Asbestos Litigation

News & Analysis as of

Court Refuses To Compel Nonsignatory To Join Reinsurance Arbitration

On April 8, 2014, we reported on National Indemnity Company’s (“NICO”) attempt in a Nebraska federal district court to enjoin Transatlantic Reinsurance Company from commencing arbitration against NICO in Chicago and New York...more

Court Denies Renewed Attempt To Dismiss Defenses In Reinsurance Dispute Associated With Asbestos-Related Liabilities

In this case, plaintiffs sought leave to renew their motion to dismiss certain retention-related and assignment affirmative defenses based on provisions of certain Loss Portfolio Transfer (LPT) agreements, and to re-argue the...more

Texas Supreme Court: “Dose Matters” In Mesothelioma Cases Bostic v. Georgia-Pacific Corp., No. 10-0775

Yesterday, the Texas Supreme Court reaffirmed the substantial-factor standard of causation recognized in Borg-Warner Corp. v. Flores, and held that it applies in mesothelioma cases. The Court made clear that in...more

Texas Supreme Court opinions (7/14)

1. No. 10-0775, Bostic v. Georgia-Pacific Corp. -- This is a mesothelioma case. The overarching issue is whether the causation standard announced in Borg-Warner Corp. v. Flores (which was an asbestosis case) also applies to...more

Georgia-Pacific used secret research to downplay effect of asbestos

Chicago residents who have been diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases know the devastation that comes with their illnesses. Many, in an effort to receive proper medical care, have had to turn to the courts to seek...more

Pa. Superior Court Confirms Statutory Right of Repose for Improvements to Real Estate in Asbestos Cases

The Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed a jury verdict in favor of plaintiffs in an asbestos mesothelioma case, finding that the 12-year statute of repose bars all claims related to improvements constructed on real estate...more

CA Appellate Courts: Secondary Exposure Claims Permitted Against Product Manufacturers, But Not Premises Owners

Two California Courts of Appeal recently decided cases that will significantly impact secondary asbestos exposure claims in California. The result is that premises owners have no duty to protect family members of workers on...more

Round Three: California Appellate Courts Home in on Duty of Care in Household Asbestos Exposure

On June 3, 2014, Wilson Elser issued a Client Alert on the decision in Johnny Blaine Kesner Jr. v. Superior Court of Alameda County (2014) 226 Cal.App.4th 251, in which the First District Court of Appeal held that an employer...more

Policyholder Observer

Encryption Flaw "Heartbleed" Creates Data Risk: How Insurance Can Stanch the Bleeding - In early April, news broke of an encryption flaw named “Heartbleed” that exposed companies to data breaches for over two and one...more

Jury Awards $10.9 Million in Asbestos Case

A Fresco County Superior Court jury returned a multi-million dollar verdict in favor of the family of James Phillips on June 2, 2014. Mr. Phillips was an auto mechanic who was exposed to asbestos dust from automotive...more

Court Construes Disputed Insurance Policy Language And Requires Reinsurer To Follow The Settlements

The case involved two facultative reinsurance contracts, each of which covered excess liability for similar umbrella liability insurance policies, and each of which contained a “follow the settlements” provision. After the...more

New Jersey Rejects Liability for Third-Party Manufactured Replacement Parts Based on Lack of Causation Evidence

In Hughes v. A.W. Chesterton Co., the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey affirmed a trial court’s granting of Goulds Pumps’ motion for summary judgment to a set of consolidated asbestos personal injury...more

Garlock Court Grants Access to Sealed Documents Demonstrating a Widespread Pattern of Manipulation of Exposure Evidence

Ford Motor Company recently obtained access to previously sealed testimony and exhibits that formed the basis for a bankruptcy court’s January 10, 2014 Order finding a widespread pattern of demonstrable misrepresentation by...more

Asbestos Alert: Kesner v. Pneumo Abex, LLC

Employers Now Have Duty to Take-Home Exposure Plaintiffs - On May 15, 2014, the Court of Appeal answered a question which has been asked repeatedly since the Second District Court of Appeal published a decision in...more

New York Appeals Court Sustains Asbestos Plaintiffs’ Direct Suit against Liability Insurer of Dissolved Corporate Defendant

Can an asbestos bodily injury plaintiff directly sue the liability insurer of a dissolved corporate defendant? Yes, said New York’s Appellate Division, First Department – under certain circumstances. The court’s decision came...more

New Jersey’s Appellate Division Finds Manufacturer Has a Duty to Warn of Asbestos Risk in Foreseeable Replacement Component Parts

On April 23, 2014, New Jersey’s Appellate Division held that a pump manufacturer had a duty to warn that replacement component parts contained asbestos. In two consolidated cases, the trial court granted summary judgment...more

Asbestos Alert: Paulus v Crane Co.

Second District Court of Appeal, Division Three, Action # B246505 (Filed Feb. 21, 2014, modified Mar. 24, 2014) 2014 WL 1157284 ____Cal.App.4th____ - Sufficiency of Expert Testimony to Prove Causation; Bankruptcy Trust...more

Baltimore City Circuit Court Rejects Attempt to Consolidate Asbestos Cases

Order refusing to consolidate more than 13,000 non-mesothelioma cases continues a U.S.-wide trend of courts moving away from mass trial consolidations in asbestos cases. On March 5, the Circuit Court for Baltimore...more

Illinois District Court Rejects Strict Application of the “Bare Metal” Asbestos Defense

On February 14, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, in Quirin v. Lorillard Tobacco Company, et al., rejected strict application of the “bare metal” defense, under which defendants cannot be...more

It’s a Matter of Trust: The Garlock Decision as an Impetus for Increased Transparency Legislation in the Asbestos Trust Arena

On January 10, 2014, a bankruptcy court judge considered the estimated asbestos liability for Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC (Garlock), ultimately determining that liability to be $125 million, a fraction of its previously...more

Pennsylvania Effectively Eliminates Workers’ Compensation Act as Source of Protection for Employers from Suits Arising Out of...

On January 29, 2014, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied defendants’ Petition for Reargument of the Court’s November 22, 2013, ruling in Tooey v. AK Steel Corp. et al. The ruling held that the Pennsylvania Workers’...more

Wisconsin Supreme Court Declares No Vacancy for Insured in Asbestos Coverage Dispute

In Phillips, et al. v. Parmelee, et al., – N.W.2d –, 2013 WL 6818145 (Wis. Dec. 27, 2013), the Supreme Court of Wisconsin affirmed trial and appellate court decisions in favor of an insurer arguing that an asbestos exclusion...more

Delaware Decision Makes It Increasingly Difficult for Insurers to Evade Coverage for Dissolved Corporations

Can an injured plaintiff obtain compensation from a dissolved company with unexhausted insurance policies and force the insurer to pay? The Delaware Supreme Court says yes—in certain circumstances. Originally published...more

Wisconsin Appeals Court Allows Asbestos Case To Proceed Under Safe Place Statute

Robert Viola was a pipe insulator for 25 years, often working in buildings and power plants owned by Wisconsin Electric Power Company (“WEPCO”). After Mr. Viola died, the administrator of his estate brought a lawsuit against...more

California Appellate Court Limits Application of Sophisticated User Doctrine

Stepping back from broad application of the sophisticated user doctrine in product liability and toxic tort litigation, the Second District of the California Court of Appeal, recently affirmed a jury’s $21 million verdict for...more

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