SHREVEPORT, La. — A jury did not err in not apportioning liability among potential tortfeasors or in awarding future medical damages, a Louisiana appeals court said in affirming those and a slew of other challenges to a $2.25 million asbestos verdict May 22 (Lynda Berry v. Anco Insulations, et al., No. 52671-CA, La. App., 2nd Cir., 2019 La. App. LEXIS 884).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Evidence that two companies manufactured asbestos-containing fire doors and that a carpenter worked on their doors at a shipyard are sufficient allegations on which to keep his case alive, a Pennsylvania Superior Court panel held May 22 (Marc Lee Lamson et al. v. Georgia-Pacific LLC, et al., No. 1459 EDA 2018, Pa. Super.).
SAN FRANCISCO — The reasonably diligent course of action would be for a couple to present all the evidence they had, not knowingly withhold some in hopes that the court doesn’t notice, an automotive asbestos defendant told a federal judge in California on May 21 in urging him to deny reconsideration of a ruling granting jurisdictional dismissal (Thomas Toy, et al. v. Honeywell International Inc., et al., No. 19-325, N.D. Calif.).
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A defunct employer’s 1984 procurement of workers’ compensation insurance acts as an acceptance of a 2005 statute enhancing benefits for mesothelioma sufferers, a divided Missouri appeals panel held May 21 (Vincent Hegger v. Valley Farm Dairy Co., No. ED106278, Mo. App., Eastern Dist., 2019 Mo. App. LEXIS 816).
COLUMBIA, S.C. — A South Carolina jury returned a verdict for Johnson & Johnson on May 21, rejecting allegations that a woman’s personal and theatrical use of talcum powder caused her to develop mesothelioma, sources told Mealey Publications (Beth-Anee Johnson v. Johnson & Johnson, No. 2018CP4001781, S.C. Comm. Pls., Richland Co.). VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.
NEW YORK — A New York jury on May 21 awarded a woman exposed to asbestos in Johnson & Johnson consumer talcum powder $25 million, sources told Mealey Publications (Donna Olson v. Brenntag North America Inc., et al., No. 190328/2017, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
LOS ANGELES — Equitable factors weigh heavily in favor of litigating asbestos-talc cases in state court, a federal judge in California held May 21 in remanding 42 actions against Johnson & Johnson (In re: Removed state court talc actions against Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 19-3130, C.D. Calif.).
VAN NUYS, Calif. — A California judge on April 30 entered a $1,311,429.54 judgment on a slightly more than $3 million verdict to a couple in a mesothelioma action (Ervan Groves, et al. v. ABB Inc., et al., No. BC696443, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
HELENA, Mont. — The court should reject a plaintiff’s “distorted” and backward-working attempt at creating liability on behalf of a workers’ compensation insurer for asbestos exposures and instead adopt sound analytical framework from the Restatement of Torts, an insurer tells the Montana Supreme Court in a May 3 reply brief (Maryland Casualty Co. v. The Asbestos Claims Court, et al., No. OP 19-0051, Mont. Sup.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A release in a previous asbestosis action cannot foreclose on a workers’ compensation case involving the separate occupational disease of mesothelioma, a Delaware superior court judge said April 29 in reversing an industrial board ruling (Alicia Weddle, et al. v. BP Amoco Chemical Co., No. N18A-06-004 ALR, Del. Super., New Castle Co., 2019 Del. Super. LEXIS 215).
HOUSTON — Cooper Industries LLC dropped its appeal of a $293 million arbitration award for Pepsi-Cola Metropolitan Bottling Co. over Pneumo Abex LLC asbestos liabilities, its Dublin, Ireland-based Eaton Co. parent announced May 7 in a regulatory filing (Pepsi-Cola Metropolitan Bottling Co v. Cooper Industries, No. 201177606, Texas Dist., Harris Co.).
CHICAGO — Illinois’ governor on May 17 signed legislation eliminating the state’s 25-year statute of repose in the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Law for latent diseases, which the state’s high court previously found barred asbestos claims.
COLUMBIA, S.C. — A South Carolina jury heard about a woman’s heavy personal and theatrical use of talcum powder allegedly containing asbestos as opening arguments wrapped up May 14. But defendant Johnson & Johnson told the jury that if the plaintiff was exposed to asbestos, there should be some evidence of it (Beth-Anee Johnson v. Johnson & Johnson, No. 2018CP4001781, S.C. Comm. Pls., Richland Co.). VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.
BOSTON — General Electric Co. designed, planned and constructed generators, and plaintiffs’ focus on its provision of insulation cannot save breach of implied warranty of merchantability claims from the state’s statute of repose, a federal judge in Massachusetts held May 14 (June Stearns, et al. v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-13490, D. Mass., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80799).
SEATTLE — The 1967 version of the Washington statute of repose governs a 2012 mesothelioma case but does not apply to allegations that the premises owner failed to correct dangerous conditions about which it was aware, a Washington appeals court held May 13 (Linda Cameron, et al. v. Atlantic Richfield Co., et al., No. 76663-5-1, Wash. App., Div. 1, 2019 Wash. App. LEXIS 1223).
LOS ANGELES — A court did not err in declining to give general negligence instructions in an asbestos case, and no evidence suggests that giving them would have produced anything but the defense verdict the jury handed to an automotive parts retailer, a California appeals court said May 14 (Jimmy Mettias, et al. v. Honeywell International Inc., et al., No. B287831, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3349).
SEATTLE — A federal judge in Washington on May 13 declined to revisit a ruling finding untimely a widow’s 2018 wrongful death asbestos action based on the decedent’s 2015 death (Sherri L. Deem, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 17-5965, W.D. Wash.).
NEW YORK — A man’s clear recollection of working with a specific brand of gaskets and the company’s admission that some of its products used asbestos-containing gaskets create triable issues, a New York appeals court held May 9 (George Benson, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 9284 190150/2014, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.).
NEW YORK — A federal judge on May 9 declined an emergency motion seeking to bring state court asbestos-talc actions against Johnson & Johnson into federal court, potentially providing some guidance to a judge who on May 6 cited the Imerys Talc America Inc. bankruptcy case at the heart of the motion as the basis for staying more than two dozen asbestos-talc actions while allowing “placeholder” remand motions (In re: Various removed state court action against, inter alia, Johnson & Johnson (State Court Talc Actions), No. 19-3530, S.D. N.Y.).
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Johnson & Johnson said in a May 1 reply brief that a federal judge should follow in the footsteps of a Southern District of New York colleague and stay an asbestos-talc case, but on May 9, a judge in a separate case on which the company relied in its motion denied its emergency motion seeking to use a supplier’s bankruptcy to haul state court talc cases against it into federal court (John Castro, et al. v. Colgate-Palmolive Co., et al., No. 19-279, W.D. N.Y.).