Category Archives: New York

Abandonment of Claims Alleging Asbestos Exposure at Government Facilities Eliminated Federal Jurisdiction U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, May 31, 2017

Defendant Crane Co. appealed the remand ordered by the district court to New York State Court. Crane had removed based upon the federal officer removal statute. The appellate court affirmed the remand without a summary of the underlying facts. First, Crane argued remand was erroneous because the federal courts had original subject matter jurisdiction. The district court had concluded that the plaintiffs had abandoned any claims arising from asbestos exposure occurring at a government facility; thus, the basis on which this action was originally removed…

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Coke Ovens are Real Property and Not Subject to Product Liability Theories Supreme Court of the State of New York, May 5, 2017

Defendant Honeywell International, Inc., successor in interest to Wilputte Coke Oven Division of Allied Chemical Corporation, appealed from an order denying its motion for summary judgment. The plaintiff sought damages for injuries sustained by decedent Donald Terwilliger from asbestos exposure and coke oven emissions while employed at Bethlehem Steel in Lackawanna, New York. The court reversed and granted Honeywell’s motion. Honeywell was sued as the successor to Wilputte Coke Oven Division of Allied Chemical, the designer and builder of five coke oven batteries at Bethlehem…

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$3M Judgment Affirmed Finding Sufficient Evidence to Show Specific Causation Against Cement Supplier Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Dept., April 28, 2017

On March 22, 2017, in the Supreme Court of New York, Oneida County, a $3M judgment was awarded to plaintiff Nicholas Dominick for injuries sustained due to exposure to asbestos associated with the defendants’ products. The defendants appealed from the judgment entered upon a jury verdict finding the plaintiff was exposed to asbestos from products supplied by the defendants, that they failed to exercise reasonable care by not providing a warning about the hazards of exposure to asbestos with respect to their products, and that…

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NYCAL Court Denies Motion in Limine to Preclude Plaintiff’s Causation Experts Supreme Court of New York, New York County, April 14. 2017

The court issued further rulings in a case previously reported in Asbestos Case Tracker on April 12, 2017. This case involved plaintiff Frederick Evans’ alleged exposure to asbestos-containing dust from his work as an HVAC mechanic from 1955-59. Although the defendants submitted a joint omnibus motion in limine, the only defendant remaining at trial was Burnham LLC. Here, the motion in limine to exclude the causation opinions of the plaintiffs’ experts Dr. Carl Brodkin and Dr. John Maddox was denied. Burnham argued the plaintiffs’ causation…

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Defendants’ Motion in Limine Denied on Multiple Issues; Including Regulatory Materials, Past Conduct, MAS Studies and Expert Testimony Based on Animal Studies Supreme Court of New York, New York County, April 5, 2017

The plaintiff filed this action against several defendants alleging his asbestos related disease was caused by products for which the defendants were liable. Mr. Evans worked as a cable puller for Western Electric from 1946-48, as a grounds man and lineman for Queens Gas and Electric from 1948-52, as an HVAC worker for multiple employers from 1952-63 and again in a mechanic and supervisory role from 1965-68 at residential and commercial sites. He also claimed potential bystander exposure from residential jobs including roofing, flooring, ceiling,…

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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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