Talc Defendant Strikes Plaintiff’s Expert and Avoids Spoliation Sanctions United States District Court, M.D. North Carolina, June 8, 2018

NORTH CAROLINA — The plaintiff Ann Finch’s decedent Franklin Finch worked at a Firestone tire factory in Wilson, North Carolina from 1975-1995 and alleged that he was exposed to asbestos during his time there, causing his mesothelioma. Among other allegations of exposure, the plaintiff alleged that the decedent was exposed to talc-contaminated asbestos at Firestone, allegedly supplied by defendant Pfizer and others. In support of this allegation, the plaintiff offered an expert report from Sean Fitzgerald, who tested an identification badge worn by Decedent, and…
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Post-Trial Motions Denied Against Both Plaintiff and Defendant on Damages and Judgment as a Matter of Law United States District Court, W.D. Washington, June 4, 2018

WASHINGTON – The plaintiff filed suit against the defendants including Scapa Dryer Fabrics (Scapa) alleging her husband, Mr. Barabin, developed mesothelioma as a result of his work at Crown-Zellerbach paper mill in Camas, Washington. Mr. Barabin worked as a spare hand, which included working directly on the paper machines at the mill. Part of his work including using high pressure hoses to blow dust out of the dryers. Suit was brought against the defendants on theories of product liability design, failure to warn, and negligence.…
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Frustrated Court Denies Plaintiffs’ Motion to Reconsider Exclusion of Kenneth Garza Due to Lack of Authority U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, May 2, 2018

WISCONSIN — In this case set for trial on June 4, 2018, the plaintiffs filed eleven motions under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993) and various motions in limine. After hearing and argument, the court granted defendant Pabst Brewing Company’s motion to bar, under Daubert, Kenneth Garza’s reports, opinions, and testimony, and granted the Daubert motion of defendants Sprinkmann, Employers Insurance Company and WEPCO’s to exclude Garza’s testimony. The court found that although Garza’s training and background gave him the…
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Insufficient Evidence to Show Chrysotile Flooring Products Caused Plaintiff’s Peritoneal Mesothelioma Supreme Court, State of New York, Nassau County, April 18, 2018

NEW YORK — The court granted summary judgment for two flooring manufacturers in this peritoneal bystander mesothelioma matter. Plaintiff Victoria Pistone alleged that she was exposed to asbestos from vinyl floor covering manufactured by Mannington Mills, and tile manufactured by American Biltrite, while she accompanied her father to work, and in their home from his clothing. The court cited prior New York law in noting that a plaintiff must use a causation expert to establish that the plaintiff was exposed to sufficient levels of asbestos…
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Expert’s Asbestos-Location Map Admissible Only For Plaintiffs With Exposures Within Entire Date Range Depicted by Map Superior Court of the Virgin Islands, Division of St. Croix, April 24, 2018

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS — Defendant Hess Oil Virgin Island Corporation (HOVIC) filed a motion in limine to exclude a map prepared by the plaintiffs’ expert Martin D. Barrie, Ph.D. in this matter that consolidates the lawsuits of 123 individuals alleging expose to asbestos while working at a HOVIC operated refinery on the island of St. Croix. The map in question condensed 23 pages of data produced in discovery by HOVIC, and depicted all places that asbestos was found at the St. Croix refinery based on…
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Proposed Testimony of Plaintiff’s Expert, Dr. Arnold Brody, Precluded as Being Cumulative U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, March 30, 2018

WASHINGTON — In this case, the plaintiff had already presented testimony from occupational and environmental medicine physician, Dr. Carl Brodkin, on the impacts of asbestos on the body. The plaintiff then was looking to call Dr. Arnold Brody to also provide expert opinion on this subject. The defendant objected, arguing that both experts testimony is substantially similar and should be precluded as cumulative. The court agreed. In its decision, the court outlined the proffered testimony of Dr. Brody and stated that his testimony would have…
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Valve Manufacturer’s Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment Granted Based on Preclusion of Plaintiff’s Expert Witness U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, March 29, 2018

SOUTH CAROLINA — In this mesothelioma case, the plaintiff, James Chesher, sued alleging asbestos exposure while serving as a machinist mate and commissioned officer in the Navy from 1965 to 1989. Defendant Crane had moved for and was denied summary judgment. However, Crane’s motion to preclude the plaintiff’s causation expert, Dr. Carlos Bedrossian, was granted. The plaintiff moved for reconsideration of the preclusion of his expert and Crane moved to renew its motion for summary judgment. The parties agreed that maritime law applied. The court…
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Case Remanded After Appeals Court Finds Plaintiff’s Expert Unreliable Court of Appeals of Texas, March 29, 2018

TEXAS — Plaintiff Leonard Baca alleged that while working for defendant BNSF’s predecessor in interest, he was exposed to asbestos, causing him to develop asbestosis. The plaintiff retained an expert, Dr. Alvin Schonfeld, a pulmonogist, who provided a report in which he concluded that Baca’s asbestosis was causally related to his exposure to asbestos during his employment. BNSF moved to exclude Dr. Schonfeld’s causation opinion as inadmissible because it was unreliable under well-established case law. The trial court denied the motion, but also granted permission…
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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’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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