Balance of Justice a Factor in Court’s Granting of Motion for Leave to Add Gasket Defendant U.S. District Court, W.D., Washington at Tacoma, March 11, 2019

WASHINGTON — The plaintiff filed suit against numerous defendants alleging his decedent was exposed to asbestos for which the defendants were liable. The plaintiff sought leave of court to amend the pleadings three times. The instant request to add the defendant DCo LLC was made after the case was removed. The paintiff contends that not adding DCo LLC was an oversight until a family friend testified that he believed that the plaintiff had a box of Victor gaskets in his garage. The plaintiff also believed…
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Lack of Evidence Against Premise Defendants Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment in Mesothelioma Case United States District Court, M.D. North Carolina, March 11, 2019

NORTH CAROLINA — The plaintiff filed suit against multiple defendants including Farmers Chemical and Storage (Farmers) and Schlage alleging he developed mesothelioma from his occupational exposure to asbestos. Specifically, he claimed he was exposed to asbestos while working as a plumber and pipefitter from 1965-1982 for the local union. Farmers and Schlage moved for summary judgment. The court began its analysis and stated that summary judgment is warranted “the movant shows there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is…
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Summary Judgment Denied to Asbestos Clothing Manufacturer Based on Plaintiff ‘s Contradictory Affidavit United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division, March 12, 2019

OHIO –The plaintiff Donald MacLachlan brought suit against several defendants including American Optical (AO) alleging he developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos while working at the Weirton Steel plant from 1971-2008. He was deposed in 2015 and also alleged exposure to steam turbines manufactured by General Electric. As for AO, The plaintiff testified that he wore asbestos containing thermal gloves and coats manufactured by that defendant beginning in 1979 while working as a cast house helper. The plaintiff was adamant that the…
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Expansion of Employer Take-Home Asbestos Exposure Duty Reaches Nine States Supreme Court of Virginia, February 21, 2019

VIRGINIA — The State of Virginia recently expanded the potential duty to warn owed for take-home asbestos exposures in the Quisenberry case. The plaintiff Wesley Quisenberry filed suit on behalf of his decedent mother, alleging that her exposure to asbestos while laundering her father’s clothes caused her mesothelioma. The plaintiff’s decedent’s father worked at a shipyard for 35 years, and the plaintiffs allege that asbestos dust adhered to his clothing, contaminated his car, and came home with him. The defendant removed the case to federal…
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Fifth Circuit Affirms Remand of Shipyard Case U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, March 11, 2019

LOUISIANA — The plaintiff James Latiolas, filed suit in Louisiana State Court alleging asbestos exposure while working at the Avondale shipyard. The plaintiff only asserted a negligence claim against Avondale and Avondale removed the case on the basis of the federal officer defense. The plaintiff filed a motion to remand, which was granted. On appeal, the fifth circuit affirmed. The evidence previously gathered in other cases demonstrated that Avondale built and refurbished naval vessels based on the Navy’s specifications and under the their supervision. However,…
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Motion to Remand Denied Due to Evidence Presented by Defendants U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Date, March 11, 2019

CALIFORNIA — On November 7, 2018, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint in state court alleging that decedent, Ronald Viale, was exposed to asbestos when he was employed by the U.S. Navy as a steamfitter/firefighter from 1968 to 1970, and that he developed mesothelioma as a result of said exposure. On January 3, 2019, Foster Wheeler removed the matter under the federal officer defense. The removing defendants produced declarations provided by witnesses demonstrating that the Navy issued specifications regarding the form and content of all…
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Jury Returns Verdict for Decedent, Finding Asbestosis Resulted from Railroad Brake Work Norfolk Circuit Court, March 7, 2019

VIRGINIA – A jury in Norfolk Circuit Court issued a $5 million verdict in favor of the plaintiff Danielle Caraco (plaintiff) on behalf of the decedent Stephen Fowlkes (decedent), finding that the decedent had been diagnosed with asbestosis as a result of his exposure to asbestos-containing railroad brakes during his employment at Norfolk Southern Railway Company (Norfolk). The decedent had worked as a repair man who changed out asbestos-containing railroad car brake shoes for a decade during the 1980s. Once the decedent fell ill and…
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Multiple Actions Dismissed Against Brake Manufacturer Due to Forum Non Conveniens Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, March 05, 2019

NEW JERSEY — Multiple deceased plaintiffs brought actions against Honeywell alleging they contracted mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos from Bendix brakes while working as mechanics in the United Kingdom. The plaintiffs filed in New Jersey despite the alleged exposure oversees. Honeywell moved for dismissal based on the doctrine of forum non conveniens after discovery was conducted. Judge Cantor granted dismissal in the majority of the cases and Judge Viscomi also granted dismissal in the remaining case. The plaintiffs appealed arguing abuse of…
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Massachusetts Statute of Repose Bars Construction-Related Asbestos Claims Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, March 1, 2019

In Stearns v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, the Massachusetts Supreme Court addressed whether the six-year statute of repose for claims against those involved the design, planning, construction, or general administration of improvements to real property, applies to asbestos personal injury claims, which would typically arise after the statue would bar their assertion. The statute at issue, Mass. Gen. Laws. c. 260 Section 2B, provides in relevant part that: “Action[s] of tort for damages arising out of any deficiency or neglect in the design, planning,…
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California Court Remands Grant of Relief from Default Judgment California Court of Appeals, February 19, 2019

CALIFORNIA — In 2010, Donna O’Balle filed a complaint against numerous defendants alleging personal injuries from exposure to asbestos dating back to the 1980’s. Associated Insulation of California, Inc. (Associated), one of the defendants, was served, but did not respond, having gone out of business long before. O’Balle filed a request for entry of default against Associated. Almost a year later, O’Balle sent notice of the suit to Fireman’s Fund, seeking coverage on behalf of Associated. Fireman’s Fund was unable to locate any policy it…
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