Asbestos Case Tracker 2019 Compendium

We are pleased to provide the 2019 Asbestos Case Tracker Compendium containing all of the posts throughout the second half of 2019 to clients and friends of Goldberg Segalla.

Goldberg Segalla’s Asbestos Case Tracker 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 decisions, …

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Court Grants Protective Order Prohibiting Plaintiff’s Deposition

MISSISSIPPI – In the matter of William Bedford, Individually, and as Co-Executor of the Estate of Beverly Bedford, deceased and Kim Waddle as Co-Executor of the Estate of Beverly Bedford deceased v. American Honda Motor Co., the plaintiffs requested a protective order to prohibit the defendant, American Honda Motor Co., from taking the deposition of the plaintiff, William Bedford, in the lawsuit filed on behalf of himself and the estate of his wife, deceased mesothelioma claimant Beverly Bedford.

The plaintiffs’ counsel advised defense counsel …

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Illinois First District Appellate Court Affirms $4.89 Million Verdict

ILLINOIS – On December 19, 2019, the Illinois First District Appellate Court affirmed $4.89 million verdict rendered in favor of deceased pleural mesothelioma claimant, Patrick O’Reilly, against the defendant, John Crane, Inc.

The decedent O’Reilly was a union pipefitter from 1957 to 1998, and alleged that he was exposed to asbestos from replacing and installing valves using packing and gaskets manufactured by John Crane. Following trial, a Cook County jury awarded damages in the amount of $6,022,814.06. The court reduced the verdict by $1,137,500 in …

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Insurer’s Claim for Reimbursement Misses Pleading Deadline

MINNESOTA – The Continental Insurance Company sold general liability policies to McQuay-Perfex, Inc., a company that manufactured and sold products containing asbestos. McQuay-Perfex went through a series of mergers and name changes throughout its history, leaving Daikin Applied Americas, Inc. as its successor by merger. Daikin was named the defendant in a series of asbestos suits, and it tendered the suits to Continental. Continental provided a defense subject to a reservation of rights and filed a separate declaratory judgment action to determine coverage.

In August, …

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Reversal of Summary Judgment for U.S. Steel on Maritime Claims

OHIO – Edward Shaffer was allegedly exposed to asbestos while working in the boiler room of multiple vessels while serving as a merchant marine employed by the Pittsburgh Steamship Division of U.S. Steel, from 1960 to 1961. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2016 and subsequently filed suit against 23 defendants, including U.S. Steel. That defendant moved for summary judgment on the plaintiff’s third amended complaint addressing the Jones Act and unseaworthiness claims. The motion was granted, and the plaintiff appealed.

The plaintiff asserted three …

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Insurer’s Settlement Allocation Entitled to Defense in Dispute with Reinsurer

NEW YORK — Reinsurer Century Indemnity Company filed a series of motions following an adverse jury verdict in its dispute with Insurer Utica Mutual Insurance Company regarding Utica’s handling of a settlement with Goulds Pumps related to a slew of asbestos claims against Goulds.

Century first contended that the judgment should be amended to properly calculate prejudgment interest. According to Century, the jury calculated all prejudgment interest from the date of Utica’s initial billings to Century, when in fact only a fraction of the total …

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Board of Veterans’ Failure to Review Medical Evidence Leads to Remand For Former U.S. Marine

Martha Tallman appealed a decision from the Board of Veterans denying her husband’s claim for service related respiratory and heart disability. Her husband served with the United States Marine Corps from 1960-1965. He claimed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema and ischemic heart disease for exposure to chemicals and asbestos while stationed in Okinawa and at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

At the hearing level, Tallman testified regarding his exposure. The judge “underscored the importance of submitting other medical records” to support his claims. Subsequent to the …

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Motions to Dismiss Denied in Consolidated Cases Brought by Two Groups of Beneficiaries

LOUISIANA – The plaintiff, Federico Lopez, filed a lawsuit in June 2017 in Louisiana state court alleging his malignant mesothelioma was caused by his exposure to asbestos at unidentified facilities. He passed during the pendency of the lawsuit, and his surviving spouse and child maintained the case (the Lopez action), and asserted a wrongful death claim.

On November 8, 2018, the plaintiffs, Jessica and Alfred Soliz, filed suit in Louisiana state court (the Soliz action), asserting strict liability and negligence claims on behalf of Lopez …

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Incorrect Rule Applied to Determine Whether Compensatory Damages Were Excessive; $40.6 Million Verdict Remanded

DELAWARE – On June 8, 2018, a Delaware jury awarded $40.6 million in compensatory damages to the plaintiff, Paula Knecht, in a case previously reported by this blog. The defendant, Ford Motor Company (Ford), was assessed 20 percent liability, meaning the plaintiff was awarded $8.1 million against Ford.

Subsequently, Ford filed two post-trial motions:

  1. for judgment as a matter of law, or in the alternative, a new trial
  2. for a new trial, or in the alternative, remittitur.

The trial judge denied both motions and Ford …

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Plaintiff’s Motion for Leave to File Amend Complaint Against Auto Manufacturer Denied

PENNSYLVANIA – The plaintiff filed a motion for leave to file an amended complaint, after the court granted Ford and AT&T’s motions to dismiss. Ford argued that the motion should be denied because there was no new exposure information. The court denied the motion without prejudice because the plaintiff failed to adhere to longstanding Third Circuit rule that a motion to amend must contain a draft of the amended complaint so that the court can determine if the amendment is futile. Since the plaintiff failed …

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