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Category Archives: Asbestos Litigation

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Fourth Circuit Joins Unanimous Federal Circuits – No Requirement That Government Prohibit Contractor From Warning About Asbestos For Government Contractor Defense To Apply

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Litigation Trends, Products Liability

Recently, in Sawyer v. Foster Wheeler LLC, the Fourth Circuit held that a government contractor is entitled to federal jurisdiction, even in product liability failure-to-warn actions, based on the contractor’s assertion that it has a colorable federal defense of government contractor immunity. 860 F.3d 249 (4th Cir. 2017). The big takeaway from this case, however,… Continue Reading

Petitpas v. Ford Motor Co., et al.: A Look at the Evolving Landscape of Asbestos Litigation in California

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, California Courts, Litigation Trends, Premises Liability, Products Liability, Uncategorized

The Second District Court of Appeal, Division Four in Los Angeles handed down a decision in an asbestos case that involved appellate issues pertaining to causes of action for strict products liability and premises liability, primary and secondary (“take-home”) exposure, liability for replacement component parts, and proper jury instructions to be given in asbestos cases… Continue Reading

Rhode Island Superior Court Denies Plaintiff’s Motion to Preclude Expert Testimony in Products Liability Action

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Litigation Trends, Premises Liability, Products Liability, Rhode Island Courts, Uncategorized

Plaintiff’s attempt to preclude testimony of expert witness in asbestos related products liability litigation meets impasse—court refuses to circumscribe competent experts to narrowly defined fields or specific licensure. On Friday, June 9, 2017, Presiding Justice Alice Gibney of the Rhode Island Superior Court, Providence County, issued a decision denying a plaintiff’s motion to preclude the… Continue Reading

Forum-shopping in Illinois? Think again. Cook County trial court erred in denying forum non conveniens motion

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Products Liability

On June 13, 2017, the Illinois First District Appellate Court issued an unpublished opinion holding that a Cook County judge erred in denying a forum non conveniens motion where essentially the entire case rests not in Plaintiffs’ chosen forum of Cook County, but in Winnebago County.[1]   The doctrine of forum non conveniens is premised… Continue Reading

Recent Decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit Benefits Insurance Companies by Upholding Exclusions Provisions for Asbestos-Containing Products

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Insurance Litigation, Products Liability, Professional Liability

Travelers Casualty and Surety Company (“Travelers”) dodged a bullet when a $36 million judgment entered against it was unanimously overturned by a recent Third Circuit ruling in General Refractories Co. v. First State Ins. Co., 2017 WL 1416364 (3d. Circ. 2017). Significantly, the Third Circuit held that Travelers had no obligation to indemnify its policyholder,… Continue Reading

S.D.N.Y. Tells Plaintiffs: “Stop! You Cannot Sue, You Changed Your Story”

Posted in Asbestos Litigation

On Friday, April 28, 2017, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed, in its entirety, John and Michele Clark’s asbestos personal injury action based on the doctrine of judicial estoppel. In short, the Court ruled that the Plaintiffs’ lawsuit could not proceed without damaging the integrity and proper functioning… Continue Reading

A Tale of Two Verdicts

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Louisiana Courts, Louisiana Courts, Toxic Tort, Uncategorized

Frequently as litigators, we are faced with questions about which factors can make or break a trial. The facts of each case and skill of counsel are obvious elements to obtaining a favorable verdict, but outcomes can also be heavily influenced by the venue, pre-trial rulings, voir dire, jury instructions and even the sheer whim… Continue Reading

Guantanamo Bay Attorneys Allege Unsafe Carcinogen Exposures at Camp Justice

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Environmental Litigation, Toxic Tort

This month, attorneys working at Guantanamo Bay’s Camp Justice filed a lawsuit against the Department of Defense (Seeger et al v. U.S. Department of Defense et al, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, No. 17-00639), in which they allege that they have been exposed to dangerously high levels of carcinogens from working in contaminated areas…. Continue Reading

Recent Appellate Court Ruling Extends the Application of the Common Law Marriage Before Injury Rule to Apply in Florida’s Wrongful Death Claims

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Complex Torts, Florida Courts, Litigation Trends, Products Liability, Toxic Tort

In a 2-1 opinion, the Fourth District Court of Appeal continued to apply the law which bars marrying into a cause of action, but a strong dissenting opinion and noted public policy concerns could trigger further review. In Florida, as in various other jurisdictions, the courts follow the common law marriage before injury rule. This… Continue Reading

Manufacturers Benefit from Georgia Supreme Court Ruling on Take-Home Exposure

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Litigation Trends, Products Liability

The Georgia Supreme Court has weighed-in on the issue of manufacturers’ liability for take-home exposure cases. In the opinion recently issued in CertainTeed Corporation v. Fletcher, the Court drew an unexpected distinction between a manufacturer’s duty to issue warnings and its responsibility to keep harmful products out of the stream of commerce. Justice Carol Hunstein,… Continue Reading

Recent Fifth Circuit Ruling a Relief to United States Government Equipment Suppliers

