BALTIMORE — An expert in a mesothelioma case may not testify regarding his opinion that a man’s previous kidney cancer also arose from the asbestos exposures in question, a federal judge in Maryland held June 22 in granting unopposed summary judgment on numerous claims (Jeffrey Rockman and Sonja Rockman v. Union Carbide Corp., et al., No. 16-1169, D. Md., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96227).
NEW YORK — New York asbestos plaintiffs may pursue punitive damage claims going forward under a newly instituted case management order (CMO) that also includes changes to hearsay rules designed to help offset the negative impact such a change will have on defendants, the coordinating justice said June 20 (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, All Asbestos Cases., No. 40000/88, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A law firm retained privilege over a former asbestos attorney’s work product and was not required to obtain his permission before disclosing emails between him and a scientific consulting firm, a California appeals court held June 21 (Tucker Ellis v. The Superior Court of City and County of San Francisco, Evan C. Nelson, No. A148956, Calif. App., 1st Dist., 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 571).
RICHMOND, Va. — A boiler maker did not need to show that the U.S. Navy specifically rejected additional warnings related to asbestos to successfully remove a case, a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held June 22, but on remand, the judge must determine whether Foster Wheeler LLC’s removal was timely (Janya Sawyer, et al. v. Union Carbide Corp., et al., No. 16-1530 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 11081).
BATON ROUGE, La. — Deposition testimony and not the transcript itself triggers the “other paper” removal clock, a federal judge in Louisiana held June 21 in remanding an asbestos action (Curtis D. Morgan v. Dow Chemical Co., et al., No. 17-269, M.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95308).
NEW ORLEANS — Asbestos plaintiffs’ claims that a shipyard negligently failed to warn about the dangers of asbestos on its premises do not create a colorable defense or causal nexus required for removal, a federal judge in Louisiana held June 19. The shipyard filed a notice of appeal on June 20 (Victor J. Blouin Sr., et al. v. Huntington Ingalls Inc., et al., No. 17-2636, E.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93537).
ST. PAUL, Minn. — In a dispute over payment on work done for an insolvent insurer’s liquidator, a law firm petitioned the Minnesota Supreme Court on June 5 to answer “when a contingency fee lawyer is terminated by the client, may the district court consider the contingency fee agreement as one of the factors in awarding quantum meruit relief to the discharged lawyer?” (Faricy Law Firm, P.A., v. API Inc., Asbestos Settlement Trust, No. A16-1539, Minn. Sup.).
NEW YORK — A company waived privilege over a redacted attorney-client memo providing advice involving the asbestos-cement pipe business due to its repeated disclosure concessions, but the company’s more strenuous efforts regarding an unredacted version keeps it privileged, a New York appeals court held June 15 (Richard Warren v. Amchem Products Inc., et al., No. 4297, 190281/2014, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept., 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4808).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Evidence that a company did not manufacture the type of fully assembled brake product a witness identified frees the company from an asbestos action, a judge in Delaware held June 14 (Amanda Dullinger and Stephen Dullinger v. American Honda Motor Co., et al., No. N15C-04-281, Del. Super., New Castle Co.).
CLEVELAND — Expert testimony attributing a man’s mesothelioma to cumulative exposure to asbestos in automobile brakes simply dresses up the theory that every exposure leads to disease in new clothing and is inadmissible under Ohio law, a manufacturer and its amici curiae told the state’s highest court on June 15 (Mark Schwartz, et al. v. Honeywell International Inc., et al., No. 2016-1372, Ohio Sup.).
AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Supreme Court on June 16 declined to wade into whether a nine-year delay in accepting the terms of settlement resolving asbestos claims was appropriate under the terms of the agreement or constituted unreasonable delay (Union Carbide Corp. v. Perry Jones, Rosemary Allegria, et al., No. 16-0648, Texas Sup.).
CHICAGO — A trial judge erred in denying forum non conveniens transfer where the plaintiff was at best equivocal regarding his exposure in his chosen forum, an Illinois appeals court held June 13 (Irvin Rohl and Marlene Rohl v. Borg Warner Corp., et al., No. 2016 L 676, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 2017 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1148).
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — An expert’s knowledge and skills give him sufficient basis to testify regarding the cause of a man’s mesothelioma, a judge in Rhode Island held June 9 in rejecting the need for narrow specialization (Rosie K. Sweredoski, et al. v. Alfa Laval Inc., et al., No. 2011-1544, R.I. Super., Providence Plantation, 2017 R.I. Super. LEXIS 94).
PHOENIX — The Arizona Supreme Court heard oral argument on April 25 in a case in which it will decide whether the state recognizes an employer’s duty for take-home asbestos exposures in a negligence action (Mary Quiroz, et al. v. Alcoa Inc., et al., No. 16-0248, Ariz. Sup.).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Two defendants freed from an $8 million verdict after a court found expert asbestos causation testimony improperly admitted at trial have told the Florida Supreme Court that there are no grounds for reviewing the decision (Richard DeLisle v. Crane Co., et al., No. SC16-2182, Fla. Sup.).
LOS ANGELES — Loosening the causation standard in asbestos cases to include safety equipment makers would only draw more cases to California’s already burdened judicial system and is against public policy, amici told a California appeals court May 10 (William and Becky Tyler, et al. v. American Optical Corp., et al., No. B276847, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on June 12 declined to wade into a dispute over the proper causation standard in a Jones Act case involving allegations of asbestos exposure aboard a cruise line (Giovanna Settimi Caraffa, et al. v. Carnival Cruise Lines, No. 16-1074, U.S. Sup.).
PORTLAND, Ore. — A disclaimer of any asbestos claims that would invoke federal jurisdiction erases any doubt raised by a woman’s production of a list of U.S. Navy ships, a federal judge in Oregon held May 26 in adopting a magistrate judge’s report and remanding a case (Melissa Coury, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 16-1796, D. Ore.).
LOS ANGELES — A company’s failure to try to contain a memo containing confidential attorney-client advice for more than three years, even as it went “viral” in asbestos litigation, warrants denying a motion to seal, a California appeals court held June 8 (Elaine Margie Paulus, et al. v. J-M Manufacturing Company Inc., No. B269904, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).
SEATTLE — A broker’s sales of asbestos to a California company selling pipe in Washington state do not create specific jurisdiction, but on remand the trial court should consider recently revealed evidence and precedent in deciding that the state had jurisdiction, a majority of the Washington State Supreme Court held June 8 (Candance Noll, et al. v. American Biltrite Inc., et al., No. 91998-4, Wash. Sup.).