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Category Archives: Asbestos Litigation

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New Jersey Appeals Court Rules on Admissibility of Evidence in Proving Apportionment Claim

Posted in Asbestos Litigation

 On June 29, 2018, a New Jersey state appeals court ruled that a superior court improperly allowed a jury to consider evidence, not represented at trial, in allocating damages among nine defendants in an asbestos case. The state appeals court ordered a new trial in Rowe v. Bell & Gossett Company to address the issue of… Continue Reading

A Healthy Reminder of Burden Shifting

Posted in Asbestos Litigation

Often times we, as attorneys, need subtle reminders of the power of burden shifting during discovery. We were provided that reminder in a recent, though unpublished, take-home asbestos appellate court opinion which upheld a trial court’s granting of a motion for summary judgment. (Foglia v. Moore Dry Dock Co., No. A142125, 2018 WL 1193683 (Cal…. Continue Reading

Delaware Supreme Court Finds Duty To Warn For Product Manufacturers And Employer Defendants In Take Home Exposure Case

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Delaware Courts, Employment Litigation, Professional Liability

Ramsey v. Georgia Southern University Advanced Development Center, et al., No. 305, 2017, C.A. No. N14C-01-287 ASB (Del. June 27, 2018).   On June 27, 2018, the Supreme Court of the State of Delaware issued a fifty-seven-page opinion in the above-mentioned case, creating new precedent for Delaware employer liability in secondary or “take-home” asbestos cases…. Continue Reading

A Rhode Island Court Considers an Employer’s Duty of Care to a Non-Employee for Asbestos Exposure

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Employment Litigation, Litigation Trends, Rhode Island Courts, Uncategorized

On April 16, 2018, a Rhode Island court addressed for the first time whether an entity owes a duty of care to protect non-employees from exposure to the asbestos-tainted work clothes of the entity’s employee.  In a decision denying the defendant Crane Co.’s motion for summary judgment in the matter of Carolyn Nichols, as Executrix… Continue Reading

Cumulative Exposure Theory Found Inconsistent with Test for Causation and Determined Not Sufficient Basis for Finding Substantial Factor

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Products Liability, Uncategorized

In a recent case, the Ohio Supreme Court addressed the question of whether the “cumulative-exposure theory” satisfies the “substantial factor” test for a plaintiff to succeed on a claim for asbestos-related injuries. The standard in Ohio requires a plaintiff to demonstrate that exposure to the product of a certain defendant was a substantial factor in… Continue Reading

Summary Judgment Order Illuminates Issues in MA Asbestos Litigation

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Massachusetts Courts, Premises Liability, Professional Liability

Overview On March 30, 2018, Judge Rya Zobel of the United States District Court (District of Massachusetts) issued a memorandum of decision on two Defendants’ (NSTAR Electric, formerly Boston Edison, and General Electric) Motions for Summary Judgment in an asbestos personal injury and wrongful death matter, June Stearns and Clifford Stearns as Co-Executors of the… Continue Reading

Trouble Brews in NYCAL after Summary Judgment Rejection

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Litigation Trends, New York Courts, Products Liability

A March 22, 2018, denial of a defendant’s summary judgment motion in the New York City Asbestos Litigation (NYCAL) signals a drastic lowering of the product identification standards in that venue (and a possible strategic adjustment necessary in future defendants litigating there).   In Trumbull v. Adience, Inc., a former brewer sued Stavo Industries (“Stavo”)… Continue Reading

Bristol-Meyers Squibb Standard Helps MG+M Attorneys Secure a Dismissal

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, California Courts, Litigation Trends

Recently, a team of attorneys from MG+M successfully obtained a dismissal of all claims against their client, based on the lack of personal jurisdiction.  The case was Howell v. Asbestos Corporation, pending in Los Angeles County Superior Court before the coordinating asbestos judge, the Honorable Steven J. Kleifield.  In his decision dismissing the claims, Judge… Continue Reading

No More Double-Dipping in Michigan

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Litigation Trends

The federal Bankruptcy Code allows companies in bankruptcy proceedings to establish asbestos bankruptcy trusts, in which assets are set aside for the benefit of future claimants whose specific identity is unknown at the time of the bankruptcy. So-called “double dipping” can occur when a plaintiff seeks recovery from an asbestos bankruptcy trust without disclosing that… Continue Reading

Florida Court of Appeal’s Recent Reversal of $21M Asbestos Verdict Highlights the Inherently Speculative Nature of Asbestos Claims

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Florida Courts, Premises Liability

On August 30, 2016, a Miami-Dade jury awarded Richard Batchelor and his wife more than $21 million after finding that his mesothelioma arose, in part, from asbestos exposure during overhaul work at a Florida Power & Light Co. (FP+L) power plant. On December 27, 2017, the Third District Court of Appeal erased the verdict against… Continue Reading

Eastern District of Louisiana Rejects Attempt to Defeat Federal Subject Matter Jurisdiction After Removal

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Louisiana Courts, Products Liability, Uncategorized

A federal district court in the Eastern District of Louisiana recently held that it continued to have federal jurisdiction under the federal officer removal statute, even after the plaintiffs amended their petition to delete claims that gave rise to federal subject matter jurisdiction. The court reasoned that the original removal satisfied the proper requirements to… Continue Reading

