HARTFORD, Conn. — Parties briefed the Connecticut Supreme Court on May 3 on whether a recent “modest refinement” to Connecticut’s product liability standard requires expert testimony establishing that an asbestos-containing rotor blade adhesive was defective and unreasonably dangerous (Wayne Bagley, et al. v. Adel Wiggins Group, et al., No. S.C. 19835, Conn. Sup.).
SEATTLE — A couple alleging asbestos exposures in Canada lacks specific or general jurisdiction for a suit in Washington state against a trio of Volkswagen entities or talc company Whittaker Clark Daniels, a federal judge held May 17 (Matthew Hodjera and Sylvia Hodjera v. BASF Catalysts LLC, et al., No. 17-48, W.D. Wash.).
JACKSON, Miss. — A man’s chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) diagnosis started the clock on the statute of limitations and bars his silicosis claim against a respirator manufacturer, a divided Mississippi Supreme Court held May 18 in reversing a $14 million verdict (American Optical Corp. v. Estate of Robert Lee Rankin Sr., et al., No. 2015-CA-0166-SCT, Miss. Sup., 2017 Miss. LEXIS 190).
NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana jury on April 11 returned a defense verdict in an asbestos case claiming that a former contractor developed mesothelioma and died after exposures at an ExxonMobil Corp. facility, sources told Mealey Publications (Thomas H. Hayden and Jaqueline S. Hayden v. 3M Co., et al., No. 15-03732, La. Dist., Orleans Parish).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge applied an impermissibly high standard that federal contractors plead detailed facts in support of removal of an asbestos case, a “clean break” from controlling precedent that requires reversal, a trio of telecommunications companies say in a May 5 brief filed in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (William Davidson, et al. v. Alcatel-Lucent USA Inc., et al., No. 16-17252, 9th Cir.).
SEATTLE — Summary judgment on the question of whether the state’s statute of repose applies to a take-home asbestos case precluded litigating the issue at trial, and the plaintiff’s argument that the failure to raise the issue waived the right to appeal the ruling is nonsense, a company told the Washington Supreme Court on May 5, while also challenging whether it owed household members any duty at all (Estate of Barbara Brandes v. Brand Insulation Inc., No. 94199-8, Wash. Sup.).
NEW YORK — A man’s maritime asbestos suit improperly naming a successor as a defendant put an independent corporation that operates as a subsidiary of the named defendant on notice that it was being sued, a New York justice held in an opinion posted May 18 (Joseph J. Crandley v. Farrell Lines Inc., et al., No. 190033/2017, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2017 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1836).
MIAMI — A German automaker’s contacts with Florida are insufficient grounds on which to exercise jurisdiction over the company, a Florida appeals court held May 17 (Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft d/b/a Volkswagen AG v. Carol Jones, et al., No. 2D15-5716, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.).
TRENTON, N.J. — Evidence that a man worked with asbestos and that Union Carbide Corp. supplied more than 40,000 pounds of the mineral to the facility at which he worked is enough to establish exposure, even without a direct link, a New Jersey appeals court held in reversing judgment May 17 (Thomasina Fowler, et al. v. Akzo Nobel Chemicals Inc., et al., No. A-2300-15T4, N.J. Super., App. Div.).
PHILADELPHIA — Less than two months after having its fraud and racketeering claims against two law firms and their founders dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction, John Crane Inc. (JCI) filed the identical claims against one of the firms and its principals in Pennsylvania federal court May 15 (John Crane Inc. v. Shein Law Center Ltd., et al., No. 2:17-cv-02210, E.D. Pa.).
NEWARK, N.J. — Discovery into underlying asbestos claims is not warranted in a class action alleging that a talc company destroyed evidence relevant to asbestos claims because the case involves the scheme to protect the company from liability, not the tort actions, plaintiffs told a federal judge in New Jersey on May 12 (Kimberlee Williams, et al. v. BASF Catalysts LLC, et al., No. 11-1754, D. N.J.).
NEW YORK — Parties filing post-trial motions after a $7 million asbestos-tainted talc verdict in New York briefed a justice on May 15 over whether a February ruling involving the state’s causation standard eliminates the ability to prove asbestos cases using cumulative exposure and visible dust evidence or whether it simply reiterates the existing framework (Claudine Discala, as administrator of the estate of Joan Robusto v. Charles B. Chrystal Company Inc., et al., No. 190413/2013, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
JACKSON, Tenn. — A divided Tennessee Court of Appeals panel vacated a $4.6 million take-home asbestos verdict May 12, finding that the jury instructions improperly allowed a jury to find negligence without first finding a defective product. All three judges questioned precedent governing how the state’s courts decide whether a duty exists to prevent harm (Joyce and Ronnie Stockton v. Ford Motor Co., No. W2016-01175-COA-R3-CV, Tenn. App., 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 308).
CHICAGO — An insulator must proceed to trial on asbestos exposure claims that it was previously denied summary judgment on by two other judges, and a footnote disclaimer of exposures filed in a parallel case does not prevent the man’s widow from pursuing those claims, a federal judge in Wisconsin held May 11 (Beverly Ahnert, et al. v. Brand Insulation Inc., et al., Nos. 10-156, 13-1456, E.D. Wis., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72048).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A woman allegedly exposed to asbestos carried home on her husband’s clothing has not alleged a change in law or newly discovered evidence that warrants revisiting a ruling that a manufacturer is not liable for her injuries, a Delaware state judge held May 11 (Elizabeth Ramsey, et al. v. Atlas Turner Ltd., et al., No. N14C-01-287 ASB, Del. Super., New Castle Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A trial court and subsequent state appellate court merely found that an asbestos plaintiff did not meet the causation standard for a Jones Act claim, a sufficiency-of-the-evidence ruling unworthy of U.S. Supreme Court review, a cruise line argues in a May 4 response, urging the court to reject a petition (Giovanna Settimi Caraffa, et al. v. Carnival Cruise Lines, No. 16-1074, U.S. Sup.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Evidence that a farm hand worked with a company’s tractors during a certain period does not establish that the parts he encountered originated with the manufacturer, a judge in Delaware held May 10 (Nathanial Harris v. Deere & Co., et al., No. N14C-03-220 ASB, Del. Super., New Castle Co.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A farm hand lacks sufficient evidence that the tractor parts he worked with were original or that they originated with Ford Motor Co., a judge in Delaware held May 10 (Nathanial Harris v. Deere & Co., et al., No. N14C-03-220 ASB, Del. Super., New Castle Co.).
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A Connecticut jury on March 17 found for a special materials company in a man’s case alleging exposure to asbestos fibers that escaped from the company’s facility (Audrey Gough, et al. v. Rogers Corp., et al., No. FBT-CV-15-6049135-S, Conn. Super., Fairfield at Bridgeport).
MIAMI — A widow defended her $9 million bystander asbestos verdict to a Florida appeals court on April 25, saying her expert did not testify that every exposure to asbestos was a substantial factor in any resulting disease and that sufficient evidence of causation exists (Northrup Grumman Systems Corp., et al. v. Rosa-Maria Britt, et al., No. 3D16-2583, Fla. App., 3rd Dist.).