Frustrated Court Denies Plaintiffs’ Motion to Reconsider Exclusion of Kenneth Garza Due to Lack of Authority

WISCONSIN — In this case set for trial on June 4, 2018, the plaintiffs filed eleven motions under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993) and various motions in limine. After hearing and argument, the court granted defendant Pabst Brewing Company’s motion to bar, under Daubert, Kenneth Garza’s reports, opinions, and testimony, and granted the Daubert motion of defendants Sprinkmann, Employers Insurance Company and WEPCO’s to exclude Garza’s testimony. The court found that although Garza’s training and background gave him the …

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Community Exposure Claims by Former Employees Not Barred by Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Act

WISCONSIN — Two deceased Weyerhauser employees brought claims against their former employer for common law negligence, negligent nuisance, and intentional nuisance. In an effort to avoid the exclusivity provisions of Wisconsin’s Workers’ Compensation Act (WCA), both plaintiffs alleged that the defendant Weyerhauser’s activities exposed them to asbestos in the community, not during the course of their employment with the defendant, causing their mesothelioma. Weyerhauser challenged the pleadings on several bases, and the court granted and denied their motion in part.

The court denied Weyerhauser’s motion …

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Plaintiff Survives Motion to Dismiss Upon Adding Additional Allegations in Amended Complaint

WISCONSIN — The plaintiff filed suit against Weyerhauser and its insurer for alleged emissions of asbestos into the Marshfield, Wisconsin community. Plaintiff Michael Kappel moved to add additional allegations to his complaint. Weyerhauser moved to dismiss. The plaintiffs were substituted upon Mr. Kappel’s passing.

Weyerhauser sought dismissal on two separate grounds. First, the defendant argued the plaintiffs did not allege Mr. Kappel’s exposure from work at Weyerhauser in an effort to circumvent the exclusivity rules in the local worker’s compensation statute. The court disagreed as …

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Various Rulings Issued on Motions in Limine in Trial; Plaintiffs’ Motion to Exclude Defense Experts Denied

The court issued various rulings on motions in limine filed by both the plaintiffs and defendant John Crane in this matter that is set for trial on July 17, 2017. The decedent died of mesothelioma. Many of the motions were unopposed. Below are summaries of the more pertinent rulings.

Regarding the plaintiff’s motions, the plaintiff argued that the defendant should be barred from disclosing that some corporations were in bankruptcy. The defendants opposed the motion because under Wisconsin law, any claims plaintiffs have submitted to …

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Plaintiff’s Mesothelioma Claims Barred by Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Act

In a consolidated matter, three of the plaintiffs, Diane Jacobs, Katrina Masephol, and Janice Seehar (the Weyerhaeuser plaintiffs), filed claims against various defendants after developing mesothelioma.  Each had worked for Weyerhaeuser for years in close contact with asbestos.  As such, in order to get around Wisconsin’s Workers Compensation Act, Wis. Stat. § 102.03(2), which provides the “exclusive remedy against the employer” for work-related injuries, the plaintiffs argued that their asbestos-related injuries were not caused on the job, but at home and in the community, and …

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Summary Judgments Based on Wisconsin Safe Place Statute and Statute of Repose Denied

The court issued another decision in a case originally reported in Asbestos Case Tracker on May 15, 2017. Plaintiffs Daniel and Beverly Ahnert originally filed a case in 2010 alleging Daniel Ahnert developed asbestosis; that case was transferred to the MDL of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. In 2013 Beverly Ahnert filed a new case in the Eastern District of Wisconsin after Daniel Ahnert died of asbestos-related diseases. In September 2014, the 2011 case was remanded back to Wisconsin. The plaintiff then moved to consolidate …

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Decedent’s Work Falls Outside Wisconsin’s Statute of Repose; Summary Judgment Denied

This matter stems from a series of filings. In 2010, plaintiffs Daniel and Beverly Ahnert filed an asbestosis claim on February 25, 2010. That case was transferred to Multidistrict Litigation in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Two and a half years later, Beverly Ahnert, as the executrix of the estate of Danial Ahnert, filed a new complaint in the Easter District of Wisconsin alleging that Daniel Ahnert passed away as a result of an asbestos related disease. This matter deals with defendant Sprinkmann Sons, Inc. …

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Bare Metal Defense Rebuts Plaintiffs’ Causation Argument for Majority of Industrial Equipment Manufactures

Patricia Carroll, as special administrator of Ronald Carroll’s estate, sued numerous manufacturers of industrial equipment in which asbestos replacement parts were used, manufacturers of asbestos, or both in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. The claims against the defendants arise from the time Mr. Carroll spent working at Wisconsin Power & Light (WP&L) from 1959 to 1974. Mr. Carroll worked in a variety of different jobs WP&L’s plants during that period of time, including plant helper, auxiliary equipment operator, and boiler operator.…

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Judgment in Favor of Insulation Manufacturer due to Plaintiff’s Failure to Establish Insulation Caused Pipe Insulator’s Mesothelioma

The plaintiff alleged her decedent, Oswald Suoja died from mesothelioma as a result of his exposure to asbestos from Kaylo pipe insulation after working as a pipe insulator at Badger Ordance Works in Wisconsin. The case was transferred to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for pretrial proceedings.

The plaintiff specifically alleged that Mr. Suoja had been exposed to a pipe covering product made by Owens-Illinois called “Kaylo” while working as a career asbestos insulation worker. It was also alleged in his bankruptcy trust submissions and …

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Summary Judgment Reversed Where Court Finds Genuine Dispute as to Fraudulent Transfer of Assets

The plaintiff filed this personal injury lawsuit under theories of negligence and strict liability following the death of her husband from mesothelioma. The plaintiff maintained that her husband was exposed to asbestos-containing products allegedly manufactured and/or sold by Fire Brick Engineers Company, Inc. (FBE Company) from approximately 1963-69. In approximately 1983, Fire Brick Engineers Corporation (FBE Corporation), whose investors included attorneys who had previously represented FBE Company, purchased the assets of FBE Company and eventually changed its name to Fire Brick Engineers Company, Inc. In …

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