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Category Archives: Toxic Tort

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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

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

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

WWJG Do? What Will Justice Gorsuch Do, With “All Exposures Contribute” Testimony in Toxic Tort Cases?

Posted in Litigation Trends, Products Liability, Toxic Tort

On January 31, 2017, President Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. Although time will tell, this post assumes he will make it through the Senate confirmation process, and take his place at 1 First Street, Northeast. Currently, Judge Gorsuch sits on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit,… 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

D.C. Court of Appeals Overturns Frye and Adopts Federal Rule of Evidence Rule 702

Posted in Complex Torts, Products Liability, Toxic Tort

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals recently adopted the standards found in Federal Rule of Evidence 702 (“Rule 702”), regarding the admissibility of testimony by expert witnesses, thereby replacing the Frye (“Frye”) test.  See Motorola Inc., et al. v. Michael Patrick Murray, et al., 2016 WL 6134870 (October 20, 2016)(“Motorola”). Washington D.C. is now… 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

Court Rules Monsanto Roundup Cases to Stay in Delaware

Posted in Delaware Courts, Litigation Trends, Products Liability, Toxic Tort

Judge Vivian L. Medinilla of the Delaware Superior Court recently denied defendant Monsanto Company’s motion to dismiss on the basis of forum non conveniens (“FNC”) in Barrera v. Monsanto Company.  This ruling, along with a similar ruling issued by Judge Andrea L. Rocanelli one day prior in Gilchrist v. GlaxoSmithKline, LLC, reaffirms and provides new… 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

Not Satisfied with its 5th Place Finish in the American Tort Reform Foundation Judicial Hellholes® Listing, Illinois Makes A Push For Number One

Posted in All Practice Areas, Asbestos Litigation, Toxic Tort

Ben Franklin famously warned that “you may delay, but time will not, and lost time is never found again.” These words of wisdom appear to be lost on the Illinois state legislature, which recently abolished the ten-year statute of repose for personal injury claims related to asbestos exposure under 735 ILCS 5/13-214. Far from an… Continue Reading

Significant Asbestos “Take-Home Exposure” Opinion

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Premises Liability, Products Liability, Toxic Tort

-Persuasive precedent likely as PA judge holds employer/premises owner does not owe duty to warn.  On August 28, 2014, the Honorable Judge Eduardo C. Robreno, in the Multi-District Litigation for asbestos in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, issued a significant opinion in which he held that an employer and/or premises… Continue Reading

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet;

Posted in Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices, Products Liability, Toxic Tort

Plaintiffs, when faced with a legal bar to traditional negligence claims, frequently try to cloak them in new theories of liability. This tactic is reminiscent of dialogue in William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, in which Juliet argues that the names of things do not matter, only what things “are” is truly important. Trend An… Continue Reading

Will House Bill 4123 Turn Massachusetts Into a Filing Haven for Plaintiffs?

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Environmental Litigation, Products Liability, Toxic Tort

  House Bill 4123 makes two changes to Massachusetts Superior Court procedure, both of which favor plaintiffs.  The first, addressed by Section 1 of the bill, allows plaintiffs’ attorneys to request a specific monetary amount of damages at trial.  The second, addressed by Section 2 of the bill, allows attorneys to conduct voir dire.  … Continue Reading

Discovery Costs: How Companies Can Increase Efficiency and Save Money in the Process

Posted in All Practice Areas, Products Liability, Professional Liability, Toxic Tort

Despite efforts to increase efficiency and save money, most businesses set aside substantial budgets for litigation costs. With the ever-changing landscape of litigation, discovery is usually one of the most expensive line-items. In fact, Inside Counsel points out a Gartner forecast showing, “revenue in the enterprise e-discovery software market will grow from $1.8 billion in 2014 to… Continue Reading

Latest Fallout in Garlock Highlights Importance of Thorough Discovery of Bankruptcy Claims

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Litigation Trends, Toxic Tort

Note: For more MG&M analysis on Garlock, please see previous post by William Larson and Brian Gross.   The ramifications of the Garlock asbestos bankruptcy are just beginning to be felt across the country.  As new developments continue to play out, it is important to note that in each of the 15 cases in which… Continue Reading

Maryland Court Continues Trend, Holding There Is No Duty To Warn For Household Exposure

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

The Maryland Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that Georgia-Pacific Corp. was not liable for illness involving a woman who was exposed to asbestos while doing her father’s laundry in the 1960s. The Insurance Journal reported on the recent decision: The Court of Appeals ruled that Georgia-Pacific Corp. was not obligated to warn relatives of the… Continue Reading

North Carolina Bankruptcy Court Limits Garlock’s Asbestos Liabilities and Ford Wants the Court Records Unsealed

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Litigation Trends, Toxic Tort

Background: Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC (“Garlock” or “Debtors”) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June 2010.  Garlock had been an active asbestos defendant for its asbestos-containing precut gaskets, sheet gasket material, and packing materials.  In January, after extensive discovery and a trial held under seal, the Bankruptcy Court issued an opinion (pdf download) in… Continue Reading

Delaware Court Examines Admissibility of Epidemiology Experts in Product Liability Cases

Posted in Toxic Tort

Recently, the Delaware Supreme Court decided Tumlinson v. Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., No. 672, 2012 (Del. Nov. 21, 2013). This case provides a great example of the so-called “gatekeeper” function of the court when it comes to the admission of expert testimony in civil cases. More importantly, it provides context concerning the admissibility of expert… Continue Reading

Another Brick In The Wall Against Medical Monitoring Claims

Posted in Asbestos Litigation, Massachusetts Courts, Toxic Tort

United States District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf recently denied the “medical monitoring” claims of a putative class alleging beryllium exposure. This is the first decision addressing medical monitoring claims in Massachusetts since the landmark Donovan ruling in 2009, and strengthens the restrictions on such claims. Medical monitoring claims, a relatively modern addition to tort… Continue Reading