Mealey's Asbestos

  • May 17, 2024

    Connecticut Asbestos Jury Awards $15M; Vanderbilt Faces Punitive Damages

    BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Talc company R.T. Vanderbilt Holding Co. Inc. faces a court decision on punitive damages after a Connecticut jury on May 16 found it liable for a man’s mesothelioma and awarded his widow $15 million in compensatory damages.  Under Connecticut law the judge determines the punitive damages award.

  • May 17, 2024

    New Jersey Judge Invites Amici In Dispute Over Mesothelioma Genetic Testing

    TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey judge invited amicus curiae briefs on a motion to compel testing seeking genetic markers for mesothelioma in an asbestos case and laid out the questions she has about how such a process works and its potential impact.

  • May 17, 2024

    Jury Selection, Instruction At Issue After Defense Verdict In Asbestos Case

    HONOLULU — A man suffering from mesothelioma and a respirator company handed a defense verdict in 2023 have briefed post-trial motions in a Hawaii court on whether the jury was properly screened and instructed.

  • May 16, 2024

    Australia Justice: Lung Cancer Is Asbestos Related, But Tobacco User Was Negligent

    DARWIN, Australia — After finding that a worker’s continued use of tobacco products beyond 1972 when he must have known of their dangers constituted contributory negligence, an Australian justice said the worker’s fatal lung cancer likely arose from asbestos exposures and entered a total judgment of $329,751.87 plus costs to the worker’s family.

  • May 16, 2024

    Parties In Reinsurance Estoppel Row Brief Arbitration Arguments In 7th Circuit

    CHICAGO — Parties to reinsurance agreements who disagree on the effects of prior arbitration are wrangling in the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, with the appellee arguing in its response brief that whether estoppel applies to the dispute “is an issue reserved for the arbitrators,” not “a threshold arbitrability question reserved for courts.”

  • May 15, 2024

    Judge: Office Workers Stuck With Workers’ Compensation In Asbestos Suit

    SAN DIEGO — The state’s workers’ compensation system is the sole remedy for workers allegedly exposed to asbestos in their office space because while the defendants may have had knowledge that the building contained asbestos requiring abatement, that is not the same level of knowledge required for the fraudulent concealment of injury exception, a California judge said in granting a motion for summary judgment on May 14.

  • May 14, 2024

    Appeals Court Rejects Subpoena, Instruction Challenges To N.Y. Asbestos Verdict

    BUFFALO, N.Y. — A trial court did not err in quashing a subpoena seeking corporate testimony about events 50 years prior and for which there appeared to be no such witness or in failing to instruct the jury on an employer’s potential role as an intervening cause of a man’s mesothelioma, a New York appeals court said in affirming a $2 million verdict.

  • May 14, 2024

    Panel Dismisses Appeal: Asbestos Plaintiff Didn’t Adequately Elect Admiralty Law

    BOSTON — Nothing required a plaintiff proceeding with both admiralty and traditional asbestos tort claims to expressly invoke maritime law, but the absence of such a statement precludes access to admiralty law’s special procedures for interlocutory appeal, a panel of the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said in an unpublished per curiam opinion.

  • May 14, 2024

    Vermont Court: Last Exposure Triggered Statute Of Repose, Asbestos Case Barred

    MONTPELIER, Vt. — The clock on a statute of repose in a take-home exposure mesothelioma case began at a woman’s last exposure, not when she experienced the cellular damage associated with her disease, an outcome that is not unconstitutional, the Vermont Supreme Court said in affirming summary judgment for a pair of companies.

  • May 13, 2024

    Plaintiff Firm Fabricates Asbestos Cases, Company Says In RICO Suit

    CHICAGO — Simmons Hanley Conroy LLP crafts asbestos exposure stories involving J-M Manufacturing Company Inc. products through “perjured testimony, falsified sworn statements, untrue discovery responses, asbestos bankruptcy claims that were not disclosed, and sham lawsuits,” the company alleges in a Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) lawsuit filed May 10 in Illinois federal court.

  • May 13, 2024

    Man Says J&J Entities’ Motion To Strike Asbestos Allegations Misses The Point

    BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — That various Johnson & Johnson entities underwent a merger in Texas doesn’t change allegations of post-merger conduct elsewhere or alter the Connecticut successor liability analysis, a man tells a judge in Connecticut in objecting to a motion to strike asbestos liability allegations.

  • May 13, 2024

    Cert Denied For Injunction Row In Chapter 11 Case Of Georgia-Pacific Spinoff

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on May 13 denied two petitions for certiorari filed by asbestos claimants’ representatives in the Chapter 11 case of Georgia-Pacific spinoff Bestwall LLC seeking to overturn a bankruptcy injunction barring asbestos personal injury claims against Georgia-Pacific and other nondebtor affiliates.

