Federal judge dismisses asbestos-related personal injury suit against Foster Wheeler

By Amanda Thomas | Mar 27, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO – A federal judge has dismissed an asbestos-related personal injury suit against an engineering company at the plaintiff's request.

U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer granted the order March 16, saying “All claims in this federal case are hereby dismissed, without prejudice, against all defendants named in this case.”

The order came after the plaintiff, David Filer, requested dismissal of the case against Foster Wheeler LLC, saying the case has been resolved. Filer’s request was filed March 13.

The case stems from a February 2012 suit claiming Filer’s “asbestos-related lung disease” was caused by inhaling asbestos fibers released while laundering father’s “dirty and dusty work” clothes and during his own career. The suit said his father was a marine machinist who started working at a shipyard in 1962. It also said he and “his father would occasionally work on the same ships.”

The complain stated Filer was diagnosed in June 2010 with asbestosis, a lung disease marked by a high risk of mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos. In April 2011, he was diagnosed with an “asbestos-related pleural disease,” his complaint states. The suit states that the asbestos-containing products he was exposed to were “manufactured, supplied, distributed, installed and/or contracted" for by Foster Wheeler and other named defendants.

It also accused Foster Wheeler and the other defendants as being “willful, malicious, fraudulent, outrageous and in conscious disregard and indifference to the safety and health” of people exposed to their asbestos-containing products. 

This case is one of many asbestos-related personal injuries cases filed in California every year. According to a 2017 KCIC Industry report, Los Angeles is among the top 10 jurisdictions for filings related to mesothelioma. In 2017, 76 cases were filed in Los Angeles. There were 2,190 cases filed nationwide. 

Meanwhile, California Assemblyman Kevin Kiley reintroduced an asbestos trust bill designed to protect funds for the treatment of asbestos exposure. AB-1056, originally introduced in February 2017, would establish procedures for civil actions regarding asbestos exposure and wrongful act claims. It would require a plaintiff to disclose specific information about asbestos trust funding. 

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Amec Foster Wheeler U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

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