Articles Posted in Mesothelioma Lawsuits

The Illinois Appellate Court for the Fourth District has overturned a $3.2 million jury verdict against a manufacturer in an asbestos death case. The appeals panel found that there was not enough evidence to show that a glazier’s contact with caulk and tape was a substantial factor in Willard Krumwiede’s fatal contraction of mesothelioma.

Krumwiede worked as a window glazier, installing glass into wood or aluminum frames from the mid-1950s until he retired in the early 1990s.

Krumwiede died at the age of 81 in September 2012. An autopsy showed that he had “malignant mesothelioma consistent with industrial exposure of asbestos.”

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In December 2016, Arlin Campbell was diagnosed with mesothelioma, which is a disease attributable to exposure to asbestos. On May 4, 2017, Campbell, an Alabama resident, filed suit in the Circuit Court of Cook County alleging that his cancer (mesothelioma) was caused by his exposure to asbestos while working jobs in Illinois, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas between 1961 and 1999.

He named more than 50 companies as defendants. Among his several allegations, Campbell claimed that his exposure to asbestos involved products “manufactured, sold, distributed or installed” by the General Electric Co.  Campbell’s sole period of employment in Illinois was when he worked for Republic Steel in Chicago from 1964 through 1965.

General Electric moved to dismiss the case against it noting that in Campbell’s complaint, he did not specifically allege that he encountered asbestos from GE products while working at Republic Steel. GE argued that Campbell failed to allege sufficient facts to grant the court personal jurisdiction and noted that it did not consent to the court’s jurisdiction.

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James Folta had stopped working at Ferro Engineering 41 years before he was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma. He claimed that while working for Ferro Engineering he was exposed to “tremendous amounts of airborne asbestos fibers.” According to the lawsuit, Folta knew that exposure to asbestos dust was dangerous, but Ferro Engineering did not warn him and did not provide respiratory safety equipment.

By the time Folta received the fatal diagnosis, the statutes of repose had expired for claims under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act (the statute is 25 years) and the Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act (the statute is 3 years after the claimant stopped working for the employer).

As Folta had no other available course of action, he filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Cook County claiming that his mesothelioma was caused by the negligence of Ferro Engineering. Because of the exclusive-remedy provisions found in the Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Diseases statutes, the lawsuit was dismissed. Continue reading

In a case decided in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Perry v. A.W. Chesterton Inc., it was determined that brakes located onto a rail car are a “part or appurtenance” to a locomotive and therefore the plaintiff’s state law asbestos claims were pre-empted by the federal Locomotive Inspection Act (LIA).  

Alice Perry brought this lawsuit on behalf of her husband, who died of asbestos-related injuries after installing and removing Railroad Friction Products Corp. brake shoes on rail cars.The locomotive is at the front of the train, which pulls the rail cars that carry the cargo of passengers or products.

Perry argued that the specific brakes and brake materials that her husband was exposed to were found only in rail cars and not locomotives. She maintained that her claim was not pre-empted by the LIA, which governs only locomotives.

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