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Appellate Division Reverses Trial Court’s Denial of Dismissal of Punitive Damages Claim

Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department

Plaintiffs Victor Arana and Romeo Maffei, both allege asbestos exposure from working with asbestos cement pipe previously distributed by the defendant, J-M Manufacturing Company.

In these actions, the plaintiffs sought punitive damages against JMM as the company did not place a warning on all of the pieces of pipes it distributed. JMM moved for summary judgment on the punitive damages claim, which the trial court denied. JMM appealed the trial court’s decisions.

Ultimately, the Appellate Division …

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Retail Distributer’s Motion for Summary Judgment on Product-Identification Grounds Denied

Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento, November 9, 2022

In this asbestos matter, the plaintiffs alleged that the decedent, Gail Chandler, developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos-containing products. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendant, Parts Warehouse, a retail distributer, sold asbestos-containing parts to the decedent and/or the decedent’s employer, and that these parts caused the decedent to be exposed to asbestos. The plaintiffs further argued that Parts Warehouse also had liability for parts obtained through its alternative entity; Lamus-Lundlee Co. Parts …

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Asbestos Supplier’s Motion Seeking Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict and New Trial Denied

State of New York, Supreme Court, County of Niagara, November 4, 2022

Plaintiffs Benedict Viglietta and Terri Viglietta alleged that Mr. Viglietta developed mesothelioma as a result of his exposure to asbestos while employed at a Durez chemical plant during the summers of 1974 and 1976. With respect to defendant Hedman Resources Limited, the plaintiffs alleged that Mr. Viglietta’s exposure to Hedman cationic fiber was a substantial factor in causing his mesothelioma. The plaintiffs further alleged that Hedman failed to provide an adequate warning and …

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2022 Mid-Year Asbestos Filing Update

Recently, KCIC posted their 2022 Mid-Year Asbestos Filings Update. This update is compiled using information collected through July 31st. This article illustrates some highlights from the update.

Number of Asbestos-Related Lawsuits Decrease While Mesothelioma Filings Increase

The number of asbestos-related lawsuits increased from 2020 (1,790) to 2021 (1,972). However, 2022 shows a decrease in the number of filings over the same respective time spans (1,914).

Mesothelioma and lung cancer filings continue to make up the majority of filings (86%). Notably, mesothelioma claims …

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

Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department, November 2, 2022

In this asbestos action, Steel Grip Inc., a personal protective equipment manufacturer, was sued along with other defendants for decedent Giacinto Pira’s alleged asbestos exposure, which allegedly contributed to his mesothelioma diagnosis.  

At his discovery deposition, Pira testified that his employer purchased asbestos-containing safety gloves from SGI in New York, and that he used these gloves for welding on his jobsite.

SGI moved to dismiss the case for lack of personal jurisdiction, …

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Defendants’ Corporate Representatives’ Testimony Condemns own Motions

United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana, October 31, 2022

Plaintiffs brought this wrongful death and survival action on behalf of decedent Kirk Reulet, alleging that Mr. Reulet was exposed to asbestos while working as a tradesman at various marine-economy jobs from 1972 to 2013. Plaintiffs alleged that this exposure led to his mesothelioma diagnosis and eventual death, and sought damages from dozens of defendants, including employers, premise owners, asbestos manufacturers or supplies, and insurers.

Defendants General Electric Company and ViacomCBS Inc. …

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Third-Parties Prevail on Summary Judgment Thanks to Employer’s Lack of Evidence

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, October 24, 2022

Plaintiff Ronald John Falgout, as the independent executor and successor of decedent Ruby Lee Marie Falgout, brought this action in October 2022 after Falgout succumbed to the fatal effects of mesothelioma in August 2022. The plaintiff alleged that the decedent’s secondary exposure from asbestos fibers on his work clothes caused her cancer diagnosis. The plaintiff worked as a laborer, operator, oil king, and rainmaker at the Avondale Shipyards from 1965 to 1979. He …

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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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