Court Calls For Supplemental Briefing For Summary Judgment Motion Following DeVries Decision United States District Court, W.D. Washington, April 18, 2019

WASHINGTON — A federal court in Washington state called for supplemental briefing prior to ruling on summary judgment motions in two similarly situated cases involving maritime exposures. Donald Yaw worked as a shipfitter, structural planner, and estimator at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS) in Bremerton, Washington from 1964 to 2001. Thomas Deem worked as an outside machinist at PSNS from 1974 to 1981. The plaintiffs alleged that Mr. Yaw and Mr. Deem’s fatal mesotheliomas were caused by both the use of asbestos-containing products and…
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Date of First Purchase Creates Material Fact Dispute, Automotive Supplier’s Motion for Summary Judgment Denied U.S. District Court, W.D. Washington, March 13, 2019

WASHINGTON — The plaintiff Eric Klopman-Baerselman originally filed suit in state court on behalf of the plaintiff’s decedent Rudie Klopman-Baerselman, alleging that his exposure to asbestos-containing products manufactured, sold, or distributed by the defendants substantially contributed to his mesothelioma. The defendants subsequently removed the case to federal court. The allegations against the moving the defendant, O’Reilly Automotive Stores, Inc. (O’Reilly) are that the plaintiff’s decedent was exposed to asbestos-containing brakes, clutches, and gaskets purchased at Schuck’s, an entity under the O’Reilly umbrella. O’Reilly moved for…
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Plaintiff’s Motion for Entry of Final Judgment Denied in Wake of Appeal United States District Court, W.D. Washington. January 08, 2019

WASHINGTON — In the ongoing Leslie Jack litigation previously reported by Asbestos Case Tracker, the plaintiff’s Motion for Entry of Final Judgment in favor of Union Pacific Railroad (Union) was recently denied. The plaintiff moved for entry after Union’s motion for summary judgment was granted by the court and after a mistrial against remaining defendants DCo and Ford was declared. The plaintiff argued that entry of final judgment would lead to judicial economy predicated on the theory that if the plaintiff prevailed on its appeal…
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Apparent Manufacturer Theory of Liability Upheld for Subsidiary Insulation Cement Manufacturer Washington Supreme Court, November 1, 2018

WASHINGTON – In a case of first impression, the Washington Supreme Court adopted Section 400 of the Restatement (Second) Torts, recognizing a manufacturer’s liability for claims arising prior to the 1981 Product Liability and Tort Reform Act, and assessing such liability by applying the objective reliance test, which requires viewing all of a defendant’s relevant representations from the perspective of the ordinary, reasonable consumer, finding that a Court of Appeals Panel had erred in holding that objective reliance be judged only from the perspective of…
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Lack of Successor Liability Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment for Shipping Defendant United States District Court, W.D. Washington. October 25, 2018

WASHINGTON — The plaintiffs filed suit against Maersk Line alleging their decedent, Mr. Klopman-Baerselman, was exposed to asbestos from 1955-1959 while working as a merchant marine onboard the Rotterdam Lloyd. The plaintiffs named Maersk as a successor in interest to the Royal Rotterdam Lloyd. The defendant moved for summary judgment arguing that it had no connection to the Rotterdam Lloyd. The plaintiff sought discovery including the deposition of Defendant’s corporate representative Steven Hadder. In the meantime, The defendants removed the case and Maersk moved for…
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Applying Washington Law to Summary Judgment Based on Government Contractor Defense for Pump Manufacturer Results in Denial of Motion United States District Court, Western District of Washington, October 9, 2018

WASHINGTON –The court ruled on competing motions for summary judgment from the plaintiff Alice Mikelsen and the defendant Warren Pumps in this case involving allegations that Arthur Mikelsen developed mesothelioma from working around Warren Pumps in the machine shop at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard from 1942 to 1980.  The plaintiff challenged six of Warren Pumps’ affirmative defenses; the court granted five of the six, eliminating the defenses of failure to mitigate, contributory negligence, assumption of risk, sophisticated purchaser, and intervening/superseding cause.  The court denied summary…
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Plaintiff’s Request for Reconsideration of Granting of Summary Judgment Denied in Railroad Take-Home Exposure Case U.S. District Court. W.D. Washington, September 30, 2018

WASHINGTON — In an update to a case previously reported by Asbestos Case Tracker, The plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration of the Court’s Order granting summary judgment for Union Pacific Railroad has been denied. By way of background, the plaintiffs alleged that Mr. Jack was secondarily exposed to asbestos from the work clothes of his father who worked at Union Pacific Railroad. The plaintiffs argued that the court failed to properly review 1) information provided by the plaintiffs’ expert Dr. Barry Castleman; and 2) the court…
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Multiple Motions for Summary Judgment and Affirmative Defenses of Railroad and Auto Parts Manufacturers Denied in Part and Granted in Part United States District Court, W.D. Washington. September 17, 2018

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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Bankruptcy Court Vigilant of Attempts to Divert Insurance Proceeds to Legal Fees United States District Court, W.D. Washington, August 20, 2018

WASHINGTON — On appeal from bankruptcy court, a federal district court denied Travelers’ motion to convert a debtor’s Chapter 11 reorganization into a Chapter 7 liquidation. In Travelers Indemnity Company v. Fraser’s Boiler Service, Inc. BHS (W.D. Wash. Aug. 20, 2018), the debtor, Fraser Boiler Service, Inc., was a former boiler repair company that operated for decades installing and maintaining equipment.  Fraser permanently ceased all operations and sold all of its business assets, leaving behind only insurance policies to pay the claims of asbestos…
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Plaintiff’s Expert Causation Opinion Not Considered to be Each and Every Exposure Theory The United States District Court, Western District of Washington, August 10, 2018

WASHINGTON — The United States District Court, Western District of Washington addressed several expert challenges including, among others, motions to preclude Dr. Ronald Gordon, Dr. Carl Brodkin, and Dr. Arnold Brody – all which involve the application of the “each and every exposure” and/or “cumulative exposure” theories. For a brief case background, this case centers around allegations that decedent developed mesothelioma, and ultimately passed away from the disease, due to occupational exposure to asbestos from work as a machinist in the Navy and in the…
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