Asbestos

News & Analysis as of

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

Ninth Circuit En Banc Upholds Prior Ruling Vacating $10 Million Asbestos Verdict Over Failure to Conduct Daubert Hearing

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals en banc has affirmed a prior ruling vacating a $10 million jury verdict in an asbestos personal injury action, holding that the Washington federal district court abused its discretion by not...more

Unanimous Wisconsin High Court Sustains Broad Asbestos Exclusion That Comprehensively and Unambiguously Bars Coverage for Any...

In Phillips v. Parmelee, 2013 WI 105 (December 27, 2013), the Wisconsin Supreme Court rejected the argument that a broad asbestos exclusion in a business insurance policy was ambiguous. A unanimous court ruled that a real...more

Weekly Law Resume - The Sophisticated User Defense Does Not Automatically Apply to an Employee of a Sophisticated Employer

Anne Pfeifer v. John Crane, Inc. - Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Four (October 29, 2013) - JCI appealed from a judgment awarding plaintiffs William and Anne Pfeifer over $21 million dollars in...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

Seventh Circuit Addresses Coverage Under Workers’ Comp Policy

In its recent decision in YKK USA, Inc., v. Safety Nat’l Cas. Corp., 727 F.3d 782 (7th. Cir. 2013), the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit had occasion to consider whether an employee’s common law claim...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

California Court of Appeal Holds Intermediary’s Sophistication Not Sufficient, as a Matter of Law, to Avoid Supplier’s Liability...

On October 29, 2013, the California Court of Appeal affirmed as proper a trial court’s refusal to give defendant John Crane, Inc.’s (Crane’s) requested jury instruction on the “sophisticated user” defense. In Anne Pfeifer, et...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

Whistleblowers Blow their Whistles While They Work

The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Pilgrim Pride Corp. reached a $50,000 settlement in a 2012 whistleblower case. The case began when a manager for water reclamation at...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

Hidden Health Hazards In The Workplace Can Lead To Workers Compensation Claims

When you think of on-the-job injuries, things like construction accidents, factory accidents, or repetitive motion injuries may come to mind....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

Insurance Recovery Law -- Aug 07, 2013

Home Base - General Principles of Insurance Policy Interpretation -- Trends in the case law tend to catch our attention, but often practitioners and clients become sidetracked and miss the connection to the insurance...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

Insurance Recovery Law -- Jul 26, 2013

Three Wins and A New Rule - In this edition of the Manatt newsletter, we take a look at several new cases that examine an array of important insurance issues. First, though, we report an important victory for...more

Maryland Court of Appeals Narrows Manufacturer’s Duty to Warn Worker’s Household about Risks of Asbestos-containing Products

In Georgia Pacific v. Farrar, No. 102, September Term (MD July 8, 2013), the Maryland Court of Appeals reconsidered a manufacturer’s duty to warn members of a worker’s household about the risks of asbestos-containing...more

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