Mealey's Asbestos

  • December 8, 2017

    Judge Finds Evidence Lacking In Laborer’s Asbestos Case Against Union Carbide

    DURHAM, N.C. — Two co-workers’ inability to recall how a man could have been exposed to a defendant’s product is the extent of a man’s asbestos case and falls short of the regular, frequent, proximate standard for causation, a federal judge in North Carolina said Dec. 7 (Jonathan A. Queen, et al. v. CBS Corp., et al., No. 16-330, M.D. N.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 201299).

  • December 7, 2017

    Court: Company Must Produce Evidence It Proffered For Asbestos Plaintiff’s Review

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A judge properly ordered a boiler company to produce more than 5,000 index cards after the company voluntarily permitted inspection by an asbestos plaintiff, an Illinois appeals court held Dec. 5 (Larry Salvatore Sr., et al. v. Cleaver-Brooks, et al., No. 4-17-0173, Ill. App., 4th Dist.).

  • December 7, 2017

    Man Says Asbestos Law Doesn’t Require Medical Opinion On ‘Smoker’ Status

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Requiring every asbestos lung cancer plaintiff who ever smoked tobacco to provide a medical expert opinion that the person doesn’t qualify as a “smoker” would produce absurd results, burden nonsmokers and is at odds with a decade of precedent and the law’s intent, a man told the Ohio Supreme Court Dec. 6 (Bobby Turner, et al. v. Union Carbide Corp., et al., No. 17-0004, Ohio Sup.).

  • December 7, 2017

    Talc Plaintiff: Asbestos Case Survives Exclusion Of Experts

    PHILADELPHIA — The exclusion of two experts did little to change the state of a case as two other experts hold the same opinions regarding asbestos-contaminated talc’s role in causing mesothelioma, a woman told a Pennsylvania judge on Dec. 4 (Sally Brandt, et al. v. The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., et al., No. 151202987, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).

  • December 5, 2017

    Delaware Judge: Asbestos Exposure Evidence Lacking In Friction Product Case

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A medical expert cannot simply conclude that occupational exposures included a defendant’s product, and absent that link, the claim fails, a Delaware judge held Nov. 8 (Tawnya Ardis v. ArvinMeritor Inc., et al., No. N13C-10-020 ASB, Del. Super., New Castle Co.).

  • December 5, 2017

    Australia Court Grants Record $250,000 In Exemplary Damages In Asbestos Case

    ADELAIDE, South Australia — An Australian appeals court on Oct. 30 dramatically increased an exemplary asbestos damages award, increasing the verdict to a record-setting $250,000, saying that while Australian courts are loath to award such damages, James Hardie’s “reprehensible” conduct renders the original award “manifestly inadequate” (Amaca Pty Ltd v. Latz, No. [2017] SASCFC 145, S. Australia Sup.).

  • December 5, 2017

    Asbestos Case Proceeds Against Brake Company, Not Raw Fiber Supplier, Judge Says

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A man presents sufficient evidence that he regularly used a company’s brakes during the time it used asbestos, but his claims against a raw asbestos fiber supplier fail, a Delaware judge held Nov. 8 in applying Rhode Island law (Raymond K. Leathers v. Borgwarner Morse Tec, et al., No. N15C-11-224 ASB, Del. Super., New Castle Co.).

  • December 5, 2017

    Justice Says Evidence Keeps 2 Boiler Makers In Asbestos Case

    NEW YORK — Two boiler makers have failed to show that they could not have foreseen that their products would need to be demolished for removal from residences, thereby exposing the worker to asbestos, a New York justice held Nov. 1 (Mary Murphy-Clagett, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products, et al., No. 190311/2015, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2017 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 4145, 2017 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 4152).

  • December 5, 2017

    Federal Maritime Asbestos Plaintiffs Appeal Personal Jurisdiction Ruling

    PHILADELPHIA — Three maritime plaintiffs whose cases were part of the federal asbestos multidistrict litigation judge’s order dismissing 4,400 cases for lack of personal jurisdiction appealed that 2014 decision on Nov. 9 to the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Louis Munnier, William D. Schroeder, Richard G. Williams v. Charles Kurz & Co. Inc.., No. 17-3471, 3rd Cir.).

  • December 5, 2017

    5th Circuit Considers Whether Removal Clock Starts At Deposition, Or Transcript

    BATON ROUGE, La. — A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel is set to decide whether deposition testimony counts as “other paper” and triggers the time for removing an action or whether the clock starts only after defendants receive the transcript, after the court held oral arguments Nov. 8 in an asbestos case (Curtis D. Morgan v. Dow Chemical Co., et al., No. 17-30523, 5th Cir.).

