Asbestos Product Liability Answer 2

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Defendant Crane Co.'s Answer to Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint at Law

Susan Gunty, Esq., James P. Kasper, Esq., Gunty & McCarthy, 150 South Wacker Drive, Ste. 1025, Chicago, IL 60606, Phn: (312) 541-0022, Fax: (312) 541-0033.

NOW COMES Defendant, CRANE CO., by and through its attorneys, GUNTY & McCARTHY, and hereby answers Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint at Law and in support thereof, states as follows:

General Allegations

1. Defendant, CRANE CO. has insufficient knowledge and information to form a belief as to the truth or falsity of the allegations contained in paragraph 1 of Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint and therefore neither admits nor denies said allegations but demands strict proof thereof;

2. Defendant, CRANE CO. has insufficient knowledge and information to form a belief as to the truth or falsity of the allegations contained in paragraph 2 of Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint and therefore neither admits nor denies said allegations but demands strict proof thereof;

3. Defendant, CRANE CO. denies the allegations contained in paragraph 3 of Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint;

4. Defendant, CRANE CO. denies the allegations contained in paragraph 4 of Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint;

5. Defendant, CRANE CO. denies the allegations contained in paragraph 5 of Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint;

6. Defendant, CRANE CO. denies the allegations contained in paragraph 6 of Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint;

7. Defendant, CRANE CO. denies the allegations contained in paragraph 7 of Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint;

8. Defendant, CRANE CO. denies the allegations contained in paragraph 8 of Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint;

9. Allegations contained in paragraph 9 are conclusions of law and thus no response is required. In the event that a response is required by this defendant, the defendant denies the allegations. To the extent that any such allegations pertain to other parties, this defendant neither admits nor denies those allegations as having insufficient knowledge.

WHEREFORE, Defendant, CRANE CO. prays that this Honorable Court enters a judgment in its favor and against the Plaintiff and for all other such relief as this Court deems just and proper.

NEGLIGENCE - PRODUCTS LIABILITY - WRONGFUL DEATH

10. Defendant, CRANE CO., restates and reasserts its responses to the above General Allegations;

11. Defendant, CRANE CO., has insufficient knowledge and information to form a belief as to the truth or falsity of the allegations contained in paragraph 11 of Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint and therefore neither admits nor denies said allegations but demands strict proof thereof;

12. Defendant, CRANE CO., denies the allegations contained in paragraph 12 of Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint;

13. Defendant, CRANE CO., denies the allegations contained in paragraph 13 of Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint;

14. Defendant, CRANE CO., admits the existence of only those duties imposed by Illinois law, but denies any breach thereof, and denies the remaining allegations of paragraph 14 of Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint;

15. Defendant, CRANE CO., denies the allegations contained in paragraph 15, including subparagraphs (a)-(d), of paragraph 15 of Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint;

16. Defendant, CRANE CO., denies the allegations contained in paragraph 16 of Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint;

17. Defendant, CRANE CO., has insufficient knowledge and information to form a belief as to the truth or falsity of the allegations contained in paragraph 17 of Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint and therefore neither admits nor denies said allegations but demands strict proof thereof; and

18. No allegation is alleged against this Defendant in paragraph 18 and, therefore, no response is required. In the event that a response is required, all allegations are hereby denied.

WHEREFORE, Defendant, CRANE CO., prays that this Honorable Court enters a judgment in its favor and against the Plaintiff and for all other such relief as this Court deems just and proper.

NEGLIGENCE - PRODUCTS LIABILITY - SURVIVAL

19. Defendant, CRANE CO., restates and reasserts its answers to each of the above paragraphs as if fully set forth herein;

20. Defendant, CRANE CO., has insufficient knowledge and information to form a belief as to the truth or falsity of the allegations contained in paragraph 20 of Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint and therefore neither admits nor denies said allegations but demands strict proof thereof; and

21. No allegation is alleged against this Defendant in paragraph 21 and, therefore, no response is required. Should any allegation be construed against this Defendant, all allegations are hereby denied.

