Asbestos Trust Transparency Update

Asbestos litigation has been consistently active throughout the United States since the first asbestos lawsuit was filed in the 1970s. As the population of asbestos plaintiffs has grown over the last 40 years, so have the funds paid by various asbestos defendants. This growing financial burden has caused numerous asbestos defendants to file for bankruptcy. In doing so, the insolvent defendants are required to create asbestos trust funds for the protection of future asbestos plaintiffs. To date, there are over 50 active asbestos bankruptcy trusts…
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Asbestos Case Tracker 2019 Mid-Year Compendium

We are pleased to provide the 2019 Asbestos Case Tracker Compendium containing all of the posts throughout the first half of 2019 to clients and friends of Goldberg Segalla. Goldberg Segalla’s Asbestos Case Tracker blog is the go-to resource for up-to-date asbestos decisions happening in courts throughout the United States. Ranked on the 2018 ABA Journal Web 100 for top legal resources, our blog reports on legislative updates, significant verdicts, and other critical developments in the asbestos area. We provide summaries of and access to…
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Gaps in Plaintiff’s Proof Not Enough to Warrant Summary Judgment Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York, July 11, 2019

NEW YORK – The first department unanimously affirmed the lower court’s denial of the defendant Harris Corporation’s (Harris) motion for summary judgment in NYCAL. The first department concluded that, when viewing evidence in light most favorable to the plaintiff Leonard Carriero, Harris failed to establish prima facie entitlement to summary judgment. Specifically, instead of submitting evidence as to why the plaintiff’s claims were insufficient, Harris “merely point[ed] to perceived gaps in plaintiff’s proof …”…
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Denial of Rail Defendant’s Forum Non Conveniens Motion Upheld on Appeal Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, Fourth Division, June 28, 2019

ILLINOIS — The defendant, BNSF Railway Company (BNSF), made an interlocutory appeal of the trial court’s denial of their forum non conveniens motion, seeking transfer from Cook County, Illinois to Knox County, Illinois, in a matter involving brakeman and locomotive engineer, Randall Alley. Alley alleged that his lung cancer was caused in part by unsafe working conditions at BNSF, where he worked for 40 years. He worked on BNSF trains that departed from train yards in Fort Madison, Iowa and Kansas City, Missouri for 28…
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Circumstantial Evidence Held Sufficient to Uphold Verdict Against Insulator Defendant Court of Appeals of Maryland, July 3, 2019

MARYLAND — A Baltimore City jury found that William Busch, Jr. contracted mesothelioma as a result of his exposure to asbestos-containing materials installed during the construction of Loch Raven High School (LRHS) by defendant Wallace & Gale, Co. (W&G), and awarded the plaintiff a $14 million verdict, which was later reduced to $7.3 million. While working for Honeywell in the early 1970s, Busch worked in the boiler room at LRHS for three-to-four months in the presence of insulators, who were covering two large boilers with…
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Court Cites Strong Policy Against Granting Motions to Strike in Denying Plaintiff’s Motion United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania, July 1, 2019

PENNSYLVANIA — In a case previously covered by the Asbestos Case Tracker, the defendant, Viad Corporation, filed an answer to the plaintiff’s complaint on February 22, 2019, including a successor in interest defense, an assertion that was raised for the first time in their reply to the plaintiff’s response to their motion for summary judgement and not decided on by the court at that time. The plaintiff filed a motion to strike Viad’s answer, and Viad filed a reply. “The issue in this case is…
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After Multiple Re-Filings Summary Judgment Reversed on Multiple Grounds Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Summit County, June 28, 2019

OHIO – The decedent Garry Blakely was employed at Aerospace, a division of the defendant Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, which contained sub-divisions that manufactured aircraft brake assemblies. The decedent worked in the wheel and brake division, where he drilled, shaped, and incorporated linings into brake assemblies. Upon his diagnosis of mesothelioma in 2014, the decedent sued multiple defendants, including Goodyear. Goodyear moved for summary judgment on product liability, supplier liability, and premises liability, which the trial court granted in full, but prior to the…
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Reconsideration of Motion to Dismiss of Auto Parts Manufacturer Denied Due to No Manifest Error United States District Court, W.D. Washington July 1, 2019

Defendant National Automotive Parts Association (NAPA) filed the instant Motion for Reconsideration of the order denying the Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction, putting forth three arguments:
  1. The order appeared to have mistakenly cited to inadmissible and incompetent evidence
  2. The court may have overlooked a key distinction between branding or licensing a product and manufacturing or distributing a product
  3. The order did not rule on NAPA’s alternative request that an evidentiary hearing be held to resolve any factual conflict
Western District of Washington…
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Failure to Provide Expert Evidence in Conjunction with Exposure Testimony Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment United States District Court, District of Connecticut July 1, 2019

CONNECTICUT – The plaintiff alleged that the decedent, James Schmidt, was exposed to asbestos during the course of his various careers. The defendant CNH Industrial America (CNH) moved for summary judgement, which was denied on the basis of decedent’s deposition testimony that he worked on asbestos-containing bulldozers and excavators CNH moved for reconsideration, and summary judgement was granted. CNH argued that the deposition testimony was inadmissible and the plaintiff lacked the expert evidence required to carry her burden of proof under the Connecticut Product Liability…
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Washington State Personal Jurisdiction Dispute Remanded to Trial Court for Further Findings of Fact Court of Appeals of Washington, Division 1, July 1, 2019

WASHINGTON – The plaintiff sued the defendant Special Electric and others on behalf of the decedent Donald Noll, and alleged that Noll’s fatal mesothelioma was caused in part by his work with asbestos-cement pipe in the 1970s that contained asbestos supplied by Special Electric. Special Electric moved to dismiss the matter for lack of personal jurisdiction, which the trial court granted. However, Washington’s Supreme Court remanded the case to the trial court for consideration of the facts in light of its decision in State v.
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