Statute of Repose Doesn’t Apply in Reversal of Summary Judgment as Evidence Regarding Work Deemed Insufficient to Show an Improvement to Property Court of Appeals of Wisconsin, District One, December 22, 2015

In this case, the plaintiff, Sandra Brezonick, alleged that the decedent, John Brezonick, was exposed to asbestos at various sites while working as a steamfitter in the Milwaukee area between 1966 and 2000. The plaintiff’s complaint alleged product liability, negligence and safe place statute claims under Wis. Stat. § 101.11 against numerous defendants.  The defendants included property owners Pabst Brewing Company, Miller Brewing Company and Wisconsin Electric Power Company (WEPCO) — where asbestos was allegedly used — and insulation contractor Sprinkmann Sons Corporation, which allegedly…
Continue reading...

Plaintiff Allowed to Substitute and Limitedly Amend Complaint, Several Cases Consolidated Against 3M Among Court Rulings on Daubert Hearings and Expert Preclusion U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, November 9, 2015

In these federal court cases there were several motions brought forward, including a motion by the plaintiff to substitute the estate and file a third amended complaint following the death of the decedent, defendant 3M’s motion to preclude the plaintiff’s expert Dr. Arnold Brody, and defendant Weyerhaeuser’s Daubert motion regarding the plaintiff’s experts Frank M. Mark, III, and Drs. Henry A. Anderson and Jerrold L. Abraham. Regarding the plaintiff’s motion for substitution and to amend the complaint, the court held: “The court will grant the…
Continue reading...

Plaintiff Widow Allowed to Proceed on Claims Even Though Not Timely Substituted as Special Administrator of Husband’s Estate U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, November 10, 2015

The decedent died of mesothelioma and the plaintiff, his widow, proceeded on the claims that had been filed prior to his death; the plaintiff did not substitute herself as special administrator of his estate. Defendant Owens-Illinois filed a notice of death pursuant to federal rules, then filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 25(a)(2), requiring timely substitution of a proper party. Defendants 3M and Weyerhaeuser filed motions to join. The plaintiff then dismissed Owens-Illinois, and 3M and Weyerhaeuser filed no…
Continue reading...

Distinction Between Gloves and Mittens Crucial In Granting Defendant’s Summary Judgment U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, October 9, 2015

Plaintiff Janice Herr alleged that Richard Herr died of mesothelioma due to his use of Airco-distributed, asbestos-containing gloves/mittens. Herr was a sculptor and art instructor who used insulated mittens to handle heated molds. He also used raw asbestos to make molds for his sculptures. Airco never manufactured insulated gloves or mittens, but distributed welding gloves and mittens with its logo. This case was remanded for further proceedings by the MDL 875 Court, after the MDL denied the summary judgment filed by Airco, the sole remaining…
Continue reading...

Wisconsin Federal Court Refuses to Enforce Settlement and Ruled Defendant Waived Defenses of Standing, Mootness, and Issue Preclusion U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, September 9, 2015

The plaintiff sued the defendant, Owens-Illinois, for injuries caused to the decedent by asbestos exposure, which proceeded in multidistrict litigation for many years and was transferred back to the District Court of Wisconsin in 2014. A settlement agreement had apparently been reached, which the plaintiff’s estate representative claimed was not authorized. After the district court refused to enforce the settlement, Owens-Corning moved to dismiss the case on three grounds: the plaintiff lacked standing as the estate representative; the plaintiff’s action is moot because she failed…
Continue reading...

Turbine Manufacturer’s Motion for Summary Judgment Denied on Statute of Repose; Gasket Manufacturer’s Motion Granted for Lack of Product ID U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, June 9, 2015

In this federal court case, the decedent, Charles Nuutinen, is alleged to have been exposed to asbestos while working as a pipefitter from 1959 through 1996 at various jobsites in Wisconsin, including the Point Beach Nuclear Power Station. The defendant, CBS, the entity responsible for turbine manufacturer Westinghouse Electric Corporation, moved for summary judgment on the Wisconsin statute of repose and gasket manufacturer John Crane moved for lack of product ID. The court denied CBS’ motion, but granted Crane’s motion. CBS argued, and the plaintiff…
Continue reading...

In Wisconsin: Single Fiber Theory on Causation Held Scientifically Unreliable; Longo Precluded; Castleman Opinion Partially Precluded U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, May 14, 2015

In two asbestos cases, Owens Illinois, Inc. sought to exclude an opinion by the plaintiffs’ experts that “any exposure to asbestos, no matter how slight, remote or insignificant, is a cause or substantial contributing factor in causing Plaintiffs’ diseases.” The company also sought to exclude the testimony and testing of William Longo under FRE 702. The plaintiffs did not substantively oppose these motions and the court granted them without opposition. With respect to the plaintiffs’ “state of the art expert,”  Barry Castleman, Owens Illinois…
Continue reading...

Question of Fact Found Regarding if Asbestos Insulation Supplied by Company Was for Improvement of Real Property as Required Under Wisconsin Statute of Repose Court of Appeals of Wisconsin, District One, April 28, 2015

In this case, the plaintiff, Robin Sorenson, filed strict product liability and negligence claims on behalf of herself and the estate of the decedent who worked as an insulator from 1955 to 1997 and died of lung cancer in 2009. One of the defendants, Building Services Industrial Sales, Inc. (BSIS), a supplier of asbestos insulation to the decedent’s employers, moved for — and was granted — summary judgment on the Wisconsin statute of repose, WIS. STAT. § 893.89(2) (2013-14). The plaintiff appealed, arguing that material…
Continue reading...

Court Avoids Statute of Repose While Dismissing Plaintiff’s Claims on Lack of Causation Wisconsin Court of Appeals, February 10, 2015

Plaintiff Todd  Alexander commenced a wrongful death action claiming decedent Richard Alexander was exposed to asbestos in connection with his sheet metal, heating, and plumbing business. Defendants Auer and Milwaukee Stove moved for summary judgment under Wisconsin’s Statute of Repose and, in the alternative, along with defendant CertainTeed, on lack of causation. The lower court granted Auer’s and Milwaukee Stove’s motion based on the Statute of Repose and CertainTeed’s motion based on causation. On appeal, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals avoided ruling on the Statute…
Continue reading...

Mesothelioma Claim Barred Based on Issue Preclusion Federal Court, Eastern District Wisconsin, February 3, 2015

In this MDL asbestos case, plaintiff brought an action claiming he had asbestosis. CBS and General Electric moved for summary judgment in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, which motion was unopposed. At the time the motion was brought, plaintiff had been diagnosed with mesothelioma but such claim had not yet been added to the lawsuit (although disclosed in discovery responses). After the summary judgment motion was granted, plaintiff’s estate commenced another lawsuit in which his estate sought to pursue the mesothelioma claim. The Federal Court…
Continue reading...