WHEREFORE, Defendant, CRANE CO., prays that this Honorable Court enters a judgment in its favor and against the Plaintiff and for all other such relief as this Court deems just and proper.

FUNERAL EXPENSES THROUGH FAMILY EXPENSE ACT

22. Defendant, CRANE CO., restates and reasserts its answers to each of the above paragraphs as if fully set forth herein;

23. Defendant, CRANE CO., denies the allegations contained in paragraph 23 of Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint;

24. No allegation is alleged against this Defendant in paragraph 24 and, therefore, no response is required. Should any allegation be construed against this Defendant, all allegations are hereby denied.

WHEREFORE, Defendant, CRANE CO., prays that this Honorable Court enters a judgment in its favor and against the Plaintiff and for all other such relief as this Court deems just and proper.

CONSPIRACY AGAINST METROPOLITAN LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY

25 - 27. No allegation is alleged against this Defendant in paragraphs 25 through 27, therefore, no response is required. Should any allegation be construed against this Defendant, all allegations are hereby denied.

COUNTS 1-15

28 - 42. No allegation is alleged against this Defendant in Counts 1 through 20 therefore, no response is required. Should any allegation be construed against this Defendant, all allegations are hereby denied.

CRANE CO.
COUNT 16
Survival

43. This Defendant restates and reasserts its answers to each of paragraphs 19 through 21 as if fully set forth herein.

COUNT 17
Funeral Expenses Through Family Expense Act

44. This Defendant restates and reasserts its answers to each of paragraphs 22 through 24 as if fully set forth herein.

WHEREFORE, Defendant, CRANE CO., prays that judgment be entered in its favor and against the Plaintiff together with the costs of this action and for such other and further relief as this Court deems appropriate.

COUNT 18
Negligence and Wrongful Death

45. This Defendant reasserts and realleges its answers to each of paragraphs 10 through 18 as if fully set forth herein.

WHEREFORE, Defendant, CRANE CO., prays that this Honorable Court enters a judgment in its favor and against the Plaintiff and for all other such relief as this Court deems just and proper.

COUNTS 19 THROUGH 84

46 - 111. No allegation is alleged against this Defendant in Counts 19 through 84, therefore, no response is required. Should any allegation be construed against this Defendant, all allegations are hereby denied.

WHEREFORE, Defendant, CRANE CO., prays that this Honorable Court dismiss Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint and hold same for naught.

AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES
FIRST AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE

Defendant, for its First Affirmative Defense, states that Plaintiff has failed to state a cause of action upon which relief can be granted.

SECOND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE

Defendant, for its Second Affirmative Defense, states that the cause of action is barred by the Illinois Statute of Limitations and Statute of Repose as those statutes relate to personal injuries and products liability.

THIRD AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE

Defendant, for its Third Affirmative Defense, states that at all times alleged in the Plaintiff's Complaint, the products allegedly used by the Plaintiff's decedent had been materially altered, changed and modified from their original condition by the Plaintiff's decedent, his fellow workers, and/or his employers.

FOURTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE

Defendant, for its Fourth Affirmative Defense, states that at all times alleged in the Plaintiff's Complaint, the Plaintiff's decedent knew of the alleged hazardous nature and consequences which accompanied the use of asbestos-containing products and nevertheless freely and voluntarily continued to work with and use asbestos-containing products, thereby assuming any and all of the risks accompanying such use.

FIFTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE

Defendant, for its Fifth Affirmative Defense, states that all times alleged in the Plaintiff's Complaint, the Plaintiff's decedent contributed to the cause of the injuries in question in one or more of the following ways:

(a) Improperly used and/or handled asbestos-containing products;

(b) Failed to take proper precautions for his own safety when he used and/or handled asbestos-containing products;

(c) Continued to use and/or handle asbestos-containing products when he knew or should have known of the condition, properties and effects, if any, of those products.

