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Quirin v. Lorillard Tobacco Co.

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

February 26, 2014

MARILYN F. QUIRIN, Special Representative of the Estate of RONALD J. QUIRIN, Deceased, Plaintiff,
v.
LORILLARD TOBACCO COMPANY, et al., Defendants

For Marilyn F. Quirin, Special Representatitve of the Estate of Ronald J. Quirin, Deceased, Plaintiff: Gary Paul, PRO HAC VICE, Waters, Kraus & Paul, El Segundo, CA; Gibbs C Henderson, PRO HAC VICE, Dallas, TX; Robert Neil Wadington, Robert N. Wadington & Associates, Chicago, IL.

For Lorillard Tobacco Company, formerly known as P. Lorillard Co., also known as Lorillard Tobacco Company, Defendant: Kurt Edward Reitz, LEAD ATTORNEY, Thompson Coburn, Belleville, IL; James David Duffy, Thompson Coburn LLP, Chicago, IL; Kevin C. Mcginley, Thompson Coburn Llp, Belleville, IL; Ricardo G. Cedillo, PRO HAC VICE, Davis, Cedillo & Mendoza, San Antonio, TX.

For Crane Co., Defendant: Catherine Lynn Carlson, Susan Gunty, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Gunty and McCarthy, Chicago, IL; James Paul Kasper, LEAD ATTORNEY, Gunty & McCarthy Law Offices, Chicago, IL; David A. Rammelt, K& L Gates LLP, Chicago, IL; Michael James Ross, Terry Budd, PRO HAC VICE, K& L Gates Llp, Pittsburgh, PA.

For Georgia-Pacific LLC, (sued individually and as successor-in-interest to Besteall Gypsum Company), Defendant, Cross Defendant, Cross Claimant: Adam H Doeringer, LEAD ATTORNEY, Swanson, Martin & Bell, Llp, Chicago, IL; Michael William Drumke, LEAD ATTORNEY, Swanson, Martin & Bell, Chicago, IL.

For Hollingsworth & Vose Company, Inc., Defendant: Kurt Edward Reitz, LEAD ATTORNEY, Thompson Coburn, Belleville, IL; James David Duffy, Thompson Coburn LLP, Chicago, IL; Kevin C. Mcginley, Thompson Coburn Llp, Belleville, IL.

For Crane Co., Cross Claimant, Cross Defendant: Catherine Lynn Carlson, Susan Gunty, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Gunty and McCarthy, Chicago, IL; James Paul Kasper, LEAD ATTORNEY, Gunty & McCarthy Law Offices, Chicago, IL; Michael James Ross, Terry Budd, K& L Gates Llp, Pittsburgh, PA.

For Hollingsworth & Vose Company, Inc., Cross Defendant, Cross Claimant: Kurt Edward Reitz, LEAD ATTORNEY, Thompson Coburn, Belleville, IL; James David Duffy, Thompson Coburn LLP, Chicago, IL.

For Lorillard Tobacco Company, Cross Defendant, Cross Claimant: Kurt Edward Reitz, LEAD ATTORNEY, Thompson Coburn, Belleville, IL; James David Duffy, Thompson Coburn LLP, Chicago, IL; Ricardo G. Cedillo, Davis, Cedillo & Mendoza, San Antonio, TX.

Page 915

MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER

JOAN B. GOTTSCHALL, United States District Judge.

Plaintiff Marilyn F. Quirin, special representative of the estate of Ronald J. Quirin (" Quirin" ), has sued defendants Lorillard Tobacco Company (" Lorillard" ) and Hollingsworth & Vose Company (" H& V" ) on a negligence theory, alleging that

Page 916

Mr. Quirin developed and died from mesothelioma substantially caused by his exposure to asbestos-containing materials while smoking Kent cigarettes. Now before the court is Lorillard and H& V's motion for summary judgment. Lorillard and H& V argue that Quirin cannot establish that Mr. Quirin was exposed to any product they manufactured or sold that contained asbestos. They further argue that Quirin cannot establish that such exposure was a substantial factor causing his disease. Because genuine disputes of fact exist as to whether Mr. Quirin was exposed to Kent cigarettes that contained asbestos, and as to whether that exposure was sufficient to be a substantial factor causing his mesothelioma, the motion is denied.[1]

I. Legal Standard for Summary Judgment

Summary judgment is appropriate when the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56; Smith v. Hope Sch., 560 F.3d 694, 699 (7th Cir. 2009). " [A] factual dispute is 'genuine' only if a reasonable jury could find for either party." SMS Demag Aktiengesellschaft v. Material Scis. Corp., 565 F.3d 365, 368 (7th Cir. 2009). The court ruling on the motion construes all facts and makes all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). Summary judgment is warranted when the nonmoving party cannot establish an essential element of its case on which it will bear the burden of proof at trial. Kidwell v. Eisenhauer, 679 F.3d 957, 964 (7th Cir. 2012).

II. Facts

Mr. Quirin was diagnosed with mesothelioma on or about December 27, 2011. In 2012, Mr. Quirin and his wife, Marilyn, filed a complaint against numerous defendants in the Circuit Court of Cook County, alleging claims for injuries caused by asbestos exposure. Mr. Quirin passed away on March 31, 2013, and Mrs. Quirin was appointed his executor. The case was removed to federal court on diversity grounds in April 2013, and Plaintiff's Fifth Amended Complaint was filed in this court on April 26, 2013. The defendants that remain in the case are Crane Co., Georgia-Pacific LLC, Hollingsworth & Vose Co., and Lorillard Tobacco Co. Against each defendant, Quirin brings negligence claims under Illinois' Wrongful Death Act and the Illinois Survival Act. Quirin alleges that the defendants failed to exercise ordinary care and caution in various ways, such as by including asbestos in their ...


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