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Doolin v. American Optical Corp.

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Jacksonville Division

August 22, 2017

STACEY DOOLIN, as the Personal Representative of the Estate of RICHARD E. DOOLIN, Plaintiff,
v.
AMERICAN OPTICAL CORPORATION,, Defendants.

          ORDER

          MARCIA MORALES HOWARD United States District Judge

         THIS CAUSE is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for Sanctions against Defendant Borg-Warner Corporation (Doc. No. 37; Motion), filed on August 31, 2016. On September 2, 2016, Defendant BorgWarner Morse TEC LLC (Morse TEC) filed its Response in Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Sanctions against Borg-Warner Corporation (Doc. No. 40; Response). Accordingly, this matter is ripe for review.

         I. Background

         A. Factual Allegations

         Plaintiff Stacey Doolin (Doolin) commenced this wrongful death action on behalf of her late husband, Richard E. Doolin (the Decedent), on June 22, 2016, see generally Plaintiff's Wrongful Death Complaint and Demand for Jury Trial (Doc. No. 1), and filed an amended complaint on July 8, 2016, see Plaintiff's Amended Wrongful Death Complaint and Demand for Jury Trial (Doc. No. 4; Complaint). In the Complaint, Doolin alleges that the Decedent was exposed to asbestos-containing products “manufactured, sold, supplied and/or distributed” by a number of corporations - including Morse TEC - beginning in 1970 and continuing until 1983. See id. ¶¶ 3-4. During this time, the Decedent's father worked as a mechanic. Id. ¶ 4. Doolin avers that the Decedent visited his father's workplace on a “frequent[] and continuous basis[, ]” while the Decedent's father and others worked with asbestos-containing products, including, but not limited to, brakes, clutches, and gaskets. Id. According to Doolin, during these visits, the Decedent himself also sometimes performed “brake and clutch work[.]” Id. Subsequently, in or around June of 2013, the Decedent was diagnosed with mesothelioma, which Doolin alleges resulted from his “exposure to and inhalation of asbestos” from the asbestos-containing products. Id. ¶ 3. “[A]s a result of his mesothelioma[, ]” the Decedent died on or about June 22, 2014, at the age of forty-three. See id. ¶ 5; see also Plaintiff's Response to Defendant Borg-Warner Corporation's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Amended Wrongful Death Complaint (Doc. No. 33; Response to Morse TEC's Motion to Dismiss) ¶ 1.

         B. Procedural History

         In the Complaint, Doolin brings one claim of negligence (Count I) and a second claim for strict liability (Count II) against all defendants as manufacturers, sellers, and/or distributors of asbestos-containing products. See generally Complaint ¶¶ 11-16, 19-26, 27-43. On August 9, 2016, Morse TEC filed its Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Amended Wrongful Death Complaint and Incorporated Memorandum of Law (Doc. No. 25; Motion to Dismiss). In the Motion to Dismiss, Morse TEC sought dismissal pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (Rule(s)), for failure to satisfy the pleading requirements of Florida's Asbestos and Silica Compensation Fairness Act, section 774.201 et seq., Florida Statutes (the Asbestos Act). Motion to Dismiss at 1-2. In particular, Morse TEC argued that Doolin failed to include with the Complaint a “Sworn Information Form” as required by subsection 774.205(3), Florida Statutes, which states:

         All asbestos claims and silica claims filed in this state on or after the effective date of this act must include, in addition to the written report described in subsection (2) and the information required by s. 774.207(2), a sworn information form containing the following information:

(a) The claimant's name, address, date of birth, and marital status;
(b) If the claimant alleges exposure to asbestos or silica through the testimony of another person or alleges other than direct or bystander exposure to a product, the name, address, date of birth, and marital status for each person by which the claimant alleges exposure, hereinafter the “index person, ” and the claimant's relationship to each such person;
(c) The specific location of each alleged exposure;
(d) The beginning and ending dates of each alleged exposure as to each asbestos product or silica product for each location at which exposure allegedly took place for the plaintiff and each index person;
(e) The occupation and name of the employer of the exposed person at the time of ...

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