Category Archives: New York

New York Appellate Court Determines Causation Evidence Was Insufficient to Support Verdict in Mesothelioma Matter Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department, February 27, 2017

In a significant decision concerning the causation standards in asbestos matters, on February 28, 2017, the Appellate Division, First Department in a 3-1 decision, affirmed the trial court’s decision to vacate an $11 million jury verdict against an automotive manufacturer. By way of background, in Juni v. Ford Motor Company, Index Number 190315/12, plaintiff alleged that his mesothelioma diagnosis was caused by exposure to asbestos while working with various automotive parts (i.e., brakes, clutches and gaskets). Those products were alleged to contain…

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New York Court Finds No Successor Liability and Grants Defendant’s Summary Judgment Motion Supreme Court of New York, New York County, February 8, 2017

In this NYCAL asbestos action, plaintiff Ivette Montanez alleged that she developed malignant mesothelioma as the result of washing her brother’s laundry. Montanez’s brother, Eliud Hernandez, Jr., testified to working with Beck/Arnley brakes at a friend’s automobile ship in Puerto Rico when he was 15-17 years old. Defendant Beck Arnley Worldparts, Inc. moved for summary judgment, arguing, among other things, that it was not the successor to the product alleged to have caused the exposure. The key issue to this motion centered on successor liability…

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Mesothelioma Case Removed from Extremis Trial Group Where Plaintiff Failed to Identify New York City Defendant Supreme Court of New York, New York County, February 2, 2017

Talc defendants filed an appeal of a recent mesothelioma case arguing that the plaintiff should not have been added to a fast tracked “in extremis” trial group. All defendants in this matter were talc defendants. However, the plaintiff alleged that he was exposed to asbestos from ovens in Queens when he was approximately 8-10 years old. The plaintiff alleged that he accompanied his father to work and would crawl inside the “cooled oven” to retrieve the resistors that were inside since he was the only…

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Fire Door Manufacturer Obtains Summary Judgment in NYCAL; No Duty to Warn Against Latent Dangers from Unforeseeable Use of Product Supreme Court of New York, January 30, 2017

Defendants International Paper Company and Owens-Illinois, Inc. moved for summary judgment, which was granted. All Craft Fabricators, Inc. was hired to do millwork in refurbishing the United Nations headquarters. The general contractor issued a change order to use salvaged wood panels and doors from the Under-Secretary General’s office. These materials were resized and cut for use as interior cabinets at the United Nations building. External testing performed by All Craft showed that the dust from these materials contained asbestos. An affidavit from a professional engineer…

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Proposed New York Bill Seeks Fairness in Asbestos Litigation by Requiring Claimant to File All Asbestos Trust Claims Within 45 Days of Commencement of Civil Action

A recent proposed New York Bill seeks fairness in asbestos civil litigation. SB2511, sponsored by Senator Jon J. Bonacic and co-sponsored by Senator John A. DeFrancisco, aims to bring transparency to asbestos litigation by requiring plaintiffs to file asbestos trust claim forms within 45 days of filing a civil asbestos action. After the recent decision in In re Garlock Sealing Techs, LLC, 504 B.R. 71 (W.D.N.C. Bankr. 2014), it became apparent that asbestos litigation “has been infected with the manipulation of exposure evidence” by certain…

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Appellate Court Reverses Trial Court’s Directed Verdict in NYCAL Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department, January 10, 2017

On August 29, 2014, Judge Barbara Jaffe entered an order granting defendant Consolidated Edison’s (Con Edison) post-trial motion to set aside a verdict against it and direct that judgment be entered in its favor. Upon appeal, the Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department, issued an a decision on January 10, 2017. The crux of this case revolves around the plaintiff’s exposure to asbestos while working for a subcontractor at Con Edison’s power plant. The Appellate Division found the trial court improperly set…

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Various Rulings in NYCAL Case Regarding Defendants’ Motion in Limine to Preclude Certain Evidence Supreme Court of New York, New York County, January 4, 2017

The plaintiff alleged asbestos exposure through his work as a roofer, maintenance man, and carpenter. The defendants submitted a joint motion in limine to preclude certain evidence. The court issued various rulings, summarized below. First, the defendants asserted that Dr. Jacqueline Moline would offer a scientifically unsupportable causation opinion that every occupational exposure was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s mesothelioma. This was also known, among other things, as the “each and every exposure” or “cumulative exposure” theory. At the outset the court noted…

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Summary Judgment Denied to Manufacturer of Commercial Kitchen Equipment Supreme Court of New York, New York County, December 21, 2016

Plaintiff Dario Battistoni worked as a butcher at a delicatessen in Queens, New York, from 1979 to 1980, and later worked as a butcher and banquet chef in kitchens at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, California from 1980 to 1999. The plaintiff claims that at those jobs he worked with commercial kitchen equipment, including products made by defendant ITW Food Equipment Group LLC that exposed him asbestos and caused his mesothelioma. ITW moved for summary judgment, contending that its products could not have…

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Gasket Defendant Found Not Liable in Recent New York Mesothelioma Case Supreme Court of New York, Broome County

A jury found defendant Dana Companies not negligent in manufacturing and/or selling asbestos containing gaskets without adequate warning in a recent New York mesothelioma case despite a finding of exposure to the defendant’s gaskets. The plaintiff, Michael Colsten, claimed exposure to asbestos while working as an automotive mechanic at General Tire from 1965 through 1969 and at Don’s Automotive Shop from 1969 through 1973. The plaintiff claimed he developed pleural mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos through home improvements and hobby mechanics. Read

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New York Police Officer Diagnosed with Mesothelioma Allowed to File for Both Line-of-Duty Benefits and Salary/Medical Expense Benefits Court of Appeals of New York, November 21, 2016

The plaintiff was a police officer for the City of Buffalo from 1968-1995. In 2012, he was diagnosed with mesothelioma and filed this proceeding asking permission to serve a late notice of claim against the city. The plaintiff alleged asbestos exposure during his work at properties owned by the city and by the Board of Education. The city argued that leave should not be given to the plaintiff to file a late notice of claim because New York General Municipal Law Section 207-c provided the…

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