Asbestos Litigation

News & Analysis as of

Reinsurance Arbitration Award Confirmed, Reaching Result Contrary To Previous Award Against Different Reinsurer

On March 11, 2014, we reported on the First Circuit’s ruling in a contested arbitration between OneBeacon America Insurance Co. and certain of its reinsurers over reinsured asbestos claims. The reinsurers filed a declaratory...more

4th Circuit Offers Defendants Seeking Federal Jurisdiction Relief Denied by Other Circuit Courts: Remands to State Court Obtained...

Last week, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals kicked off the holiday by giving thanks for the power to prevent parties from reaping the benefits of fraud perpetrated against the federal courts. The Fourth Circuit decided in...more

One Expert In, One Expert Out in Illinois Asbestos Case

An Illinois federal judge recently approved only one of two well-known asbestos experts to testify in a former pipefitter’s asbestos exposure case. U.S. District Judge John Z. Lee of the Northern District of Illinois held...more

The Seemingly Interminable Garlock Saga: Where Are We Now?

As reported in our February 2014 edition, the bankruptcy court estimating Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC’s asbestos liability uncovered significant evidence “that the last 10 years of its participation in the tort system...more

Cedent Loses Motion For Reinsurance Payments Due To Late Notice And “Unsatisfactory” Proof Of Loss, Notwithstanding “Follow The...

In a reinsurance coverage dispute involving coverage for an underlying settlement of asbestos liability, a New York court considered whether the defenses of failure to provide prompt notice and failure to provide satisfactory...more

Pennsylvania Appeals Court Affirms Defendants’ Summary Judgments on Bystander Exposure Claims

Allegations of bystander exposure to asbestos via laundry is a common claim in cases where a plaintiff has no apparent occupational exposure but instead alleges that her asbestos-related disease was caused by exposure to...more

UPDATE: United States Supreme Court Declines Review of Ninth Circuit Decisions Involving “Any Exposure” Theory and Government...

As reported in our January 2014 edition, the Ninth Circuit en banc affirmed a prior ruling vacating a $10 million jury verdict in an asbestos personal injury action, holding that the Washington federal district court abused...more

Product Liability Alert: “Sophisticated User” Defense Not Available by Showing Existence of a “Sophisticated Intermediary”

In Gottschall v. Crane Co., (No. A136516, Filed 10/8/2014, published 10/22/2014), the Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, held a company that manufactured and sold asbestos-containing products could not prevail under...more

Coverage Options for Employee Asbestos Claims

Over the past year, courts in Illinois and Pennsylvania have dramatically altered the ability of an employee to bring claims against past and present employers for asbestos-related injuries. Traditionally, employees were...more

New Jersey Appellate Court Keeps “Running Spigot” Open on Allocation of Defense Costs Under Non-Eroding-Limit Fronting Policies...

New Jersey’s Appellate Division recently affirmed each of several challenged rulings rendered in a long-running coverage dispute between plaintiff IMO Industries and its many historical insurers arising from asbestos...more

Does asbestosis qualify under the Illinois Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act?

Asbestosis is covered under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Diseases Act. In other words, Illinois workers who develop this condition as a consequence of employment are entitled to benefits under state...more

Employers’ Asbestos Liabilities Do Not Extend to Workers’ Spouses

Two federal judges recently dismissed the claims of the spouses of workers who purportedly carried asbestos fibers home from their workplaces. In July 2014, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma...more

Washington Supreme Court Ratifies Employer Immunity for Asbestos Exposure

The Washington Supreme Court recently affirmed summary judgment in favor of an employer defending an asbestos lawsuit brought by a former employee. In Walston v. Boeing Co., No. 88511-7 (September 18, 2014), the Supreme...more

Take-Home Exposure Claims Under Review by California's High Court

On August 20, 2014, the California Supreme Court granted petitions for review in two published decisions that reached different conclusions on whether a defendant owed a duty for take-home exposures. Both matters (Haver v....more

Injured Sailors May Seek Punitive Damages in the Asbestos MDL

U.S. District Judge Eduardo C. Robreno of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, who oversees asbestos multidistrict litigation, issued a decision in July permitting injured sailors to seek punitive damage awards. In Re:...more

Update: California Supreme Court to Review Secondary Asbestos Exposure Cases

In Sedgwick’s June 2014 Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Update, we reported on two conflicting decisions from different California appellate courts regarding companies’ duty to prevent “take home exposures” to asbestos...more

Asbestos Alert: Failure To Recognize A Defendant’s Name Insufficient To Support Summary Judgment

Ganoe v. Metalclad Insulation Corp. - California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (July 21, 2014) - Metalclad was an insulation contractor. Mark Ganoe worked in Department 132 at Goodyear Tire &...more

Texas Supreme Court Reaffirms Causation Standard

In Bostic, et. al. v. Georgia-Pacific Corporation, 57 Tex.Sup.Ct.J. 1091, the Supreme Court of Texas reaffirmed that the “substantial factor” causation test applies in asbestos personal injury cases, defined the quantitative...more

Pennsylvania Statute of Repose Applies to Asbestos Claims

In Graver v. Foster Wheeler Corp., 2014 Pa. Super. 132, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania held that the statute of repose applicable to designers and constructors of improvements to real property applied to asbestos claims....more

Florida High Court to Decide Which Test Governs Component Parts Doctrine

On April 8, 2014, the Florida Supreme Court heard oral arguments in an asbestos case concerning the liability of a defendant who has sold a component part to a manufacturer who then incorporates the part into its own...more

Texas Supreme Court Enforces Medical Criteria for Claims Involving Asbestos and Declares the Application of Chapter 90...

In a 5–4 opinion issued in Union Carbide Corporation v. Daisy E. Synatzske et al. No. 12-0617 (Tex. July 3, 2014), the Texas Supreme Court held that Chapter 90 of the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code as applied to the...more

Texas Supreme Court Holds That Requirement to Provide Evidence of Approximate Dose Applies to Mesothelioma Cases as Well as...

On July 12, 2014, in Bostic v. Georgia Pacific Corp., No. 10-0775, a six-justice majority of the Texas Supreme Court issued a major decision on causation in asbestos cases. The Court held that the requirement to provide...more

Asbestos MDL Court Concludes Punitive Damages for Unseaworthiness Allowed for Seaman But Not for a Seaman’s Personal...

In a consolidated asbestos products liability multidistrict litigation (MDL), the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania held in In re Asbestos Products Liability Litigation (No. VI), MDL 875, that...more

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

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