New U.S. Senate Report Confirms Continued Risk of Asbestos Exposure for Students, Teachers, and Staff

The staff of Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) has released a new report that confirms that students, teachers, and staff are still at risk for asbestos exposure. On March 31, 2015, Senator Markey and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) began an investigation into the management of asbestos hazards in school buildings. In doing so, they sent letters to the governors of all fifty states to find out more about their implementation and enforcement of the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA), passed by Congress in 1986.…
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Pump/Valve Manufacturer Found Not Liable After Three-Week Trial U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming, December 1, 2015

In this case, the plaintiff alleged that the decedent, William Robinson, died from pleural mesothelioma as a result of his asbestos exposure while working at Allied Chemical from 1968 to 1998.  Defendant Flowserve Corporation, f/k/a The Duriron Company, which manufactured Duriron/Durco pumps and valves, was represented by Chris Massenburg and Max Swetman of Manion Gaynor & Manning LLP and local counsel Jeff Meyer of Murane & Bostwick.  Following a three week trial, the plaintiff’s counsel sought a $10 million verdict.  However, the jury ruled in…
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Ford Seeking Discovery and Sanctions Against Co-Defendant John Crane Alleging Collusion With Plaintiffs to Keep Cases in State Court.

In November, Ford’s counsel brought a motion seeking sanctions against John Crane and its attorneys and plaintiff’s counsel. Ford alleges that John Crane has continuously cooperated with plaintiffs in remaining in cases as a “straw man” to prohibit removal to federal court. Genuine Parts Company joined in with the motion, but subsequently asked to withdraw the part of its motion seeking sanctions. On December 4, 2015,  Crane responded that Ford’s motion is nothing more than a “witch hunt” and that there is no agreement between…
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Plaintiff’s Failure to Accurately Identify Brand Name of Insulation Product During Deposition Results in Summary Judgment for Manufacturer U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, December 3, 2015

The plaintiff alleges he contracted mesothelioma as a result of his exposure to asbestos-containing products while working as a cleaner at New York Shipbuilding and Drydock Company in Camden, New Jersey, and as a rigger at Sun Ship Yard in Chester, Pennsylvania. The plaintiff testified that he was exposed to asbestos-containing insulation and the only insulation manufacturers identified by the plaintiff were Owens-Corning Fiberglass Corporation and Johns-Manville. During his deposition, the plaintiff was shown the Owens-Illinois “Kaylo” insulation label and testified that he did not…
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Fifth Circuit Rules Insurance Company Has No Duty to Defend After Primary Insurer Declared Insolvent U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Canal Insurance Company was the excess and umbrella insurer of Montello, Inc., a manufacturer of oilfield drilling equipment that contained asbestos.  Montello had been sued by individuals claiming injuries as a result of exposure to asbestos in connection with its equipment. In 2003, Montello’s primary insurer, The Home Insurance Company, was declared insolvent by a New Hampshire court without having paid out any claims for bodily injury on Montello’s behalf. Thereafter, Canal filed suit for declaratory judgment that it had no duty to defend Montello…
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New Developments in Molecular Science Relevant to Asbestos and Lung Cancer Claims

Scientific advances and molecular insights relevant to asbestos and lung cancer are exploding — especially topics related to an assessment of causation. These advances are chronicled in molecular studies related to genomics, proteomics, epigenetics, and transcriptomics. These molecular studies are transforming so-called “black-box epidemiology,” providing us with a higher degree of specificity that will ultimately allow us to more definitively link exposures to disease states. For example, European investigators and others have been publishing intriguing studies describing lung cancer tumor mutation profiles that appear to…
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Applying Maritime Law, Plaintiff Unable to Provide Sufficient Evidence Linking Decedent to Any John Crane Product U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, November 24, 2015

In this federal court case it was alleged that the decedent, Richard Bell, was exposed to asbestos while serving on the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1960-64.  Defendant John Crane Inc. moved for summary judgment, arguing that maritime law applies and the plaintiff’s evidence fails to prove that decedent was exposed to any of its asbestos-containing products or that the products were a substantial factor in decedent’s lung cancer. The plaintiff did not oppose the application of maritime law.  The court spelled out that for…
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Federal Court Grants Remand to Madison County Based on Plaintiff’s Waiver of Any Claims Related to His Military Service U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, November 23, 2015

In this case, the plaintiff originally filed the action in the Third Judicial Circuit, Madison County, Illinois alleging exposure to asbestos as an aircraft mechanic, helicopter mechanic, and laborer at various locations throughout the United States between 1958 and 2006. The plaintiff’s work on helicopters was while he served in the U.S. Army.  Defendant Boeing removed the case to federal court based on the federal officer removal statute. The plaintiff moved for a remand based on his previously filed waiver of all claims related to…
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Former NY Assemblyman Sheldon Silver Convicted On All Seven Corruption Charges

Following a five week trial and after two jurors asked to be excused during jury deliberations, former New York Assemblyman Sheldon Silver was convicted on all seven corruption charges arising from two deals that netted him approximately $4 million in kickbacks. One deal involved the transfer of $500,000 in State funds to Silver’s friend, Dr. Robert Taub at Columbia University for cancer research. In exchange for these funds, Dr. Taub referred mesothelioma patients to Weitz & Luxenberg, who in turn paid Mr. Silver for the…
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Ohio Appellate Court Affirms Jury’s Verdict Entitling Widow to Worker’s Compensation Benefits After Husband Died of Lung Cancer Allegedly Due to Asbestos Exposure at General Motors Court of Appeals of Ohio, Third Appellate District, November 20, 2015

The plaintiff commenced this case after the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation denied her request for widow’s benefits of her late husband, who died from lung cancer allegedly due to asbestos exposure while working at General Motors. General Motors argued that the decedent’s long-time smoking habit of one to two packs of cigarettes per day  was the sole cause of his lung cancer. The jury found that the plaintiff was entitled to participate in the Ohio Workers’ Compensation Fund because: (1) the decedent was exposed…
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