Summary Judgment Granted For Muffler Manufacturer Where Inference of Exposure Not Permitted Superior Court of Delaware, April 10, 2019

DELAWARE — The plaintiff, Jimmy Crawford, sued Tenneco Automotive Operating Company Inc. (Tenneco), among other defendants, alleging that his lung cancer was caused by asbestos present in Walker automotive mufflers. Prior to his death, the plaintiff testified that he worked at two automotive stations from 1963 to 1965, where he worked with Walker mufflers. He believed he was exposed to asbestos from the mufflers because he was potentially told by his father that the mufflers contained asbestos due to their high heat application. Tenneco moved…
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Orders Dismissing Merchant Mariners’ Claims for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction Reversed After Finding of Waiver United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, April 9, 2019

OHIO — The appeals for this matter stem from the dismissal of claims filed in the Northern District of Ohio. In 1989 several ship owner defendants moved to dismiss a multitude of merchant mariner claims suits for lack of personal jurisdiction. In sum, the defendants argued that the merchant mariners’ claims for nationwide jurisdiction were invalid. The court found a lack of personal jurisdiction but denied the motions to dismiss and indicated that the court would transfer the cases to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania…
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Estate’s Claims of Exposure from Steam Pipes That Were Not Connected to a Locomotive Survive Preemption Challenge U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, April 5, 2019

PENNSYLVANIA — The plaintiff’s decedent worked in Texas as an electrician from 1945 until 1989, and alleged exposure to asbestos from insulation that was incorporated into passenger railcars manufactured by Defendants from 1945 until the mid to late 1970s. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that asbestos exposure from pipe insulation and “arc chute” insulation in the passenger cars manufactured by the defendants was a cause of decedent’s mesothelioma and subsequent death. The railroad manufacturing defendants moved for summary judgement under the theory that the plaintiff’s claims…
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California Jury Finds Defendant’s Talc Did Not Contain Asbestos Superior Court of the State of California, April 5, 2019

CALIFORNIA — In Blinkinsop v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., a California jury found that a defendant’s talcum powder did not contain asbestos, and therefore rejected the plaintiff’s claims that his use of the defendant’s products caused his mesothelioma. The plaintiff’s case was filed in September 2017, two months after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, alleging that his use of personal care products up through the 1980s caused his “likely terminal” illness. Following a five-week trial, a Long Beach jury deliberated for less than…
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Meteorologist’s Opinion Insufficient to Support Environmental Claim to Asbestos; Summary Judgment Granted Superior Court of Delaware Superior Court of Delaware, April 5, 2019

DELAWARE — In Werner Rath v. 3M Company, et al., the court ruled on a defendant Oyj Partek Ab’s (Partek) motion for summary judgment. The plaintiff alleged occupational exposure to asbestos while working as a union carpenter at a number of industrial sites in Delaware and New Jersey. One week before the plaintiff’s deposition was scheduled to take place, the plaintiff’s counsel filed a motion for leave to amend to file an amended complaint joining additional defendants, including Partek. Partek was one, non-exclusive supplier…
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Subjective Generalization Regarding Frequency of Exposure Held Legally Insufficient to Support Jury Verdict

As recently reported on March 28, 2019 on the Asbestos Case Tracker, the First Department of the New York Supreme Court issued a significant causation decision. In Joanne Corazza as Executrix of the Estate of George Cooney v. Amchem Products Inc., et al, the plaintiff sued multiple asbestos related defendants, alleging they were all the cause of Mr. Cooney’s lung cancer. Notably, Mr. Cooney was a two-and-a-half pack-per-day smoker of 52 years prior to his death. The case was tried to verdict over…
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Workers’ Compensation Exclusivity Provision Leads to Dismissal of Construction Worker’s Complaint U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin, March 31, 2019

WISCONSIN — Plaintiff Johnson Carter filed suit against Henry Carlson’s Construction Company (HCCC) alleging he suffered “a variety of severe medical symptoms” after exposure to asbestos while working for HCCC as a temporary construction worker. Specifically, he claimed that he was exposed to asbestos during a demolition of a hospital in the late 1980s. He could not recall the name of the temporary agency or hospital, but stated that he was provided a dust mask for the tear-out work. HCCC moved to dismiss the complaint…
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Jury Instructions Confused Non-Party’s Role as Employer and Manufacturer, Leading to Incorrect Attribution of Liability Supreme Court of New York, New York County, March 28, 2019

NEW YORK — The sole issue on appeal “is the attribution of liability as between Con Ed and non-party Robert A. Keasbey, Co., (Keasbey).” For three months in 1958, the plaintiff’s decedent worked in close proximity to Keasbey employees, who used asbestos-containing concrete products, including Rex and Rakco concrete manufactured by Keasbey.  From the winter of 1964 to the spring of 1965, the plaintiff’s decedent worked for Keasbey as an asbestos installer at a Con Ed plant in Ravenswood, Queens and used Rex and Rakco.…
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NYCAL Verdict Tossed on Basis that “a lot” of Asbestos Exposure is Insufficient to Establish Causation Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York, March 28, 2019

NEW YORK – The defendant Caterpillar, Inc. (Caterpillar) appealed a verdict in the aggregate amount of $1.8 million issued by a jury in the New York City Asbestos Litigation (NYCAL) following a trial over which the Honorable Martin Shulman presided. This verdict was unanimously reversed by the First Department, one of which justices is the Honorable Peter Moulton, who previously presided over NYCAL as administrative judge. The First Department based its reversal on the plaintiff Joanne Corazza’s (plaintiff) failure to establish causation as it related…
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Defense Verdict for Johnson & Johnson in New Jersey Talc Meso Case Superior Court of New Jersey, Middlesex County, March 27, 2019

NEW JERSEY — March 27, 2019, a New Brunswick New Jersey jury found that Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. (J&J) was not liable in causing the mesothelioma of 58-year-old plaintiff Ricardo Rimondi.  Rimondi alleged decades of use of J&J’s baby powder, which the plaintiff alleged contained talc that was contaminated with asbestos. J&J attorneys highlighted the fact that the plaintiff’s experts failed to acknowledge that the plaintiff grew up and lived in close proximity to an asbestos cement factory.…
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