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In re Asbestos Litigation

Supreme Court of Montana

January 14, 2019

IN RE ASBESTOS LITIGATION, Consolidated Cases.

         Applicable to Hutt v. Maryland Casualty Co., et al., Cascade County Cause No. DDV-18-0175

          Roger M. Sullivan, Allan M. McGarvey, Jon L. Heberling, John F. Lacey, Ethan Aubrey Welder, Dustin Alan Richard Leftridge (Attorney)

          Jeffrey R. Kuchel, Danielle A.R. Coffman, Gerry P. Fagan, G. Patrick HagEstad, Jennifer Marie Studebaker, Joshua Alexander Leggett, Vernon M. McFarland, Jean Elizabeth Faure, Jason Trinity Holden, Chad E. Adams, Katie Rose Ranta, Stephen Dolan Bell, Kelly Gallinger, Charles J. Seifert, Robert J. Phillips, Emma Laughlin Mediak, Daniel Jordan Auerbach, Leo Sean Ward, Robert B. Pfennigs, Mark Trevor Wilson, Robert M. Murdo, Murry Warhank, Ben A. Snipes, Mark M. Kovacich, Ross Thomas Johnson, Randy J. Cox, Zachary Aaron Franz, M. Covey Morris, Robert J. Sullivan, Dale R. Cockrell, Vaughn A. Crawford, Tracy H. Fowler, Martin S. King, Maxon R. Davis, Tom L. Lewis, Keith Edward Ekstrom, William Rossbach, Kennedy C. Ramos, Edward J. Longosz, Chad M. Knight, Anthony Michael Nicastro, Nadia Hafeez Patrick, Kevin A. Twidwell, Jinnifer Jeresek Mariman, Stephanie A. Hollar, James E. Roberts, Jacy Suenram, Michael Crill (Other), Michael D. Plachy, Conor A. Flanigan, Fredric A. Bremseth, Walter G. Watkins, Jason Eric Pepe, Peter A. Moir, Mark A. Johnston, Erik H Nelson, Michael E. Wise (Attorney)

          ORDER RE: PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT RE: DEFENDANT'S NON-PARTY AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES

          Amy Eddy, Asbestos Claims Court Judge.

         Pending before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment Re: Defendant's Non-Party Affirmative Defenses, filed October 19, 2018. Maryland Casualty Company filed its Response in Opposition on October 30, 2018, to which Hutt filed a Reply on November 9, 2018. Oral argument was not requested by the parties and was not deemed necessary by the Court. Having reviewed the file and being fully apprised, the Court hereby finds as follows:

         ORDER

         Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment Re: Defendant's Non-Party Affirmative Defenses is GRANTED consistent with the below Rationale.

         RATIONALE

         A. Procedural Background

         Plaintiff Ralph Hutt was one of 884 plaintiffs included in Adams, et al. v. Maryland Casualty Company, et al., Cascade County Cause No. DDV-16-0786, filed September 23, 2016. On March 20, 2018, this Court selected Hutt as a lead case for trial against Maryland Casualty Company (MCC), and directed him to file a separate complaint, which was done on March 23, 2018, and is filed as Hutt v. Maryland Casualty Company, et al., Cascade County Cause No. DDV-18-0175. Hutt brought claims against MCC for (1) Negligence in Provision of Industrial Hygiene Services; and (2) Bad Faith Treatment of Workers with Rights to Occupational Disease Benefits (Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Deceit, Bad Faith Negligent Misrepresentation and Constructive Fraud, Malice).[1]

         MCC raised the following affirmative defenses in its Answer, filed June 4, 2018:

         Twelfth Defense: "whatever damages were incurred by Plaintiff were the result of intervening and/or superseding acts or omissions of parties over whom this defendant had no control." Answer, p. 13.

         Thirty-Fifth Defense: "This Defendant reserves the right to designate responsible non-parties at fault." Answer, p. 17.

         B. ...


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