SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Supreme Court on July 14 denied a petition seeking review of a lower appellate court’s ruling awarding Ford Motor Co. a new trial on apportionment and punitive damages in an asbestos case in which a jury found the company 100% liable and a judge entered a $17,427,713.40 judgment.
NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge in Louisiana on July 15 stayed and administratively closed a shipyard worker’s lawsuit alleging that he was exposed to injurious levels of asbestos and asbestos-containing products, granting a defendant insurer’s motion to stay all proceedings following its insolvency and liquidation by the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court.
MIAMI — A Florida judge on July 9 denied Union Carbide Corp.’s motion seeking judgment or a new trial in a case in which a jury hit the asbestos fiber supplier with a $14 million verdict.
SAN FRANCISCO — A single witness recalled a company’s brand of packing, but even assuming that the product was present and contained asbestos, there will be no evidence at trial suggesting that its installation created dust or otherwise exposed a man to asbestos, a defendant says in a trial brief filed before a federal judge in California on July 14.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois Supreme Court on July 7 granted Johnson & Johnson’s supervisory writ and vacated a trial court’s denial of a motion to quash an asbestos-talc plaintiff’s notice to appear seeking trial testimony from the company’s top executive.
BALTIMORE — A widow may proceed with her Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) kidney cancer claim, a Maryland appeals court said June 22 after holding that the law recognizes the two-disease rule and that her case differs sufficiently from the nonmalignant asbestos claims her now deceased husband apparently brought in a previous mass tort alleging pulmonary diseases.
NEW ORLEANS — Plaintiffs are entitled to additional discovery into whether a company’s work aboard ships was a substantial contributing factor in a man’s asbestos-related death, a federal judge in Louisiana said July 12 in denying a motion for summary judgment.
AUSTIN, Texas — Strict liability claims stemming from alleged exposure to asbestos in decorative Christmas tree snow require neither proof of duty nor foreseeability, and governing California law does not require evidence that the exposures doubled the risk of disease, a federal judge in Texas said July 8 in adopting a magistrate judge’s recommendation that some claims survive summary judgment
AUSTIN, Texas — Texas causation precedent applies in the premises liability setting, and an expert’s broad guesses regarding the levels of asbestos a man experienced while working at a facility lack supporting evidence and fall short of satisfying the standards, a Texas appeals court said July 13.
NEW YORK — A woman’s allegation that she purchased asbestos-tainted consumer talc products at retailers suffices under New York law, and nothing in the record eliminates the possibility that she could recover from an alleged processor of the talc, a federal judge in New York said July 12 in rejecting claims that the defendants were fraudulently joined and remanding the case.
NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana appeals panel on June 23 held that a lower court correctly applied the time-on-the-risk formula and that there is no basis for extending liability for defense costs outside of the insurers’ policy periods, further finding that the “Other Insurance” clauses do not apply to defense costs for an asbestos liability lawsuit in which an employer asserted that coverage is unavailable because it purchased insurance from a company that has since become insolvent.
TRENTON, N.J. — Two Johnson & Johnson entities misstate the governing law and ignore allegations that a plaintiff could not discover the cause of her disease because the companies spent decades hiding the ovarian cancer-talc link while touting the safety of their products, a plaintiff argues in a July 9 opposition brief after the defendants told the New Jersey federal court that the bellwether plaintiffs largely filed their claims outside the relevant statute of limitations despite intense media and advertising attention on claims that asbestos-tainted talc could cause ovarian cancer.
PHILADELPHIA — Insufficient evidence exists that two turbine manufacturers required the use of asbestos insulation, and absent such evidence, plaintiffs cannot meet the maritime law standard for imposing liability on manufacturers’ for third-party parts espoused by the U.S. Supreme Court in Air & Liquid Sys. Corp. v. DeVries, a federal judge in Pennsylvania said July 8.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Plaintiffs who claim that they developed ovarian cancer as a result of exposure to asbestos in consumer talc may depose the man who led Johnson & Johnson’s corporate communications department, a New Jersey judge said July 8.
NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge in Louisiana on May 26 granted an insolvent insurer’s motion to enforce a Pennsylvania court’s permanent stay of claims against it, staying and administratively closing an asbestos liability lawsuit brought against the insurer and its insureds.
SEATTLE — The Washington Supreme Court on July 8 reinstated a $30 million asbestos award, citing the limited role reviewing courts play in evaluating verdicts and holding that there was no evidence that the verdict resulted from prejudice or passion.
AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Supreme Court on July 9 dismissed a petition for writ of mandamus after asbestos defendants told it in a motion that transfer of the case to a new judge resolved its concerns surrounding holding the trial virtually and the presence of a certified court reporter. Still pending is a similar motion filed in a lower appellate court.
LOS ANGELES — A settlement offer’s indemnity provision made it impossible to value but threatened potentially high costs and rendered the offer invalid, a California appeals court said July 6 in reversing an award of expert witness fees in an asbestos case brought by an Iranian immigrant.
NEW ORLEANS — Guided by the factors in Landis v. N. Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248, 57 S. Ct. 163, 81 L. Ed. 153 (1936), a federal judge in Louisiana on July 2 held that a brief six-month administrative stay of an entire asbestos liability lawsuit from the date a Pennsylvania court declared one of the defendant’s insurers insolvent “is necessary to ensure that litigation proceeds in an efficient and orderly fashion.”
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Evidence that the government prohibited warnings on products does not warrant federal jurisdiction over a lawsuit alleging that a premises owner failed to warn about the dangers of asbestos at the worksite, a federal judge in Rhode Island said July 1 in remanding a case.