INDIANAPOLIS — Experts attempting to opine that plaintiffs are at an increased risk of disease largely rely on evidence that asbestos and other contaminates exceed regulatory levels rather than discussing doses of exposure and causation, a federal judge in Indiana said Sept. 16 in excluding the opinions in an environmental exposure case (Amos Hostetler, et al. v. Johnson Controls Inc., et al., No. 15-226, N.D. Ind., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169526).
NEW ORLEANS — Defendants in a case over a man's fatal lung cancer can present evidence of settlements he made before dying in asbestos bankruptcy cases and with asbestos trusts in order to calculate damages properly in the present case, a Louisiana federal judge ruled Sept. 16 (Callen Dempster, et al. v. Lamorak Insurance Co., et al., No. 20-95, E.D. La., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169198).
NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge in Louisiana on Sept. 11 admitted three experts' testing and testimony regarding the use of asbestos products, their release of dust and the role tobacco plays in lung cancer but excluded a historian's testimony regarding tobacco, saying that while the expert was qualified, there was insufficient evidence supporting his methodology (Callen Dempster, et al. v. Lamorak Insurance Co., et al., No. 20-95, E.D. La.).
NEWARK, N.J. — A recently reinstated Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals case and fresh allegations regarding incorporation of Johnson & Johnson regulatory filings into plan documents preserve a case claiming that the fiduciaries caused $30 million in damages by investing in knowingly inflated company stock, a class says in a Sept. 14 opposition to dismissal (Michael Perrone, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 19-923, D. N.J.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Whether Union Carbide Corp. specified the use of asbestos insulation at its facility and whether that is enough under Louisiana law to hold it liable for a man's exposure given its knowledge about the resulting hazard came before the Delaware Supreme Court during a Sept. 16 virtual oral argument (Sandra Kivell, et al. v. Union Carbide Corp., No. 15, 2020, Del. Sup.).
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Briefing filed in response to a separate motion to dismiss suggests that even had the plaintiffs responded to jurisdiction arguments raised in an asbestos-talc case, they could not have prevailed, a federal judge in Arkansas said Sept. 14 (Thomas Kimmons, et al. v. AutoZone Inc., et al., No. 19-876, E.D. Ark., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166118).
HARTFORD, Conn. — The Connecticut Supreme Court on Sept. 14 rejected medical monitoring claims asserted in asbestos plaintiffs' class action, saying that even if the state recognized such claims, the cause of action would require expert testimony that the specific individuals suffered cellular changes and evidence supporting the relief (Danny Dougan v. Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., et al., No. SC20271, Conn. Sup., 2020 Conn. LEXIS 198).
SAN FRANCISCO — Plaintiffs on Aug. 27 told the Ninth Circuit U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that a recent entry of judgment gave the court jurisdiction over an appeal challenging dismissal of two asbestos defendants (Debbie Viale, et al. v. Foster Wheeler LLC, et al., Debbie Viale, et al. v. ExxonMobil Corp., et al., Nos. 20-16463, 2016464, 9th Cir.).
TRENTON, N.J. — A trial court improperly accepted defendants' experts over plaintiffs' talc causation opinions without regard for whether the methodology was reliable, a New Jersey appellate court said Aug. 5 (Brandi Carl, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., Diana Balderrama, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, Nos. A-0387-16T1, A-0978-16T1, N.J. Super., App. Div.).
LOS ANGELES — California and Michigan approach asbestos causation and the every exposure theory similarly, and the application of the former's law does not require upsetting a $5.5 million verdict, a man told a state appeals court on June 10 (Robert Swanson v. The Marley-Wylain Co., No. B294181, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Garrett Motion Inc. and Honeywell International Inc. on Sept. 10 asked a New York justice for additional time to file a complaint and motion to dismiss in the two companies' dispute over the assignment of asbestos liabilities (Garrett Motion Inc., et al. v. Honeywell International Inc., et al., No. 657106/2019, N.Y. Sup., Comm. Div.).
ST. PAUL, Minn. — An appeal challenging whether jurisdiction exists over an asbestos case raises complex questions and should not be reviewed on an expedited basis, a company tells the Minnesota Supreme Court in a Sept. 8 brief (Conwed Corp. v. Gene R. Backe, et al., No. A19-1959, Minn. Sup.).
TRENTON, N.J. — Two Johnson & Johnson entities told a federal judge in New Jersey on Sept. 9 that they would soon move for dismissal of bellwether cases that failed to meet the deadline for production of medical records, a move the plaintiffs termed "improper and premature" (In re: Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Products Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Litigation, MDL No. 2738, No. 16-2738, D. N.J.).
SEATTLE — The family of a mesothelioma victim and two automobile parts companies debated an $81.5 million asbestos verdict in Sept. 8 briefs, battling over the propriety of the award overturned on appeal and whether trial misconduct alone warranted vacating the award (Gerri S. Coogan, et al. v. Genuine Parts Co., et al., No. 98296-1, Wash. Sup.).
NEW ORLEANS — A deposition placing a man near federal asbestos work put the shipyard on notice of an action's removability in a deposition, and whether it could have learned of federal jurisdiction earlier by paring employment records with records is "beside the point," a federal judge in Louisiana said in denying remand on Sept. 3 (Lana Waguespack, et al. v. Avondale Industries Inc., et al., No. 20-1986, E.D. La., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160725).
ALAMEDA, Calif. — A California appeals court on Sept. 4 denied a petition for writ of mandate urging immediate appellate review after a trial judge denied a mistrial in the wake of an asbestos plaintiff sharing jovial moments and vacation pictures with jurors outside the presence of attorneys and the judge during a virtual asbestos trial (Ronald C. Wilgenbusch, et al. v. American Biltrite Inc., et al, No. A160845, Calif. App., 1st Dist.).
LOS ANGELES — A California appellate court on Sept. 4 granted additional time to a family alleging exposure to asbestos in bowling balls to respond to a brief challenging the legitimacy of a $4.39 million verdict in the case (Barbara Vanni, et al. v. Honeywell International Inc., No. B299594, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).
ALAMEDA, Calif. — An asbestos plaintiff's sharing of jovial moments and vacation pictures with jurors outside the presence of attorneys and the judge during a virtual trial constitutes per se misconduct and denial of a resulting mistrial motion requires immediate appellate review to prevent an expensive post-verdict appeals process, Metalclad Insulation LLC tells a California appeals court in a Sept. 2 petition for writ of mandate (Ronald C. Wilgenbusch, et al. v. American Biltrite Inc., et al, No. A160845, Calif. App., 1st Dist.).
OAKLAND, Calif. — An Alameda County jury hearing the first reported asbestos case to go to verdict since the novel coronavirus pandemic on Sept. 3 returned a verdict for Honeywell International Inc. (Ricardo Ocampo, et al. v. AAMCO Transmissions Inc., et al., No. RG19041182, Calif. Super., Alameda Co.).
CLEVELAND — Evidence that a facility stocked Bendix brakes and that a man frequently walked through the area where those brakes were being worked on creates genuine issues of material fact, an Ohio court said Aug. 6 in reversing summary judgment for the defendant (Barbara Maddy, et al. v. Honeywell International Inc., No. 108698, 109066, Ohio App., 8th Dist.).