New York’s Grieving Families Act May See First Update In Over 100 Years

The current wrongful death statute in New York, which has been in place since 1847, may get a revamp in the coming months. Senate Bill S74A, also known as the Grieving Families Act (“the Act”) is currently awaiting Governor Kathy Hochul’s signature. Full language of the statute is available here.

If signed, the Act will expand compensable damages in wrongful death actions to include emotional losses such as grief and anguish to the types of damages that family members would be entitled to recover. …

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New Jersey Supreme Court Reverses Appellate Division and Reinstates Plaintiff’s Verdict

New Jersey Supreme Court, June 30, 2022

In this asbestos action, decedent Willis Edenfield (“Edenfield”) commenced a failure to warn product liability action against defendant Union Carbide. The Appellate Division vacated the jury’s verdict for Plaintiff and remanded for a new trial. However, the New Jersey Supreme Court reversed the Appellate Division’s  decision. The Supreme Court found that there were two important contentions at issue.

The Supreme Court explained that this matter is “governed by our common law jurisprudence on product liability.”  As per Whelan

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Plaintiff’s Motion to Reargue Trailer Manufacturer’s Summary Judgment Motion Denied

Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York, June 29, 2022

In this asbestos action, plaintiffs filed a motion for leave to reargue a motion for summary judgement filed by defendant Strick Trailers, LLC (“Strick”), which was granted on October 13, 2021.

By way of background, the plaintiff, James Martinez, alleged he was exposed to asbestos from replacing brakes on delivery trailers manufactured by Strick. Plaintiff was unable to testify as to the maintenance history of Strick trailers, nor did he …

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Pump Manufacturer Successful on Summary Judgment

Supreme Court of New York, Suffolk County, June 6, 2022

Plaintiffs Lisa and Edward Gavin filed a lawsuit to recover damages for the injuries Lisa allegedly sustained as a result of exposure to asbestos-containing products manufactured or sold by defendants during her employment with Courter and Company from 1978 to 1980.

Defendant Sterling Fluid Systems LLC (USA), moved for summary judgment dismissing the complaint against it, arguing that the plaintiff did not allege asbestos exposure from its pumps, and that there was no evidence that …

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Grant of Summary Judgment to Premises/Employer Defendant Upheld on Appeal

Superior Court of Pennsylvania, June 23, 2022

In this asbestos action, decedent John Wheeler alleged asbestos exposure from his work as a millwright at a U.S. Steel (USX) plant. Wheeler’s co-workers testified in this matter as Wheeler passed away before he could be deposed. The trial court granted USX’s motion for summary judgment and the plaintiff subsequently appealed the trial court’s decision.

The plaintiff first appealed the trial court’s determination that an employee was not a business invitee. The appellate court first established that the …

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Plaintiffs’ State Law Tort Claims against Employer and Insurers Preempted by LHWCA

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, June 16, 2022

In this asbestos matter, the plaintiffs allege that James Becnel was exposed to asbestos at the Avondale Shipyards in 1965. Recently, several defendants filed summary judgment motions to dismiss the plaintiffs’ state law tort claims, including Becnel’s employer and its insurers. The defendants alleged that the plaintiffs’ state law tort claims were preempted by the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). Ultimately, the court agreed as “the LHWCA preempts a plaintiff’s occupational …

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Court Dismisses Plaintiffs’ International Tort Claim Against Outside Contractor; Finds Issues of Fact For Jury on Outside Contractor’s Alter Ego Liability

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, June 8, 2022

In April 2022, Hopeman filed the instant motion for partial summary judgment arguing that the plaintiffs’ intentional tort claim must be dismissed because they cannot provide evidentiary support that it consciously desired to afflict the decedent with primary lung cancer or knew that his cancer was substantially certain to follow from its actions. The plaintiffs opposed, arguing that Hopeman knew of the hazards of asbestos and that the decedent’s disease was substantially …

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First Department Reverses Denial of Valve Manufacturer’s Motion to Dismiss

Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department, June 7, 2022

In this asbestos case, Crosby Valve LLC (“Crosby”) appealed a June 2021 decision from the New York Supreme Court, New York County, which denied its motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. By way of background, George Seger, III (“Plaintiff”) allegedly developed colon cancer, which he attributed to his exposure to asbestos during his naval service, specifically from working on boilers onboard the USS Hepburn. The plaintiff alleged that he worked …

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Alameda County Awaits Key Decision Regarding The Use of Genetic Testing in Asbestos Cases

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Jo-Lynne Q. Lee set a hearing on nationally recognized plaintiff’s firm Maune Raichle French Hartley & Mudd. LLC’s motion for protective order in a pending asbestos case in which the defendants’ experts wanted to perform genetic testing. The case is John Lohmann and Suzanne Lohmann v. Aaon, Inc., et al. Alameda County Superior Court Case No. RG21098862. In this case, the plaintiffs filed their action in May 2021 in Alameda County against several defendants alleging that Mr. Lohmann contracted mesothelioma …

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Multiple Defendants Obtain Summary Judgment on Claims of Take-Home Plaintiff

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, May 27, 2022

In this matter, the plaintiffs allege that decedent Shirley Hilster was exposed to asbestos from contact with her husband’s work clothes and person from laundering his work clothes and spending time in his vehicle. Defendant Eckel Industries, Inc. filed motions for summary judgment and to exclude the plaintiffs’ expert, Dr. Edwin Holstein. In its motion for summary judgment, Eckel argues that the plaintiffs’ claims against it must be dismissed because there is no …

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