Shipyard Owner’s Removal Deemed Timely Under Recent Fifth Circuit Decision

Plaintiff Robert Bourgeois II originally filed his lawsuit in the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans, State of Louisiana, alleging his exposure while employed at Avondale Shipyards caused him to develop mesothelioma. Defendant Avondale removed the case to the Eastern District of Louisiana; in response, the plaintiff filed the instant Motion for Remand.

The plaintiff asserted four arguments as to why remand is proper:

  1. Removal was untimely because Avondale learned of the case’s potentially removability when it received the transcript of Plaintiff’s May
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Johns Manville Cannot be a Joint Tortfeasor Without Filing a Bankruptcy Trust Claim

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, May 13, 2020

The plaintiffs alleged that Cary Gomez (decedent) contracted and died from mesothelioma as a result of take home exposure to asbestos through the decedent’s father’s work at Avondale Shipyards in the 1960s. The decedent was also allegedly exposed to asbestos through his own work as a plumber with Aardvark Contractors, Inc. from 1988 to 2011. The plaintiffs also named Wayne Manufacturing Company as a defendant, alleging that the company “manufactured and distributed asbestos …

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Court Denies Third Party Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss and Orders Jurisdictional Discovery

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky

In Jack Papineau and Holly Papineau v. Brake Supply Company, Inc., et al., the court recently denied a third-party defendant’s motion to dismiss a third-party complaint without prejudice. Plaintiff Jack Papineau alleged he developed malignant mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos from his employment at Smith Coal, and sued four defendants including Brake Supply.

Brake Supply then filed a third party action against Fras-le S.A. Fras-Le North for common law indemnity and apportionment under K.R.S. § …

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Louisiana District Court Permits Negligence Claim Against Premises Owner in Third-Party Exposure Case

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, May 8, 2020

The plaintiff, Jesse Hernandez, alleged he was exposed to asbestos from, among other things, working at a family grocery store and deli from 1957 to 1966. Specifically, Mr. Hernandez alleged that plant workers from a nearby Allied Chemical plant came into the grocery store and deli for lunch with asbestos on their clothing, and he frequently had to clean surfaces where they ate lunch. Defendant Honeywell International, Inc. sued as the successor to …

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Court Grant Plaintiffs’ Motion to Voluntarily Dismiss in Federal Court Under the Zagano Factors

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, May 5, 2020

On February 25, 2020, plaintiffs Laura McDaniel and Edward McDaniel filed a complaint in the New York Supreme Court, New York County, against the defendants, Whittaker, Clark & Daniels, Inc. (WCD) and Revlon, Inc., for asbestos-related personal injury claims relating to Laura McDaniels’ mesothelioma. The next day, on February 26, 2020, WCD removed the case to federal court under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a) on the basis of complete diversity between the plaintiffs and defendants. …

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Louisiana District Court Grants Defendant’s Motion for Reconsideration, But Orders Re-Filing

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, May 6, 2020

The plaintiff’s decedent, Callen L. Dempster, was allegedly exposed to asbestos-containing products while employed at the Avondale Shipyards from 1962 to 1994. Before the case was removed to federal court, the state court denied the defendant, General Electric Company, motion to bar the plaintiff’s claims based upon res judicata, and to dismiss the plaintiff’s survival claim and the decedent’s wrongful death claim. Once the case was venued in federal court, General Electric sought …

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2019 Asbestos Litigation Trends

KCIC recently issued Asbestos Litigation: 2019 Year in Review, which complied statistics for 2019 and assessed them in comparison with the data from its previous Asbestos Litigation: 2018 Year in Review. Please note all data KCIC analyzed for their report was based on complaints received and processed through January 31, 2020, regardless of file year.

The overall takeaways from the update, each assessed at greater length below, are:

  1. As of January 31, 2020, the total asbestos filings reflect a slight decrease of 2
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Second Circuit Reverses $59 Million Reinsurance Coverage Decision

Second Circuit, April 28, 2020

An insurer and its reinsurer were engaged in a long-running dispute over whether the reinsurer was obligated to reimburse the insurer for amounts paid in settlement to Goulds Pump, Inc. The settlement between the insurer and Goulds related to thousands of personal injury claims made against Goulds due to exposure to asbestos contained in Goulds’ products.

When the insurer settled its liability under primary and umbrella policies it had issued to Goulds, the parties agreed that the primary policies—which had …

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Finding of Admiralty Jurisdiction Leads to Denial of Gasket Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss

U.S. District for the Eastern District of Virginia

This is a follow up to Asbestos Case Tracker’s recent post on this matter. Plaintiff Herbert Mullinex alleged he developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos while working as a machinist mate in the U.S. Navy from 1969-89. The plaintiff worked aboard multiple ships docked in Norfolk, Virginia and others around the world. Defendant John Crane (JCI) removed the case to federal court based on government contractor defense. JCI then moved to dismiss the …

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Virginia District Court Affirms Magistrate Decision on Admissibility of Naval Expert Testimony

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, April 27, 2020

Plaintiffs Herbert H. Mullinex and Patricia E. Mullinex alleged that Mr. Mullinex was exposed to asbestos from working with sheet gaskets and valve and pump packing manufactured by John Crane, Inc. during his service in the U.S. Navy from 1969 to 1978. John Crane, as part of its defense, intended to rely on the opinion of retired Rear Admiral David P. Sargent, Jr., in an attempt to refute some of Mr. Mullinex’s allegations …

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