Mealey's Asbestos

  • June 11, 2019

    Johnson & Johnson Losing Its Fight To Transfer Cases, Tort Claimants Tell Court

    WILMINGTON, Del. — Two companies’ attempt to corral 2,400 state court talc and asbestos actions into Delaware federal bankruptcy court based on the Chapter 11 filing of their main talc supplier, Imerys Talc America Inc., has resulted in 346 cases that they removed in anticipation of the transfer being remanded back to the state courts, the Official Committee of Tort Claimants tells a Delaware federal judge in a June 6 letter to supplement the record (In re:  Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., No. 1:19-mc-00103, D. Del.).

  • June 11, 2019

    Judge Remands Asbestos-Talc Case For Trial In Kentucky

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — After three years of litigation and with trial a month away, equitable factors warrant remanding a mesothelioma case claiming that Johnson & Johnson consumer talc products contained asbestos, a federal judge in Kentucky said June 6 (Cynthia Hayes, et al v. Colgate-Palmolive Co., et al., No. 19-316, W.D. Ky., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95127).

  • June 11, 2019

    Widow Wants Certified Question On Asbestos Wrongful Death Claim Expiration Ruling

    TACOMA, Wash. — The Washington state Supreme Court should be allowed to weigh in about the timing and validity of wrongful death asbestos actions when no survival action remains timely, a widow tells a federal judge in the state in a June 10 motion (Sherri L. Deem, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 17-5965, W.D. Wash.).

  • June 11, 2019

    Shipyard Says 5th Circuit Asbestos Removal Analysis Out Of Step With Amendments

    NEW ORLEANS — Saying that the circuit’s “outlier” causal analysis test “cannot be reconciled” with 2011 amendments to the federal officer removal statute, a shipyard on June 7 asked an en banc Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to use an asbestos case to bring its precedent in line with other courts (James A. Latiolais v. Huntington Ingalls Inc., et al., No. 18-30652, 5th Cir.).

  • June 10, 2019

    Asbestos MDL Judge Finds Pa. Registration-Jurisdiction Statute Unconstitutional

    PHILADELPHIA — Pennsylvania law requiring businesses consent to jurisdiction when registering to do business in the state is unconstitutional and violates Daimler AG v. Bauman, the federal judge in Pennsylvania who oversees the asbestos federal multidistrict litigation held June 6 (In re: Asbestos Products Liability Litigation, Jackie L. Sullivan, et al. v. A.W. Chesterton Inc., et al., No. MDL 875, 18-3622, E.D. Pa.).

  • June 10, 2019

    Judge Says ‘Very, Very Thin’ Co-Worker Testimony Saves Asbestos Stream Trap Case

    TACOMA, Wash. — While “very, very thin,” a co-worker’s testimony regarding the presence of a manufacturer’s products aboard ships and the close, dusty conditions in which they worked save a widow’s asbestos case, a federal judge in Washington held June 7 (Donald Varney, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 18-5105, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96215).

  • June 10, 2019

    Judge Rejects J&J’s Bankruptcy Logic, Remands 2-Year-Old Asbestos-Talc Case

    BOSTON — A federal judge in Massachusetts on June 5 said she “strongly questions” whether an asbestos-talc case against Johnson & Johnson more than remotely relates to its talc-supplier’s bankruptcy and concluded that equity issues, including a quicker timeline to trial and the existence of state law claims, require granting an emergency motion to remand the two-year-old action (Lorraine O’Riorden v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 19-751, D. Mass., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93865).

  • June 07, 2019

    Federal Judge In New York Remands J&J Asbestos-Talc Cases

    NEW YORK — Nothing in a talc supplier’s bankruptcy warrants keeping 27 asbestos-talc cases against Johnson & Johnson in federal court, a judge in New York said in remanding the actions June 4 (In re: Various removed state court actions against, inter alia, Johnson & Johnson (State Court Talc Actions), No. 19-3530, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95445).

  • June 07, 2019

    Unnamed Predecessor Can’t Create Personal Jurisdiction, Judge Says

    CAMDEN, N.J. — Allegations that a California incorporated asbestos defendant operating in Connecticut is the successor to an unnamed contractor that performed work in New Jersey are not sufficient to provide personal jurisdiction in the state, a federal judge held June 4 (Helen Thomas-Fish, et al. v. Aetna Steel Products Corp., et al., No. 17-10648, D. N.J., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93124).

  • June 06, 2019

    Panel Affirms Trial Court’s Vacating Of Asbestos Default Judgment

    SAN FRANCISCO — An insurer’s claim that it learned of a default judgment only after entry and the possibility of a meritorious defense to the asbestos case required vacating the ruling, a California appeals court affirmed June 5 (Gloria McClain, et al. v. James A. Nelson Co. Inc., et al., No. A152045, Calif. App., 1st Dist.).

