PHILADELPHIA — In a breach of contract suit, an insurer moved for clarification on Aug. 11 with a Pennsylvania federal court to confirm that it is to produce only unredacted versions of documents previously produced with redactions based on proprietary material, reserves and “other reinsurance” information and additional documents reflecting the date when the insurer provided first notice of asbestos claims to other reinsurers of relevant policies (R&Q Reinsurance Co. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co., No. 16-1473, E.D. Pa.).
MADISON, Wis. — A federal jury in Wisconsin returned a defense verdict for John Crane Inc. on July 19, finding that the company did not act negligently or defectively design or fail to warn about the alleged dangers posed by its asbestos-containing gaskets and packing (Patricia L. Carroll, et al. v. John Crane Inc., No. 15-373, W.D. Wis.).
NEW ORLEANS — The Navy’s mandate that a shipbuilder use asbestos-containing parts did not prevent it from warning employees about the presence of asbestos at the facility or from implementing safety procedures, a federal judge in Louisiana held Aug. 4 in remanding a negligence action (Robert Templet Sr. v. Avondale Industries Inc., et al., No. 17-5935, E.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123216).
LOS ANGELES — A California appellate panel on July 28 reversed summary judgment for an employer on a couple’s take-home asbestos complaint, noting that the state Supreme Court ruling in Kesner v. Superior Court, filed after the couple noticed its appeal, disproved prior case law indicating that a property owner has no duty to its workers’ family members from secondary exposure to asbestos used during the course of its business on its premises (San Juana Sandoval, et al. v. American Appliance Manufacturing Corp., No. B278952, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 4, 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5203).
NEWARK, N.J. — The special master appointed to oversee discovery issues in a seven-year-old asbestos lawsuit involving allegations of fraud on the part of a talc defendant and its lawyer said in an Aug. 11 letter that a law firm’s representation of an unrelated party does not disqualify him from serving (Kimberlee Williams, et al. v. BASF Catalysts LLC., et al., No. 11-1754, D. N.J.).
SEATTLE — A federal judge in Washington in separate July 31 rulings granted one company’s motion for judgment on the pleadings and another company’s motion to dismiss and denied a couple’s motion for leave to amend their asbestos complaint, which had been previously dismissed without prejudice; all three rulings were based on jurisdictional issues (Matthew Hodjera, et al. v. BASF Catalysts LLC, et al., No. 17-48, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119940, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119942, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119945).
NEWARK, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey on Aug. 4 said a doctor called upon to be a plaintiff’s expert witness in an asbestos exposure suit was qualified and used approved methodology, denying the defendants’ joint motion to bar the expert’s testimony (Judith L. Hoffeditz v. AM General LLC, et al., No. 09-0257, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123493).
NEWARK, N.J. — Defendants in a seven-year-old asbestos lawsuit on Aug. 8 asked a New Jersey federal judge to replace a special discovery master due to conflict of interest from his past and current law firm associations (Kimberlee Williams, et al. v. BASF Catalysts LLC., et al., No. 11-1754, D. N.J.).
By Daniel J. Ryan, John J. Hare and Mark A. Behrens
SPARTANBURG, S.C. — A South Carolina state court jury on Aug. 3 awarded $300,000 to a former power plant inspector and his wife after finding that two defendants negligently exposed the worker to asbestos that caused his mesothelioma (Beverly Dale Jolly, et al. v. General Electric Company, et al., No. 2016-CP-43-01592, S.C. Comm. Pls., Spartanburg Co.).
PHILADELPHIA — In a breach of contract suit over asbestos insurance claims, a Pennsylvania federal judge on Aug. 1 ordered an insurer to produce to a reinsurer original, unredacted versions of documents concerning proprietary information, historical loss reserves and information related to other reinsurance companies (R&Q Reinsurance Co. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co., No. 16-1473, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120858).
SEATTLE — The Washington Supreme Court on June 27 declined to weigh into a household exposure asbestos case that produced a $3.6 million verdict against an insulator and involved questions regarding the state’s statute of repose, liability and whether the company was a seller of the product in question (Estate of Barbara Brandes v. Brand Insulation Inc., No. 94199-8, Wash. Sup.).
OAKLAND, Calif. — A California jury on July 14 awarded $5,321,050 to a man who allegedly contracted mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos during underground work with cement pipe, sources told Mealey Publications (Frank Hart, et al. v. Calaveras Asbestos Ltd., et al., No. RG16838191, Calif. Super., Alameda Co.).
SEATTLE — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 14 lifted a stay of an asbestos case asking whether Pfizer Inc. is liable for a subsidiary’s products under the Restatement (Second) of Torts, but said the plaintiff may seek to reimpose the stay if the Washington Supreme Court accepts review of a similar case (Sharleen Sprague, et al. v. Pfizer Inc., No. 15-35051, 9th Cir.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A couple has at least some evidence of a man’s encounters with some of the defendants’ products, but no evidence that those products contained asbestos or that the parts in question were manufactured by the defendants, a federal magistrate judge in Delaware held July 21 in recommending summary judgment for seven companies (Harold Haynes and Judy Haynes v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 16-607, D. Del., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113828).
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Nothing in the record suggests that a company’s appeal of a ruling ordering it to produce index cards it claims contain trade secrets is a frivolous one or that the move is simply a ploy designed to delay trial, an Illinois appeals court held July 26 (Larry Salvatore Sr., et al. v. Cleaver-Brooks, et al., No. 4-17-0244, Ill. App., 4th Dist.).
NEW YORK — A New York trial justice refused on July 17 to dismiss a Pennsylvania reinsurer’s misrepresentation and breach of contract lawsuit against an Illinois insurer over asbestos coverage because there is a substantial nexus between New York and the underlying reinsurance transactions (R&Q Reinsurance Co. v. Allianz Insurance Co., No. 653744/2014, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2017 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 2721).
CHARLESTON, S.C. — A medical expert’s opinion that exposure to asbestos in gaskets substantially contributed to the entire dose that caused a man’s mesothelioma simply reiterates scientific fact and is sufficiently case-specific to avoid being the “every exposure” theory, a man told a federal judge on July 24 in asking that he reconsider his ruling excluding the testimony (John E. Haskins and Mary L. Haskins v. 3M Co., et al., No. 15-2086, James Willson Chesher, et al. v. 3M., No. 15-2123, D. S.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113657).
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. — General Motors LLC cannot sue Johns-Manville Corp.’s asbestos personal injury trust in Ohio state court to recover money for payments made to a widow because GM’s claim for contribution is barred by the decades-old injunction issued in Johns-Manville’s Chapter 11 case, a New York federal bankruptcy judge held July 24 (In re Johns-Manville Corporation, et al., No. 82-11656 [General Motors LLC v. Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust, et al., No. 1:17-ap-1032], S.D. N.Y. Bkcy., 2017 Bankr. LEXIS 2063).
SAN FRANCISCO — A cosmetic talc company’s own responses and expert testimony demonstrate that the very triable issues a judge found did not exist, and the concession that none of the bottles remain does not support summary judgment, a woman told a California appeals court on June 23 (Mary Lyons v. Colgate-Palmolive Co., No. A150567, Calif. App., 1st Dist.).