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NEAL v. CAREY CANADIAN MINES

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA


August 31, 1982

STELLA J. NEAL, Administratrix of the Estate of GEORGE R. NEAL, and STELLA J. NEAL on her own behalf; LEVINA ROMANO, Administratrix of the Estate of LOUIS ROMANO, and LEVINA ROMANO on her own behalf; HARRY F. BELZ and MARIAN BELZ; WALTER and HELEN BOGDANSKI; JUDY SIMPSON, Administratrix of the Estate of ARNOLD FOULKE; HELEN HOJNACKI, Administratrix of the Estate of EDWARD J. HOJNACKI and HELEN HOJNACKI on her own behalf; RONALD A. LENZI, SR. and LILLIAN LENZI; JOSEPH and ANN MANCINI; CORRIE MITCHELL; SALVATORE and VIRGINIA PASCALE; VINCENT and MARY C. RAYMOND; PASQUALE and RITA ANN ROMANO; GERALD C. and MARGARET WILMER; JERRY and RUTH B. HENLEY; NATHANIEL and LUCILLE SATTERWHITE
v.
CAREY CANADIAN MINES, LTD., JOHNS-MANVILLE CORPORATION, JOHNS-MANVILLE PRODUCTS CORPORATION, JOHNS-MANVILLE SALES CORPORATION, CANADIAN JOHNS-MANVILLE CO., LTD., CANADIAN JOHNS-MANVILLE MINING CO., LTD., CANADIAN JOHNS-MANVILLE ASBESTOS, LTD., BELL ASBESTOS MINES, LTD., ASBESTOS CORPORATION, LTD., CELOTEX CORPORATION, NORTH AMERICAN ASBESTOS CORPORATION, PHILIP CAREY MANUFACTURING COMPANY, INC.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: BECHTLE

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

 BECHTLE, J.

 This is a diversity action brought by former workers of the Philip Carey Manufacturing Company, Inc. ("Philip Carey"), their spouses, and representatives of decedents' estates, for compensatory and punitive damages arising out of the claimants' exposure to asbestos fiber while they were employed at the Philip Carey manufacturing plant in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania. Presently before the Court are the post-trial motions filed both by plaintiffs and defendants. For the reasons which follow, the motions are denied.

 I. Facts

 On November 28, 1978, this action was commenced by the filing of plaintiffs' complaint in the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. On December 19, 1978, defendants removed this case to federal court. Plaintiffs' complaint was brought on behalf of twenty-four former employees of the Philip Carey manufacturing plant, located in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania. At this plant, Philip Carey manufactured asbestos-insulation products which contained raw asbestos fiber. The Plymouth Meeting plant opened in 1907 and closed in 1962. Plaintiffs sued Celotex Corporation ("Celotex"), as the successor-in-interest to Philip Carey, because plaintiffs allegedly contracted asbestos-related diseases through the inhalation of asbestos fiber used in the manufacture of insulation material at that plant. Plaintiffs also sued the following five companies because they allegedly supplied asbestos fiber to the Plymouth Meeting manufacturing plant during the time periods in which plaintiffs worked at that plant -- Asbestos Corporation Limited ("Asbestos Corp."); Bell Asbestos Mines, Limited ("Bell Asbestos"); Carey-Canadian Mines, Limited ("Carey-Canadian"); Johns-Manville Corporation, Johns-Manville Products Corporation, Johns-Manville Sales Corporation, Canadian Johns-Manville Company, Limited, Canadian Johns-Manville Mining Company, Limited, Canadian Johns-Manville Asbestos, Limited (collectively "Johns-Manville"); and North American Asbestos Corporation ("NAAC"). *fn1" Following the initiation of the action, two years of protracted discovery and lengthy pretrial proceedings with attendant delay ensued. Finally, on February 20, 1981, fifteen of the twenty-four claims were consolidated for trial and a jury was empaneled to hear the case. n2 The issues of liability and damages were bifurcated by the Court and the following claims were heard: Workers Dates of Employment (1) George Neal 1926-1962 (2) Louis Romano (deceased) 1929-1962 (3) Harry F. Belz 1944-1961 (4) Walter Bogdanski 1929-1962 (5) Arnold Foulke (deceased) 1936-1962 (6) Edward J. Hojnacki (deceased) 1950-1961 (7) Ronald A. Lenzi, Sr. 1947-1962 (8) Joseph Mancini 1936-1961 (9) Corrie Mitchell 1933-1962 (10) Salvatore Pascale 1946-1962 (11) Vincent Raymond 1948-1959 (12) Pasquale Romano 1950-1961 (13) Gerald C. Wilmer 1951-1960 (14) Jerry Henley 1945-1962 (15) Nathaniel Satterwhite 1946-1962

19820831

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