Asbestos Litigation Asbestos

News & Analysis as of

Product Liability Update - July 2015

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Holds Failure-to-Warn Claim Against Drug Manufacturer Not Preempted Because There Was No “Clear Evidence” FDA Would Not Have Approved Plaintiffs’ Suggested Warning; Also Holds...more

Proposed California Legislation Would Mandate Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Disclosures Statewide

California Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) has introduced and sponsored Assembly Bill No. 597, the Asbestos Tort Claim Trust Transparency Act, which if passed would require asbestos plaintiffs to disclose all...more

"Appellate Court Affirms Ruling Allowing Punitive Damages in New York City Asbestos Cases"

In a unanimous ruling decided July 9, 2015, New York's Appellate Division, First Department declined to overrule an April 2014 order by Justice Sherry Klein Heitler, the then-coordinating justice of the New York City Asbestos...more

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

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

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

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 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

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

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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