By Sarah Beth Jones and Mary Margaret Gay
DALLAS — A panel of a Texas appeals court left in place an order requiring an all-virtual asbestos trial after denying a joint petition for writ of mandamus on June 3.
LOS ANGELES — Asbestos defense firm Walsworth earned $20 million in fees based on its portrayal of itself as an aggressive litigator, but in reality the firm pursued a “settle-always” strategy that benefited it and its relationship with plaintiffs’ firms and resulted in an avoidable $22 million verdict, pipe manufacturer J-M Manufacturing Co. Inc. claims in a April 6 lawsuit alleging malpractice.
NEW YORK — Whether expert testimony in an asbestos trial lacked sufficiently precise dose calculations or whether it met the repeatedly affirmed standard for such evidence in New York came before the New York Court of Appeals as a consumer talc company and a woman who allegedly developed mesothelioma after using its product recently briefed the court.
MEDFORD, Ore. — A personal representative’s son is not an indispensable party to an asbestos case under Oregon law, a federal judge in the state said May 21 in denying a motion to amend a complaint.
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on May 14 cited court procedures for prioritizing cases in setting a mesothelioma trial for July, just days after granting a motion to reconsider his ruling holding that the limited ability to hold trials under coronavirus rules required setting trial for the fall.
MIAMI — A son’s testimony that a certain joint compound was among those he used and that he sometimes worked with his father falls short of establishing exposure, and the court improperly excluded evidence of bankruptcy trusts and potentially liable third parties, Union Carbide Corp. tells a Florida court in a May 7 motion in urging it to grant judgment as a matter of law or a new trial after a third jury in the case awarded $14 million and found it 35% liable.
LOS ANGELES — The California Supreme Court on May 26 denied a request to depublish a lower appellate court opinion finding that sufficient evidence supported the conclusion that a man was exposed to asbestos-containing J-M Transite pipe but reversing a $15 million punitive damage award.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two Johnson & Johnson entities remain liable for a $2.1 billion asbestos-talc verdict after the U.S. Supreme Court on June 1 turned away the defendants’ petition challenging whether consolidation of the 22 plaintiffs raised due process concerns.
SEATTLE — There exists ample evidence that a man’s work in the engine rooms of various ships exposed him to asbestos, but not enough to link him to the specific defendants’ products, a federal judge in Washington said in granting three motions for summary judgment on May 17.
ST. CROIX, Virgin Islands — Defendants have not shown that a plaintiff was dilatory in adding a diversity defeating defendant, that litigating the Virgin Islands asbestos case in federal court is the better option or that the plaintiffs fraudulently joined the defendant simply to defeat jurisdiction, a federal judge in the Virgin Islands said May 25 in remanding.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A woman’s mesothelioma resulting from take-home exposures falls under New Zealand’s no-fault workplace accident injury insurance program, the country’s appeals court said May 27 in affirming a lower court ruling in what is known in the country as the “hug of death” case.
NEW YORK — A lung cancer sufferer’s testimony regarding his work with fireproofing material and contracts between a contractor and its supplier provided sufficient grounds for a justice to deny a company summary judgment, a New York appeals court said May 25 in affirming the ruling.
MINEOLA, N.Y. — Experts’ opinions create triable issues on both general and specific causation, and the experts’ conclusion that a man’s exposure to chrysotile asbestos in floor tiles caused his mesothelioma is sufficiently backed by studies and literature, a New York appeals court said May 26 in reversing summary judgment for two companies.
NEWARK, N.J. — A trial court erred in instructing a jury that its inquiry only included an asbestos fiber supplier’s warnings placed on the actual product and the question of medical causation when the court limited the jury to proximate cause, a New Jersey appeals panel said May 26 in reversing a $2,380,000 verdict and remanding for a new trial.
Summary: 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.
MINEOLA, N.Y. — Two automakers’ challenges to a man’s experts are premature, and while the defendants argue that any exposure was de minimis, they fail to eliminate the possibility that exposure to asbestos from their friction products led to a man’s lung cancer, a New York justice held April 10 in declining to exclude two experts and denying summary judgment.
NEW YORK — A New York justice denied two motions for summary judgment in May 10 and May 17 rulings, finding in one sufficient evidence that a defendant controlled a power plant facility and finding in the second that dueling experts on causation warranted denying the motion.
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Pennsylvania judge on March 11 granted the state insurance commissioner’s petition to declare Bedivere Insurance Co. insolvent.
NEW YORK — A legal action between two law firms over asbestos case fees involves business conduct and not conduct covered by professional services policies, a New York appeals court held April 27 in affirming summary judgment for two insurers.