Category Archives: New York

Valve Manufacturer’s Bare Metal Motion for Summary Judgment Denied Supreme Court of New York, New York County, August 4, 2015

It is alleged in this NYCAL case that the decedent, Russell Gonzales, was exposed to asbestos products, including insulation on valves manufactured by Crane Co., in the 1970s at various sites throughout New York City. The decedent died prior to testifying, but his co-worker, Joseph Zgombic testified that he and the decedent were responsible for insulating Crane valves and that they worked near others repacking Crane valves. Crane moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff failed to prove the decedent had exposure to asbestos…

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Defendant Granted Summary Judgment Despite Allowance of Late Evidence of Product on Site U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, July 30, 2015

In this federal court case, the decedent, Wayne Perkins, alleges exposure to various asbestos products while working as a merchant mariner between 1952 and 1973. Defendant Honeywell International Inc., successor-in-interest to Bendix Corporation, moved for summary judgment,  arguing there is no evidence of the decedent being exposed to asbestos from a product manufactured by it or its predecessor. Despite discovery being closed, the court allowed affidavits of individuals who worked with the decedent, which were submitted by the plaintiff in opposition to Honeywell’s motion. However,…

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NYCAL Court Consolidates Some Cases But Not Others Supreme Court of New York, New York County, July 25, 2015

In this NYCAL decision, the court assessed the consolidation of five remaining cases and ended up grouping two cases into Trial Group 1, two cases into Trial Group 2, and left one case to be tried on its own. The court’s reasoning for the decision is the following: “Applying the Malcolm factors, I conclude the cases are properly consolidated into Trial Group 1 and Trial Group 2, with the Valensi case to be tried separately. Valensi is distinguishable from the other cases, as it is…

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NYCAL Court Denies Post-Verdict Disclosure of Settlement Amounts and Agreements Supreme Court of New York, New York County, July 24, 2015

In this NYCAL case, defendants Cleaver Brooks, Inc. and Burnham LLC brought post-verdict motions on a variety of issues, including disclosure of settlements for the purpose of molding the judgment. By the time the motion was heard, the remaining issues were if “plaintiffs failed to disclose settlements in a timely fashion, and, if so, whether such failure affected defendants ability to present evidence with respect to Article 16 entities, and whether defendants are entitled to disclosure of the settlement agreements, including the amounts of settlement…

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Valve Manufacturer’s Appeal on Summary Judgment Denied on Foreseeable Use of Asbestos-Containing Component Parts Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, Fourth Department, June 12, 2015

In this case, it is alleged that the decedent was exposed to asbestos gaskets and packing in valves manufactured by Crane Co., while working at an industrial plant from 1956 to 1982. Crane appealed from the lower court’s denial of its motion for summary judgment and the Fourth Department affirmed the decision. In its appeal, Crane alleged that it could not be liable for failure to warn of the dangers associated with asbestos, since it did not produce or sell the asbestos-containing component parts. The…

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NYCAL Court Consolidates Nine Cases Into Three Groups Based on Malcolm Factors and Common Questions of Law and Fact NYCAL, April 29, 2015

In this NYCAL case, the plaintiff brought a motion to consolidate nine asbestos actions for joint trial, claiming that there are common questions of law and fact. The court relied on the factors set forth in Malcolm v. National Gypsum Co., 995 F.2d 346, 350-351 (2d Cir. 1993): common worksite;  similar occupation;  similar time of exposure; type of disease; whether plaintiffs were living or deceased; status of discovery in each case;  whether all plaintiffs were represented by the same counsel; and type of cancer…

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NYCAL Issues Bombshell Decision, Ruling Exposure to Friction Products Is Incapable of Causing Mesothelioma and Rejecting the Cumulative Exposure Theory NYCAL, April 13, 2015

In a decision that could change the landscape of NYCAL asbestos litigation in New York, Justice Barbara Jaffe issued a post-trial decision following an $11 million verdict against Ford, essentially precluding Drs. Steven Markowitz and Jacqueline Moline on Frye grounds because there is no established scientific connection between exposure to friction products and mesothelioma. Additionally, Justice Jaffe ruled that the plaintiff’s theory of cumulative exposure without quantifiable exposure is insufficient to establish legally sufficient asbestos exposure. Justice Jaffe determined that the testimony of the plaintiff’s…

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Post-Trial Dismissal of Plaintiff’s Claims Adhered to Upon Motion for Rehearing and Reargument Supreme Court, New York County, March 12, 2015

In this NYCAL case, a New York City jury found that Con Edison, as the premises owner, was 30 percent responsible for the plaintiff’s asbestos-related injuries under New York’s Labor Law § 200(1). On a post-trial motion, the trial court ruled that “absent legally sufficient evidence demonstrating, as a matter of law, that Con Edison supervised or controlled Brown’s work at Ravenwood, defendant sustained its burden of proving that the jury could not have reached its verdict on the issue of Con Edison’s liability pursuant…

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$190 Million Verdict Reduced to Under $30 Million New York Supreme Court, New York County

Following the highly publicized $190 million verdict in NYCAL in five consolidated asbestos cases, the defendants were successful in reducing the collective award to just under $30 million on a post-trial motion. While the trial court rejected the defendants’ arguments on certain evidentiary issues, causation, apportionment, consolidation, and recklessness, it recognized that the verdicts materially deviated from what would be reasonable compensation. The court applied the reasoning from the recent appellate court ruling in the Dummit case where the First Department assessed reasonable compensation based…

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