Category Archives: Other Asbestos News

Summary Judgment Reversed on Application of “All Sums” Approach United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern District

MISSOURI—This suit involves multiple insurance policies covering the same dates of exposure.  The spouse of an Anheuser-Busch (AB) employee developed mesothelioma from asbestos exposure acquired while laundering the clothes of her husband, who worked for AB from 1971-1996.  Suit was filed in 2008, and AB tendered its defense to Zurich American Insurance Company (Zurich), which had issued personal injury and excess coverage policies to AB for two periods covering 1967-72 and 1972-1980.  Zurich defended under a reservation of rights, paid all defense costs, and settled…

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$80 Million Punitive Award in Asbestos-Talc Case

NEW JERSEY — Following up on a prior ACT post  regarding a compensatory damages verdict of $37 million dollars against Johnson & Johnson and Imerys Talc America, Inc., the same New Jersey jury awarded a total of $80 million in punitive damages. This case involved allegations that plaintiff Stephen Lanzo developed mesothelioma after years of use of talcum powder that plaintiff claimed was contaminated with asbestos.  Of the total punitive damages sum, $55 million was awarded against Johnson & Johnson and $25 million against Imerys.…

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New Jersey Jury Awards $37 Million Compensatory Damage Verdict in Asbestos-Talc Case

NEW JERSEY — On April 5, 2018, a Middlesex County, New Jersey jury awarded $37 million in compensatory damages to Plaintiff Stephen Lanzo III and his wife, Kendra, in a mesothelioma case. The plaintiffs alleged that Lanzo developed mesothelioma from his decades-long exposure to asbestos-containing talcum powder sold by Johnson & Johnson and supplied by Imerys Talc America, Inc.  The jury awarded $30 million to Lanzo and $7 million to his wife. The jury will return on April 10, 2018, to consider the plaintiffs’ claims…

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Legislation Introduced in Pennsylvania to Abolish Lawsuits Against Employers for Asbestos-Related Diseases

PENNSYLVANIA — Republican Pennsylvania State Representative Eli Evankovich introduced a bill on April 2, 2018 to eliminate the ability of employees to sue their employers for asbestos-related diseases. Prior to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s issuance of the Tooey decision in November 2013, Pennsylvania employees were barred from filing suit against their employers due to the exclusivity provision of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation. Those employees could file a workers’ compensation claim if diagnosed within 300 weeks of their last date of exposure, but due to the…

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Dismissal on Basis of Judicial Estoppel Overturned by Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, March 30, 2018

NEW YORK — The Clarks entered into personal bankruptcy in 2010. Their proposed bankruptcy plan consisted of monthly payroll deductions. For five years, the Clarks made each payment. In July 2015, Edward Clark was diagnosed with mesothelioma. He believed he was exposed to asbestos while serving in the Air Force and during his subsequent private sector employment. The Clarks decided to file a personal injury action. They informed their bankruptcy attorney of that fact, as they were unsure whether the bankruptcy schedule needed to be…

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New York First Department, Appellate Division, Affirms NYCAL CMO Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York, March 22, 2018

New York — On June 20, 2017, former NYCAL Justice Peter Moulton issued a new case management order (New CMO) in NYCAL and an accompanying decision with respect to same. The NYCAL defendants did not consent to the New CMO. ACT’s prior post on the New CMO is available here. NYCAL defendants subsequently appealed. On March 22, 2018, the Appellate Division, First Department, determined that the New CMO did not do not deprive defendants of due process and Justice Moulton, pursuant to certain court…

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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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Plaintiff’s Age and Medical Condition Proper Criteria under Statute to Set Trial Preference California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, March 20, 2018

CALIFORNIA — The Foxes brought this action against several defendants for Ms. Fox’s development of lung cancer and asbestosis from alleged exposure to asbestos containing products from 1954-63. The plaintiffs moved for trial preference pursuant to Code 36 as Ms. Fox was 81 and suffered from declining health. Ms. Fox had also undergone chemotherapy, which had caused side effects according to the plaintiff’s attorney. Of the 18 defendants, only Metalclad Insulation and Sequoia Ventures opposed the motion. The trial court denied the motion to set…

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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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