News & Analysis as of

Asbestos: the French State Council (“Conseil d’Etat”) holds the State liable when an employer is deemed responsible for...

On the 9th of November 2015, the French State Council (“Conseil d’Etat”) admitted for the first time the possibility for an employer held liable on the grounds of inexcusable fault to take action against the State so as to be...more

Southern District of Illinois Court Denies “Bare Metal Defense,” Applying Maritime Law

On September 23, 2015, in Kochera v. Foster Wheeler, LLC, No. 3:14-cv-00029 (S.D.Ill. 2015), the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, applying maritime law, denied Ingersoll-Rand Company’s...more

Illinois Supreme Court Narrows Ability for Employees to Sue for Alleged Occupational Diseases

On November 4, 2015, in the case of Folta v. Ferro Engineering, 2015 Il 118070 (2015), the Illinois Supreme Court strengthened the exclusivity provision of the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act and Illinois Occupational...more

OSHA Whistleblower Retaliation Complaints Are on the Rise - Is Your Company Ready?

Many employers are surprised to learn that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for investigating whistleblower retaliation complaints under 22 separate federal statutes, not just the...more

Florida Supreme Court Protecting the Rights of Citizens

In another victory for the injured victims of our State, yesterday the Florida Supreme Court issued an opinion in a products liability case, Aubin v. Union Carbide, which reversed an appellate court’s adoption of more...more

Illinois Court: Multi-year Policy Limits Applied To Entire Policy Period, Not Annually, And Payments For Potentially Covered...

An Illinois trial court recently addressed the issue of whether an insurer exhausted its limits of liability in paying nearly $90 million for an insured’s defense and indemnity associated with asbestos bodily injury claims. ...more

Plaintiff’s Mere Presence in Area Where Asbestos is Present Insufficient to Establish Bystander Exposure

In Schiffer v. CBS Corporation (filed 9/9/15; modified 9/30/15), the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, affirmed summary judgment in favor of the defendant asbestos insulation manufacturer finding...more

Federal Court Allows Sealing Of A Petition Seeking Confirmation Of Arbitral Award

On August 14, 2015, a federal district court in New York entered an order allowing a petition to confirm an arbitration award to be filed in redacted form with the arbitration award to be filed under seal. The case is pending...more

Better Late Than Never: The California Supreme Court Reverses Itself, Holding That Corporate Policyholders May Assign Insurance...

Asset purchase and sale transactions are a preferred structure for many corporate deals. For a variety of reasons, it may be prudent for businesses or product lines to be transferred through these transactions, and an asset...more

In Reversal, California Supreme Court Allows Assignment of Coverage for Liability Claims

California’s Supreme Court has reversed its own heavily criticized decision from 2003 in Henkel Corp. v. Hartford Accident & Indem. Co. (2003) 29 Cal. 4th 934. In Fluor Corp. v. Superior Court, the Court announced that its...more

California Declares New Rules for Assignment of Long Tail Claims

Last week, in a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court of California changed the law governing anti-assignment provisions in liability insurance policies. Twelve years ago, in Henkel Corp. v. Hartford Accident & Indemnity...more

California Supreme Court Reverses Prior Ruling On Anti-Assignment Clauses

In Fluor Corporation v. The Superior Court of Orange County (Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co., real party in interest), 2015 Cal. LEXIS 5631 (Aug. 20, 2015), the California Supreme Court determined that California Insurance...more

Attention All Co-Defendants: Make Your Own Objections, Don’t Rely on a Co-Defendant

A recent Pennsylvania case presents the question: can a party rely on its co-defendant’s objections at trial, or must it join in an objection or make its own? In Amato v. Bell & Gossett, 116 A. 3d 607 (Pa. Super 2015),...more

U.S. construction companies and manager face fines of nearly $2 million for exposing workers to asbestos

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) has cited a construction company and its manager for asbestos-related violations and imposed fines of almost $2 million.  Safety regulators are increasingly taking...more

Victory for California Policyholders

Last week, the California Supreme Court ruled in Fluor Corp. v. Superior Court, No. S205889, 2015 WL4938295 (Cal. 2015), that an insurer is precluded from refusing to honor an insured’s assignment of rights for past losses...more

Mergers Just Became Safer for California’s Corporate Policyholders

This morning the California Supreme Court announced the thoroughly sensible ruling that a corporation may transfer its rights under liability insurance policies without obtaining the consent of the insurance company. Fluor...more

Illinois appellate court strengthens sole proximate cause defense in asbestos cases

The question of whether a product manufacturer or employer in an asbestos lawsuit can introduce evidence of the plaintiff’s exposures to asbestos from other sources has become a highly contested issue. There is a lengthy...more

Illinois Appellate Court Reverses Asbestos Verdict on Sole Proximate Cause Argument

In Smith v. Illinois Central Railroad Co., the Fourth District of Illinois recently overturned a $1.4 million verdict against the Illinois Central Railroad. At trial, the Court had excluded evidence of the decedent's work at...more

Considering Consolidating Cases for Trial

We have managed to pretty much avoid asbestos litigation. Sure, we encounter decisions from asbestos cases that sometimes impact our own cases. They even sometimes appear in our posts, but rarely as a focus. We have been...more

District Court Follows Supreme Court’s Lead in Halliburton, Allows Class Action to Proceed with Narrowed Factual Scope

Applying the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc., 134 S. Ct. 2398 (2014) (“Halliburton II”), which allowed companies facing securities fraud class actions to defeat certification...more

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

Manufacturer of Asbestos-Free Product May Still Be Liable for Asbestos Related Injuries

In Sherman v. Hennessy Industries, Inc. (No. B252566, filed June 18, 2015), the Court of Appeal, Second District, reversed a trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of a manufacturer of a brake grinding machine. The...more

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