  • May 10, 2024

    Iowa Court: Premises Owner Owes Duty To Entrant Regardless Of Control Over Work

    DES MOINES, Iowa — A land possessor-entrant relationship differs from that of an employer-independent contractor relationship, and lack of control over the work is not dispositive to the question of duty in an asbestos case, an Iowa appeals court said in reversing summary judgment for a premises owner.

  • May 10, 2024

    Judicial Panel Consolidates EPA Asbestos Rule Challenges In 5th Circuit

    NEW ORLEANS — The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated in the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals various challenges to the recent Environmental Protection Agency rule largely banning chrysotile asbestos but providing up to a five-year grace period for certain industries to cease usage.

  • May 10, 2024

    Florida Supreme Court: Spousal Damages Available In Post-Mesothelioma Marriage

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Because a wrongful death claim arises at death, a woman who married her longtime boyfriend after his mesothelioma diagnosis qualifies as a surviving spouse under state law, the Florida Supreme Court said May 9 while recognizing that the outcome could lead to recovery for damages unavailable had the man survived.

  • May 09, 2024

    Wisconsin Court: Punitive Cap Is Double Total Compensatory Asbestos Award

    MILWAUKEE — Evidence at trial supported a $26.45 million asbestos verdict and the cap on punitive damages applies to an entire jury award and not just a liable party’s portion of the award, a Wisconsin appeals court found in rejecting an appellant’s challenge to the verdict and partially affirming entry of judgment, saying the resulting award should be $13,419.295.79 against a premises owner defendant.

  • May 08, 2024

    With Asbestos Trial Looming, Parties Argue Maritime Law Before 1st Circuit

    BOSTON — Parties to an asbestos case set for jury trial this month argued before the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 7, with the plaintiff saying that there is no bar to jurisdiction because the case has always been a maritime case.  But the defendant says the plaintiff always sought a jury trial, which is unavailable in maritime cases.

  • May 08, 2024

    Suits Against Asbestos Trust Don’t Challenge Plan Terms, May Proceed, Judge Says

    MISSOULA, Mont. — Lawsuits against the W.R. Grace & Co. asbestos trust follow procedures in the plan for such tort actions and are not collateral attacks on the plan procedures themselves, a federal judge in Montana said in a pair of orders rejecting a magistrate judge’s findings and recommendations and denying dismissal.

  • May 07, 2024

    Plaintiff/Defense Experts Testifying Since Jan. 1, 2002

    The following is a listing of plaintiff and defense experts who testified in trials covered by Mealey's Litigation Report: Asbestos since Jan. 1, 2002.

  • May 07, 2024

    Asbestos Plaintiff, Talc Defendant Square Off Over Expert Testing

    BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A mesothelioma plaintiff and an asbestos-talc defendant have briefed a Connecticut judge on whether disclosure of expert William Longo’s testing of additional bottles of talc was untimely or whether the company was properly made aware of development.

  • May 07, 2024

    Woman Defends South Carolina Asbestos Verdict From Causation, Other Challenges

    SPARTANBURG, S.C. — A trial featured expert testimony about the levels of asbestos a man encountered and that the exposures were sufficient to cause his disease, and the court should reject a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) in an asbestos case, a woman tells a South Carolina court in opposing the motion.

  • May 06, 2024

    Receiver’s Asbestos Claims Process Survives Benzene Defendant’s Objection

    MONROE, N.C. — A receiver’s proposal of how to handle thousands of asbestos and benzene claims of the now defunct Radiator Specialty Co. Inc. survived challenges by a sometime co-defendant claiming that the arrangement might leave it holding the bag in Pennsylvania litigation and where joint and several liability applies when a judge in North Carolina turned away the objections and adopted the suggested process.

  • May 02, 2024

    In Disqualification Dispute, Talc MDL Parties Brief Exhibit’s Admission

    TRENTON, N.J. — In letter briefing, Johnson & Johnson urged the asbestos-talc multidistrict litigation court to admit with only modest redactions an exhibit submitted in briefing on its motion to exclude an attorney and his law firm from the litigation, saying the law firm misstates and improperly expands a ruling finding the company waived certain protections.

  • May 02, 2024

    Judge Denies Spoliation Sanctions, Stays Trial Pending Appeal

    MISSOULA, Mont. — A federal judge overseeing a case involving BNSF Railway Co.’s handling of asbestos at the Libby, Mont., vermiculite mine denied the railway’s renewed motion for sanctions related to the failure to preserve the plaintiff’s remains and partially granted its request for bifurcated trial after a jury awarded $8 million to two individuals in a similar suit.  On May 1, the judge stayed the May 6 trial pending an appeal of that verdict.

  • May 02, 2024

    Johnson & Johnson Has New $6.5B Plan To Resolve Asbestos Talc Claims

    NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Johnson & Johnson (J&J) announced May 1 that it will pay nearly $6.5 billion to resolve all ovarian cancer claims through a prepackaged plan of reorganization for another subsidiary that will file for bankruptcy in Texas if the plan is accepted by asbestos talc claimants.