  • December 5, 2017

    Judge Finds Alleged Navy Control Over Products Sufficient For Removal

    NEW YORK — Claims by two defendants that they designed and manufactured products at the direction of the U.S. Navy are sufficient to remove an asbestos case, a federal judge in New York held Nov. 27 (Michael B. Donohue, et al. v. CBS Corp., et al., No. 17-7232, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 195159).

  • December 4, 2017

    N.Y. Justice Rejects Power Company’s Reargument Of Asbestos Indemnity Claim

    NEW YORK — A power company’s contracts with its contractors requires indemnification only after the establishment of liability, a New York justice held in denying reargument in an asbestos case in an opinion posted Nov. 30 (In re New York City Asbestos Litigation Michael Koulermos and Marian Koulermos v. A.O. Smith Water Products, et al., No. 190406/2014, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.; 2017 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 4530).

  • December 1, 2017

    New York Jury Awards $2M In Asbestos Case Against Jenkins Bros.

    NEW YORK — A New York jury on Oct. 17 awarded $2 million to the estate of man exposed to asbestos in Jenkins Bros. Co. valves and held the company 4 percent liable for the man’s fatal mesothelioma, sources told Mealey Publications (Donald Snowdale v. A.O. Smith Water Products, et al., No.190202/15, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

  • November 30, 2017

    Coverage Triggered By Exposure To Asbestos, New York Justice Determines

    NEW YORK — Coverage for underlying asbestos claims arising out of the construction of the original World Trade Center towers is triggered if the underlying claims allege that the exposure occurred during the construction of the towers even if the disease did not develop until years later, a New York County Supreme Court justice said Nov. 29, noting that the policy at issue provides coverage for any injury arising out of the construction project (American Home Assurance Co. v. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, et al., No. No. 651096/2012, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

  • November 29, 2017

    Asbestos Plaintiff Says County’s Workers’ Comp Brief Untimely, Unconvincing

    HOUSTON — A Texas county’s post-argument submission is improper and fails to prove that it provided workers’ compensation benefits for a judge employed in its courthouse, a woman pursuing an asbestos action on behalf of the former judge told a Texas appeals court on Nov. 22 (Jefferson County, Texas v. Ellarene Farris, et al., No. 01-17-00493-CV, Texas App., 1st Dist.).

  • November 29, 2017

    COMMENTARY: When Strategies Go Awry: Part 2 in a Series on Cognitive Biases and Their Impact

    By Laura A. Frase

  • November 29, 2017

    Montana Supreme Court Creates Special Asbestos Docket

    HELENA, Mont. — The Montana Supreme Court on Nov. 28 ordered the creation of an asbestos claims court to oversee pretrial proceedings in the state’s more than 540 asbestos cases (In re: Asbestos Litigation, No. AC 17-0694, Mont. Sup.).

  • November 28, 2017

    Judge Finds Jurisdiction Lacking In Asbestos Bowling-Shoe Product Case

    GREENSBORO, N.C. — A distributor’s sale of a bowling ball product in North Carolina does not create jurisdiction absent evidence that the manufacturer specifically targeted the state, a North Carolina federal judge held Nov. 21 (Vickie Young, et al. v. American Talc Co., et al., No. 13-864, M.D. N.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 192356).

  • November 28, 2017

    Action Arose At Asbestos Exposure, Before Statute Of Repose, Maryland Court Told

    ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The state’s statute of repose acts prospectively and does not cover exposures occurring before enactment, and its “improvement to real property” language cannot possibly be interpreted as covering the asbestos dust in a man’s lungs, a woman told Maryland’s top court on Nov. 21.  Oral arguments are scheduled for Dec. 1 (June Diane Duffy, et al. v. CBS Corp., et al., No. 41 September Term, 2017, Md. App.).

  • November 27, 2017

    Maryland Court Finds Circumstantial Evidence Against Contractors Lacking

    BALTIMORE — Testimony that a man worked on “all of” the vessels at a shipyard cannot realistically mean he worked on every ship and, even when combined with evidence of two insulation contractors’ presence at the facility, is not enough to establish exposure to asbestos from their work, a Maryland appeals court held Nov. 20 (Kathryn A. Davenport, et al. v. MCIC Inc., et al., No. 1204 September Term, 2016, Md. Spec. App., 2017 Md. App. LEXIS 1162).