Asbestos Litigation

News & Analysis as of

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

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

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