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In Re: Asbestos Products Consolidated Under Liability Litigation v. Various Defendants

August 7, 2012

IN RE: ASBESTOS PRODUCTS CONSOLIDATED UNDER LIABILITY LITIGATION (NO. VI) VARIOUS PLAINTIFFS
v.
VARIOUS DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Eduardo C. Robreno, J.

Docket ("MARDOC"), listed in Exhibits "A" and "B," attached

MEMORANDUM

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. INTRODUCTION..............................................2

II. BACKGROUND................................................3

III. LEGAL STANDARD........ ...................................9

A. Motion to Dismiss....................................9

B. Applicability of Maritime Substantive Law...........10

1. Locality Test..................................12

2. Connection Test................................12

C. Applicability of Federal Procedural Law.............13

IV. DISCUSSION...............................................15

A. Non-Cognizability of Asymptomatic Conditions........16

1. Connection Between the Jones Act, Maritime Law, and FELA..................................16

2. Requirement of an "Injury" under the Jones Act, Maritime Law, and FELA....................18

3. The Trend Among the States.....................22

4. Public Policy Considerations...................24

B. Alternative Vehicles Suggested by Defendants to Dispose of the Claims...............................25

1. Ohio Asbestos Litigation Reform Act............25

2. Administrative Order No. 8.....................28

C. Applying Maritime Law to Instant Claims.............30

V. CONCLUSION...............................................31

Certain cases on the Maritime

I. INTRODUCTION

Before the Court are 5,464 motions to dismiss in approximately 2,672 cases that are part of MDL 875,*fn1 the consolidated asbestos products liability multidistrict litigation pending in the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

All of the Plaintiffs*fn2 whose cases are subject to the present motions to dismiss are or were merchant marine seamen during the time of their alleged exposures to asbestos. Some claims are Jones Act claims under 46 U.S.C. §§ 30101-30106 (2006),*fn3 while others sound in general maritime law.

Defendants in these cases fall into three categories: "(1) ship owners or ship operators of the vessels on which the injured parties were employed; (2) product manufacturers whose asbestos-containing products were used aboard those vessels; and (3) railroad companies whose railcars were transported on those ...


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