Mealey's Asbestos

  • July 08, 2020

    Despite Plethora Of Evidence, No Link Between Companies, Asbestos, Judge Says

    SAN FRANCISCO — Despite producing in excess of 300 pages of depositions, trial testimony and expert reports, plaintiffs fail to produce any link between their decedent and asbestos-containing products for which three defendants could be liable, a federal judge in California said July 6 in granting three motions for summary judgment (Debbie L. Viale, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 19-38, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118138).

  • July 08, 2020

    N.Y. Appeals Court: Asbestos Claimant’s Medical Expert Exclusion Proper

    ALBANY, N.Y. — A workers’ compensation board properly excluded an expert report filed in support of an asbestos claim and, because the claimant was given multiple chances to make her case, properly denied the claim, a New York appeals court held July 6 (In the matter of the claim of Catherine Johnson v. Consolidated Edison, et al., No. 528775, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 3rd Dept., 2020 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 3790).

  • July 08, 2020

    Judge: Asbestos Interrogatories Basis For Removal In Continental Shelf Case

    NEW ORLEANS — A man’s interrogatory responses identifying deep-water drilling work constitute other paper from which a defendant could remove the asbestos action, a federal judge in Louisiana said July 2, denying a motion seeking reconsideration of a decision denying remand (David Hseih v. Apache Deepwater LLC, et al., No. 19-408, M.D. La., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117044).

  • July 07, 2020

    In Remanding, Judge Says Asbestos Liability Waiver Trumps Navy Ship Discovery

    PORTLAND, Ore. — Discovery requests that triggered production of evidence of U.S. Navy vessels does not trump a previous disclaimer of any attempt to recover for any injuries from asbestos aboard Navy vessels, a federal judge in Oregon said June 19 (Melissa Coury, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 20-264, D. Ore.).

  • July 07, 2020

    Federal Judge Won’t Add Transportation Department To Asbestos Suit

    PORTLAND, Maine — Allowing a railroad to interplead a state transportation department defendant would likely require reopening discovery and prejudice the plaintiff by introducing a host of new issues into the litigation, a federal judge in Maine said in denying the motion on June 19 (Victor Coffin, et al. v. Ametek Inc., et al., No. 18-472, D. Maine, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107910).

  • July 07, 2020

    COMMENTARY: The EPA’s Draft Risk Evaluation For Asbestos Foretells Decades Of Issues Despite Limited Ongoing Use

    By Eric T. Hawkins, Evelyn Davis and Claire Weglarz

  • July 06, 2020

    Tennessee Court Affirms Application Of Noneconomic Cap In Asbestos Case

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A trial court properly applied the state’s cap on noneconomic damages in an asbestos case where a jury apportioned liability to the exposed as well numerous defendants, a Tennessee appeals court said June 30 (Lois Irene Davis, et al. v. 3M Co., et al., No. M2018-02029-COA-R3-CV, Tenn. App.).

  • July 02, 2020

    Federal Judge Finds Removal, Jurisdiction Issues In Asbestos-Talc MDL Cases

    TRENTON, N.J. — The federal judge overseeing the talc multidistrict litigation in New Jersey severed the claims of 744 plaintiffs involved in 12 cases and remanded some the cases while finding jurisdiction lacking in others June 29 (Dawn Hannah v. Johnson & Johnson, No. 18-14637, Amy Johnson, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson Inc, et al., No. 18-1423, Maureen Kassimali, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson Inc, et al., No. 18-5534, Darren Cartwright, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson Inc, et al., No. 18-5535, Sherron Gavin, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson Inc, et al., No. 18-10319, Amanda Reising, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson Inc, et al., No. 18-10320, Cynthia Gibson, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson Inc, et al., No. 18-14637, Eleanor Barsh, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson Inc, et al., No. 17-17103, Lisa Hittler, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson Inc, et al., No. 18-17106, Tashay Benford, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson Inc, et al., No. 19-5590, Laura McConnell, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson Inc, et al., No. 19-9365, Cynthia Kannady, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson Inc, et al., No. 19-13476, D. N.J.).

  • July 02, 2020

    Filing Clock Starts Running When Causality Is Known, Minnesota Supreme Court Says

    ST. PAUL, Minn. — The statute of limitations begins in Minnesota when the plaintiff causally links mesothelioma to asbestos exposure, the state’s Supreme Court said July 1 in finding an action time-barred (Deborah J. Palmer, et al. v. Walker Jamar Co., et al., No. A18-2124, A19-0155, Minn. Sup.).