That the above-said conduct was the sole proximate cause of the Plaintiff's decedent's injuries and damages and/or constituted more than fifty percent (50%) of the contributory fault proximately causing the injuries and damages Plaintiff complains of.

SIXTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE

Defendant, for its Sixth Affirmative Defense, states that at all times alleged in the Plaintiff's Complaint, the injuries of which the Plaintiff's decedent complained were due solely, or in large part, to causes not connected with the asbestos-containing products allegedly distributed by this Defendant.

SEVENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE

Defendant, for its Seventh Affirmative Defense, states that the Doctrine of Negligence arising out of product liability , is inapplicable to this litigation involving a product which allegedly contains dangerous ingredients which are natural or inherent, inasmuch as said product is not defective.

EIGHTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE

Defendant, for its Eighth Affirmative Defense, states that the Doctrine of Negligence arising out of product liability , is inapplicable to this litigation involving a mineral, which is not a product.

NINTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE

Defendant, for its Ninth Affirmative Defense, states that at all times alleged in the Plaintiff's Complaint, the Plaintiff's decedent was employed by sophisticated employers so that any duty of this Defendant to warn the Plaintiff's decedent of any danger incident to the exposure to asbestos-containing products, the existence of which duty is expressly denied, was discharged by his employers' intervening duty to give Plaintiff's decedent all required warnings.

TENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE

Defendant, for its Tenth Affirmative Defense, states that Plaintiff's damages, if any, were caused in whole or in part, by other parties, including corporations or entities, other than this Defendant, and that such conduct bars or comparatively reduces any possible recovery by the Plaintiff against this Defendant.

ELEVENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE

Defendant, for its Eleventh Affirmative Defense, states that the damages Plaintiff alleges in the Complaint were not sustained by reason of any conduct of this Defendant, but were the result of the conduct of others, whose intervening or superseding acts or omissions cannot be attributed to this Defendant, and for which this Defendant has no liability.

TWELFTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE

Defendant, for its Twelfth Affirmative Defense, states that the medical and scientific knowledge, as well as the literature and other materials setting forth the state of the art relating to the products complained of, was such that this Defendant did not know nor could have known that any products allegedly sold by it presented a foreseeable risk of harm, if any, to the Plaintiff's decedent in the normal and expected use of said products in accord with the law in force and effect in Illinois at the time narrated in Plaintiff's Complaint.

THIRTEENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE

Defendant, for its Thirteenth Affirmative Defense, states that pursuant to Illinois law. a defendant shall be liable to the plaintiff only in the several amount determined, and is not jointly and severally liable if the defendant's fault is less than 25 per cent of the total fault attributable to other parties. Therefore, if Plaintiff's decedent sustained any injuries and damages attributable to any product sold by this Defendant, which this Defendant denies, this Defendant would be severally liable only as set forth above.

FOURTEENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE

Defendant, for its Fourteenth Affirmative Defense, states that the conduct in which the Plaintiff alleges this Defendant engaged is not a proximate cause of the Plaintiff's decedent's injuries; instead, the conduct of other parties and non-parties is the sole proximate cause of Plaintiff's decedent's injuries.

FIFTEENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE

Defendant, for its Fifteenth Affirmative Defense, states that the government contractor defense supersedes any state law claims against this Defendant.

SIXTEENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE

CRANE CO., for its Sixteenth Affirmative Defense, states that the government contractor defense supersedes any state law claims against this defendant.

Respectfully submitted

<<signature>>

James P. Kasper, One the Attorneys for Defendant, CRANE CO.
Susan Gunty, Esq.
James P. Kasper, Esq.
Gunty & McCarthy
150 South Wacker Drive, Ste. 1025
Chicago, IL 60606
Phn: (312) 541-0022
Fax: (312) 541-0033

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