KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee products liability law does not support requiring manufacturers to warn about the dangers of third-party asbestos parts used in conjunction with the product in question, the state’s top court said Jan. 4.
WILMINGTON, Del. — The argument that a court should not have ruled on a hearsay issue raised by the party itself is a novel one, but not appropriate for relief on reargument, a judge in Delaware said Dec. 31 in declining to reconsider a decision admitting two affidavits in an asbestos case.
WILMINGTON, Del. — Having chosen to litigate the question of whether The Neslemur Co. owed it indemnity in Delaware courts, AII may not continue to file similar actions against the company in courts where plaintiffs sue AII for asbestos liabilities, a Delaware judge held Dec. 10 in granting a preliminary injunction.
NEW ORLEANS — Asbestos plaintiffs failed to raise the Lohrmann causation standard in opposing an automobile manufacturer’s summary judgment motion and cannot advance that argument on appeal, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Dec. 17 (William Bedford, et al. v American Honda Motor Co. Inc., No. 20-60214, 5th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 39643).
NEW YORK — A van manufacturer’s knowledge of the hazards of third-party asbestos-containing brakes used on its vehicles does not create liability where the company did not produce the brakes and had no control over the products or contribute to the danger, a New York justice held Dec. 16 (Alba Martinez, et al. v. Amchem Products Inc., et al., No. 190208/2019, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
NEW YORK — While the evidence shows that an electrician worked at the World Trade Center later than he testified, it also indicates that the contractor remained responsible for the work, a New York justice held Dec. 9 in denying summary judgment in an asbestos case (Walter Cannon v. Amchem Products Inc., et al., No. 190018/2018, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
ST. LOUIS — Asbestos plaintiffs would have to certify that they investigated potential bankruptcy trust claims, disclose any submissions filed in support of trust claims and face dismissal for failure to comply under legislation prefiled in the Missouri Senate on Dec. 1.
MIAMI — Two Johnson & Johnson entities on Dec. 17 voluntarily dismissed their appeal of a $6,220,643 plus interest verdict in a Florida asbestos-talc case, according to the court’s docket (Johnson & Johnson etc., et al. v. Blanca Moure-Cabrera, No. 3D20-1307, Fla. App., 3rd Dist.).
The following is a listing of plaintiff and defense experts who testified in trials covered by Mealey's Litigation Report: Asbestos since Jan. 1, 2002
LOS ANGELES — A trial judge built an “evidentiary wall” between an asbestos insulator and its supplier by precluding a plaintiff from using previous deposition testimony from either defendant to build a case against the other, improperly prevented the plaintiff from relying on already admitted testimony and then wrongly granted summary judgment to both, a woman told a California appeals court on Nov. 12. The plaintiff reached a settlement with one of the defendants, according to a Dec. 10 docket entry (Alma Bartz, et al. v. Metalclad Insulation LLC, et al., No. B307140, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).
ST. LOUIS — A federal bankruptcy judge in Missouri on Dec. 15 lifted the Briggs & Stratton Corp. (B&S) automatic stay, allowing asbestos plaintiffs to pursue the company’s insurers in New York state court actions (In re: Briggs & Stratton Corp., et al., No. 20-43597-399, E.D. Mo. Bkcy).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware federal bankruptcy judge on Dec. 15 modified the automatic stay in the Chapter 11 case of talc supplier Imerys Talc America Inc. to allow it to participate as a respondent in an appeal by talc retailer Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. (J&J) of a $117 million jury award against the companies in New Jersey state court for a couple’s asbestos talc personal injury claims (In re: Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., No. 1:19-bk-10289, D. Del. Bkcy.).
NEW ORLEANS — A trial featured sufficient evidence that a defendant should have known that a man’s exposure to asbestos was harmful, even if it didn’t know mesothelioma would be the exact outcome, and the trial court did not err in admitting an expert’s fiber drift opinion or in awarding damages, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel said Dec. 14 (Theresa G. Adams, et al. v. Ethyl Corp., et al., No. 20-30209, Theresa Adams, et al. v. Ethyl Corp., et al., No. 20-30242, 5th Cir.).
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — A Brazilian company must respond to reasonably framed discovery requests inquiring about the sale of asbestos-containing products in the United States, and the third-party asbestos plaintiff may amend its notice to cure requests rendered unreasonable by their broadness or lack of time limit, a federal judge in Kentucky said Dec. 9 (Jack Papineau, et al. v. Brake Supply Company Inc., et al., No. 18-168, W.D. Ky., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 231292).
OAKLAND, Calif. — There was no error in allowing an expert to testify on the reasonableness of medical bills incurred by a mesothelioma patient or in how the trial court handled the apportionment of settlement credits, a California appeals court said Dec. 9 (Frank Hart, et al. v. Keenan Properties Inc., No. A152692, Calif. App., 1st Dist., 2020 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8115).
NEW ORLEANS — A discovery response listing potential witnesses without any identifying information about how they related to a case alleging take-home asbestos exposures and exposures while employed as a bartender did not put a shipyard on notice of the case’s removability, a federal judge in Louisiana said Dec. 7 in denying remand (Ethel Sampey v. Huntington Ingalls Inc, et al., No. 20-2779, E.D. La., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 228689).
BILLINGS, Mont. — BNSF Railway Co. will spend another $141,000 to ensure that remediation of asbestos contamination in and around the Libby, Mont., railyard that carried vermiculite remains successful, according to the terms of a Nov. 30 consent decree with the United States (United States v. BNSF Railway Co., No. 20-126, D. Mont., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 225825).
CHICAGO — Genes alone cause up to 10 percent of all cancers, and a women’s medical history suggests an inherited cause of her mesothelioma, mandating full genetic testing, an asbestos defendant told an Illinois judge at the start of a Dec. 9 Frye hearing. But the plaintiff argued that the blood test is invasive and that testing the woman’s entire genetic line was a fishing expedition in light of the well-known role a single gene — BAP-1 — can play (Cynthia B. Cowger v. Qualitex Co., No. 2018-L-012099, Ill. Cir., Cook Co.).
NEW YORK — It would be “grossly inequitable” and likely legally improper under New York law to permit an excess insurer’s argument that a de facto merger occurred and that a dissolved construction company’s asbestos liabilities were “secretly and unknowingly” discharged in a parent company’s bankruptcy years earlier, a federal bankruptcy judge in New York said Dec. 4 in reopening the case but denying relief (In re: Eastman Kodak Co., No. 12-bk-10202, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy., 2020 Bankr. LEXIS 3393).
CLEVELAND — Ohio precedent does not require lung cancer plaintiffs who used tobacco to produce a medical report stating that asbestos alone caused their disease, and while experts need not use “magic words,” an expert did when he opined that but-for the asbestos exposures and tobacco use a man would not have contracted lung cancer, a state appellate court held Dec. 3 (Willard E. Bartel, et al. v. Farrell Lines Inc., et al., No. 109139, Ohio App., 8th Dist., 2020 Ohio App. LEXIS 4371).