Louisiana District Court Upholds $3 Million Remitted Verdict in Deceased Mesothelioma Case

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

  Decedent, James Leoma Gaddy alleged that he was diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos while working at International Paper from 1948 to 1950, and while working as a chemical engineer at Ethyl Corporation (“Ethyl”) from 1955 to 1960. Gaddy filed suit against numerous entities, but only Ethyl remained at the time of trial. Ethyl removed the case to federal court on diversity jurisdiction grounds, and a jury trial commenced in November …

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Montana District Court Interprets Local Controversy Exception to Class Action Fairness Act

United States District Court for the District of Montana.

Plaintiff Korey L. Aarstad, along with 191 other plaintiffs moved to remand their case back to state court in Montana on the basis that the case had been improperly removed under the local controversy exception to the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”) (28 U.S.C. §1332(d)(4)(A)). Defendants BNSF Railway Company and John Swing opposed, arguing that the case had been properly removed as a mass action. Following the parties’ briefings before the Magistrate Judge, and the court’s …

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Court of Appeals Affirms District Court’s Judgment in favor of Plaintiff Against Railroad Defendant

Plaintiff Nancy Little (“Little”) filed suit against the Budd Company (“Budd”) alleging that decedent died from exposure to asbestos-containing insulation surrounding the pipes on Budd manufactured rail cars.  The parties went to trial and a verdict was returned in favor of the plaintiff. On appeal, Budd asserted that plaintiff’s tort claims were preempted  by the Locomotive Inspection Act (“LIA”) and  Safety Appliance Act (“SAA”). Budd’s theory on appeal was that the claims were preempted because all passenger rail cars are “appurtenances” to a complete locomotive.…

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Impact of COVID-19 on the United States Court System

Thousands of new coronavirus cases are being identified across the United States each day. Since March, America has seen hundreds of thousands of people testing positive, resulting in thousands of deaths, to date.

In response to public health guidance related to COVID-19 (coronavirus), many U.S. courts (state and federal) have been forced to adjust their operations.  Changes to court operations are being made on a rolling basis, with changes being made day to day, on a state by state basis, with different guidelines on a …

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Louisiana District Court Denies Defendant’s Multiple Motions to Dismiss

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana, March 31, 2020.

Plaintiff, Harry F. Marsh, was diagnosed with mesothelioma allegedly as a result of his exposure to asbestos during his time as a seaman. He filed a Complaint in state court against several defendants on January 18, 2019.  Shortly thereafter, Defendant and Cross-Claim Plaintiff, Huntington Ingalls removed the matter to federal court.  Defendant, International Paper, filed three motions to dismiss, which were opposed by Huntington Ingalls.

International Paper filed a Motion to Dismiss based upon lack of …

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Pennsylvania District Court Grants in Part Motion to File Amended Complaint

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania, April 1, 2020 .

Plaintiff, Rhonda Gorton, filed this asbestos-related lawsuit in Pennsylvania on behalf of her husband, Thomas Gorton (“Decedent”).  Mrs. Gorton’s Complaint alleged Decedent suffered and died from mesothelioma as a result of his exposure to asbestos from his work as a service technician for AT&T Inc. and AT&T Communications, Inc. in Ohio from 1986 to 1988, among other things.  Specifically, she alleged that Decedent was exposed to asbestos-containing bags or pillows “believed to be manufactured by …

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Sailor’s Transferred Mesothelioma Case Dismissed for Lack of Jurisdiction

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit.

Plaintiff William Traser filed suit against multiple defendants in the United States District Court for Michigan. Mr. Traser passed away from mesothelioma two years later. His case was then consolidated into the Multidistrict Litigation (“MDL”) in 1991. Thereafter, his case was transferred to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. His case was then dismissed “for lack of personal jurisdiction in the Northern District of Ohio, where the court perceived the cases had been transferred to decades earlier.” Mr. Traser’s …

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Inference of Exposure Leads to Reversal of Summary Judgment against Boiler Defendant

Plaintiffs filed suit against several defendants including Cleaver Brooks “CB” alleging that their decedent, Ronald Callanan, developed and passed from asbestosis as a result of his exposure to defendants’ products. Specifically, Plaintiffs alleged that Callanan worked with David Wolfe at FM Engineering as a field inspector. Their work included inspecting CB boilers but Wolfe was unable to testify that he saw Callanan inspect those boilers because they worked independently from one another. Callanan also worked with Samuel Sorrels at Protection Mutual until 1987. CB moved …

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Pennsylvania District Court Denies Summary Judgment to Defendant Under Colorado Law

United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Plaintiffs alleged that Harald H. Mehnert developed mesothelioma as a result of his exposure to asbestos-containing laboratory equipment while working as a lab technician at the U.S. Geological Survey in Denver, Colorado from 1959 to 1995. Plaintiffs sued numerous defendants, including Fisher Scientific Company, LLC (“Fisher”), and Mr. Mehnert generally alleged that he used asbestos-containing paper tape, cloth, clamps with asbestos sleeves, gloves, and boards that he ordered from both Fisher and a company called …

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Court Grants Third-Party Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss

In Jack Papineau and Holly Papineau v. Brake Supply Company, Inc., et al., the Court recently granted a third-party defendant’s motion to dismiss a third-party complaint. Plaintiff Jack Papineau (“Papineau”) alleged that he developed malignant mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos from his employment at Smith Coal, and sued four defendants. After the action was filed, one defendant filed a third-party action against Rudd Equipment for common law indemnity and apportionment under K.R.S. Section 411.182. In its motion to dismiss the third-party complaint, Rudd Equipment …

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