expert’s profession; and whether the testimony would be helpful, in that it …

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