New Appointed NYCAL Coordinating Judge Adam Silvera Ready to “Roll Up His Sleeves” and Get to Work

As the Asbestos Case Tracker previously reported here, former NYCAL Coordinating Judge Manuel Mendez was appointed to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, First Department, in July 2020. With Judge Mendez assuming his new role in the First Department, Judge Adam Silvera was announced as the new NYCAL coordinating judge.

Silvera obtained his undergraduate degree in 1994 from the City University of New York and received his juris doctor from Brooklyn Law School in 2001. Prior to becoming a judge, he worked for …

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Various Defendants Summary Judgment Motions Upheld on Appeal Due to Statute of Repose

Court of Appeals of Washington

Cindy Maxwell, the personal representative of the Estate of Edmond Brown, and Marilou Brown (collectively the Browns) appeal the trial court’s order granting summary judgment in favor of Parsons Government Services, Inc. (Parsons) and Brand Insulations, Inc. (Brand). This action arises from Edmond’s alleged exposure to asbestos between 1971 and 1972 during the construction of Atlantic Richfield Corporation’s (ARCO) petroleum refinery at Cherry Point in Ferndale. Parsons was the general contractor who constructed the Cherry Point refinery and Brand was …

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Shipyard Defendant’s Removal Deemed Timely and Sufficient to Satisfy Federal Officer Removal Statute

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana

The plaintiff, Callen Cortez, alleged that he was exposed to asbestos during his employment at the Avondale Shipyards from 1969 to 1974, which included riding to and from work with other Avondale employees on a labor bus. Cortez was diagnosed with mesothelioma in June 2020, and field suit against numerous defendants, including Huntington Ingalls, Inc., the successor to Avondale, in the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans. Cortez’s complaint alleged failure-to-warn and other negligence …

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Punitive Damages Award Eliminated on Appeal in Take-Home Exposure Case

Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, Division Three, November 19, 2020

The plaintiff, Alfred Mata, alleged he developed mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure. Alfred’s father, Francisco, worked as a serviceman for Park Water from 1970 until 1989. Francisco’s responsibility of cutting water pipes with a power saw caused visible dust to settle on his clothing, which he took home to his son. Park Water used both asbestos-containing cement pipes and non-asbestos pipes. The asbestos pipes contained both chrysotile and crocidolite asbestos. …

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Insured’s Liability for Defense Costs Not Appropriate for Interlocutory Appeal

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, November 16, 2020

This case follows an opinion and order by the same court regarding resolution of the parties’ cross-motions for summary judgment. The opinion and order affixed liability on Danaher and Atlas Copco for costs incurred by Travelers in defending certain asbestos and silica related bodily injury claims. Danaher and Atlas Copco moved for leave to file an interlocutory appeal, and North River (NR) moved for partial reconsideration, leave to file an interlocutory appeal, …

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Third-Party Defendant Not Responsible for Indemnifying Brake Supplier Prior to Existence

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, Owensboro Division, November 12, 2020

Plaintiff Jack Papineau was employed by Smith Coal from 1984 to 1992. In his complaint against multiple defendants, including Brake Supply, he alleged that he contracted mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos-containing friction products during his employment at Smith Coal. The plaintiff alleged that Brake Supply purchased friction products from suppliers and resold the products by either using the products to reline brakes or reselling parts.

Brake Supply filed a Third-Party Complaint and …

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New Trial on Damages Directed in Talc Case Unless Plaintiffs Stipulate to Verdict Reduction

Supreme Court of New York, New York County

In June 2019, we reported on the jury verdict in the Olson matter. Following the verdict, Defendants Johnson & Johnson and Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc. (J&J) moved to set aside the verdict and award under CPLR 4404(a). In the alternative, J&J moved for a new trial on liability and damages.

The court rejected J&J challenges to the award of compensatory damages as the jury’s verdict as to liability was supported by legally sufficient evidence. The jury …

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Case Remanded to State Court as Brake Manufacturer Failed to Obtain Consent From all Remaining Defendants

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

Eugene Longobardi sued numerous asbestos manufactures in Illinois state court after he developed mesothelioma, alleging that his disease was caused by his exposure to asbestos while serving in the U.S. Army from 1974 to 1981. Shortly thereafter, Longobardi died and Pamela Langobardi was named plaintiff and administrator of his estate. Pamela amended the complaint to add Honeywell International (Honeywell) as a defendant. Honeywell removed the suit to federal court premising jurisdiction on the diversity …

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American Oil Company Defendants Had No Control Over Iranian Oil Company, Summary Judgment Upheld on Appeal

Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, Division Seven, October 28, 2020

Houshang Sabetian and his wife, Soraya, (the plaintiffs) filed this action on March 28, 2018 alleging causes of action for negligence, strict liability, premises liability, negligent joint venture, alter ego, and loss of consortium. The complaint alleged Houshang contracted mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos while he was an Iranian citizen working for the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) from about 1960 to 1979. The complaint further alleged the Chevron and Exxon defendants …

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Boiler Manufacturer Granted Summary Judgment Based on Lack of Product Nexus

Superior Court of Rhode Island, Providence, October 27, 2020

The decedent, Gerard Wallace, and his wife, Ruth (the plaintiff) filed a complaint on November 16, 2016 after the decedent was diagnosed with mesothelioma in September 2016. The plaintiff alleged that the decedent worked as a plumbing-heating installer-repairer from 1949 to 1985. Specifically, the plaintiff argued while the decedent worked in Maine, Crane Co. (the defendant) boilers exposed him to asbestos. Due to the exposures occurring in Maine, the parties agreed that Maine substantive law should …

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