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Mealey's Asbestos

  • August 16, 2019

    Jurisdiction Again Found Lacking In NASA Asbestos-Exposure Appeal

    NEW ORLEANS — Voluntary dismissals without prejudice end a case against a defendant and cannot be transformed by later moves under federal rules, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel said Aug. 15 in dismissing an appeal of an asbestos case.  But in a concurrence, one of the judges questioned whether it makes sense for the judgment to be final in the district court but not sufficiently final for appellate jurisdiction (Tarsia Williams, et al. v. Lockheed Martin Corp., et al., Nos. 18-31159, 18-31161, 5th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 24367).

  • August 16, 2019

    Companies Want Asbestos Maritime Law Ruling Clarified; Consolidated Trial Sought

    TACOMA, Wash. — Defendants asks a federal judge in Washington in an Aug. 15 memo whether a ruling applying maritime law “in this matter” applies to both asbestos cases consolidated for discovery and pretrial matters, while a plaintiff asks the court to extend consolidation to the trial (Sherri L. Deem, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corporation, et al., Nos. 17-5965, 18-5527, W.D. Wash.).

  • August 14, 2019

    Removal Of Asbestos Case At Jury Selection Defective, Judge Says

    LOS ANGELES — A plaintiff did not abandon claims when he stated at jury selection that a settlement was likely with some remaining defendants, and the absence of those defendants in an automobile asbestos defendant’s removal renders it defective, a federal judge in California held Aug. 9 (Arthur Putt, et al. v. CBS Corp., et al., No. 19-6909, C.D. Calif.).

  • August 13, 2019

    Asbestos Widow: Trial Court Improperly Shifted Burden, Ignored Exposure Evidence

    LOS ANGELES — The initial burden on summary judgment lay with asbestos fiber suppliers, and the existence of hundreds of building permits did nothing to dispel allegations of exposure to asbestos in drywall compound in the 1990s, a widow tells a California appeals court in an Aug. 1 brief (Jovana Collantes, etc., et al. v. Elementis Chemicals Inc., et al., No. B295278, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).

  • August 13, 2019

    Asbestos Company Loses Government Contractor Defense, Largely Prevails On Claims

    SEATTLE — A federal judge in Washington state on Aug. 9 granted a couple summary judgment on the government contractor defense while granting the same defendant’s own motion for partial summary judgment (William R. Clayton, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 18-748, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134649).

  • August 13, 2019

    New York Justice Says Excess Insurers’ Interpleader Complaint Must Be Dismissed

    NEW YORK — A New York justice on Aug. 1 dismissed an interpleader complaint filed by two excess insurers involved in an asbestos coverage dispute, agreeing with a defendant that the excess insurers failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted (Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co., et al. v. Mary Murphy Clagget, et al., No. 650546/2019, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2019 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 4293).

  • August 12, 2019

    Judge Reiterates ‘Very Thin’ Asbestos Causation Evidence, But Denies Reconsideration

    TACOMA, Wash. — A federal judge in Washington on July 2 reiterated the “very thin” causation evidence supporting a plaintiff’s asbestos case, but declined to reconsider his ruling denying summary judgment (Donald Varney, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 18-5105, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133069).

  • August 12, 2019

    Asbestos Plaintiffs Urge Court To Reject J&J’s Challenge To CEO Deposition

    NEW YORK — Johnson & Johnson submits the same facts, hoping this time they will convince the court to block the deposition of its top executive, and improperly introduces evidence in an effort to bolster its appellate stance, plaintiffs tell a New York justice in a July 31 court document viewed by Mealey Publications (Donald Minassian, et al. v. Brenntag North America, et al., No. 190399/2018, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

  • August 12, 2019

    Kentucky Court: Household Exposures Not Subsumed By Short Employment Stint

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A short stint as an employee does not bring household asbestos exposure claims under the worker’ compensation exclusivity provision, a Kentucky appeals court held Aug. 9 (Schneider Electric USA Inc., et al. v. Paul Williams, et al., No. 2018-CA-000866-MR, Ky. App.).

  • August 12, 2019

    Washington Court Won’t Reconsider Asbestos Product Line Successor Ruling

    SEATTLE — A Washington state appeals court on Aug. 8 denied a motion asking it to reconsider the conclusion that the product line successor doctrine applies to a company that sold asbestos fibers using a previous company’s name and personnel (Edward P. Leren, et al. v. Kaiser Gypsum Company Inc., et al., No. 77870-6-I, Wash. App., Div. 1, 2019 Wash. App. LEXIS 2063).