  • July 01, 2020

    Asbestos Verdict Reinstated As California Court Reverses ‘Vague’ New Trial Order

    SAN FRANCISCO — A trial judge’s single-paragraph awarding a new trial in an arc chute asbestos case is vague, frustrates review and falls short of the standard for granting a new trial, a California appeals court said in reversing the ruling on June 29 (Norman Estes, et al. v. Eaton Corp., No. A152847, Calif. App., 1st Dist.).

  • June 30, 2020

    Judge Says Asbestos Louisiana Plaintiffs May Pursue Damages For Lost Income

    NEW ORLEANS — Plaintiffs need not have an expert testify regarding a decedent’s lost earnings for them to be recoverable, and earnings the plaintiffs lost providing care for their decedent are also recoverable under Louisiana law, a federal judge in Louisiana said June 26 in partially denying summary judgments (Callen Dempster, et al. v. Lamorak Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-6158, E.D. La., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112185).

  • June 30, 2020

    Friction Defendants Secure Judgment In North Carolina Asbestos Case

    RALEIGH, N.C. — Two friction companies are entitled to summary judgment in an asbestos case after showing that while a man may have worked with their products, insufficient evidence links the work to exposure for which they are liable, a federal judge in North Carolina said June 25 (Jack Howard Cox Sr., et al. v. AGCO Corp., et al., No. 16-84, E.D. N.C., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111948).

  • June 30, 2020

    Judge Says Post-Latiolais Asbestos Case Removal Timely

    NEW ORLEANS — Removing an asbestos negligence case prior to a recent en banc ruling by the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals would have been the very type of hasty and unnecessary removal frowned upon by the court, a federal judge in Louisiana said June 26 in denying remand (Booker W. Holmes, et al. v. Albert L. Bossier Jr., et al., No. 20-880, E.D. La., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112180).

  • June 29, 2020

    Magistrate Judge:  Jury Conduct Didn’t Taint Asbestos Case, New Trial Not Warranted

    WILMINGTON, Del. — Evidence that a jury included a strong-willed individual who previously viewed publicly available information about a case is not evidence that the jury was prejudiced against an asbestos plaintiff and does not warrant granting a new trial, a federal magistrate judge held June 24 (Johanna Elaine Evans, et al. v. John Crane Inc., No. 15-681, D. Del.).

  • June 25, 2020

    California Court Reinstates Asbestos Case Against Fiber Company, Distributor

    LOS ANGELES — Two defendants cannot overcome their admission that a drywall company used their asbestos in constructing walls at a building where a man who developed mesothelioma later worked, a California appeals court held June 24 in reversing summary judgment (Jovana Collantes, et al. v. Elementis Chemicals Inc., et al., No. B295278, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).

  • June 24, 2020

    Missouri Court Affirms Asbestos-Talc Verdict, Slices $4.69B Award To $2.2B

    ST. LOUIS — A Missouri appeals largely affirmed an asbestos-talc verdict against two Johnson & Johnson entities June 23, turning away expert and causation challenges and concluding that the companies’ “significant reprehensibility” warranted a $2.2 billion judgment (Gail Ingham, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. ED 107476, Mo. App., Eastern Dist.). 

  • June 24, 2020

    Texas Court: Maritime Law, Nonpecuniary Damages At Play In Asbestos Case

    HOUSTON — A trial judge properly applied maritime law to an asbestos case involving ship-based exposures, but erred in concluding that the plaintiffs could not recover nonpecuniary damages, a Texas appeals court held June 18 (Robin Blaine Andrews, et al. v. John Crane Inc., No. 14-18-00573-CV, Texas App., 14th Dist., 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 4535).

  • June 24, 2020

    Judge Denies Remand In Couple’s Aircraft Asbestos Case

    LOS ANGELES — Lockheed Martin Corp. showed that it followed specifications the military issued governing the aircraft design and construction and that the resulting use of asbestos caused plaintiffs’ injuries, satisfying all prongs of the federal removal standard, a federal judge in California said June 18 in denying remand (George Kruse, et al. v. Actuant Corp., et al., No. 19-9540, C.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107109).

  • June 23, 2020

    Asbestos Case Removal Timely Given Latiolais, Judge Says

    NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ en banc decision in Latiolais provided grounds for removing a case involving similar allegations and the same defendant, a federal judge in Louisiana said June 10 (William Hulin v. Huntington Ingalls Inc., et al., No. 20-924, E.D. La.).

  • June 11, 2020

    COMMENTARY: Litigation And The Pandemic: Occupational Exposure And COVID-19

    By Kevin McKie