Defense Strategies For Alternative Causation Mealey's Litigation Report

Goldberg Segalla asbestos team members, Tom Bernier, Oded Burger, Joseph Cagnoli Jr., and Susan Van Gelder have recently published a practical guide for defense attorneys raising alternative causation defenses in Mealey’s Asbestos Litigation Report. (See article link below.) In the paper, the authors reviewed recent scientific advances to provide the defense practitioner the tools to challenge the plaintiffs’ experts’ one-size-fits-all causation model. One of the most significant recent developments in asbestos litigation has come from the field of genomics. Since 2011, over…
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Thomas Bernier Presents Panel Discussion on “The State of Bankruptcy Trusts” at Perrin National Asbestos Litigation Conference, October 1-3, 2018

Goldberg Segalla’s Thomas P. Bernier, a partner in the Toxic Tort Practice Group, will participate in the Perrin National Asbestos Litigation Conference, October 1-3, 2018, at the Fairmont San Francisco Hotel in San Francisco, CA. On the second day of the conference, Tom will participate in the panel discussion, “The State of the Bankruptcy Trusts,” addressing the current conversation surrounding bankruptcy compensation and the values in bankruptcy, as well as the positioning of both the plaintiff and defendant in the event of a bankruptcy.…
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Significant Verdict Against Valve Manufacturers in Erie County NY

NEW YORK — A verdict totaling almost $7 million was rendered today in Buffalo NY.  Plaintiff, James Stock, is 60 years old and claims to have had asbestos exposure causing his mesothelioma in the late 1970’s early 80’s while working in a factory.  A verdict was reached against Remaining defendants Jenkins (50%) Bell & Gossett (12%), Warren (12%) and Crane (14%).  Damages included  past pain and suffering – $4.5 Million, future pain and suffering – $1.5 Million (over 1 year), loss of present earnings –…
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First New York State Appellate Level Additur Decision Issued New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, September 13, 2018

NEW YORK — With little to no analysis, the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court affirmed various decisions issued by the trial court in 2017 during a ten day trial, wherein the plaintiff alleged development of mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure. These included, among other rulings: granting defendants Crane Co. and Warren Pumps motion to quash trial subpoenas; denial of defendant Jenkins Bros.’ motion to set aside the verdict; granting of the plaintiff’s motion to set aside the verdict to the extent of…
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Negligence Per Se Claims Against Defendant Passenger Railcar Manufacturer Denied; Strict Liability and Negligence Claims Can Proceed Under Federal Statutes U.S. District Court, D. Kansas, September 10, 2018

KANSAS — The plaintiff Nancy Little brought an action individually and as the personal representative of the estate of her father, Robert Rabe, against defendant The Budd Company (Budd). The plaintiff alleged that her father was exposed to asbestos-containing pipe insulation while working as a pipefitter for the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad (ATSF) between 1951 and the mid-to-late 1970’s; she contends this exposure caused him to develop mesothelioma.  The plaintiff’s decedent passed away on December 28, 2012. Budd allegedly manufactured passenger railcars and…
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Plaintiff Waived Choice of Law Causation Issue; Kansas Law Applied to California Case California Court of Appeal, First District, September 10, 2018

CALIFORNIA — The plaintiff Gerald Hake was born in Kansas and allegedly exposed to asbestos from friction products from age 10 until age 19 while working at the family-owned Hake Standard Service Station. In 1962, he joined the Navy; he then moved to Washington state in 1966. He lived in that state until the present time. The case went to trial against Honeywell and BorgWarner  in the state of California. The parties filed a series of motions to apply either Washington or Kansas law to…
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Weight-of-the-Evidence Standard Used by Plaintiff’s Experts Found to Satisfy Daubert Requirements United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division. September 5, 2018

OHIO — Defendant Honeywell International filed Motions in limine to Preclude the plaintiff’s Experts Dr. Murray Finkelstein and Dr. Carlos Bedrossian and dismiss the plaintiff’s claims, or, in the alternative, its request for evidentiary hearing. The plaintiffs filed oppositions. The court determined that both doctors utilized the weight-of-the-evidence standard in formulating their opinions of the case in line with the prescriptions under Daubert.  Additionally, Dr. Finkelstein’s methodology had previously been scrutinized at a Daubert hearing in another jurisdiction and was upheld as valid and…
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Denial of Judgment Notwithstanding The Verdict Reversed For Welding Rod Defendant Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth District, September 5, 2018

Illinois — Following a trial in which a jury found that Hobart Brothers Company (Hobart) had failed to warn the plaintiff, Charles McKinney of the dangers of asbestos from its welding rods, Hobart appealed the trial court’s denial of its motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict. The appellate court reversed the trial court’s denial, finding no evidence in the record demonstrating that the welding industry knew in the 1960s that welding rods could release asbestos fibers, or that welding rods were a substantial cause of…
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Trial Subpoenas to Settling Parties Allowed to Issue For Liability Apportionment Supreme Court, State of New York, County of Erie, Eighth Judicial District, September 5, 2018

NEW YORK — In a currently pending asbestos matter, defendant Jenkins Bros. issued trial subpoenas to three settling defendants – Crane Co., Flowserve, Inc., and Warren Pumps. These three defendants filed motions to quash the subpoenas, which the court denied. The court ruled that the trial subpoenas were served properly on counsel in a timely manner, as no orders or stipulations of discontinuance had been filed by the three parties, and that the information sought in the subpoenas was relevant to establish apportionment of liability…
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Notice of Claim Provisions Bar Jurist’s Asbestos Claims Against Municipality Court of Appeals of Texas, Houston (1st Dist.), August 31, 2018

TEXAS — Judge James Farris spent almost his entire legal career, until retiring in December of 1996, in the Jefferson County courthouse, which included a period of asbestos remediation at the courthouse, during which he was allegedly exposed to asbestos. Judge Farris developed mesothelioma in October of 2004 and tragically passed away just nine days after he first sought medical treatment. Judge Farris’s widow, Ellarene Farris, asserted wrongful death and survival causes of action against numerous entities, including Jefferson County, in its capacities as premises…
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