Hodjera et al v. BASF Catalysts, LLC et al

Filing 189

ORDER denying as moot plaintiffs' 117 Motion for Priority Trial Setting, signed by Judge Robert S. Lasnik. (SWT)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE 7 8 9 10 MATTHEW HODJERA and SYLVIA HODJERA, 11 Plaintiffs, 12 13 14 v. BASF CATALYSTS LLC, et al., Case No. C17-48RSL ORDER DENYING AS MOOT PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION FOR PRIORITY TRIAL SETTING Defendants. 15 16 This matter comes before the Court on plaintiffs’ motion for priority trial setting. Dkt. 17 # 117. Having reviewed the memoranda of the parties and the remainder of the record, the Court 18 denies as moot plaintiffs’ motion for the reasons that follow. 19 According to the original complaint, Mr. Hodjera was exposed to asbestos or asbestos- 20 containing products in Toronto, Ontario, between 1986 and 1994. Dkt. # 1-1 at 4. On May 20, 21 2016, Mr. Hodjera was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Id. On December 2, 2016, plaintiffs filed 22 suit in King County Superior Court, alleging that Mr. Hodjera’s mesothelioma had been 23 proximately caused by the manufacture, sale, and/or distribution of asbestos-containing products 24 by the following defendants: BASF Catalysts LLC; BorgWarner Morse Tec Inc.; Central 25 Precision Limited; Charles B. Chrystal Company, Inc.; Dana Companies, LLC; Dana Canada 26 Corp.; DAP Products, Inc.; Felt Products Mfg. Co.; Honeywell International Inc.; Imerys Talc 27 28 ORDER DENYING AS MOOT PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION FOR PRIORITY TRIAL SETTING - 1 1 America, Inc.; Johnson & Johnson; Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc.; Pneumo 2 Abex LLC; Union Carbide Corporation; Vanderbilt Minerals LLC; Volkswagen 3 Aktiengesellschaft; Volkswagen Group of Canada; Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.; 4 Whittaker, Clark & Daniels, Inc.; and Does 1–350, inclusive. Dkt. # 1-1 at 2–3. On January 11, 5 2017, defendant Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. removed the case. Dkt. # 1. The Court 6 has granted various motions to dismiss on the grounds that plaintiffs’ original complaint lacked 7 sufficient factual allegations to establish specific jurisdiction in Washington. 8 Plaintiffs move for a priority trial setting pursuant to RCW 4.44.025, which provides that 9 “[w]hen setting civil cases for trial . . . upon motion of a party, the court may give priority to 10 cases in which a party is frail and over 70 years of age or is afflicted with a terminal illness.” 11 Plaintiffs introduce a declaration from Mr. Hodjera’s treating physician, Dr. Somasundaram 12 Subramaniam, who testifies that Mr. Hodjera’s mesothelioma may affect his ability to recall 13 events and accordingly that “any deposition or trial which will require Mr. Hodjera to accurately 14 recall events should take place expeditiously and as soon as possible, while he has physical 15 stamina to participate in the process and the ability to think cogently and communicate 16 effectively.” Dkt. # 119, ¶ 4. 17 Balancing these medical concerns with their interest in preparing sufficiently for trial, 18 plaintiffs specifically request a trial date seven months after their motion is adjudicated. Dkt. 19 # 117 at 3. Trial is currently scheduled for March 5, 2018, Dkt. # 79, which is seven months and 20 one week from the date of this order. Accordingly, plaintiffs’ motion is denied as moot. 21 22 23 For the foregoing reasons, plaintiffs’ motion for priority trial setting (Dkt. # 117) is DENIED as moot. Dated this 31st day of July, 2017. A 24 25 Robert S. Lasnik United States District Judge 26 27 28 ORDER DENYING AS MOOT PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION FOR PRIORITY TRIAL SETTING - 2

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?