Mealey's Asbestos

  • June 14, 2024

    J&J Can Depose Asbestos Expert Longo’s Employee, Special Master Says

    TRENTON, N.J. — Johnson & Johnson entities may depose the lab employee who performed the testing on which expert William Longo relies, the special master in New Jersey involved in the federal multidistrict litigation involving asbestos-talc claims said.

  • June 13, 2024

    Widow Didn’t Satisfy Burden In Asbestos Benefits Case, West Virginia Court Says

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The presumption of occupational exposure in a workers’ compensation case is rebuttable and still requires the claimant to meet the burden of proving that exposure to asbestos caused the injury in question, a West Virginia appeals court said in affirming the denial of benefits for a widow.

  • June 13, 2024

    Talc Plaintiffs Seek To Confine Proposed J&J Bankruptcy To New Jersey

    TRENTON, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey in a June 12 docket entry expedited briefing on talc plaintiffs’ motion seeking to enjoin Johnson & Johnson or its subsidiaries from declaring bankruptcy anywhere other than New Jersey.  The plaintiffs in the case claim that Johnson & Johnson performed a series of fraudulent transfers and bad faith bankruptcy filings to escape asbestos-talc liabilities.

  • June 12, 2024

    States, J&J Settle Talc Marketing Claims For $700 Million

    TRENTON, N.J. — Johnson & Johnson on June 11 agreed to pay $700 million to resolve investigations by 42 states and the District of Columbia into its marketing of baby powder and related talc products, various sources told Mealey Publications.

  • June 11, 2024

    Asbestos Boiler Company Can’t Stay New York Cases During Punitive Damages Appeal

    NEW YORK — A company’s concerns about potential verdicts while it appeals a punitive damages award are exaggerated, and any stay while it litigates the issue would “severely prejudice” plaintiffs who are literally on their death beds, a New York justice said in denying the company’s request.

  • June 11, 2024

    Portions Of Friction, Shipborne Asbestos Exposure Case Survive Dismissal

    SAN FRANCISCO — A man adequately alleges that asbestos attributable to a company through automobile friction products and by work alongside its employees caused his mesothelioma, but claims focused on worksite control and fraud fail, while a second company failed to establish that punitive damages and loss of consortium were not historically available under maritime law, a federal judge in California said in partially granting one motion to dismiss and denying the second.

  • June 11, 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.

  • June 06, 2024

    Judge Won’t Bar Experts, Admit Exhibits Ahead Of FTCA Asbestos Trial

    SEATTLE — Facing an upcoming trial on take-home and environmental asbestos claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), a federal judge in Washington declined to preadmit certain exhibits or exclude expert testimony, finding the trio of motions premature or untimely.

  • June 06, 2024

    Supreme Court Reverses, Says Asbestos Debtor’s Insurer Can Challenge Reorganization

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Because the primary insurer of Chapter 11 asbestos debtors Kaiser Gypsum Co. Inc. and Hanson Permanente Cement Inc. is on the hook for most of the debtors’ asbestos liabilities under their reorganization plan, it is a party in interest that has standing to object to the plan, the U.S. Supreme Court held June 6 in a unanimous decision.

  • June 05, 2024

    Asbestos Plaintiffs Warn Of Expert Oversight Motion’s ‘Massive Chilling Effect’

    TRENTON, N.J. — Allowing Johnson & Johnson to compel plaintiff-side expert William Longo to perform testing under the gaze of defense experts would be a “patently unreasonable” and unprecedented step and likely have a “massive chilling effect on expert witnesses,” plaintiffs in the federal multidistrict asbestos-talc litigation argue in opposing a motion to compel.

  • June 05, 2024

    Railway, Plaintiffs Brief Viability Of $8M Verdict In Libby, Mont., Case

    GREAT FALLS, Mont. — Whether federal law preempts strict liability claims against a railway and whether its failure to remediate asbestos contamination at its Libby, Mont., railyard constitutes an affirmative act or inactivity not subject to strict liability came before a Montana federal judge in briefing on judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV).

  • June 04, 2024

    Oregon Jury Awards Couple $260 Million In J&J Asbestos-Talc Case

    PORTLAND, Ore. — An Oregon jury on June 3 awarded a couple $200 million in punitive damages and $60 million in compensatory damages for a South Korean immigrant’s mesothelioma caused by her lifelong asbestos exposure to Johnson & Johnson (J&J) talc products.

  • June 04, 2024

    Florida Federal Judge Allows Expert Testimony In Asbestos Exposure Case

    TAMPA, Fla. — Arguments made by the two remaining defendants in an asbestos exposure case failed to convince a Florida federal judge that testimony by the plaintiff’s expert is inadmissible under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc., with the judge denying separate motions to exclude on June 3.

  • June 04, 2024

    Man’s Friction, Shipborne Asbestos Exposure Case Partially Survives Dismissal

    SAN FRANCISCO — A man adequately alleges asbestos attributable to a company through automobile friction products and by work alongside its employees caused his mesothelioma, but claims focused on worksite control and fraud fail, a federal judge in California said in partially granting a motion to dismiss.

  • June 03, 2024

    Minnesota Court Won’t Review Ruling Finding Contractor Duty Appeal Untimely

    ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Supreme Court declined to review a case over whether a power company owed a duty to independent contractors in a case involving both direct and take-home exposures after the lower appellate court found that it could not extend the time for filing a notice of appeal.

  • May 29, 2024

    COMMENTARY: Review Of Expert Causation Testimony Under Federal Rule Of Evidence 702: An Early Assessment Of The 2023 Amended Rule

    By William L. Anderson and Mark A. Behrens

  • May 30, 2024

    Defendants Seek Full Genetic Testing In Louisiana Asbestos Lung Cancer Suit

    NEW ORLEANS — Companies embroiled in a Louisiana take-home asbestos lung cancer suit moved to compel production of a blood sample for whole genome sequencing, pointing out that limited testing on a sample of the plaintiff’s tumor and her family history all suggest she suffers from a germline mutation that the requested testing could confirm.

  • May 30, 2024

    Judge Awards $1.4M In Fees In Libby, Mont., Asbestos Claims Fraud Case

    MISSOULA, Mont. — A railway that obtained some of the relief it sought in a suit claiming that an asbestos-disease scanner in Libby, Mont., submitted false claims under a special program involving the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) may recover attorney fees, but the award must be reduced by 25% because its submission never ties the hours worked and associated rates to specific tasks, a federal judge in Montana said in awarding $1,423,936.58.

  • May 30, 2024

    Judge Denies Jury Selection, Instruction Challenges After Hawaii Asbestos Verdict

    HONOLULU — A judge in Hawaii denied a post-trial motion seeking new trial at a hearing, turning away the argument that the court improperly screened the jury pool and erred in instructing the jurors that if they concluded that another party was responsible for man’s mesothelioma, they must find for the respirator manufacturer on trial.

  • 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.