Asbestos Litigation

News & Analysis as of

California Appellate Court Finds Railroad Company Not Subject to Jurisdiction

In BNSF Railway Company v. Superior Court (2015) 185 Cal.Rptr.3d 391, the California Court of Appeal, Second District, reversed a trial court order denying BNSF Railway Company’s motion to quash service of summons for lack of...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

Los Angeles Asbestos Court Ramps up Plaintiffs’ Bankruptcy Trust Disclosure Requirements

Asbestos plaintiffs can seek damages in two independent compensation systems: by filing tort claims against solvent defendants and by filing claims with any of the dozens of asbestos bankruptcy trusts established under...more

New York Court Sets Aside $11 Million Verdict and Puts the Onus on Plaintiffs to Quantify Exposures to Asbestos

On April 13, 2015, Justice Barbara Jaffe of the Supreme Court, New York County, issued a decision and order granting the motion by Ford Motor Company to set aside the verdict of $11 million in Juni v. A.O. Smith Water...more

Policyholder Insider Quarterly

Makers and Users of Smart Devices Beware: You May Have a Critical and Costly Gap in Your Insurance Coverage - The drumbeat of high-profile data breaches has led to rapid growth in the number of companies purchasing or...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

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

Pennsylvania Superior Court Reverses $14.5 Million Asbestos Verdict Based on Improper Admission of Expert Testimony

An en banc session of the Pennsylvania Superior Court vacated a $14.5 million asbestos verdict in a mesothelioma case and remanded the case to the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia for a new trial, affirming the decision...more

Insurance Recovery Law - March 2015

New York Federal Court Rejects Insurer’s Request for Recoupment - Why it matters: The federal court, applying New York law, held that an energy drink manufacturer’s advertising coverage claim—arising from underlying...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

Seventh Circuit Finds Attorney Fee Dispute Arbitrable

The Seventh Circuit recently held that a cost-sharing agreement (“CSA”) between Hennessy Industries Inc. (“Hennessy”) and National Union Fire Insurance Co. (“National Union”) required the parties to arbitrate a dispute over...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

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

District Court in Louisiana Nixes “Bystander Damages” for Relatives of Asbestos Victims

In Comardelle v. Pennsylvania General Insurance Company et al., 2014 WL 5762841, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana denied a claim for “bystander damages” allegedly resulting from the...more

California Appellate Court Upholds Bar to Liability by Premises Owners for Secondary Exposure

In Wanda Beckering v. Shell Oil Company, 2014 WL 6611088, the Second District of the California Court of Appeal affirmed the granting of summary judgment in favor of defendant Shell Oil Company, finding that the plaintiff was...more

Illinois Appellate Court Finds Defendant Not Liable for “Speculative” Workplace Asbestos Exposure

The Illinois Appellate Court for the Fourth District affirmed a jury’s defense verdict in Holloway v. Sprinkmann Sons Corporation of Illinois, 2014 IL App (4th) 131118 (December 16, 2014). The plaintiff testified that from...more

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

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