News & Analysis as of

Asbestos Alert: Paulus v Crane Co.

Second District Court of Appeal, Division Three, Action # B246505 (Filed Feb. 21, 2014, modified Mar. 24, 2014) 2014 WL 1157284 ____Cal.App.4th____ - Sufficiency of Expert Testimony to Prove Causation; Bankruptcy Trust...more

Baltimore City Circuit Court Rejects Attempt to Consolidate Asbestos Cases

Order refusing to consolidate more than 13,000 non-mesothelioma cases continues a U.S.-wide trend of courts moving away from mass trial consolidations in asbestos cases. On March 5, the Circuit Court for Baltimore...more

It’s a Matter of Trust: The Garlock Decision as an Impetus for Increased Transparency Legislation in the Asbestos Trust Arena

On January 10, 2014, a bankruptcy court judge considered the estimated asbestos liability for Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC (Garlock), ultimately determining that liability to be $125 million, a fraction of its previously...more

Pennsylvania Effectively Eliminates Workers’ Compensation Act as Source of Protection for Employers from Suits Arising Out of...

On January 29, 2014, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied defendants’ Petition for Reargument of the Court’s November 22, 2013, ruling in Tooey v. AK Steel Corp. et al. The ruling held that the Pennsylvania Workers’...more

Wisconsin Supreme Court Declares No Vacancy for Insured in Asbestos Coverage Dispute

In Phillips, et al. v. Parmelee, et al., – N.W.2d –, 2013 WL 6818145 (Wis. Dec. 27, 2013), the Supreme Court of Wisconsin affirmed trial and appellate court decisions in favor of an insurer arguing that an asbestos exclusion...more

Delaware Decision Makes It Increasingly Difficult for Insurers to Evade Coverage for Dissolved Corporations

Can an injured plaintiff obtain compensation from a dissolved company with unexhausted insurance policies and force the insurer to pay? The Delaware Supreme Court says yes—in certain circumstances. Originally published...more

Wisconsin Appeals Court Allows Asbestos Case To Proceed Under Safe Place Statute

Robert Viola was a pipe insulator for 25 years, often working in buildings and power plants owned by Wisconsin Electric Power Company (“WEPCO”). After Mr. Viola died, the administrator of his estate brought a lawsuit against...more

California Appellate Court Limits Application of Sophisticated User Doctrine

Stepping back from broad application of the sophisticated user doctrine in product liability and toxic tort litigation, the Second District of the California Court of Appeal, recently affirmed a jury’s $21 million verdict for...more

Delaware Supreme Court Holds Receiver is Required to Defend Lawsuits After a Corporation is Wound-Up; Finds No Generally...

In Anderson v Krafft-Murphy Co. Inc., 2013 Del. LEXIS 597 (Del. Nov. 26, 2013), the Delaware Supreme Court held that Sections 278 and 279 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, 8 Del. C. §§ 278-279, require a dissolved...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rules on Workers’ Compensation Act Case

Court finds in Tooey that Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act does not bar latent occupational disease lawsuits against employers. On November 22, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Tooey et al. v. AK Steel Corp. et...more

New York State Court Denies Late Notice Defense

New Hampshire Ins. Co. v. Clearwater Ins. Co., No. 653547/2011, 2013 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 5117 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Oct. 31, 2013). A New York State motion court granted part of a cedent’s motion for summary judgment in a case...more

FACT Act Promises Transparency in Bankruptcy Trust Claims and Payments for Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos defendants are one step closer to greater transparency regarding the often illusive bankruptcy trust claims and payments. On Wednesday, November 13, 2013, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 982, the...more

Was Asbestos Used in Your Drilling Mud Program?

With the bankruptcy of dozens of traditional defendants in asbestos litigation, plaintiffs' attorneys have been creative in pursuing claims in previously untapped areas. One such area is alleged oilfield worker exposure via...more

Statute of Repose and Independent Contractor Defense Bar Asbestos Claims in New Jersey

In a unanimous decision, New Jersey’s intermediate appellate court applied the statute of repose and the independent contractor defense and reversed a $1.8 million verdict awarded to the widow of a union asbestos insulator. ...more

Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Asbestos “Take-Home” Exposure Case Against Premises Owner Finding No Foreseeability

On September 10, 2013, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of an asbestos lawsuit brought against the owner of a shipyard in Puget Sound on the basis that “no reasonable fact finder could conclude that...more

Maryland High Court, Bucking Trend, Allows Expert to Testify that “Each and Every Exposure” to Asbestos Is Causally Related to...

To advance claims against as many defendants as possible, plaintiff attorneys in asbestos litigation routinely attempt to introduce expert testimony to the effect that “each and every exposure” to asbestos was a “substantial”...more

"Every Asbestos Exposure Counts" - Maryland Affirms Theory

Maryland's highest appellate court ruled last week that a plaintiff's expert in an asbestos injury lawsuit could testify that every single exposure to asbestos substantially contributes to the development of mesothelioma,...more

The State of Virginia and the D.C. District Court Raise Plaintiff’s Burden of Proof on Causation in Multiple-Exposure Asbestos...

Judge Beryl A. Howell of the District of Columbia District Court issued a trial court opinion in May 2013 that, if followed by other circuit or state courts, could substantially impact the threshold for causation in...more

Victory on Appeal for Georgia-Pacific: No Duty to Warn of Dangers of Secondhand Exposure to Asbestos Until 1972

In Georgia Pacific LLC v. Farrar, No. 102 Sept. Term 2012, 2013 WL 3456573 (Md. July 8, 2013), Maryland’s highest court established that manufacturers of asbestos-containing products cannot be liable to household members...more

Clarifying Media Reports Regarding Maryland Law and Causation in Asbestos Exposure Cases

It has been recently reported in Law360 that the Court of Appeals of Maryland, in Dixon v. Ford Motor Co., No. 82, 2013 Md. LEXIS 465 (Md. July 25, 2013), broke with established precedent and endorsed the “any exposure”...more

West Virginia Court Resolves Issues Of First Impression On Insurance Coverage For Delayed Manifestation Claims

I. Introduction - The last few decades of tort litigation in America have been marked primarily by a surge in filings of asbestos, silica and other delayed manifestation bodily injury and property damage claims. These...more

District of Columbia District Court Grants Summary Judgment to Honeywell on Motion to Reconsider

The U.S. District Court, District of Columbia in Wannall v. Honeywell International, Inc., Civil Action No. 10-351 (BAH), recently granted Honeywell International’s motion to reconsider the previous denial of its motion for...more

California Court of Appeal Allows Non-Medical Experts to Opine on Specific Causation in Asbestos

A California Court of Appeal panel recently broadened a plaintiff’s ability to prove specific causation by holding that a plaintiff need not retain a medical professional to opine that the defendant’s product was a...more

Spring Cleaning: Texas legislature passes bill for dismissal of inactive asbestos and silica claims

The Texas legislature has taken a significant step toward clearing what some regard as very cluttered asbestos and silica dockets. The Texas legislature passed and sent to the governor House Bill 1325 (“HB 1325”) to provide a...more

Following in Ohio’s Footsteps: The Expansion of Asbestos Transparency Legislation

Asbestos personal injury trusts proliferated after many of the early primary asbestos product manufacturers reorganized under bankruptcy law. It is estimated that nearly 100 companies have declared bankruptcy in the face of...more

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