Asbestos Litigation

News & Analysis as of

Insurance Recovery Law - August 2015 #2

Good News for Corporate Policyholders: Insurer Cannot Refuse Coverage Based on Insured's Assignment of Rights Under Policies After Loss Has Occurred - Why it matters: Reversing its holding in a 2003 case, the Supreme...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

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

“Continuous” Trigger is Alive and Well in Pennsylvania

In recent years, insurers have attempted to avoid their coverage obligations for their policyholders’ asbestos personal injury claims by challenging longstanding trigger of coverage rulings from the 1980s and 1990s. Although...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

Litigation Alert: "Texas Supreme Court Affirms Protection for Business Property Owners"

The Supreme Court of Texas, interpreting Chapter 95 of the Texas Civil Practices & Remedies Code, affirmed that business property owners have broad protections against suits for injuries claimed by contractors, subcontractors...more

Missouri Appellate Court Rejects Evidentiary Hearing, Reinstates Asbestos Class Claims

Finding that only a narrow evidentiary review is appropriate when certifying a class under Missouri state law, a Missouri appeals court reversed a trial court’s decision to deny class certification in a suit alleging asbestos...more

Ohio Federal Court Rules that Policyholder’s Asbestos Liabilities Arose from Multiple Occurrences Under Ohio Law

On April 7, 2015, a federal judge in the Northern District of Ohio granted partial summary judgment in favor of plaintiffs Mahoning Valley Supply (“MVS”) and Westfield Insurance Company (“Westfield”) and against defendant...more

The California Supreme Court - What to Expect in 2015

On Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at 11 a.m. PDT/2 p.m. EDT, Sedgwick attorneys Kirk Jenkins (Chicago), Hall Marston (Los Angeles) and Michael Walsh (Los Angeles) presented a webinar titled “The California Supreme Court: What to...more

California Appellate Court Finds Railroad Company Not Subject to Jurisdiction

In BNSF Railway Company v. Superior Court (2015) 185 Cal.Rptr.3d 391, the California Court of Appeal, Second District, reversed a trial court order denying BNSF Railway Company’s motion to quash service of summons for lack of...more

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