Summary Judgment in Favor of Bankrupt Wisconsin Company

  •  verdict

In an order submitted on November 26, the California Court of Appeal, First District, Division Five, granted summary judgment in favor of Special Electric Company, Inc., regarding claims filed by plaintiff David Hart that he developed mesothelioma due to the asbestos exposure from the company's products.

The plaintiff's motion to dismiss the summary judgment considering the operative Wisconsin statute, preempted by Special Electric’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan, was rejected by the California jury. The jury stated that the defendant provided sufficient notice of its dissolution. The company's insurers published a Notice of Dissolution in three Wisconsin newspapers stating expiry of a two-year statute for claims against Special Electric Company, Inc., on May 8, 2014. The plaintiff was diagnosed with mesothelioma caused due to asbestos exposure from cement pipe and drywall joint compound products in late 2015. He sued the company approximately four months after the claims period expired on the Notice of Dissolution. The jury found that the notice was sufficient and the claims filed by the plaintiff were thus time-barred under the Wisconsin law.

Asbestos-related lawsuits are currently underway in several federal courts over claims of mesothelioma in individuals exposed to asbestos fibers at their workplaces. Talcum powder manufacturers are also named in several asbestos exposure lawsuits filed by individuals who used talc products and suffered fatal side-effects like mesothelioma and ovarian cancer.

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