Mealey's Asbestos

  • May 30, 2024

    Derivative Sovereign Immunity Protects Navy Asbestos Contractor, 3rd Circuit Says

    PHILADELPHIA — A U.S. Navy contractor complied with its contractual duties while operating a government-owned nuclear test laboratory where a man allegedly suffered exposure to the asbestos that caused his mesothelioma, entitling it to derivative sovereign immunity, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said in an unpublished opinion.

  • May 30, 2024

    Insurers Owe No Coverage For Underlying Judgments In Asbestos Exposure Suits

    SAN FRANCISCO — A trial court properly found that two insurers owe no coverage for underlying judgments totaling $41 million entered against their insured in underlying lawsuits arising out of a claimant’s exposure to asbestos in the insured’s products because the policies’ auto exclusions apply as a bar to coverage based on the fact that the claimant was exposed to the asbestos while unloading the insured’s product from the insured’s delivery van, the First District California Court of Appeal said.

  • May 29, 2024

    California Jury Finds For Automotive Parts Defendant In Asbestos Case

    ALAMEDA, Calif.  — A jury in California returned a defense verdict for an automotive parts distributor in an asbestos friction case, finding that the company did not act negligently and that while the brakes and clutches in question failed to perform as an ordinary consumer would expect, they were not a substantial factor in the man’s mesothelioma.

  • May 28, 2024

    Navy Asbestos Case Nets Defense Verdict In Massachusetts Federal Court

    BOSTON — A federal jury in Massachusetts hearing a U.S. Navy asbestos exposure case returned a defense verdict for John Crane Inc., finding that the plaintiff failed to show that the company substantially caused injury to the decedent through negligent design or failure to adequately warn.

  • May 28, 2024

    Georgia High Court Won’t Review Daubert Ruling In FELA Asbestos Case

    ATLANTA — The Georgia Supreme Court declined to take a look at a ruling on the admissibility of an expert in a Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) asbestos case, turning away arguments that the divided and “fractured” ruling at issue established that the court rushed the opinion and warning that unless the court addressed the issue, parties to every case could end up citing Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc.

  • May 24, 2024

    Magistrate Judge Denies J&J’s Effort At Expedited Response To Subpoena To Law Firm

    TRENTON, N.J. — In a docket text order, a federal magistrate judge in New Jersey denied a request by Johnson & Johnson and its bankrupt affiliate to expedite a response to a subpoena they issued to the Beasley Allen Law Firm in the asbestos talc multidistrict litigation seeking evidence of “egregious behavior” suggesting that the firm no longer advocates in the best interests of asbestos plaintiffs.

  • May 23, 2024

    Court Reduces Award, Affirms Causation After New York Asbestos Verdict

    NEW YORK — A defendant in an asbestos case that was added after a de benne esse deposition still had the opportunity to cross-examine the witness before his death and the trial evidence adequately established exposure to asbestos in joint compound, a New York appeals court said in largely turning away challenges to a verdict, though it found that the $15 million award exceeds what could be considered reasonable.

  • May 23, 2024

    California Court Affirms Strict Liability For Nonhousehold Asbestos Exposure

    SAN FRANCISCO — Nothing in California precedent precludes holding a pipe manufacturer strictly liable for nonhousehold asbestos exposure a man experienced when he visited his brother after work, a California appeals court said May 22 in a partially published opinion affirming a jury verdict.

  • May 23, 2024

    New York Court Says Flight Attendant’s Asbestos Case Governed By Texas Law

    NEW YORK — Allegations that a Texas flight attendant applied asbestos-tainted talcum powder during layovers in New York give the state only a tenuous connection to the litigation, and the evidence does not meet the former state’s causation standard, a New York appellate court said in reversing a ruling denying summary judgment.

  • May 23, 2024

    Cancer Sufferers Say J&J, LTL Divisive Merger, Transfers Were Fraudulent

    TRENTON, N.J. — Johnson & Johnson and its various subsidiaries hoped to avoid liability or delay a day of reckoning through a divisive merger under Texas law and a series of fraudulent transfers of assets and liabilities, women who allegedly contracted ovarian cancer or mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos in the company’s talc claim in a May 22 putative class action.

  • May 22, 2024

    J&J Wants Access To Asbestos Expert’s Lab, Simultaneous Testing

    TRENTON, N.J. — Johnson & Johnson entities asked the federal court in New Jersey overseeing the multidistrict talc litigation to compel simultaneous testing in asbestos expert William Longo’s laboratory, telling the court the expert will otherwise deflect probing questions related to upcoming evidentiary briefing by continuing his claim that his opinions require looking through his own microscopes at his own laboratory.

  • May 22, 2024

    Texas Supreme Court Asked To Review Take-Home Asbestosis Causation Case

    HOUSTON — Allowing plaintiffs to link de minimis asbestos exposure to a common disease with numerous causes would take Texas back to the chaotic days before precedents established stability for the state, an employer tells the Texas Supreme Court, urging it to review a take-home exposure causation case.

  • May 22, 2024

    J&J Seeks Expedited Responses On Subpoenas To Asbestos-Talc Law Firm

    TRENTON, N.J. — Two Johnson & Johnson entities asked the federal court in New Jersey overseeing the talc multidistrict litigation to expedite responses to a subpoena issued to the Beasley Allen Law Firm, saying recent revelations of “egregious behavior” suggest that the firm no longer advocates in the best interests of its clients and uses the media in hopes of sinking a potential global settlement of the asbestos-talc claims.

  • May 22, 2024

    Kentucky High Court Accepts Household Duty, Asbestos Expert Appeals

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Kentucky Supreme Court agreed to discretionary review in a pair of cases after a lower court let stand a ruling holding that defendants owed a duty to a household member to prevent asbestos exposure by the late 1960s, that a judge improperly excluded deposition testimony by an expert regarding asbestos in talc and that the state’s workers’ compensation exclusivity provision does not immunize an employer where there is evidence only of a summer’s worth of exposure to dust but not asbestos.

  • May 21, 2024

    La. Panel Affirms Ruling In Asbestos Liability Case Involving Insolvent Insurers  

    NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana appellate court affirmed a lower court ruling that denied summary judgment to the Louisiana Insurance Guaranty Association (LIGA), as statutory obligor for an employer’s insolvent workers’ compensation and liability insurers, in a suit alleging that a former employee’s workplace exposure to asbestos resulted in his diagnosis of mesothelioma, finding that LIGA failed to show “the existence and applicability” of policy exclusions.

  • May 21, 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 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.

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