NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 8 agreed to en banc consideration of the proper standard for removal of asbestos cases after the 2011 amendment expanding the federal removal statute to claims “relating to” federal officer work (James A. Latiolais v. Huntington Ingalls Inc., et al., No. 18-30652, 5th Cir.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware federal judge on May 9 denied Johnson & Johnson’s “emergency” request to transfer 2,400 state court talc and asbestos actions to his court due to the bankruptcy filing of talc supplier Imerys Talc America Inc., agreeing with tort plaintiffs that Johnson & Johnson created its own emergency by suddenly removing hundreds of suits before the transfer dispute was decided (In re: Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., No. 1:19-mc-00103, D. Del., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78145).
SEATTLE — A 2018 asbestos wrongful death action is timely because the decedent died in 2015 with a viable asbestos personal injury claim, meaning the wrongful death claim accrued at death, a widow tells a Washington federal judge in a May 8 memo seeking reconsideration (Sherri L. Deem, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 17-5965, W.D. Wash.).
TACOMA, Wash. — The allegations in an asbestos suit are too vague to keep five manufacturing defendants in the case, a federal judge in Washington state held in a handful of May 6 rulings (Donald Varney, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 18-5105, W.D. Wash.).
BUFFALO, N.Y. — The jury heard admissible and sufficient evidence supporting a $7,024,000 verdict for a police officer suffering from mesothelioma, a New York justice held in an opinion posted May 7 (James Stock Jr., et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 807846/2017, N.Y. Sup., Erie Co.).
TRENTON, N.J. — The lead plaintiff in a securities class action against health care products manufacturer Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and several of its current and former senior executives has failed to plead any material misstatements or omissions, scienter or loss causation in alleging that the defendants concealed from investors that their talc and baby powder products contained asbestos in violation of federal securities laws, the defendants argue in a May 3 motion to dismiss filed in New Jersey federal court (Frank Hall v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 18-1833, D. N.J.).
PEORIA, Ill. — Asbestos plaintiffs on April 25 appealed jurisdictional dismissal of their action seeking a declaratory ruling that Schlage Lock Co. LLC was liable for any asbestos damages incurred by an alleged predecessor (Robert M. Amling, et al v. Schlage Lock Co. LLC, et al., No. 18-3108, C.D. Ill., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69024).
HELENA, Mont. — The Montana Supreme Court on April 16 asked for full briefing on the state’s asbestos court’s conclusion that federal law did not preempt asbestos claims against BNSF Railway Co. and that the defendant could be strictly liable (BNSF Railway Co. v. The Asbestos Claims Court of the State of Montana, et al., Nos. OP 19-0085, DA 19-0085, Mont. Sup., 2019 Mont. LEXIS 151).
SAN FRANCISCO — An automotive parts company is subject to jurisdiction in California based on its conduct there, but a trade group that merely licenses its name to manufacturers has no such connection, a federal judge in California held April 29 (Thomas Toy, et al. v. Honeywell International Inc., et al., No. 19-325, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72087, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72088).
LOS ANGELES — It is more equitable to allow a woman dying of mesothelioma to have her day in court than to permit defendant Johnson & Johnson to transfer the case to the home court of a bankrupt talc supplier with thousands of other cases “for an efficient adjudication,” a California federal judge held May 3 in remanding the lawsuit to state court (Carolyn Weirick, et al. v. Brenntag North America, Inc., et al., No. 2:19-cv-03036, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75252).
TACOMA, Wash. — The need for summary judgment in a case in which a man testified that additional warnings would not have changed his conduct was not eased by recent a Supreme Court ruling rejecting the bare-metal defense in maritime settings, defendants argue in a May 2 brief. In her own May 2 brief, the plaintiff tells the court that experts will link the defendants’ products to her husband’s mesothelioma (Yaw, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 18-5405, W.D. Wash.).
SEATTLE — A recent Supreme Court ruling rejecting the bare-metal defense is narrow and does not negate the government contractor defense, two Navy suppliers told a federal judge in Washington in a May 2 supplemental brief (Sherri L. Deem, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 17-5965, W.D. Wash.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Johnson & Johnson’s “emergency” request to transfer 2,400 state court talc and asbestos actions to federal court in Delaware due to the bankruptcy filing of talc supplier Imerys Talc America Inc. should be rebuffed because Johnson & Johnson created its own emergency by suddenly removing hundreds of suits before the transfer dispute was decided, attorneys representing tort claimants say in May 1 letters to the court (In re: Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., No. 1:19-mc-00103, D. Del.).
TACOMA, Wash. — Parties to a summary judgment motion in an asbestos case must file supplemental briefing on the impact of the recent Supreme Court ruling rejecting the bare-metal defense in the maritime setting, a federal judge in Washington held April 18 (Yaw, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 18-5405, W.D. Wash.).
LOS ANGELES — A California jury on April 19 awarded $4,397,716 to a widow and two adult children for a man’s pericardial mesothelioma contracted after exposure to asbestos used in bowling balls (Barbara Vanni, et al. v. AMF Bowling Centers Inc., et al., No. BC544355, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Covil Corp. remains stuck with a $32.7 million asbestos verdict after a federal judge in North Carolina rejected its challenges to the evidence, arguments, instructions and “grossly excessive” award on May 1 (Ann Finch, et al. v. Covil Corp., No. 16-1077, M.D. N.C.).
SAN FRANCISCO — Mere allegations that products are similar and that defendants enjoyed a substantial market share are not enough to sustain a market-share liability claim in an asbestos case against a friction products manufacturer, a federal judge in California held April 29 (Gary Farris, et al. v. 3M Co., et al., No. 18-4186, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72029).
LOS ANGELES — A judge in Los Angeles’ specialized asbestos court properly weighed private and public factors in concluding that a Wisconsin man’s suit more properly belonged in that state, a California appeals panel held April 30 (Charlene Rickert v. American Honda Motor Co. Inc., et al., No. B289888, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).
NEW YORK — A pump company’s jurisdictional defenses first raised in response to an amended asbestos complaint are untimely and were not preserved by an original reservation of other potential defenses, a New York justice held April 26 (Clarice Taylor, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 190113/2015, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2019 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1948).
NEW YORK — A mesothelioma sufferer’s deposition testimony regarding a boiler defendant and his work with asbestos cement on those products overcomes summary judgment, even in light of potentially contradictory evidence, a New York justice held in an opinion released April 26 (Robert Goodheart, et al. v. Amchem Products Inc., et al., No. 190353/2018, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2019 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1963).