  • June 06, 2019

    Parties Debate Jurisdiction Moves In 1980s-Era Asbestos Cases

    CINCINNATI — Shipowners and other defendants explicitly and repeatedly waived personal jurisdiction defenses in the 1980s as part of the maritime asbestos docket, plaintiffs told the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 3 in nine consolidated cases (James Matthews, et al. v. Chaz, Kurz & Co., Inc., et al., Nos. 16-4146, 16-4269, 16-4354, 16-4757, 17-3238, 17-3480, 17-3735, 17-3915, 17-3918, 6th Cir.).

  • June 06, 2019

    Colgate, J&J Face California Jury As Asbestos-Talc Trial Draws To A Close

    OAKLAND, Calif. — Plaintiffs told a California jury on June 4 that companies went to great lengths to remove asbestos from a product that they claim didn’t contain asbestos, all the while ignoring that a legitimately safer alternative existed in the form of corn starch.  But on June 5, Colgate-Palmolive Inc. told the jury that there is no evidence that the plaintiff was exposed to asbestos and that their talc products do not cause mesothelioma (Schmitz v Johnson & Johnson, No. RG18923615, Calif. Super., Alameda Co.). VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.

  • June 05, 2019

    Justice:  Revlon Inc., Supplier Stuck In English Woman’s N.Y. Asbestos-Talc Suit

    NEW YORK — Neither a talc supplier nor a consumer talc retailer can escape an English woman’s claim that she contracted mesothelioma after using its asbestos-tainted talc products simply by introducing a corporate representative’s testimony stating that the products were asbestos free, a New York justice held in an opinion posted June 4 (Beverley Alleyne v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 190295/2017, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2019 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 2845).

  • June 04, 2019

    Justice: Pressman’s Product Identification Keeps Asbestos Action Alive

    NEW YORK — A man’s identification of unique “green-gold” press pads is sufficient to keep the defendant in an asbestos case, a New York justice held May 14 (Angela Abate, et al. v. Armstrong International Inc., et al., No. 190336/2015, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

  • June 04, 2019

    Judge: Strict Liability, Negligence Claims Survive, But Not Asbestos Fraud Claim

    NEW YORK — Allegations of work around companies’ asbestos products while employed by Boeing Co. keep it and two other defendants in a federal asbestos action in New York, but a vague fraud claim fails, a judge held May 9 (John Clark, et al. v. Advanced Composites Group, et al., No. 16-6422, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80639).

  • June 03, 2019

    Texas Top Court Won’t Review Employer’s Asbestos Liability Case

    AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Supreme Court on May 31 declined to weigh in on the proper standard for holding an employer grossly negligent for asbestos exposures and whether an appellate court properly reduced punitive damages in the case (The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Vicki Lynn Rogers, et al., No. 18-0056, Texas Sup.).

  • June 03, 2019

    New York Jury Adds $300M In Punitive Damages To J&J Asbestos-Talc Verdict

    NEW YORK — New York County jurors awarded $300 million in punitive damages in an asbestos-talc case against Johnson & Johnson and Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. on May 31, the first such award in the court since at least 1994, sources told Mealey Publications (Donna Olson v. Brenntag North America Inc., et al., No. 190328/2017, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

  • May 31, 2019

    Judge Finds Negligence Claim Faulty, Freeing Ford, Dana From Asbestos Case

    SEATTLE — A federal judge in Washington granted judgment as a matter of law to two asbestos friction parts companies on May 28, saying that nothing in the evidence at trial permitted a negligence verdict based on the companies’ alleged failure to issue post-sale warnings (Patrick Jack, et al. v. Asbestos Corp LTD, et al., No. 17-537, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89886).

  • May 31, 2019

    Miss. Top Court: FELA Settlement In Asbestosis Case Precludes Brain Cancer Action

    JACKSON, Miss. — A settlement in a Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) asbestosis case that references cancer sufficiently contemplates the disease as an outcome and precludes a future action involving brain cancer, a divided Mississippi Supreme Court held May 23 (Andrew L. Ward Jr., et al. v. Illinois Central Railroad Co., No. 2018-CA-00285-SCT, Miss. Sup., 2019 Miss. LEXIS 207).

  • May 31, 2019

    Stream-Of-Commerce Theory Keeps Pump Maker In Asbestos Case, Judge Says

    SAN FRANCISCO — “Though meager,” allegations that a pump manufacturer sold asbestos-containing products in California give the state specific jurisdiction, a federal judge in California held May 16 (Thomas Toy, et al. v. Honeywell International Inc., et al., No. 19-325, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83153).

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