HARRISBURG, Pa. — Allegations that an employer intentionally withheld the dangers of asbestos and a products liability claim involving its alleged manufacture and supplying of asbestos-containing products to workers survive the Ohio Workers’ Compensation Act bar, a federal judge in Pennsylvania held April 1 in partially granting leave to file an amended complaint (Rhonda J. Gorton, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 17-1110, M.D. Pa., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56892).
NEW YORK — Conflicting evidence about when a company stopped selling asbestos-containing boards and product identification create sufficient questions to overcome summary judgment, a New York justice held in an opinion posted April 1 (Marilyn Stiglitz, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 190029/2018, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2020 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1348).
NEW YORK — Despite plaintiffs’ residence in England, use of allegedly asbestos-tainted consumer talc there, and mesothelioma treatments in the country, defendants have not met the heavy burden required for forum non conveniens dismissal, a New York justice held in an opinion posted April 1 (Hannah Louise Fletcher, et al. v. Avon Products Inc., et al., No. 190045/2019, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2020 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1344).
ST. LOUIS — The admission that a boiler company’s products contained asbestos and witness testimony regarding a man’s work with the products and expert testimony regarding his resulting exposure combine to overcome summary judgment, a Missouri appeals court held March 31 in reversing a lower court ruling (Mary Callanan, et al. v. A.W. Chesterton, et al., No. ED108140, Mo. App., Eastern Dist., Div. 5).
TRENTON, N.J. — Further discovery into the terms of mergers and post-sale conduct is necessary to determine whether product line successor jurisdiction exists, and nothing in the asbestos-talc case requires transfer to Oklahoma, a federal judge in New Jersey said March 30 (Betty Jo Kirkwood v. Brenntag North America, et al., No. 19-14947, D. N.J.).
PITTSBURGH — A former U.S. Geological Survey employee’s testimony regarding the products he used and where he obtained those products combined with the holes and contradictions in a corporate representative’s testimony warrants denying summary judgment, a federal judge in Pennsylvania said March 27 (Harald H. Mehnert, et al. v. Agilent Technologies Inc., et al., No. 18-593, W.D. Pa., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53442).
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — A third-party complaint in an asbestos action does not support an apportionment cause of action in an asbestos case and is devoid of any of the necessary allegations for a common-law indemnity claim, a federal judge in Kentucky said March 27 (Jack Papineau, et al. v. Brake Supply Company Inc., et al., No. 18-168, W.D. Ky., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53766).
PHILADELPHIA — Neither the allegedly accidental nature of an order dismissing an asbestos case nor the fact that the parties continued litigating the decades-old case as if it remained live changes the fact that time for appealing that ruling has long since expired, a panel of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held March 30 (In re: Asbestos Products Liability Litigation [No. VI], Creighton Miller v. Sea-Land Service Inc., et al., No. 18-2165, 3rd Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 9781).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Having twice secured extensions in attempts to meet the Texas asbestos causation standard, a plaintiff failed to show the good cause required for a third one, a majority of the Delaware Supreme Court said March 24 (Shad C. Shaw, et al. v. American Friction Inc., et al., No. 86, 2019, Del. Sup., 2020 Del. LEXIS 108).
DALLAS — A divided Texas appeals court on March 26 declined to reconsider its ruling that an asbestos plaintiff produced insufficient evidence on which a jury could find gross negligence on the part of helicopter manufacturer (Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. v. Shirley Dickson, et al., No. 05-17-00979-CV, Texas App., 5th Dist.).
ST. LOUIS — On March 25, the Missouri appellate court presiding over Johnson & Johnson’s challenge to a $4.69 billion asbestos-talc ovarian cancer verdict rescheduled oral argument for April 24, limited appearances to two attorneys for each side, extended the time to 30 minutes per side and said the court would livestream the proceedings on its Facebook and YouTube pages (Gail Ingham, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. ED 107476, Mo. App., Eastern Dist.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A judge erred in declining to provide a jury with admitted trial evidence it specifically requested during deliberations and that was directly related to the jury’s liability verdict, a Pennsylvania appellate court held March 24 in awarding a new trial (Colleen Schrader, et al. v. Ameron International Inc., et al., No. 2609 EDA 2018, Pa. Super.).
NEW ORLEANS — Recent Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals precedent establishes that negligence claims stemming from work at a shipyard belong in federal court, a federal judge in Louisiana said March 23 in denying remand (Edward J. Boudreaux Jr. v. Albert L. Bossier Jr., et al., No. 19-12355, E.D. La., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49330).
NEW ORLEANS — Asbestos plaintiffs who told a court that they “cannot bear another jury trial” accepted a $3 million verdict — reduced from the original $7.75 million — and on March 23 filed a notice of appeal of the remittitur (James L. Gaddy, et al. v. Taylor-Seidenbach Inc., et al., No. 19-12926, E.D. La.).
SEATTLE — A plaintiff advanced the case that asbestos exposure led to mesothelioma or lung cancer, but the jury instruction in this “unusual setting” permitted a verdict in her favor only if the jury found that the decedent suffered from the former, a Washington appeals court held March 16 (Era Clevenger, et al. v. John Crane Inc., et al., No. 78504-4, Wash. App., Div. 1).
PITTSBURGH — A December ruling applying Colorado law renders timely a defendant’s notice seeking to designate alleged nonparty entities responsible for failing to warn about the dangers of asbestos, a federal judge in Pennsylvania held Feb. 11 (Harald H. Mehnert, et al. v. Agilent Technologies Inc., et al., No. 18-593, W.D. Pa.).
LOS ANGELES — The plaintiffs’ only evidence that a decedent was exposed to asbestos consists of the possibility that joint compound containing asbestos was included in debris he cleaned up, Union Carbide Corp. told a California appeals court on Dec. 24 in defending summary judgment in its favor (Jovana Collantes, etc., et al. v. Elementis Chemicals Inc., et al., No. B295278, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).
SEATTLE — A Washington appeals court on March 20 declined to reconsider whether a judge improperly relied on the potential verdicts an asbestos case could produce when considering the reasonableness of a $4.5 million covenant agreement (CBS Corp. v. Ulbricht, Nos. 79490-6-I, 79590-2-I, Wash. App., Div. 1, 2020 Wash. App. LEXIS 681).
NEW YORK — While a man produces sufficient product identification testimony, two experts’ opinions ruling out asbestos as a cause of his lung cancer doom the smoker’s lung cancer case, a New York justice held March 17 (Laura Avakian, et al. v. Consolidated Edison of New York, et al., No. 190036/2018, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia’s governor on March 3 signed into law a bill under which the state’s courts will treat nonmalignant and malignant asbestos diseases as separate injuries.