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Category Archives: Litigation Trends

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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

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

Developments in Sexual Orientation Discrimination Claims under Title VII

Posted in Employment Litigation, Litigation Trends, Rhode Island Courts

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating on the bases of race, color, national origin, religion, and sex. Federal circuits are currently split on whether discrimination based on sexual orientation falls within the scope of discrimination based on sex (and therefore within the scope of Title VII’s prohibition). On… Continue Reading

Rhode Island Supreme Court Redefines Requirements for Modifying an Arbitration Award that Exceeds Insurance Policy Limits

Posted in Insurance Litigation, Litigation Trends, Rhode Island Courts

In a recent decision, the Rhode Island Supreme Court ruled that when an arbitration award exceeds the insurance policy limits, the Superior Court cannot consider the policy limits, or the insurance policy itself, in a motion to modify the award, unless the insurance company asserted a policy limit defense at the arbitration and provided a… 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

Tinder No Match for CA’s Second District Court of Appeal in Allegedly Ageist Pricing Case

Posted in California Courts, Class Action Litigation, Litigation Trends

A California appellate court recently ruled that Tinder’s age-based pricing strategy violated the state’s Unruh Civil Rights Act, which broadly outlaws discrimination based on sex, race, sexual orientation, age, and other classes. California’s Second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles reversed the trial court’s dismissal of a class action brought by a putative group… Continue Reading

Massachusetts Focuses on the Elements of Spoliation

Posted in Food & Beverage Litigation, Litigation Trends, Massachusetts Courts

In Santiago[1] v. Rich Products Corp., et al.[2], the Massachusetts Appeals Court held that a finding of spoliation requires both: (1) the negligent and intentional loss or destruction of evidence; and (2) the awareness of the spoliator at the time the evidence is lost or destroyed of the potential for the evidence to help resolve… Continue Reading

Death, Taxes, and Sexual Harassment: How the #MeToo Movement Affected Trump’s Tax Bill

Posted in Corporate Litigation, Employment Litigation, Litigation Trends, Uncategorized

On December 22, 2017 President Trump signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (officially Public Law no. 115-97, named “An Act to provide for reconciliation pursuant to titles II and V of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2018”). Recognized generally for changes to the individual income tax brackets, the… Continue Reading

California Court of Appeals Allows Circumstantial Evidence to Create a Triable Issue of Material Fact

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, California Courts

In reversing a trial court’s grant of summary judgment to a defendant manufacturer, a recent California Court of Appeals decision reaffirmed the Lineaweaver standard, which allows a plaintiff to meet his burden of proof with circumstantial evidence.  The burden of rejoinder therefore remained on the moving defendant to prove a negative proposition; i.e., that it… 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

Age-Targeted Facebook Ads Challenged by Proposed CA Class Action

Posted in California Courts, Class Action Litigation, Employment Litigation, Litigation Trends

A group of companies that advertised job opportunities through Facebook’s ad-serving platform discriminated against older members of the applicant pool, claims a proposed class action filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. This filing suggests potential liability for any employer that posts jobs via ads that target recipients based on demographic… 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

U.S. District Court for the District of CT Determines that Connecticut’s Medical Marijuana Law Protects Qualifying Patients from Workplace Discrimination

Posted in Connecticut Courts, Employment Litigation, Litigation Trends, Rhode Island Courts

This article is Part Five of our Medical Marijuana and the Workplace: Recent Decisions from New England Courts Provide Significant Protections to Medical Marijuana Patient Employees Five-Part Series. See Parts One, Two, Three and Four for reference. A federal court in Connecticut has continued the recent trend of New England courts recognizing a cause of action under state law for patient-employees… Continue Reading

Florida Supreme Court’s Recent Decision Places Objections to Amendment 7 Discovery on Life Support

Posted in Florida Courts, Medical Malpractice

Since 2004, the Florida Supreme Court has examined a series of objections raised by defendants to avoid producing records of “adverse medical incidents.”  In each case, the Court has found that Amendment 7 to the Florida Constitution, which grants broad rights of record access to medical patients, abrogates any Florida statute that would otherwise prohibit… Continue Reading

California Appeals Court Reverses Summary Judgment in Favor of Defendant Employer on PAGA Cause of Action

Posted in California Courts, Employment Litigation, Litigation Trends

In a recent decision, Lopez v. Friant., 2017 WL 2451126, the California First District Court of Appeal provided guidance as to the meaning of the Private Attorneys General Act, or PAGA.  The Lopez ruling reversed an Alameda County trial court’s ruling, which had granted summary judgment in favor of defendant-employer Friant & Associates on the… Continue Reading

RI Superior Court Finds Implied Private Cause of Action Within the State’s Medical Marijuana Law for Adverse Action Taken Against Qualifying Patients & Recognizes that the RICRA Provides Similar Protections for Qualifying Patients Faced with Workplace Discrimination

Posted in Employment Litigation, Litigation Trends, Massachusetts Courts, Rhode Island Courts

This article is Part Three of our Medical Marijuana and the Workplace: Recent Decisions from New England Courts Provide Significant Protections to Medical Marijuana Patient Employees Five-Part Series.   A few months before the Barbuto opinion, see Parts 1 and 2, a Rhode Island court issued a summary judgment ruling making it easier for employees to claim… Continue Reading

Supreme Judicial Court’s Decision in Barbuto vs. Advantage Sales & Marketing LLC and Another is Contrary to Federal Law, Marks Significant Departure from Rulings in Other States

Posted in California Courts, Employment Litigation, Litigation Trends, Massachusetts Courts

This article is Part Two of our Medical Marijuana and the Workplace: Recent Decisions from New England Courts Provide Significant Protections to Medical Marijuana Patient Employees Five-Part Series. Read Part One here. The Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling in Barbuto marks a significant departure from case law arising under the medical marijuana laws of other states, and in particular,… Continue Reading

Product Liability: California’s Consumer Expectation and Risk Benefit Test Applied in the Same Case

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

Defendant The Raymond Co. saw its summary judgment victory overturned by California’s 4th District Court of Appeal in a surprising turn of events in its ongoing product liability case in San Diego Superior Court. In its July 2017 decision, the 4th District held that The Raymond Co. failed to meet its burden to show that… Continue Reading

Ogletree, Deakins & Nash Attorneys Get Smoked by Supreme Judicial Court of MA: Employer’s Termination of Employee For Failing Drug Test for Use of Medical Marijuana States a Claim for Workplace Discrimination

Posted in Employment Litigation, Litigation Trends, Massachusetts Courts

This article is Part One of our Medical Marijuana and the Workplace: Recent Decisions from New England Courts Provide Significant Protections to Medical Marijuana Patient Employees Five-Part Series   In Cristina Barbuto vs. Advantage Sales and Marketing, LLC, & another, SJC-12226 (July 17, 2017), slip opinion[1], the Supreme Judicial Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts was… 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