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Complex Torts, Litigation Trends, Products Liability

It is no secret that, in many instances, injured tort plaintiffs would prefer to file their cases in state court as opposed to federal court. One of the many reasons for this preference is that the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure place express limits on the amount of discovery available to parties.  Further, the Federal Rules… Continue Reading

Another Blow to “Every Exposure” in Asbestos Litigation

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Louisiana Courts, Toxic Tort

Causation opinions from plaintiff’s experts in asbestos exposure cases have undergone a puzzling evolution as they continue to face successful challenges. From “every exposure” to “every exposure above background” and “every significant exposure,” each iteration has attempted to make the same end run around the plaintiff’s burden of proof by stating that all exposures in… Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Recognizes a Duty of Care to “Take-Home” Plaintiffs

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, California Courts, Litigation Trends, Toxic Tort

Last month, the California Supreme Court issued a ruling on two coordinated “take-home” asbestos exposure cases, in which it held that employers using asbestos in the workplace have a duty of care to protect an employees’ household members from exposure to asbestos through off-site contact with employees who carry asbestos fibers on their work clothing and/or… Continue Reading

Another Smoking Lung Cancer Asbestos Claim Gets Burned in Baltimore

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Litigation Trends, Maryland Courts

Five plaintiffs in a smoking lung cancer case in a Baltimore City, Maryland case captioned James Harrell, et al v. ACandS, INC., et al, Consol. Case No. 24X16000053 saw their claims go up in smoke on November 15, 2016 when the Court granted certain Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment on the Basis of Assumption of… Continue Reading

Daimler Ruling’s Crucial Role in Recent Delaware Court Decision

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Delaware Courts, Litigation Trends

Since the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Daimler AG v. Bauman in 2014, general jurisdiction over a corporate defendant has become a hot topic. See 134 S. Ct. 746 (2014). In most jurisdictions, it is no longer sufficient for a plaintiff to establish a corporate defendant was registered to do business in the jurisdiction… Continue Reading

The Trouble with Dying Declaration Affidavits in Asbestos Litigation: a Case Study

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Products Liability

In asbestos litigation, often times a plaintiff’s sole evidence of product identification takes the form of an affidavit created shortly before the claimant passes away.  Typically called a “dying-declaration” affidavit, the document preserves the plaintiff’s written testimony for trial, thereby preserving his cause of action against the individuals and entities he believes were responsible for… Continue Reading

Johnson & Johnson Found Liable in Latest Talc Product Trial

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Complex Torts, Talc Litigation

For the third time this year, a St. Louis, Missouri jury found Johnson & Johnson liable in a case where plaintiff alleged that her ovarian cancer was caused by her use of talcum powder products. At trial, Deborah Giannecchini, a 62 year-old California woman, claimed that her decades-long use of Johnson & Johnson talcum powder… Continue Reading

Why a Wisconsin Judge Rejected an Asbestos Case as “Disingenuous”

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Toxic Tort

A district court judge for the Western District of Wisconsin has issued a defense-verdict following a three-day bench trial, during which Plaintiff argued that his father’s work with Kaylo pipe insulation caused his death from mesothelioma. In his opinion in Gary Suoja, Individually and as Special Administrator of the Estate of Oswald Suoja v. Owens-Illinois,… Continue Reading

New Trend Emerging From Pending California Take-Home Exposure Decision?

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, California Courts, Litigation Trends, Toxic Tort

California has become a hub for asbestos litigation.  Its plaintiff-friendly law and juries have attracted plaintiffs from both California and across the country.  A case currently pending in the Supreme Court of California concerning whether a duty is owed to a plaintiff who alleges “take-home” asbestos exposure could have a major impact on whether California… Continue Reading

Rhode Island Court Upholds Daimler to Dismiss Claims Against Foreign Corporation for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Complex Torts, Litigation Trends, Rhode Island Courts

On October 13, 2016, Presiding Justice Alice B. Gibney of the Rhode Island Superior Court ruled on Defendant Dana Companies, LLC’s Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction pending in the case of Harold Wayne Murray and Janice M. Murray v. 3M Company, et al., granting the defendant’s motion to dismiss upon finding that… Continue Reading

Causation and Bare Metal Defenses Prove Effective as Asbestos Liability Shield

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Products Liability, Toxic Tort

A recent ruling in an asbestos-related case provides an important lesson for defendants in framing their defenses. In Malone v. Air & Liquid Systems, et.al. (Report and Recommendation, C.A. No. 14-406-GMS-SRF (D. Del. Aug. 29, 2015)), a mesothelioma case pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware which involves allegations of asbestos… Continue Reading

U.S. Court of Appeals Reverses Summary Judgment in Lung Cancer Asbestos Case

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Products Liability, Toxic Tort

On September 13, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit partially reinstated a plaintiff’s claims that his decedent developed lung cancer as a result of asbestos exposure that he allegedly experienced from work in the vicinity of switchgear components manufactured by Westinghouse Electric Corporation, a predecessor to CBS Corporation.  In re:… Continue Reading