NEW YORK — A man’s testimony regarding products he encountered and corporate representative testimony regarding the purchase of asbestos-containing material for use in Bakelite keeps a company in a lawsuit, a New York justice held Nov. 1 (Russell Leavitt, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products, et al., No. 190240/2017, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2019 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 5892).
NEW YORK — Evidence suggesting that a company continuously supplied talc to New York and that an Illinois woman contracted mesothelioma as a result keeps the case in New York, a justice held in an opinion posted Nov. 13 (Karlene Holleman v. Avon Products Inc., et al., No. 190077/2018, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles judge properly found that three oil companies did not owe a duty of care to a man allegedly exposed to asbestos while employed at an Iranian oil refinery operated through an agreement with the defendants, a California court held Nov. 14 (LAOSD Asbestos Cases, Mary Malek, et al. v Chevron U.S.A. Inc., et al., No. B270957, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 14 partially granted and partially denied a petition by numerous environmental advocacy groups that challenge the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Risk Evaluation Rule (RER) for determining the proper uses for various chemicals. The panel concluded that the petitioners’ opposition to the EPA’s exclusion of “legacy uses” and “associated disposals” from the definition of “conditions of use” was valid (Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 17-72260 [consolidated], 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 34064).
ST. LOUIS — A Missouri court on Nov. 7 entered a mandate finding that a Missouri trial court lacked jurisdiction over a Virginia resident’s ovarian cancer case that produced a $110 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson and its talc supplier (Lois Slemp v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. ED106190, E.D. Mo.).
TACOMA, Wash. — A purported Navy maintenance expert lacks any parts-ordering experience, and a second expert bases his causation testimony on attorney-created declarations and hearsay, John Crane Inc. tells a federal judge in Washington in a Nov. 13 motion seeking to exclude the experts (Sherri L. Deem, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corporation, et al., Nos. 17-5965, 18-5527, W.D. Wash.).
NEW YORK — A man’s recollection of the boilers he worked with and the potentially asbestos-containing component parts he encountered are enough to deny a company summary judgment, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Nov. 12 (Helen Stitt, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., No. 190478/12, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
CINCINNATI — Precedent largely requires affirming judgment for shipowners battling asbestos litigation since the 1980s, but four cases where shipowners actively fought against transfer of the cases sufficiently evidences waiver of jurisdiction defendants to vacate the ruling, a panel of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Nov. 8 (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; 18-3077, 6th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 33474).
NEW YORK — Colgate-Palmolive Corp.’s presence in New York, as well as a woman’s use of its talcum powder there, keeps an action in the state, a justice held in declining to dismiss a flight attendant’s asbestos action for forum non conveniens in an opinion posted Nov. 6 (Linda English, et al. v. Avon Products Inc., et al., No. 190346/2018, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2019 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 5901).
NEW ORLEANS — A trial court was “clearly wrong” when it concluded that a nonmalignant mesothelioma diagnosis started the clock on an asbestos action, a Louisiana appeals court held Nov. 6 in reversing judgment in a survival action (Martha May Lee, et al. v. American Supply Co., et al., No. CA 18-893, La. App., 3rd Cir.).
TACOMA, Wash. — Despite previous warnings about the insufficiency of discovery responses, an automotive parts retailer appears to have made little effort to identify responsive information, a federal judge in a Washington state asbestos action said Nov. 5 in imposing sanctions (Eric Klopman-Baerselman, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 18-5536, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 192131).
NEW ORLEANS — The lower causation standard in a Jones Act case does not lower the standard for expert testimony admission, and having properly excluded the two experts a federal judge in Louisiana properly granted judgment, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Nov. 5 (Robert Schindler v. Dravo Basic Materials Co. Inc., No. 19-30126, 5th Cir.).
NEW YORK — A man’s testimony regarding conditions after nearby workers cut asbestos-containing pipe and expert testimony regarding causation are sufficient to deny summary judgment to two defendants, a New York justice held in an opinion filed Nov. 1 (Preston Conaway Jr., et al. v. ABB Inc., et al., No. 190332/2018, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
LOS ANGELES — A California jury on Oct. 11 handed Johnson & Johnson its latest victory in asbestos-talc litigation, finding that a man suffering from mesothelioma had not been exposed to asbestos in the company’s baby powder (George Crudge, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, No. BC685901, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
LOS ANGELES — Discovery and deposition materials put an aircraft maker on notice of an asbestos action’s removability well before the company chose to remove it, a federal judge in California said Oct. 28 in remanding and awarding $3,500 in fees (Connie Dietrich v. Autozone West Inc., et al., No. 19-4291, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 187651).
SAN FRANCISCO — An expert’s testimony that some bottles of talc would likely have been contaminated with asbestos is not enough evidence on which to conclude that the company exposed a man to the mineral, a California appeals court held Oct. 28 (Richard Berg, et al. v. Colgate-Palmolive Co., et al., No. A154245, Calif. App., 1st Dist.).
OAKLAND, Calif. — A premises owner’s duty to prevent asbestos exposures extends to household members and facility visitors, and no error exists in jury instructions leading to a $12.9 million verdict, a California appeals court said Oct. 30 (Lanette Louise Lopez, et al. v. The Hillshire Brands Co., No. A152887, Calif. App., 1st Dist.).
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand’s Accident Compensation Corp. may appeal a decision requiring it to cover fatal mesothelioma a woman contracted after take-home asbestos exposure, a justice held Oct. 18 (Angela Calver, et al. v. Accident Compensation Corp., CIV 2018-485-951, New Zealand High, Wellington Reg.).
ATLANTA — A Georgia appeals court on Oct. 29 concluded that state law implicitly adopts the bare-metal defense but that sufficient evidence of exposure to John Crane Inc. asbestos-containing replacement parts requires reversing summary judgment in its favor (Leisa Davis v. John Crane Inc., No. A19A1137, Leisa Davis v. FMC Corp., No. A19A1138, Ga. App., 2019 Ga. App. LEXIS 621).
WILMINGTON, Del. — John Crane Inc. in an Oct. 29 memo asks a federal judge to reconsider whether state law remedies may fill gaps in maritime law and provide for a potential recovery of damages on a survival cause of action in an upcoming asbestos trial in federal court in Delaware (Johanna Elaine Evans, et al. v. John Crane Inc., No. 15-681, D. Del.).