Asbestos

News & Analysis as of

Check-Out Time at the Hotel California?

We love our home state of California, but we have long bemoaned the widespread practice of what we call litigation tourism. That is where unrelated plaintiffs, sometimes thousands of them, from all corners of the U.S. join...more

Manufacturer of Asbestos-Free Product May Still Be Liable for Asbestos Related Injuries

In Sherman v. Hennessy Industries, Inc. (No. B252566, filed June 18, 2015), the Court of Appeal, Second District, reversed a trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of a manufacturer of a brake grinding machine. The...more

Is That Covered? Lost Insurance Policy

Many liability policies are triggered when an event giving rise to a covered claim occurs, rather than when the claim is asserted or filed with the court. This is often true of the most common type of liability coverage -...more

House Passes FACT Act of 2015

On May 14, 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee passed H.R. 526, the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act of 2015, by a 19-9 vote. A similar bill (S.357) has been introduced in the U.S....more

California District Court Grants Summary Judgment Based on Lack of Evidence Supporting Claims for Asbestos Exposure

A California district court recently granted summary judgment in favor of four defendants on the grounds that plaintiffs had no evidence that a decedent was exposed to asbestos from defendants’ products. (Livingston v. ABB,...more

Texas Supreme Court Eliminates Premises Liability for Concurrent Acts of Premises Employees

In Magdalena Adrienna Abutahoun, et al. v. The Dow Chemical Company, 2015 WL 2147979, the Supreme Court of Texas affirmed the overturning of a jury verdict against Dow, finding it owed no duty related to the plaintiffs’...more

New Discovery Order Requiring Greater Transparency Regarding Bankruptcy Trust Claims in Southern California Asbestos Litigation

On May 27, 2015, the Honorable Emilie H. Elias, the coordination judge who presides over all asbestos litigation in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego (LAOSD), issued a discovery order entitled “Case...more

Reinsurers’ Motion To Vacate Arbitration Award Held Time-Barred

A federal judge in New York has denied reinsurers’ motions for relief from a prior judgment. The reinsurers, Equitas Insurance Limited and Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s of London, argued that they were entitled to judicial...more

Texas Considers Asbestos Transparency Legislation

Texas is the latest state to consider legislation aimed at increasing transparency between the civil tort and asbestos bankruptcy trust systems. Four states, most recently West Virginia, have enacted such legislation. Texas...more

Summary Judgment Appropriate in PA Where Frequent Exposure to and Breathing of Asbestos Dust Is Absent

The Pennsylvania Superior Court in Sterling v. P&H Mining Equipment, Inc. recently affirmed the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County’s grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant P&H Mining Equipment, Inc. (P&H)...more

Getting SSD benefits for asbestos exposure

Asbestos is a set of minerals that occur naturally in the form of fiber bundles. Today, asbestos is recognized as a health hazard and closely regulated. However, asbestos has been used in various products, and as Social...more

West Virginia Becomes Latest State to Adopt Asbestos Transparency Legislation

On March 15, 2015, West Virginia became the fourth state to enact legislation aimed at increasing transparency between the civil tort and asbestos bankruptcy trust systems. Senate Bill 411, also known as the Asbestos...more

8 dangerous substances you may be exposed to at work

Not all workplace injuries involve falls and collisions. Some of the damage done on the job is more gradual and subtle. Many jobs in Illinois involve hazardous levels of exposure to chemicals and other harmful substances. ...more

Insurance Recovery Law - April 2015

Legal Issues Not Proper Expert Testimony - Why it matters: As a good reminder concerning the boundaries for admissibility of expert opinions, a federal court in Texas recently granted a policyholder’s motion to strike an...more

Appellate Court Rules On Loss Allocation And Notice Disputes Concerning Reinsurance Claim

A New York appellate court affirmed the denial of summary judgment but with modifications. New Hampshire Insurance Company (“New Hampshire”) together with other insurers, settled with Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corporation...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Declines Review of Case Applying Statute of Repose to Asbestos Claims

As we reported in our July 2014 edition, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania held, in Graver v. Foster-Wheeler Corp., 96 A.3d 383 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2014), that the 12-year statute of repose applicable to claims against designers...more

Federal Court Holds That “Each and Every Exposure” Theory is Inadmissible

The “single fiber” theory, well known to asbestos litigants and practitioners, is an attempt to circumvent “substantial factor” causation requirements, positing that any exposure to asbestos constitutes an underlying cause of...more

Louisiana Federal Court Excludes “Every Exposure” Testimony

Adding to the growing body of case law that rejects the so-called “every exposure” theory, a federal court in Louisiana has excluded specific causation opinions of a plaintiffs’ expert who relied on the theory, finding that...more

$1 Million Punitive Damages Award in New Jersey Asbestos Case

A $7.5 million verdict was rendered on January 15, 2015, by a Middlesex County jury in the matter of Condon v. Advanced Thermal Hydronics, et al., Docket No.: MID-L-5695-13AS, Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division,...more

No Diagnosis, No "Damages": Wisconsin's Construction Statute of Repose in Asbestos Cases

How to apply Wisconsin’s construction statute of repose, Wis. Stat. § 893.89, in asbestos cases has recently been a hot topic dividing trial courts. The statute bars a broad category of claims if they are brought more than 10...more

DRM client wins important case precluding termination of insurer insolvency before contingent or unliquidated claims can be...

The Vermont Supreme Court has ruled in In Re Ambassador Ins. Co., 2015 VT 4 (Vt. Jan. 23, 2015) that the liquidator of Ambassador Insurance acted unreasonably in setting a December 31, 2013 bar date for policyholder claims...more

The Fourth Circuit, En Banc, Addresses Removal / Remand Litigation

In Barlow v. Colgate Palmolive Co., 772 F.3d 1001 (4th Cir. 2014), an en banc decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit considered two cases where plaintiffs allegedly misrepresented their intent to...more

Supervisor fined after workers exposed to asbestos dust

A supervisor with an asbestos abatement company, and his employer, have pleaded guilty to charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and were fined, after workers were exposed to asbestos dust on a job site....more

Chicago Federal Court Bars Expert Testimony Espousing the “Any Exposure” Theory

On December 22, 2014, in a pre-trial ruling, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, in Krik v. Crane Co., et al., No. 1:10-cv-07435 (N.D. Ill. December 22, 2014) barred perennial plaintiff’s expert Dr....more

Designers, Contractors and Insurers Take Note: Recent Amendment to IL Statute of Repose Strips Asbestos Defense, Exposes Decades...

On December 19, 2014 the Illinois legislature amended the Illinois construction statute of repose to eliminate its protection in asbestos exposure cases (Public Act 098-1131). Beginning June 1, 2015, design professionals and...more

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