NEW YORK — Allegations that a boiler company sold products exposing plaintiffs to asbestos adequately plead failure to warn and loss of consortium claims, and nothing in the case management order prevents punitive damages claims, a New York justice held in opinions posted Dec. 10 (Johanna L. Falsetta, et al. v. ABB Inc., et al., No. 190230/2015, Gary Bitteto, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 190230/2015, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
NEW YORK — If a company doesn’t have responsive documents in an asbestos case, it must more fully explain why, but nothing suggests that its current answers are willful or made in bad faith, a New York justice held in declining to strike the company’s answer on Nov. 21 (Russell Leavitt, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products, et al., No. 190240/2017, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2019 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 6218).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California appeals court on Dec. 11 declined to revisit its opinion that a man could not establish causation through expert testimony that some bottles of a company’s talc likely contained asbestos, according to the court’s docket (Richard Berg, et al. v. Colgate-Palmolive Co., et al., No. A154245, Calif. App., 1st Dist.).
NEW YORK — A school maintenance worker’s testimony and evidence regarding the boilers he encountered are sufficient to deny summary judgment to the manufacturer, a New York justice held Dec. 10 (Eugene Andreoli, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 190299/2017, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
AKRON, Ohio — A trial court improperly granted summary judgment on an asbestos causation argument the defendant never raised and compounded it by imposing a substantial factor causation standard not in light with the featherweight causation standard applied in Jones Act cases, an Ohio court held in reversing judgment in favor of an employer on Dec. 9 (Diane Shaffer, et al. v. A.W. Chesterton Co., et al., No. 18CA011440, Ohio App., 9th Dist., 2019 Ohio App. LEXIS 5097).
LOS ANGELES — For the purposes of imposing a duty on employers for household exposures, a difference exists between a large-scale industrial operation and a smaller employer where asbestos exposures were occasional and fleeting, a water company tells a California appeals court in a Nov. 8 filing in a challenge to an $11.4 million verdict (Alfred Mata v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. B293479, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).
TACOMA, Wash. — A plaintiff’s failure to sufficiently demonstrate exposure in the Merchant Marines as to a single defendant does not warrant reconsideration, but neither does the failure warrant precluding other defendants from pointing to the potential Merchant Marine exposures as a potential cause during the January trial, a federal judge in Washington state said Dec. 6 (Eric Klopman-Baerselman, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 18-5536, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 210879).
SAN FRANCISCO — A man asked a California appeals court for reconsideration on Dec. 6, according to the docket, after it published its opinion that expert testimony that some bottles of talc would likely have been contaminated with asbestos was not strong enough to conclude that the company exposed him (Richard Berg, et al. v. Colgate-Palmolive Co., et al., No. A154245, Calif. App., 1st Dist.).
NEW ORLEANS — On remand, a trial court must first determine the paternity of potential half siblings before deciding if their motion to intervene in an asbestos action is timely, a Louisiana court held Dec. 4 (Earl T. Lindsay Jr., et al. v. Ports America Gulfport Inc., et al., No. 2019-CA-0360, La. App., 4th Cir., 2019 La. App. LEXIS 2181).
NEW YORK — A company’s admission in other cases about the asbestos content of its wire and cable propels a suit by a former electrician and stagehand past the standard for summary judgment, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Dec. 3 (Mark LaRocca, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 190404/2018, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2019 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 6336).
NEW YORK — A mesothelioma sufferer who waited until discovery closed and a defendant moved for summary judgment cannot be rewarded for failing to pursue the case more thoroughly, a New York justice held in granting summary judgment Dec. 3 (Hugh DeHaven, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 190192/2018, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2019 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 6347).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Honeywell International Inc. spinoff Garrett Motion Inc. sued its former parent company in New York State, claiming that the October 2018 agreement unacceptably requires Garrett to indemnify Honeywell from asbestos claims for a 30-year period, according to a Dec. 2 complaint and 8-k filing.
NEW YORK — A New York justice in an opinion posted Dec. 3 found that the state lacked jurisdiction over an Illinois woman’s asbestos-talc case, but said the allegations warrant further jurisdictional discovery (Karlene Holleman v. Avon Products Inc., et al., No. 190077/2018, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2019 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 6320).
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A jury in New York’s Monroe County awarded $8 million to a civil engineer who suffered occupational asbestos exposure during the monitoring and inspection of spray insulation (Wayne W. Meissner, et al. v. Ridge Construction Corp., et al., No. 2018007953, N.Y. Sup., Monroe Co.).
MINNEAPOLIS — A trial court properly analyzed all eight factors in awarding a terminated law firm a portion of a $21.5 million settlement an asbestos trust received in an insurance dispute, a Minnesota appeals court held Dec. 2 (Faricy Law Firm PA v. API Inc., Asbestos Settlement Trust, No. A19-0846, Minn. App., 2019 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1118).
LOS ANGELES — A trial judge ignored governing Michigan law and instead erroneously applied “uniquely lenient” California law in allowing “every exposure” testimony into an asbestos case and failing to instruct the jury on the but-for causation standard, a company tells a California appeals court in challenging a $5.5 million verdict on Oct. 24 (Robert Swanson v. The Marley-Wylain Co., No. B294181, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).
LOS ANGELES — Questions remain about whether three companies controlled an Iranian oil refinery, giving them a duty under California law to protect employees against asbestos exposure, a man who developed testicular cancer told a California appeals court on Nov. 13 (Houshang Sabetian, et al. v. Exxon Mobile Corp., et al., No. B297107, B298894, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).
SEATTLE — The argument that Washington’s statute of repose becomes inapplicable because a contractor also sold asbestos-containing insulation would not apply to the general contractor and would produce an absurd result where almost no contractor fell under the statute’s protections, a company tells a Washington appeals court in an Oct. 29 response (Cindy Maxwell, et al. v. Brand Insulations Inc., et al., No. 53252-2 II, Wash. App., Div. II).
WILMINGTON, Del. — The total compensatory award and not the resulting judgment after apportionment of fault determines whether an verdict is excessive, the Delaware Supreme Court held Dec. 2 in remanding an asbestos case so the trial court could determine the appropriateness of a $40 million verdict (In re: Asbestos Litigation, Ford Motor Co. v. Paula Knecht, et al. No. 90,2019, Del. Sup.).
TACOMA, Wash. — An asbestos defendant never identifies the specific expert testimony it wants a court to exclude, likely because the experts in question never offer the testimony as portrayed by the company, a woman told a federal judge in Washington on Nov. 25. In a Nov. 22 ruling, the judge granted a different defendant summary judgment while denying the plaintiff partial relief (Sherri L. Deem, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corporation, et al., Nos. 17-5965, 18-5527, W.D. Wash.).