Author Archives: Timothy C. Connor

District Court Denies Sheldon Silver’s Motion to Dismiss Following Remand U.S. District Court for the Southern District New York, March 20, 2018

NEW YORK — The saga of former New York Assemblyman Sheldon Silver continues as the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York denied Silver’s Motion to Dismiss charges against him. Among other contentions, the government’s indictment against Silver includes allegations that Silver received more than $3 million dollars in referral fees from the Weitz & Luxenberg firm for clients sent to it by Dr. Taub, a physician specializing in the treatment of mesothelioma. The indictment further alleges that Silver disbursed state funds…

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Plaintiffs’ Experts Permitted to Testify Regarding Conspiracy Claims U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, March 14, 2018

Defendant Crane Company filed motions to strike the plaintiff’s expert reports from James A. Bruce, M.D., Barry Castleman Sc.D, and Captain Francis J. Burger as violating Federal Rules of Evidence 402 and 702 in this lung cancer case that was removed to Federal Court. The plaintiff alleged asbestos exposure through his work on two ships in the United States Navy, and through his work as a salesman. Only one count remained from the plaintiff’s Fourth Amended Complaint following Crane’s summary judgment motion, and it alleged…

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Plaintiff Can Serve Jurisdictional Disclosure Demands Regarding Potential Successor Liability in Talc Case New York Supreme Court for New York County, February 20, 2018

NEW YORK — Plaintiff Richard Arazosa alleged that he was injured as a result of exposure to asbestos-containing cosmetic talcum powder products.  Defendant Imerys SA filed a pre-answer motion to dismiss claims against it, arguing a lack of jurisdiction given its existence as a French holding company with no assets or presence in the United States.  The plaintiff asked the Special Master for permission to serve jurisdictional disclosure demands on Imerys SA with the intent of proving that Imerys SA was the successor to Talco…

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Jury Finds Asbestos-Cement Pipe Supplier Was Not a Substantial Contributing Factor to Plaintiff’s Lung Cancer Louisiana Civil District Court for Orleans Parish, January 29, 2018

LOUISIANA — After a three-week trial, a jury reached a defense verdict in this lung cancer case in favor of lone defendant Ferguson Enterprises and its alleged predecessor Louisiana Utilities Supply Co. (LUSCO), a supplier of asbestos-containing cement pipe.  Plaintiff Thomas Handy claimed that he cut asbestos cement pipe supplied by LUSCO while working as a laborer and pipefitter, and that this exposure among others, caused his lung cancer.  Defendant Ferguson argued that it was not a successor corporation to LUSCO under Louisiana law, that…

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Plaintiff’s “Every Exposure” and “Cumulative Exposure” Theories Unreliable; Various Plaintiff’s Experts Excluded U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, February 12, 2018

WASHINGTON — Defendant Scapa Dryer Fabrics, Inc. filed motions to exclude the plaintiff’s exposure and causation experts in this mesothelioma death matter. The Ninth Circuit remanded this matter for a new trial after finding that the District Court failed to make appropriate determinations under Daubert and Federal Rule of Evidence 702 in allowing expert testimony. The plaintiff alleged asbestos exposures during work at the Crown-Zellerbach Pulp and Paper Mill in Camas, WA. The plaintiff worked with dryer felts, among other products, in his time at…

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Four Cases Improperly Removed Due to Citizenship of Managing Agent of Defendant U.S. District Court for the District of Montana, February 1, 2018

MONTANA — Four plaintiffs originally filed suit in the Eighth Judicial District of Cascade County Montana alleging exposure to asbestos in Libby, Montana. Defendant BNSF removed the case to federal court on diversity of citizenship grounds, and alleged that BNSF’s managing agent John Swing was fraudulently joined. The court reviewed the Magistrate Judge’s Findings and Recommendations following a November 2017 hearing, and remanded all four cases to state court. Each of the four plaintiffs named 80-year-old Montana resident John Swing in their complaints, and gave…

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Federal Court Collaterally Estops Claims in Separate Disease Case U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Eastern Division, January 30, 2018

MISSOURI — Over a period of six years, plaintiff Berj Hovsepian filed two separate actions for two separate diseases, asbestosis and mesothelioma, arising out of his work with various products as a civilian employee of the United States Navy in Boston from 1958-1964. The current action sits in federal court, having been removed from a December 2015 case filed in state court in Missouri. The court granted defendant Ingersoll-Rand’s summary judgment motion on collateral estoppel for the reasons discussed below. In December of 2009, Hovsepian…

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Jury Verdict Against Construction Company Reversed in Premise Liability Case District Court of Appeal of Florida, Third District, December 27, 2017

FLORIDA — Appellant/defendant Bechtel appealed the trial court’s final judgment after a Florida jury found that plaintiff Richard Batchelor’s mesothelioma was caused in part by exposure to asbestos at Florida Power and Light (FPL) during the years 1974 to 1980. Bechtel built the plant at issue, and was responsible for ongoing maintenance services throughout the plaintiff’s six years at FPL, providing over a million contracted man hours during that time period, and having trailers on site for office space and storage. A three judge panel…

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Summary Judgment Granted for Ford on Strict Liability, Punitives, and Conspiracy Claims U.S. District Court, District of Delaware December 12, 2017

DELAWARE — Asbestosis plaintiff Gerald Hickman alleged take home, bystander, and direct exposure to asbestos from, among others, defendant Ford Motor Company. Ford moved for summary judgment, which was granted in part and denied in part. The plaintiff alleged exposure to Ford products during his work around others in garages and gas stations, from his father’s work in the family service station, and from his own repair work on his wife’s new Ford Mustang. Applying Delaware law, the court denied summary judgment as to the…

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No Reasonable Inference that Union Carbide Supplied Asbestos to Joint Compound Manufacturers; Summary Judgment Granted Superior Court of Delaware, December 11, 2017

DELAWARE — Plaintiff Larry Sturgill, who died of mesothelioma, worked in home remodeling and construction for three years, using joint compound manufactured by three companies. Defendant Union Carbide moved for summary judgment, which the court granted. U.S. Gypsum and National Gypsum, were allegedly supplied with Calidria asbestos for their joint compound products by Union Carbide. Virginia substantive law governed the case. Union Carbide argued that 1) the plaintiff could not establish that he worked with any joint compound containing Calidria, 2) that a bulk supplier…

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