SAN FRANCISCO — While a couple did not comply with rules governing discovery in a dispute over a company’s failure to disclose a corporate representative, their failure did not alter the outcome or prejudice a defunct shipbuilder’s defense of an asbestos case, a federal judge in California held April 20 (John Newton Jones v. General Electric Co., et al., No. 17-5446, N.D. Calif.).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A New York federal magistrate judge on April 23 granted an insurer’s new proposed schedule in an asbestos coverage case with its reinsurer regarding the production of documents (Utica Mutual Insurance Co. v. R&Q Reinsurance Co., No. 15-270, N.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK — An asbestos-cement siding reseller’s potential purchase of the product from a New York-based supplier keeps a widow’s mesothelioma case in the state, a justice held in an opinion posted April 13 (Shirley Jo Godfrey, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products, et al., No. 190280/2015, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania jury on March 23 found that a man suffered exposure to asbestos from a pipe manufacturer’s product but that the company had not acted negligently. The plaintiff asked the court for a new trial and briefs on the motion are due May 2 (Colleen Schrader, et al. v. Ameron International Inc., et al., No. 16901786, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).
LOS ANGELES — A California judge on April 3 entered a take-nothing judgment, after a jury found no liability on the part of respirator manufacturer 3M Co. in a man’s mesothelioma, sources told Mealey Publications (Angel D. Rigor v. 3M Co., et al., No. BC660976, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
NEW YORK — An asbestos flooring manufacturer fails to eliminate the potential for an architect’s bystander exposure or demonstrate that its products contained only the chrysotile fibers its expert claims could not cause mesothelioma, a New York justice held in an opinion posted April 19 (Tatjana Pogacnik, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 190340/2015, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO — The government’s selection of asbestos-containing insulation is enough for the federal officer defense to bar litigation against an insulation supplier, a California court held April 19 (Paula Tarjani, et al. v. Metalclad Insulation Corp., No. A140577, Calif. App., 1st Dist., 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2690).
HOUSTON — The discovery rule does not apply to a former judge’s asbestos torts claims act action against the county in which he worked, rendering his action untimely, the county told a Texas appeals court on April 18 (Jefferson County, Texas v. Ellarene Farris, et al., No. 01-17-00493-CV, Texas App., 1st Dist.).
SAN FRANCISCO — The indivisible nature of asbestos injuries makes separating Navy and non-Navy exposures nearly impossible, and the broad approach to federal officer removal warrants having a federal court address the complex situation, two companies tell the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a brief filed April 17 (Maxine Pelker, et al. v. CBS Corp., et al., No. 18-35114, 9th Cir.).
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — An employer had a duty to prevent household asbestos exposures given federal regulations, company knowledge and the foreseeability of the injury, a judge in Rhode Island held April 16 (Carolyn Marie Nichols, et al. v. Allis Chalmers Product Liability Trust, et al., No. PC-2008-1134, R.I. Super., Providence Plantation).
MADISON, Wis. — Claims that workers suffered environmental asbestos exposures separate and distinct from their employment, while perhaps ultimately difficult to prove, fall outside the Wisconsin workers’ compensation law, a federal judge in Wisconsin held April 17 while dismissing nuisance claims as time-barred (Pamela Kilty, et al. v. Weyerhaeuser Co., et al., No. 16-515, Scott Spatz, et al. v. Weyerhaeuser Co., et al., No. 16-726, W.D. Wis., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64002).
MADISON, Wis. — An individual alleging environmental exposures to asbestos as a result of releases from a manufacturing facility does not need to explain the decedent’s employment history, a federal judge in Wisconsin held April 16 in allowing common-law nuisance claims to proceed (Michael D. Kappel, et al. v. Weyerhaeuser Co., et al., No. 17-519, W.D. Wis., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64000).
CLEVELAND — A judge should exclude from a jury trial a YouTube video of ballast cleaners taken well after a man’s alleged exposure to asbestos and at a completely different work site, the railway tells an Ohio trial judge in an April 10 filing (Kevin E. Howell v. Consolidated Rail Corp., et al., No. CV-15-846529, Ohio Comm. Pls., Cuyahoga Co.).
CLEVELAND — Failure to disclose that an insurer would not seek subrogation for medical expenses associated with treatment for a man’s asbestos-related lung cancer constitutes an “extraordinary violation” of the rules that cannot be exaggerated and warrants dismissal as a sanction, a railroad tells an Ohio court in an April 11 filing (Kevin E. Howell v. Consolidated Rail Corp., et al., No. CV-15-846529, Ohio Comm. Pls., Cuyahoga Co.).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — In a dispute over whether a reinsurer is obligated to an insurer for more than $3.2 million in reinsurance proceeds for an underlying asbestos settlement, the insurer in an April 3 motion seeks reconsideration of a New York federal judge’s finding of ambiguity in the reinsurance certificate provisions related to expense (Utica Mutual Insurance Co. v. Munich Reinsurance America Inc., Nos. 12-00196 & 13-00743, N.D. N.Y.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A couple lacks sufficient evidence tracing a man’s mesothelioma to an aviation contractor’s products, and their conclusory statements regarding the potential existence of evidence do not warrant a continuance or additional discovery, a federal judge in California held April 16 (Joseph Thrash, et al. v. The Boeing Co., et al., No. 17-1501, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63925).
SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Genuine disagreement over the proper owner of a store where a woman allegedly purchased asbestos-tainted consumer talc products creates sufficient questions to defeat claims of fraudulent joinder, a federal judge in South Carolina held April 16 (Antoine Bostic, et al. v. 3M, et al., No. 18-948, D. S.C.).
NEW YORK — A New York jury on April 13 awarded $60 million to the family of a mesothelioma sufferer exposed to asbestos in boilers, sources told Mealey Publications (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, Mary Murphy-Clagett v. A.O. Smith Water Products, et al., No. 190311/15, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Federal law prevents lung cancer and mesothelioma asbestos plaintiffs from arguing or presenting evidence that they lacked sufficient warning about the dangers tobacco use posed, four defendants told a West Virginia judge on April 13 (In re: Asbestos Litigation, No. 03-C-9600, W.Va. Cir., Kanawa Co.).
NEW ORLEANS — Nothing in the U.S. Navy’s mandate to use asbestos-containing products prevented a shipbuilder from warning employees or instituting safety measures to prevent a woman’s take-home exposures, a federal judge in Louisiana held April 11 in remanding a case. The shipyard appealed the decision April 12 (Linda Guillot v. Avondale Industries Inc., et al., No. 17-7666, E.D. La.).