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Bell v. Am. Int'l Indus.

United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina

June 7, 2018, Decided; June 7, 2018, Filed

1:17CV111

Opinion

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

OSTEEN, JR., District Judge

Presently before the court is Defendant American International Industries' ("Defendant AII's") Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Claims for Willful and Wanton Conduct, Malice, Conspiracy, and Punitive Damages. (Doc. 45.) Defendant AII filed a brief in support of its motion, (Doc. 46), Plaintiff Lloyd Bell ("Bell") filed a Response in Opposition, (Doc. 52), and Defendant AII filed a reply, (Doc. 53). This matter is ripe for resolution, and for the reasons stated herein, this court will grant in part and deny in part Defendant AII's Motion to Dismiss. Additionally, this court will deny Bell's request to amend his Complaint.

I. PARTIES AND FACTUAL BACKGROUND

At this stage in the case, the facts are presented in the light [*3]  most favorable to Plaintiff. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 173 L. Ed. 2d 868 (2009). Plaintiff Lloyd Bell is the executor of the estate of his wife, Betty Whitley Bell ("decedent"). (Am. Civil Action Compl. ("Am. Compl.") (Doc. 44) at 1.) Decedent was exposed to asbestos by way of her personal use of talcum power products, her beauty school education, and her employment as a hairdresser. (Id. ¶ 9.) Decedent "was diagnosed with mesothelioma on or about June 18, 2015." (Id. ¶ 8.) On June 3, 2017, decedent died. (Mot. by Executor to be Substituted for Deceased Pl., Ex. A, Death Certificate (Doc. 39-2) at 2.) The proximate cause of decedent's death was mesothelioma. (Am. Compl. (Doc. 44) ¶ 73.)

Defendants manufactured, designed, distributed, sold, and supplied asbestos-containing products. (Id. ¶ 11.) Bell alleges that:

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2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96861 *; 2018 WL 2745238

LLOYD BELL, individually and as Executor of the Estate of Betty Whitley Bell, Deceased, Plaintiff, v. AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL INDUSTRIES, et al., Defendants.

CORE TERMS

willful, wanton conduct, punitive damages, gross negligence, motion to dismiss, amend, civil conspiracy, state court, contends, products, asbestos-containing, allegations, Malice, aggravating factor, plaintiff's claim, scientific data, indifference, Conspiracy, rights, Reply, warn, claim for punitive damages, corporate official, conscious, asbestos, terms, top