Corporate Representative for Power Company Defendant Can’t Escape Deposition Notice Based On Long Period of Inquiry District Court of Appeal of Florida, Third District, July 31, 2019

FLORIDA – The plaintiff, Larry Cook, sued his employer Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) under negligence and premises liability theories for injuries allegedly sustained while working with or around asbestos in FPL power plants. Cook issued several notices for the deposition of a corporate representative of FPL to discover information regarding their use of asbestos, and requested documents and other materials from the company dating back to 1925.  FPL moved for protective orders arguing that compliance would be burdensome and costly. The court denied…
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Second Notice of Removal by Pump Defendant Found Timely Despite Administrative Close of Original Action United States District Court, S.D. New York, July 30, 2019

NEW YORK – The plaintiff Francis Keating filed suit against dozens of companies alleging he contracted lung cancer as a result of exposure to asbestos containing products for which the defendants were liable. Specifically, he believed he had been exposed to asbestos while working as a machinist in the United States Navy from 1953-1974 and while working for Eastman Kodak and Motorola as a refrigeration technician during the 1970s and 1980s. Aurora Pump Co. contacted the plaintiff and sought the plaintiff’s consent for the entry…
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Claimants Committee Motion to Dismiss Denied by Bankruptcy Court; Finding that Bestwall’s Bankruptcy Reorganization was not Filed in Bad Faith United States Bankruptcy Court, Western District of North Carolina, July 29, 2019

NORTH CAROLINA – Asbestos claimants (claimants committee) in this Chapter 11 case filed a motion to dismiss the bankruptcy case filed by Georgia Pacific (GP) for its acquisition of Bestwall arguing that the petition was filed in bad faith and established a reorganization that was “objectively futile.” By way of background, GP filed for corporate restructuring in 2017 as a result of “decades long” asbestos litigation liabilities. As many as 64,000 asbestos claims were pending against Bestwall as of the date of the petition alone.…
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New York Federal Court Orders Trial in Asbestos Coverage Dispute U.S. District Court, N.D. of New York, July 25, 2019

NEW YORK – Utica Mutual Insurance Company and Clearwater Insurance Company, which entered into reinsurance agreements regarding umbrella policies that Utica issued to Goulds Pumps, will go to trial over whether Utica can recover from Clearwater certain defense costs it paid to Goulds in underlying personal injury actions by asbestos claimants. Utica will be able to recover the costs from Clearwater only if the umbrella policies obligated Utica to pay defense costs to Goulds. Clearwater argued that the umbrella policies provided no such obligation. Specifically,…
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Equitable Considerations Warrant Granting Plaintiff’s Motion to Remand in Talc Matter United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, July 24, 2019

LOUISIANA – In the first motion to remand ruled on after Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J)motion to fix venue in the United States District Court, District of Delaware was denied, the court considered the plaintiff Phyllis Lea’s motion. The plaintiff filed suit against multiple defendants, including J&J, alleging that her exposure to asbestos-containing talcum powder products caused her to develop ovarian cancer. On April 24, 2019, J&J removed the matter to the district court, and the plaintiff filed the instant motion on June 6, 2019. The…
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Cosmetic Talc Seller’s Motion to Fix Venue in Delaware for 2,400 Cases Denied United States District Court, D. Delaware, July 19, 2019

DELAWARE – In a substantial set of cases extensively covered by the Asbestos Case Tracker, Johnson & Johnson and Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc.’s (J&J) motion to fix venue was ruled on in the District Court of Delaware. The motion requested transfer of approximately 2,400 state court tort cases pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Sections 157(b)(5) and 1334 (b). Numerous parties filed briefs in opposition to the instant motion. The state court actions allege the following against J&J:
  1. They are directly liable for placing asbestos-containing talc

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Numerous Entries of Summary Judgment Reversed in Consolidated Appeal Court of Appeals of Tennessee, July 22, 2019

TENNESSEE – The plaintiff Donald Coffman worked at the Tennessee Eastman chemical plant from 1968 until 1997, mostly as a mechanic. In that capacity, he was responsible for repairing and replacing pumps, valves, steam traps and piping. Repairs were quite frequent due to the corrosive nature of the acid being used at the plant. The plaintiff developed mesothelioma and sued an insulation contractor, Daniel International Corp., along with a number of equipment and product manufacturers, claiming exposure to asbestos from insulation, gaskets and packing. All…
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Component Part Supplier Successfully Excludes Expert Testimony Regarding Failure to Warn United States District Court, D. Delaware, July 19, 2019

DELAWARE – The plaintiff Icom Henry Evans worked as a fireman and boiler tender in the United States Navy from 1957 to 1967. He filed suit and alleged that his fatal mesothelioma was caused in part by exposure to asbestos-containing gaskets and packing that were manufactured, sold, distributed, licensed, or installed by John Crane, Inc. (JCI).  JCI moved the court to exclude testimony offered by the plaintiffs’ expert Captain Arnold Moore, a marine engineering authority. They contended that Captain Moore lacked expertise to interpret relevant…
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Plaintiff’s General Statements of Defendants’ Alleged Successor Liability Insufficient to Withstand 12(b)(6) Motion U.S. District Court, D. Delaware, July 19, 2019

DELAWARE – The plaintiff initially filed her asbestos-related wrongful death lawsuit in New Jersey claiming the decedent Robert Fish suffered exposure to asbestos during his service as a civilian at New York Shipbuilding and Drydock in Camden, NJ. The court noted the plaintiff specifically alleged the decedent’s exposure from Arnot, a joiner contractor who cut paneling around the decedent at New York Shipbuilding and Drydock. Shortly after the plaintiff filed the complaint, the defendants removed the case to the U.S. District Court for the District…
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Despite Factual Evidence of Exposure, Ohio Causation Statute Still Requires Expert Medical Evidence Supreme Court of Delaware, July 22, 2019

DELAWARE – In an appeal of a case reported by the Asbestos Case Tracker blog in August 2018, the Delaware Supreme Court rejected the plaintiffs’ appeal and affirmed the superior court. Briefly, the parties had agreed that Ohio law applied to the case. During the pendency of the action, the Ohio Supreme Court issued its opinion in Schwartz v. Honeywell International, holding that the plaintiffs’ experts could not opine on a cumulative exposure theory. Rather, the Ohio asbestos causation statute requires that causation be…
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