WILMINGTON, Del. — While not directly relevant, three experts’ testimony on the presence of asbestos, causation and Crane Co.’s knowledge all bolster a woman’s conspiracy claim, a federal magistrate judge in Delaware held March 14 in denying a motion to strike the testimony under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharm., Inc., and Federal Rules of Evidence (Marguerite MacQueen v. Warren Pumps LLC, et al., No. 13-831, D. Del., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41749).
TAMPA, Fla. — A woman stalled discovery in her asbestos-talc case until the last minute and should not be allowed a “re-do” through extended discovery and continued trial date, four defendants told a Florida federal judge March 12 (Susan Stevenson, et al. v. Brenntag North America Inc., et al., No. 17417, M.D. Fla.).
RICHMOND, Va. — Household members fall within the area of danger created by an employer’s use of asbestos, and their injuries were foreseeable, a man tells the Virginia Supreme Court in a March 9 brief urging it to impose a duty for such exposures (Wesley Quisenberry, et al. v. Huntington Ingalls Inc., No. 171494, Va. Sup.).
PHILADELPHIA — The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals will consider a defendant’s claim that a state court ruling precludes one plaintiff’s federal court appeal before advancing to merits briefing on whether a judge properly dismissed a trio of maritime asbestos actions for lack of personal jurisdiction under a March 9 order (In re: Asbestos Products Liability Litigation [VI], No. 17-3471, 3rd Cir.).
OAKLAND, Calif. — Evidence that a man worked as a lead electrician at a shipbuilding facility is not enough to conclude that he suffered occupational asbestos exposure that he then brought home, exposing his 5-year-old son, a California court held March 8 (Sandra Foglia, et al. v. Moore Dry Dock Co., No. A142125, Calif. App., 1st Dist.).
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri House of Representatives on March 8 approved a measure proponents claim will shed more light and transparency into the asbestos litigation and bankruptcy claims process.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Supreme Court must accept review to end confusion among the courts on the proper standard for punitive damages awards, Crane Co. argues in a March 6 reply brief seeking to overturn a $10 million asbestos award (Crane Co. v. Jeanette G. Poage, No. 17-900, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) released a 28-page report March 8 stating that asbestos bankruptcy trusts are paying claimants less and are running out of money to pay future claimants, with overpaid lawyers looking to defraud the trust system to blame in part.
MILWAUKEE — Sources told Mealey’s Publications that the last remaining defendant in a Wisconsin state asbestos case settled March 6 on the eve of trial, just days after the judge admitted expert causation testimony, concluding that the opinion that there is a de minimus level below which causation is impossible rendered the opinion that cumulative exposures lead to disease admissible under Daubert v. Merrill Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Sandra Brezonick, et al. v. A.W. Chesterton Co., et al., No. 23-CV-013189, Wis. Cir., Milwaukee Co.).
By Laura A. Frase
CINCINNATI — The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 6 consolidated nine cases involving hundreds of plaintiffs challenging the federal asbestos multidistrict litigation judge’s finding that he lacked jurisdiction over the actions and that the defendant ship owners had not waived the defense (James Matthews, et al. v. Chas Kurz & Co. Inc., et al., Nos. 16-4146, 16-4269, 16-4354, 16-4757, 17-3238, 17-3480, 17-3915, 17-3918, 18-3077, 6th Cir.).
SEATTLE — Two expert witnesses in an asbestos case tread too closely to the opinion that every exposure to asbestos is causative and must be excluded, a federal judge in Washington held Feb. 12 while allowing specific causation testimony from two others, as well as evidence regarding tests conducted on the dryer felts at issue (Geraldine Barabin v. Scapa Dryer Fabrics Inc., No. 07-1454, W.D. Wash.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A couple misconstrues the level of asbestos exposure a man would have experienced and attempts to mitigate the existence of additional suppliers, a talc company told a Delaware court in a Feb. 26 bid for summary judgment (John Mikulcik Jr., et al. v. BP Amoco Chemical Co., et al., No. 16C-07-082 ASB, Del. Super., New Castle Co.).
NEW YORK — A company’s evidence that some of its floor tiling did not contain asbestos falls short of demonstrating that none of its product would have contained asbestos during the times in question, a New York justice held in an opinion posted March 2 (Angela M. Treacy, et al. v. Amchem Products Inc., et al., No. 190352/2015, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2018 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 683).
MILWAUKEE — An expert’s opinion that while there is no safe level of asbestos exposure, there remains a de minimus level below which causation is impossible makes his cumulative exposure testimony admissible, a Wisconsin judge held March 2 in finding that qualifications and methods relied on by three experts qualify them to testify under Daubert v. Merrill Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Sandra Brezonick, et al. v. A.W. Chesterton Co., et al., No. 23-CV-013189, Wis. Cir., Milwaukee Co.).
AUSTIN, Texas — An appeals court imposed the wrong standard in reviewing the punitive damage portion of an $18.6 million asbestos verdict and created a “trap” in finding that the defendant waived the issue of whether radiation could have caused the mesothelioma, an employer told the Texas Supreme Court on Feb. 28 (The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Vicki Lynn Rogers, et al., No. 18-0056, Texas Sup.).
ATLANTA — A man who experienced nearly two decades of asbestos exposure in Alabama does not have access to the Georgia workers’ compensation system simply because he was diagnosed with mesothelioma in the state, a Georgia appeals court held Feb. 27 (John Davis v. Louisiana-Pacific Corp., No. A17A1726, Ga. App., 2nd Div., 2018 Ga. App. LEXIS 132).
BARTOW, Fla. — A minerals company failed to put safety first when it continued selling its industrial talc product even after learning it could not remove all the asbestos from it, two plaintiffs told a Florida jury, but in response, the company told the jury on Feb. 28 that studies prove that there was no risk of disease from its product (Robert Lord v. Vanderbilt Minerals LLC, No. 2017-CA-000783, Fla. Cir., 10th Jud. Dist.) VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.
NEW YORK — A French company must respond to an inquiry regarding its potential status as a successor to a company that allegedly mined asbestos-tainted talc and would be subject to jurisdiction in New York, a justice in the state said in partially limiting the disclosures the company must make in an opinion posted Feb. 27 (Joan Arazosa, et al. v. 3M Co., et al., No. 190069/2016, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Out-of-state precedent is not enough to revisit a ruling that asbestos fibers constituted an unadulterated raw material not subject to warnings under the Restatement of Torts as adopted by the state of Rhode Island, a Delaware judge held Feb. 26 (Raymond K. Leathers v. Air Products and Chemical Inc., No. N15C-11-224 ASB, Del. Super., New Castle Co., 2018 Del. Super. LEXIS 92).