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Court Grants in Part and Defends in Part Defendants’ Omnibus Motion in Limine

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, October 24, 2022

The plaintiffs brought this asbestos exposure case alleging decedent Callen Cortez contracted mesothelioma following extensive exposure throughout his career as well as secondhand exposure from his father and brothers.  Defendants included asbestos-related manufacturers, premise owners, and employers.  The defendants filed an omnibus motion in limine prior to trial.

Firstly, defendants moved to prohibit plaintiffs from characterizing them all as “asbestos companies,” or members of the “asbestos industry,” on the grounds that this …

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Plaintiffs Granted Partial Summary Judgment Based on “Substantial Factor” Standard

United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana, October 21, 2022

The plaintiffs allege that Decedent Kirk Reulet was asbestos to asbestos throughout his 45-year career. The plaintiffs seek summary judgment on two issues: First whether Decedent developed mesothelioma prior to his death; and second, whether mesothelioma resulted in his death.

In December 2018, Decedent was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma. Decedent died two weeks later on January 2, 2019. Decedent’s death certificate lists four “diseases, injuries, or complications … that directly caused the …

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Gasket/Packing Manufacturer Fails Government Contractor Defense

United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, October 21, 2022

In this case, the plaintiffs Arnold and Ruth Pritt allege that Arnold Pritt (“Plaintiff”) was exposed to asbestos while serving in the U.S. Navy in the 1960s. Among other products, the plaintiff alleges that he was exposed to asbestos from John Crane packing and gaskets. Defendant John Crane filed a motion for summary judgment, asserting that the plaintiffs’ claims for failure to warn and design defect are barred by the government contractor defense …

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Bankruptcy Stay Applies to Direct Actions against Insurers in “Limited Circumstances” where Numerous Asbestos Claims are Pending

U.S. District Court, Middle District of Louisiana, October 19, 2022

The plaintiffs brought a wrongful death and survival action for damages related to the death of their decedent in 2019. Decedent had a forty-five year career as a welder in the marine industry which was alleged to have resulted in his exposure to asbestos. The plaintiffs sought damages from numerous defendants, including Decedents former employers, owners of work sites, asbestos manufacturers and distributors who were alleged to have provided products to decedents worksites, and insurers. …

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Partial Summary Judgment Granted, Rejecting Government Immunity Defense of Shipyard defendants

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana   

Plaintiff Linda Crossland alleged take-home exposure to asbestos from her husband’s clothing while he was employed at the Avondale Shipyards, where he was responsible for constructing and repairing vessels.  Plaintiff sued numerous defendants, alleging they negligently failed to warn her husband about the dangers of asbestos and failed to provide him with safe premises.  Avondale removed the action to federal court, relying on “government contractor immunity” established by Boyle and the “derivative sovereign immunity” defense set …

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Brake Manufacturer’s Motion to Dismiss on Personal Jurisdiction Grounds Denied

Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, October 6, 2022

In this asbestos action, Plaintiff George Sweikart alleged that his mesothelioma resulted from exposure to asbestos-containing products, including brakes and clutches from defendant Akebono Brake Industry Co., Ltd. (“Akebono”). Akebono, a Japanese company, filed a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, alleging that no personal jurisdiction exists over it in California.  

A non-resident defendant is subject to a state’s general jurisdiction if its contacts “are so continuous and systematic, as to render …

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Government Contractor Defense Inapplicable to Plaintiff’s Failure to Warn and Prevent the Spread of Asbestos Claims

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, October 12, 2022

In this asbestos action, Plaintiff Ruby Lee Marie Falgout (“Plaintiff”) alleged take-home exposure from laundering her husband’s clothes while he worked around Hopeman employees cut and installed asbestos wall board at the Avondale Shipyards (“Avondale”). The plaintiff filed a motion for partial summary judgment barring Avondale from availing itself of the government contractor defense. The plaintiff contended that Avondale’s failure to warn was discretionary. The plaintiff also argued that the court should …

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Obsolete Statute Sufficient to Support Plaintiffs’ Victory

Court of Appeals of Oregon, October 5, 2022

Plaintiffs, Donald Miller and his wife Linda Miller (hereinafter “plaintiffs”), asserted claims of negligence, strict product liability, and loss of consortium based on Donald’s exposure to an asbestos-containing construction product sold by Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc. (hereinafter “Kaiser”) in the 1960s.  At the time of trial, Kaiser was the only defendant remaining.  The jury returned a verdict in plaintiffs’ favor on all three claims and required Kaiser to pay $5,233,618 in damages to plaintiffs.  Kaiser appealed and …

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Pump Manufacturer’s Motion for Summary Judgment on Replacement Parts Denied; Court Critical of Corporate Representative Affidavit

Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County, October 11, 2022

In this asbestos action, the plaintiff Gloria Maryn alleged exposure to asbestos from laundering the clothes of her son, Victor Arana. Mr. Arana worked as a plumber’s apprentice for the New York Plumbers Association from 2000 to 2014. One product that Mr. Arana worked with, and that he believes contained asbestos, was Armstrong pumps. Specifically, Mr. Arana removed external insulation from Armstrong pumps and the dust from this insulation would allegedly …

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Automotive Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment Fails as Issues of Fact Remain on Causation and Punitive Damages

Supreme Court of New York, Erie County, October 6, 2022

In this asbestos action, Plaintiff Joseph Skrzynski alleged that he developed malignant mesothelioma as a result of occupational exposure to asbestos from brakes and clutches manufactured by Ford. Ford moved for summary judgment on several grounds.

First, the court determined that Ford did not meet its burden of proof on general causation. The court determined that that “the opposing experts disagree on causation or increased risk of disease, thus raising material fact issues of causation …

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