Business and lawyers discussing contract papers with brass scale on desk

2022 Third Quarter Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Alert

Many trusts this year have expanded their approved job site lists, allowing compensation for more individuals who claim to have an asbestos-related injury. However, as can be seen below, many trusts also have decreased their payment percentages.

In fact, there has not been an increase in payment percentages during the 3rd quarter of 2022 from any bankrupt trusts. 

The rising costs of inflation have even affected bankruptcy trust payouts. It will be interesting to see if any bankrupt trusts will decrease their approved jobsite list …

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Judge chamber with gavel

Removal of Case Based on the Federal Officer Removal Statute by Shipyard Defendant Upheld

United States District Court for the District of Louisiana

In this asbestos action, the plaintiff, Wilson Goffner Sr., alleged he developed lung cancer as a result of his work as a shipfitter at the Avondale Shipyard from 1974 to 1997. The plaintiff commenced this action by asserting a failure-to-warn cause of action. Avondale subsequently removed the matter to federal court.

The plaintiff subsequently filed a motion to remand, wherein he argued that Avondale did not satisfy the ‘colorable’ defense prong of the Federal Officer Removal …

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court of appeals

Boiler Manufacturer Directed to Appear for Punitive Damages Deposition

Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department

In this asbestos action, Defendant Burnham (“Burnham”) moved to vacate the NYCAL Special Master’s ruling directing Burnham to appear for a deposition with regard to punitive damages. The trial court denied Burnham’s motion. Burnham subsequently appealed the trial court’s decision.

The Appellate Division affirmed the trial court’s decision. After noting the relevant portions of the NYCAL Case Management Order, the Appellate Division set forth that “[t]he  Special Master providently exercised her discretion in directing Burnham to …

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Appellate Division Reverses Trial Court’s Denial of Dismissal of Punitive Damages Claim

Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department

Plaintiffs Victor Arana and Romeo Maffei, both allege asbestos exposure from working with asbestos cement pipe previously distributed by the defendant, J-M Manufacturing Company.

In these actions, the plaintiffs sought punitive damages against JMM as the company did not place a warning on all of the pieces of pipes it distributed. JMM moved for summary judgment on the punitive damages claim, which the trial court denied. JMM appealed the trial court’s decisions.

Ultimately, the Appellate Division …

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Retail Distributer’s Motion for Summary Judgment on Product-Identification Grounds Denied

Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento, November 9, 2022

In this asbestos matter, the plaintiffs alleged that the decedent, Gail Chandler, developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos-containing products. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendant, Parts Warehouse, a retail distributer, sold asbestos-containing parts to the decedent and/or the decedent’s employer, and that these parts caused the decedent to be exposed to asbestos. The plaintiffs further argued that Parts Warehouse also had liability for parts obtained through its alternative entity; Lamus-Lundlee Co. Parts …

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Asbestos Supplier’s Motion Seeking Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict and New Trial Denied

State of New York, Supreme Court, County of Niagara, November 4, 2022

Plaintiffs Benedict Viglietta and Terri Viglietta alleged that Mr. Viglietta developed mesothelioma as a result of his exposure to asbestos while employed at a Durez chemical plant during the summers of 1974 and 1976. With respect to defendant Hedman Resources Limited, the plaintiffs alleged that Mr. Viglietta’s exposure to Hedman cationic fiber was a substantial factor in causing his mesothelioma. The plaintiffs further alleged that Hedman failed to provide an adequate warning and …

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2022 Mid-Year Asbestos Filing Update

Recently, KCIC posted their 2022 Mid-Year Asbestos Filings Update. This update is compiled using information collected through July 31st. This article illustrates some highlights from the update.

Number of Asbestos-Related Lawsuits Decrease While Mesothelioma Filings Increase

The number of asbestos-related lawsuits increased from 2020 (1,790) to 2021 (1,972). However, 2022 shows a decrease in the number of filings over the same respective time spans (1,914).

Mesothelioma and lung cancer filings continue to make up the majority of filings (86%). Notably, mesothelioma claims …

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PPE Manufacturer’s Motion to Dismiss on Personal Jurisdiction Grounds Denied

Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department, November 2, 2022

In this asbestos action, Steel Grip Inc., a personal protective equipment manufacturer, was sued along with other defendants for decedent Giacinto Pira’s alleged asbestos exposure, which allegedly contributed to his mesothelioma diagnosis.  

At his discovery deposition, Pira testified that his employer purchased asbestos-containing safety gloves from SGI in New York, and that he used these gloves for welding on his jobsite.

SGI moved to dismiss the case for lack of personal jurisdiction, …

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Defendants’ Corporate Representatives’ Testimony Condemns own Motions

United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana, October 31, 2022

Plaintiffs brought this wrongful death and survival action on behalf of decedent Kirk Reulet, alleging that Mr. Reulet was exposed to asbestos while working as a tradesman at various marine-economy jobs from 1972 to 2013. Plaintiffs alleged that this exposure led to his mesothelioma diagnosis and eventual death, and sought damages from dozens of defendants, including employers, premise owners, asbestos manufacturers or supplies, and insurers.

Defendants General Electric Company and ViacomCBS Inc. …

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Third-Parties Prevail on Summary Judgment Thanks to Employer’s Lack of Evidence

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, October 24, 2022

Plaintiff Ronald John Falgout, as the independent executor and successor of decedent Ruby Lee Marie Falgout, brought this action in October 2022 after Falgout succumbed to the fatal effects of mesothelioma in August 2022. The plaintiff alleged that the decedent’s secondary exposure from asbestos fibers on his work clothes caused her cancer diagnosis. The plaintiff worked as a laborer, operator, oil king, and rainmaker at the Avondale Shipyards from 1965 to 1979. He …

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