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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Naval Architect Not Qualified to Render Opinions as to Automotive Products 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 the motion of the defendant Ford (Ford) to exclude Dr. Charles Cushing’s statements regarding the plaintiffs’ likely exposure to asbestos during automotive work. 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 Naval reserve from 1954-1962; as a machinist and…
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Judgment on the Pleadings Upheld for Dissolved Washington Corporation U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, July 20, 2018

WASHINGTON — The plaintiffs allege that William Clayton developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos during his military service. They sued numerous defendants, including Saberhagen Holdings, Inc. (Saberhagen), which was a Washington corporation that dissolved on August 22, 2013. Based on plaintiffs’ failure to file suit against Saberhagen within three years of dissolution, as required by Washington law, Saberhagen filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings. The plaintiffs opposed the motion and filed their own to extend the response deadline. Pursuant to Washington statutory…
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Post-Trial Motions Denied Against Both Plaintiff and Defendant on Damages and Judgment as a Matter of Law United States District Court, W.D. Washington, June 4, 2018

WASHINGTON – The plaintiff filed suit against the defendants including Scapa Dryer Fabrics (Scapa) alleging her husband, Mr. Barabin, developed mesothelioma as a result of his work at Crown-Zellerbach paper mill in Camas, Washington. Mr. Barabin worked as a spare hand, which included working directly on the paper machines at the mill. Part of his work including using high pressure hoses to blow dust out of the dryers. Suit was brought against the defendants on theories of product liability design, failure to warn, and negligence.…
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Prior Recovery From Party Bars Wrongful Death Claim; Estate’s Claims Against New Parties Can Proceed Court of Appeals of Washington, Division 1 May 29, 2018

WASHINGTON — The plaintiff Barbara Brandes brought a personal injury action against Brand Insulations Inc. (Brand) and other entities after she was diagnosed with mesothelioma. During the pendency of the litigation, Mrs. Brandes passed away, and her action against Brand and others was converted into a survivorship action. During trial, the estate confirmed that it was not seeking to add any new claims or evidence, stating it was not pursuing any potential wrongful death claims at that time. The jury returned a verdict against some…
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