Gasket Manufacturers’ Motions for Summary Judgment and Motion to Change Venue Denied in Naval Exposure Case U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, January 28, 2016

In this federal court case, the plaintiff alleged he was exposed to asbestos in various products through the course of his employment in the 1960s and 1970s. He specifically alleged asbestos exposure from working with gaskets manufactured by Excelsior Packing & Gasket Company and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company while serving in the Navy from 1970 to 1975 aboard the U.S.S. Surfbird and U.S.S. Hector. On both ships, the plaintiff’s duties included replacing gaskets on pumps, valves, and boilers. He testified to changing flange gaskets…
Continue reading...

Post-Bankruptcy Petition Malignancy Claim Not “Sufficiently Rooted” in Pre-Bankruptcy Past to Constitute Property of the Estate U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, January 29, 2016

In a follow-up to cases previously reported on in ACT, the plaintiffs in this case, Administrators of the Estate of Bjorn Dahl, alleged that the decedent, Mr. Dahl, was exposed to asbestos while working aboard various ships. The plaintiffs assert that the decedent developed two asbestos-related illnesses, a non-malignancy injury dating back to 1995 and a malignancy claim arising in 1997, as a result of his exposure to asbestos aboard those ships. In 1995, Mr. Dahl brought claims for non-malignant asbestos-related disease. Mr. Dahl’s…
Continue reading...

Jury in St. Louis City, Missouri Awards Multi-Million Dollar Verdict to Wife of Lifelong Electrician 22nd Judicial Circuit of Missouri, St. Louis City, January 25, 2016

The plaintiff’s decedent was a lifelong electrician from 1963 to 2001 with a large number of work sites.  The decedent died of mesothelioma at age 72. After numerous co-worker depositions, the case proceeded to trial against defendant The Okonite Company. The jury found that Okonite was negligent and assigned it 5 percent of the total causal responsibility. The jury awarded: $165,000 medical expenses; $1,825,000 for decedent’s pain and suffering; $350,000 for pre-death loss of society and companionship; and $1,825,000 post-death loss of society and companionship,…
Continue reading...

Valve Manufacturer Granted Summary Judgment Under Maritime Law Where it May Have Recommended, But Did Not Provide, Asbestos-Containing Flange Gaskets U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, Charleston Division, January 27, 2016

In this federal court case, it is alleged that the decedent, Thomas Dandridge, was exposed to asbestos while working as a pipefitter and coppersmith at the Charleston Naval Shipyard from 1965 to 1976. It was claimed that the decedent was exposed to asbestos from a variety of products, including flange gaskets used to link Crane Co. valves to pipe lines. The case was originally brought in the court of common pleas in Charleston County and was later removed federal court, where Crane moved for summary…
Continue reading...

Two Rulings From MDL Allow Previously Dismissed Asbestos Claims to Proceed Against Various Ship Owners Despite Previous Dismissed Actions Not Listed as Assets in Bankruptcy U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, January 25, 2016

In a follow-up to six cases previously reported on in ACT, two more cases were decided in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Both cases had started in the Northern District of Ohio, and were transferred to the MDL 875 in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. In both cases, the plaintiffs brought claims against various ship owners represented by Thompson Hine LLP, and all alleged asbestos exposure while working on ships. All cases were administratively dismissed; after dismissal, the plaintiffs…
Continue reading...

California Appellate Court Affirms All of Trial Court’s Rulings in Extensive Damages Case Against Kaiser Gypsum Court of Appeal of California, January 21, 2016

The plaintiffs in the case were a married couple who filed a claim for personal injury due to bystander asbestos exposure after the husband was diagnosed with mesothelioma. After a lengthy trial against defendant Kaiser Gypsum, the plaintiffs were awarded $21 million in compensatory damages but the jury could not reach a verdict regarding punitive damages. A retrial was ordered on this issue, and the second jury awarded $20 million in punitive damages, which the court reduced to just under $4 million. Defendant Kaiser Gypsum…
Continue reading...

District Court Grants Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction Due to Plaintiffs’ Failure to Respond to These Motions U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, January 19, 2016

Defendants General Electric, Ingersoll-Rand, and CBS Corporation moved to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. The plaintiff failed to respond to any of these motions. The court cited Local Rule 7.1(c) in using its discretion to construe this failure to file a timely response as an admission of the merits of the motion. “Here, Defendants are not incorporated nor maintain their principal place of business in Illinois.  Further, Defendants’ affiliations with Illinois are not ‘so continuous and systematic’ as to render Defendants at home in Illinois. …
Continue reading...

Armstrong World Industries, Inc. Asbestos Personal Injury Settlement Trust Drops Under 20 Percent Ownership in Industries-Company, Files 13G Form

The Armstrong World Industries, Inc. Asbestos Personal Injury Settlement Trust recently filed a SC 13G/A form. The form reported a decreased stake in the company by a total of -29.36 percent to 5,251,234 shares, leaving the Trust owning 9.5 percent of the Industrials-company.  This form was required as a result of trading activity on December 31, 2015. Armstrong World Industries, Inc. produces flooring products and ceiling systems for use in the construction and renovation of various types of buildings.  This 13G form is used when…
Continue reading...

Summary Judgment Awarded to Pump Manufacturer for Alleged Exposure to Pump Component Parts Manufactured by Third-Parties U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, January 21, 2016

In Holzworth v. Alfa Laval, et al. 12-CV-06088 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 21, 2016), Southern District of New York Judge John Keenan granted defendant Ingersoll-Rand’s summary judgment motion arising out of the plaintiff’s alleged exposure to asbestos aboard the U.S.S. Sheldrake. The plaintiff’s decedent had testified that he was exposed to pumps aboard the ship as a bystander and by cleaning them. He did not specifically describe their pumps’ composition, but claimed that he scraped asbestos-containing packing from the jackets. He further testified that many of the…
Continue reading...

Honorable Garrett Wong Formally Takes the Reigns as San Francisco Asbestos Presiding Judge

On January 11, 2016, Judge Garrett L. Wong formally replaced the Honorable Teri L. Jackson as the San Francisco Superior Court Asbestos Presiding Judge. Judge Wong, a San Francisco native and alum of the University of California, has worked in civil and criminal litigation in the public and private sectors. He was originally appointed to the San Francisco Superior Court by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2005 and served as a misdemeanor and trial judge at the Hall of Justice in San Francisco. Although Judge Wong…
Continue reading...