GREENSBORO, N.C. — A federal judge in North Carolina on Aug. 16 partially granted and partially denied a motion for summary judgment dismissal of a woman’s wrongful death lawsuit, finding that her claims for negligence and failure to warn with regard to her husband’s death from exposure to asbestos were valid, but dismissing her claims for certain types of liability and punitive damages (Ann Finch, individually and as Executrix of the Estate of Frankling Delenor Finch v. BASF Catalysts LLC, et al., No. 16-1077, M.D. N.C.; 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138711).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A man who is suing over alleged asbestos exposure while employed as a construction worker in Clearwater, Fla., failed to show that defendant KCG Inc. was subject to jurisdiction in Florida, a Florida appeals panel ruled Aug. 8, citing a related opinion from July (KCG, Inc., et al. v. Steven Bolin, et al., No. 4D18-927, Fla. App., 4th Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 11123).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A federal magistrate judge in Delaware on Aug. 15 recommended denying a motion for summary judgment by Ford Motor Co. in a lawsuit brought by a man who contends that he was injured from exposure to asbestos in products he used to restore old cars because there was evidence that could lead a fact finder to determine that Ford’s products were a substantial cause of his injuries (In re: Asbestos Litigation, John DeCastro, et al. v. Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc., et al., No. 16-951, D. Del.; 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137659).
NEW ORLEANS — A widow’s failure to identify an asbestos-containing product made by a predecessor of Honeywell International Inc. that allegedly contributed to her deceased husband’s development of mesothelioma warranted granting the company’s motion for summary judgment, a federal judge in Louisiana ruled Aug. 15 (Margaret A. Leech, et al. v. 3M Co., et al., No. 17-446, E.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137693).
HOUSTON — A Texas appeals panel on Aug. 14 affirmed a trial court’s ruling and held that an investigative journalist’s lawsuit seeking to unseal a deposition in an asbestos case was properly dismissed for lack of jurisdiction because the plenary power of the trial court had expired and the document itself was not an official court record (Christine Cole Biederman v. Beverly Jean Brown, et al., No. 01-07-00263-CV, Texas App., 1st Dist.; 2018 Tex. App. LEXIS 6338).
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A Maryland appeals panel on Aug. 10 affirmed a trial court’s decision to award damages to a man who developed mesothelioma as a result of working on a building project where asbestos insulation was used, ruling that the evidence presented at trial was sufficient for the claims that were made (Wallace & Gale Asbestos Settlement Trust v. William Edward Busch Jr., No. 1055, Sept. Term 2017, Md. Spec. App.).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — In an Aug. 8 notice of supplemental authority, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. cited the Aug. 1 ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court in In re: Accutane Litigation, No. 2017 079958, N.J. Sup., 2018 N.J. LEXIS 988, as “pertinent” to the Florida Supreme Court’s continued consideration of a dispute over application of the Daubert standard in Florida (Richard DeLisle v. Crane Co., et al., No. SC16-2182, Fla. Sup.).
OAKLAND, Calif. — Plaintiffs silently ask a court to meld failure-to-warn and fraud claims to “the point of indistinguishability,” a substantial change in California law they hope will allow them to manipulate verdicts for higher damages, an asbestos-pipe defendant told a California court July 13 (Michael B. Burch, et al. v. CertainTeed Corp, et al., Nos. A151644, A152252, Calif. App., 1st Dist.).
MILWAUKEE — After finding that a statute of limitations that excludes furnishers of asbestos-containing materials for use in construction projects from liability applies to an estate’s asbestos-related injury claims, a Wisconsin court on Aug. 7 affirmed a summary judgment ruling for the supplier (Mary Ellen Mohn v. CBS Corp., et al., No. 2017AP861, 2018 Wis. App. LEXIS 681).
CAMDEN, N.J. — The use of asbestos-containing joiner panels in the construction of a prototype nuclear merchant marine vessel came at the sufficient direction of and compliance with government contracts, a federal judge in New Jersey held July 31 in denying remand (Helen Thomas-Fish, et al. v. Aetna Steel Products Corp., et al., No. 17-10648, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127780).
NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge in Louisiana sent back to state court an asbestos case alleging that a shipyard failed to implement necessary safety procedures, saying in the Aug. 1 opinion that Fifth Circuit precedent required remand (Terry Brady, et al. v. Taylor Seidenbach Inc., et al., No. 18-3350, E.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129097).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — An automotive parts company raises no new arguments or evidence warranting a fresh look at summary judgment arguments courts rejected on numerous occasions, a federal judge in Alabama held Aug. 1 (Donna Franklin, et al. v. Dana Companies LLC, et al., No. 11-2731, N.D. Ala., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128512).
LONDON — While a man would be entitled to trial transcripts and associated documents from an asbestos trial between insurers and a construction company, the document bundles provided for a judge’s personal use in the case are not part of the court record and are not subject to production, a United Kingdom appeals court held July 31 (Cape Intermediate Holdings Limited v. Mr. Graham Dring, et al., Nos. B3/2018/0547, 0547[A] & 0547[B], U.K. App.).
PHILADELPHIA — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on July 31 agreed to decide two issues of first impression: whether a lower court improperly found that the Pennsylvania Fair Share Act requires apportioning liability on a percentage basis rather than a per capita basis in a strict liability asbestos action, and whether the act requires the jury to consider evidence of settlements with bankrupt entities when making its apportionment decision (William Roverano, et al. v. John Crane Inc., et al., Nos. 58 EAL 2018, 59 EAL 2018, Pa. Sup., 2018 Pa. LEXIS 3916).
COLUMBUS, Ohio — While an employer’s expert didn’t examine a patient and was therefore required to rely on the examiner’s conclusions regarding the man’s condition, the expert was free reach his own opinion about whether the man suffered from asbestosis, an Ohio appeals court held July 30 (James R. Bennett v. The Scotts Miracle-Gro Co., et al., No. 14-18-04, Ohio App., 3rd Dist., 2018 Ohio App. LEXIS 3244).
NEW ORLEANS — Precedent governing removal of asbestos cases already addresses a 2011 amendment broadening the removal standard, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held July 26 in affirming remand of negligence claims alleging that a shipyard failed to implement necessary safety procedures (Sandra Melancon, et al. v. Lamorak Insurance Co., No. 18-30113, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 20798).
MOUNT VERNON, Ill. — Ford Motor Co.’s contacts with Illinois, even if substantial, do not rise to the level required to conclude that it was at home in the state, a divided appeals court held July 12 in rejecting an asbestos case (Irene Jeffs, et al. v. Ford Motor Co., No. 15-L-533, Ill. App., 5th Dist., 2018 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1195).
BILLINGS, Mont. — State law negligence and strict liability claims arising from asbestos exposures allegedly caused when a railroad transported asbestos-tainted vermiculite are not preempted, and whether the carrier knew of the dangers at the time is a premature question at the motion to dismiss stage, a federal judge said July 27 in adopting a magistrate judge’s report (Lloyd E. Underwood v. BNSF Railway Co., et al., No. 17-83, D. Mont.).
NEW YORK — A federal judge on July 27 sentenced former New York Speaker Sheldon Silver to seven years in prison and three years’ post-release supervision, after a jury found him guilty of honest services wire fraud and extortion for his role in asbestos and real estate schemes, according to the docket (United States of America v. Sheldon Silver, No. 15-93, S.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK — A subsidiary’s registration to do business in New York and appointment of a service of process agent does not create jurisdiction over its parent company, a New York justice held in an opinion posted July 27 (Matter of Grabowski v. A.O. Smith Corp., No. 190267/2017, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2018 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 2643).