  • August 9, 2019

    New York Justice Says Remaining Discovery Won’t Halt Trial Schedule

    NEW YORK — Adequate time remains for a scientific supply company to complete discovery before a trial in a former pathology student’s asbestos case, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Aug. 6 (Michael Rosen v. Baltimore Aircoil Company Inc., et al., No. 190392/2018, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2019 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 4250).

  • August 9, 2019

    Preserving Jurisdiction Defense Isn’t The Same As Raising It, N.Y. Justice Says

    NEW YORK — An amended answer preserving the right to raise personal jurisdiction did not preserve the defense in a nearly four-year-old case, the justice overseeing New York County’s asbestos litigation held in an opinion posted Aug. 6 (Karen Barber, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 190241/2015, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2019 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 4235).

  • August 8, 2019

    Judge Won’t Certify Wrongful Death Question To Washington Supreme Court

    TACOMA, Wash. — A federal judge in Washington on Aug. 6 refused to certify a question to the state’s Supreme Court involving the viability of a wrongful death claim if the survival action’s statute of limitations expired, saying maritime law may preempt the claim and moot the ruling (Sherri L. Deem, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corporation, et al., No. 17-5965, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132573).

  • August 8, 2019

    Judge Adopts Report, Grants Judgments In Asbestos Sweeping Compound Case

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A federal judge in Delaware on Aug. 7 rejected objections to a magistrate judge’s report, adopting her conclusion that a man lacked sufficient evidence tying his mesothelioma to asbestos exposure from a sweeping compound (Richard Wayne Rogers v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 17-1570, D. Del., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132047).

  • August 8, 2019

    Asbestos Plaintiff Says Employer’s Gross Negligence So Clear No Review Required

    AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Supreme Court properly declined to review a jury’s verdict holding an employer liable for gross negligence, and the company’s clearly unacceptable conduct and the lack of citation to the case over the last two years undercuts its fears that the case will lead to expanded liability, a widow tells the court in an Aug. 5 opposition (The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Vicki Lynn Rogers, et al., No. 18-0056, Texas Sup.).

  • August 7, 2019

    Federal Judge Excludes Expert’s Asbestos-Talc Causation Testimony

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — An expert’s testimony regarding testing he performed that found asbestos in talc and in a victim’s lung tissue is unreliable and must be excluded, a federal judge in the District of Columbia said Aug. 5 (Brian Jackson, et al. v. Colgate-Palmolive Co., No. 15-1066, D. D.C., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131298).

  • August 6, 2019

    Judge Grants Judgment As 2nd Defendant Battles Asbestos Discovery Order

    TACOMA, Wash. — A federal judge in Washington granted an asbestos automobile parts manufacturer summary judgment Aug. 5; on Aug. 2 plaintiffs told a judge he need not reconsider a ruling finding that a second defendant failed to fully respond to interrogatories (Eric Klopman-Baerselman, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 18-5536, W.D. Wash.).

  • August 6, 2019

    Judge: Nonparty Insurers Can’t Remove Asbestos Cases Against Dissolved Insured

    COLUMBIA, S.C. — Nonparty insurers create federal jurisdiction in five asbestos personal injury cases against their dissolved insured simply because the company’s receiver changed the case name, a federal judge held July 26 in dismissing the action (Roxanne Falls, et al. v. CBS Corp., et al., Timothy W. Howe, et al. v Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., James Michael Hill v. Advance Auto Parts Inc., et al., Denver D. Taylor, et al. v Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No.19-1948, D. S.C., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124742).

  • August 5, 2019

    Navy Ship Defendants Escape ‘Speculatory’ Asbestos Allegations

    TACOMA, Wash. — No evidence links a man’s mesothelioma to three Navy ship defendants, and an expert’s testimony amounts to the conclusion that everyone who worked at a shipyard experienced exposure and fairs no better, a federal judge in Washington held Aug. 2 in granting summary judgment motions (Marietta Dianne Yaw, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 18-5405, W.D. Wash.).

  • August 5, 2019

    Asbestos-Stomach Cancer Suit Proceeds Despite Tile Maker Putting Blame On Tobacco

    NEW YORK —A man’s testimony and experts create sufficient questions around whether asbestos and not tobacco use caused his stomach cancer, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Aug. 1 (Manfred Lauke, et al. v. Amchem Products Inc., et al., No. 190425/2014, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).