KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Railcars outfitted with asbestos insulation caused a man’s mesothelioma, a federal jury in Kansas held Dec. 10 in awarding $139,500 (Nancy Little, et al. v. The Budd Co., No. 16-4170, D. Kan.).
NEW YORK — Two talc suppliers’ sales in New York and a woman’s alleged exposure to asbestos in that talc creates jurisdiction in the state, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Dec. 7 (Desiree Hooper-Lynch v. Colgate-Palmolive Co., et al., No. 190328/2015, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2018 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 5743).
SAN FRANCISCO — An insurer had no reason to believe that it was liable for a defunct company’s asbestos liabilities until after entry of default judgment and has shown that it could possibly raise a meritorious defense, a California appeals court held Dec. 11 in setting aside millions of dollars in judgments (William Mechling v. Asbestos Defendants, et al., James Greely v. Asbestos Defendants, et al., Omar Barstad v. Lamons Gasket Co., et al., Alexander Corns v. Amcord Inc., et al., Nos. A150132, A150134, A150125, A150138, Calif. App., 1st Dist.).
LOS ANGELES — The removal analysis focuses on the entire product — in this case a prototype nuclear propulsion system — rather than the asbestos-containing insulation to which a man was allegedly exposed, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel said Dec. 10 in affirming that the case belongs in federal court (Wayne Yocum, et al. v. CBS Corp., et al., No. 17-56344, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 34656).
SAN FRANCISCO — While market-share liability perhaps rests on shaky grounds given recent California developments, it remains good law, a federal judge in California said Dec. 6 in ultimately finding that the plaintiff had not adequately pleaded the claim in an asbestos case (Gary Farris, et al. v. 3M Co., et al., No. 18-4186, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 206490).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Evidence that railcars outfitted with asbestos insulation were present at the same large industrial facility as a man does not meet Kansas’ but-for causation standard and involves safety issues subject to preemption, a defendant told a federal judge in Kansas on Dec. 7 in a pair of motions seeking a directed verdict (Nancy Little, et al. v. The Budd Co., No. 16-4170, D. Kan.).
NEW YORK — Evidence that a company’s predecessor sold talc to a New York company for use in the state keeps the talc supplier in a woman’s mesothelioma lawsuit, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Dec. 7 (Jenny Shulman, et al. v. Brenntag North America Inc., et al., No. 190025/17, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida’s Supreme Court on Dec. 6 declined to rehear its decision rejecting the Daubert standard and reinstating an $8 million judgment against an asbestos company and its tobacco company co-defendant (Richard DeLisle v. Crane Co., et al., No. SC16-2182, Fla. Sup.).
BOSTON — Whether the Legislature was the “model of clarity” when it passed a law designed to protect contractors from liability for improvements to real property or whether it is manifestly unfair to set a six-year limit that provides an absolute bar to the most meritorious cases sits before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court after Dec. 4 oral arguments (June Stearns, et al. v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., et al., No. SJC-12544, Mass. Sup. Jud.).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A woman and the railroad she claims exposed her father to asbestos briefed a Kansas federal judge on Dec. 5 about the level of evidence required for submission of asbestos trust affidavits to a jury (Nancy Little, et al. v. The Budd Co., No. 16-4170, D. Kan.).
HUNTINGTON, La. — A woman could have discovered the connection between asbestos and her mother’s fatal mesothelioma at the time her death, a federal judge in Louisiana held Dec. 3 in finding her suit filed six years after the death untimely (Judith Punch Rivera v. Huntington Ingalls Inc., et al., No. 18-6795, E.D. La.).
TROY, Mich. — A subsidiary of commercial vehicle and industrial products maker Meritor Inc. is planning a “prepackaged” Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization to shed its asbestos liabilities through a Section 524(g) trust — if it wins approval of voting asbestos personal injury claimants, the parent company said in a Dec. 4 news release.
SEATTLE — A jury’s verdict for two asbestos-friction defendants on product liability claims does not preclude a retrial on the negligence claim on which the jury hung, a couple told a federal judge in Washington on Dec. 3 (Patrick Jack, et al. v. Asbestos Corp LTD, et al., No. 17-537, W.D. Wash.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A 1982 release precludes a workers’ compensation claim seeking benefits for mesothelioma, an employer argues in a Nov. 30 brief as it and a widow spar in Delaware court over how broadly the settlement applies (Alicia Weddle, et al. v. BP Amoco Chemical Co., No. N18A-06-004 VLM, Del. Super., New Castle Co.).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A tobacco company overplays separation-of-powers concerns in urging reconsideration of a ruling reinstating Frye, expert testimony and an $8 million asbestos verdict, the plaintiff tells the Florida Supreme Court in a Nov. 9 brief (Richard DeLisle v. Crane Co., et al., No. SC16-2182, Fla. Sup.).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Two asbestos experts may testify in an upcoming trial against a railcar company, a federal judge in Kansas said Nov. 20 in turning aside a Daubert challenge about the redundancy and potential prejudice the testimony posed and whether it constituted the “every exposure” theory of causation (Nancy Little, et al. v. The Budd Co., No. 16-4170, D. Kan.).
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — An asbestos defendant’s dissolution is not the same as a bankruptcy and does not put it within an exception to the bar on direct suits against insurers of alleged tortfeasors, a Rhode Island justice said Nov. 19 (Shirley D’Amico, et al. v. A.O. Smith Corp., et al., No. 2012-0403, R.I. Super., Providence Plantation, 2018 R.I. Super. LEXIS 103).
NEW YORK — Dueling experts and allegations that Johnson & Johnson put profits ahead of people are enough to keep an asbestos-talc case alive, a New York justice held an opinion filed Nov. 30 denying summary judgment (Ann Zoas, et al. v. BASF Catalysts LLC, et al., No. 190162/2017, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO — The California Supreme Court on Nov. 28 denied a petition for review in a case where a lower court applied Kansas law over the law of two other states in an asbestos friction-parts case, while conceding that it made proving causation a “near impossibility” (Gerald Hake v. Allied Fluid Products Corp., et al., No S252135, Calif. Sup.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Testimony that a man worked on, and around others working on, automobile engines in enclosed spaces and evidence that the vast majority of cylinder head gaskets contained asbestos during that time are sufficient to deny a company summary judgment, a couple told the Delaware Supreme Court on Nov. 27 (In re: Asbestos Litigation, Philip Lavelle, et al. v. Federal-Mogul Asbestos Personal Injury Trust, et al., No. N16C-03-079 ASB, Del. Sup.).