Florida Plaintiff Receives $6.9 Million Judgment After Florida Appellate Courts Require Jury To Be Instructed With A More Consumer Friendly Test

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Florida Courts

In 2015, the Florida Supreme Court issued a decision in Aubin v. Union Carbide, which mandated that juries be instructed on the “consumer expectations test.” On November 28, 2017, seven years after initially filing her lawsuit, a plaintiff in  Miami-Dade County won a $6.9 million asbestos verdict in a retrial based on the Aubin decision,… Continue Reading

Connecticut Requires Expert Testimony for Proving Exposure Levels

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Connecticut Courts, Litigation Trends, Products Liability, Uncategorized

For the first time since 1989[1], Connecticut’s Supreme Court addressed the plaintiff’s burden of proof in the asbestos context, in Wayne Bagley v. Adel Wiggins Group et al, SC 19835 (11/7/17).  In a win for defendants facing such claims, the court found that plaintiffs bringing claims pursuant to the Connecticut Product Liability Act (under both… Continue Reading

Johnson & Johnson Found Not Responsible in Los Angeles Superior Court

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, California Courts

In the first case of its kind to go to trial, a jury recently returned a defense verdict against a plaintiff who claimed that exposure to Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder caused her to develop mesothelioma. The plaintiff, Tina Herford, filed suit in the Los Angeles County Superior Court and alleged that her exposure to… Continue Reading

Florida Plaintiffs Challenge the Constitutionality of Florida’s Asbestos and Silica Fairness and Compensation Act

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Toxic Tort

The Florida Asbestos and Silica Fairness and Compensation Act (the “Act”) has governed asbestos litigation in Florida nearly seamlessly for more than a decade until a series of recent challenges threw a wrench into the system by calling into question its constitutionality. The purpose of the Act, which came into effect in June 2005, is… Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Frye Test Precludes Two Experts from Testifying in Cashmere Bouquet Talc Case

Posted in Asbestos Litigation

On September 25, 2017, the Court of Common Pleas of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia County precluded two of plaintiffs’ experts from testifying in the Brandt v. The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., et al. asbestos-related talcum powder case, effectively ending the case. Both Sean Fitzgerald and Dr. Ronald Gordon were precluded from offering expert testimony regarding the asbestos… Continue Reading

The Third Circuit Strips Some of the Protections of the “Bare-Metal Defense”

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Maritime Law, Products Liability

Imagine this scenario:  Company X manufactures a “bare-metal” product. After the product is sold, the buyer adds defective asbestos-containing insulation manufactured by Company Y to the product, which is sold for its proper function. Unfortunately, an end-user is then injured by the insulation manufactured by Company Y.  The “bare-metal defense” suggests that the bare-metal manufacturer,… Continue Reading

Texas Court of Appeals Upholds Jury’s Finding of Gross Negligence While Correcting The Trial Court’s Calculation of Exemplary Damages

Posted in Asbestos Litigation

Recently, the Texas Court of Appeals (1) upheld a jury’s finding of gross negligence and (2) explained how a trial court should calculate exemplary damages under Texas law, in The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, v. Vicki Lynn Rogers, et al., No. 05-15-00001-CV, 2017 WL 3776837 (Tex. App. Sep. 13, 2017).  In this case, the… Continue Reading

The Cumulative Exposure Theory is no Different from the “Each and Every Exposure” Theory

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Litigation Trends, Uncategorized

On August 31, 2017 the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division’s decision in Charles Krik v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al. excluding the testimony of plaintiff’s expert Dr. Arthur Frank. Dr. Frank’s theory was based on a premise… Continue Reading

Application of Bristol-Myers in the Los Angeles Superior Court

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, California Courts, Litigation Trends, Uncategorized

As previously reported, the issue of establishing personal jurisdiction when there is no causal link between defendant’s forum contacts and plaintiff’s claims was recently decided by the United States Supreme Court in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California, 137 S. Ct. 1773 (2017). Last week, the Bristol-Myers decision was applied by Judge Kleifield,… Continue Reading

California’s Proposed Bill Seeks to Place Time Restraints on Depositions and Threatens Defendants’ Due Process Rights

Posted in Asbestos Litigation

California’s Senate Bill 632 seeks to impose a seven hour limit on depositions in asbestos cases at the expense of defendants’ due process rights. Specifically, SB 632 will require that “a deposition examination of the witness by all counsel, other than the witness’ counsel of record,” be limited to seven hours of total testimony in… Continue Reading

Federal Court Sustains Summary Judgment Motion While Drawing Clear Distinction Between Pleural and Peritoneal Mesothelioma

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

In what asbestos litigation defendants hope will become a growing trend, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland recently drew a clear distinction between expert testimony as it relates to causation of both pleural mesothelioma (affecting the lining of the lung) and peritoneal mesothelioma (affecting the stomach).  In Rockman v. Union Carbide… Continue Reading

Bulk Supplier, Sophisticated User, and Component Parts Doctrines May Provide Effective Defense to Talc Suppliers Whose Products are “Inherently Safe”

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, California Courts, Litigation Trends, Massachusetts Courts, Talc Litigation, Uncategorized

Mineral talc, as a raw material, was determined to be “inherently safe” by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Maren Nelson in the days leading up to the first Johnson & Johnson California ovarian cancer trial in the Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Cases, number JCCP4872.  According to Law360.com, on July 10 the judge dismissed Imerys… Continue Reading

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