Asbestos Asbestos Litigation

News & Analysis as of

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

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

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