Cheri Dahlin, Individually and on Behalf of the Estate of Dean Dahlin, Deceased Plaintiff- Appellee
Lyondell Chemical Company; Equistar Chemicals, LP; Equistar GP, LLC Defendants - Appellants Archer-Daniels-Midland Company Defendant Cheri Dahlin, Individually and on Behalf of the Estate of Dean Dahlin, Deceased Plaintiff- Appellant
Lyondell Chemical Company; Equistar Chemicals, LP; Equistar GP, LLC Defendants - Appellees Archer-Daniels-Midland Company Defendant
Submitted: October 18, 2017
from United States District Court for the Southern District
of Iowa - Davenport
SMITH, Chief Judge, GRUENDER and BENTON, Circuit Judges.
BENTON, Circuit Judge.
Dahlin sued Lyondell Chemical Company, Equistar Chemicals,
LP, and Equistar GP, LLC (collectively "Lyondell").
A jury returned a verdict for Dahlin. Having jurisdiction
under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, this court vacates and remands.
1990 and 1995, Dean B. Dahlin worked for two companies as a
commercial truck driver. For both, he loaded his truck with
benzene-containing pyrolysis gasoline at a petrochemical
facility in Clinton, Iowa. He transported the gasoline to a
storage facility where he unloaded it. He then returned to
the Clinton facility, reloaded, and went back to the storage
facility. Drivers did this four-to-six times a day during the
employers did not own the Clinton facility. From 1988 until
late 1993, Quantum Chemical Corporation owned it. In late
1993, Hanson, PLC acquired the Corporation, changing its name
to Quantum Chemical Company. The name changed back to Quantum
Chemical Corporation in 1996-until March 1997, when it became
Millennium Petrochemical, Inc. Later in 1997, Millenium
formed a joint venture with Lyondell Chemical Company called
Equistar Chemicals, LP. Equistar became the Clinton
facility's owner. In 2004, Equistar became Lyondell
Chemical Company's wholly owned subsidiary.
2009, Equistar and Lyondell Chemical Company, with other
affiliated companies, petitioned for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The bankruptcy court confirmed a reorganization plan in 2010,
discharging all existing debts.
was diagnosed in 2012 with myelodysplastic syndrome, which
transformed to acute myeloid leukemia. Dean passed away from
AML. His widow, Cheri Dahlin, sued Lyondell, alleging that
Dean's benzene exposure at the Clinton facility caused
moved for summary judgment, arguing that Dahlin's claim
was discharged in bankruptcy. The district court denied the
motion. See Dahlin v. Archer-Daniels-Midland Co.,
2015 WL 11675667 (S.D. Iowa Sept. 29, 2015). A jury awarded
Dahlin $1.76 million in compensatory damages and $1.76
million in punitive damages. Post-trial, the district court
vacated the punitive damages, but rejected Lyondell's
other arguments. Lyondell appeals. Dahlin cross-appeals to
reinstate the punitive damages.
says that Dahlin's claim was discharged in bankruptcy.
The first question is whether this court can review this
issue. Lyondell did not raise the discharge issue in a motion
for judgment as a matter of law. Instead, it relies on the
district court's denial of its motion for summary
is generally true that a denial of summary judgment is
interlocutory in nature and not appealable after trial and
judgment." New York Marine & Gen. Ins. Co.
v. Continental Cement Co., LLC, 761 F.3d 830,
837 (8th Cir. 2014). "[T]he proper redress for an
argument denied at summary judgment is not through appeal of
that denial, 'but through subsequent motions for judgment
as a matter of law and appellate review of those motions if
they were denied.'" Id. at 838, quoting
White Consol. Indus., Inc. v. McGill Mfg. Co., 165 F.3d
1185, 1189 (8th Cir. 1999).
court, however, has "not indiscriminately foreclose[d]
all appeals taken from the denial of an issue raised at
summary judgment. . . . [A] distinction [exists] between the
denial of a summary judgment motion involving the merits of a
claim and one involving preliminary issues, such as a statute
of limitations, collateral estoppel, or standing."
Id. This court cannot review the denial of ...