Experts Deem New Legislation in Oregon Insufficient, Call for Stricter Asbestos Rules

On October 19, 2015, Oregon environmental regulators invited two dozen asbestos experts to a meeting in an effort to determine the best way to implement a new law that would require contractors to investigate for asbestos when demolishing a house. The group, however, went far beyond the scope of this approved legislation, determining that contractors should provide documented proof that they’ve checked for asbestos before a demolition, that asbestos work done by homeowners should no longer be exempt, and that the rule should apply to …

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California Jury Returns Complete Defense Verdict in Mesothelioma Claim

On October 7, 2015, the Alameda County Superior Court in California found in favor of defendant John Crane Inc. in an asbestos exposure lawsuit. The plaintiff, James Harkin, had asserted that his mesothelioma was caused by exposure to asbestos from valve packing manufactured by John Crane Inc. and brought several asbestos-related product liability claims.  He further argued that his mesothelioma additionally occurred as a result of working in the presence of Oscar E. Erickson employees while they disturbed asbestos containing materials at an oil refinery.…

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UK Parliamentary Group Declares Final War on Asbestos, Calls for Complete and Accelerated Eradication

In Britain, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Occupational Safety and Health (“the Group”) is demanding legislation that will work to completely eliminate asbestos from buildings in the UK.  The Group wants to put regulations in place that will require the safe, phased, and planned removal of asbestos in every workplace in Britain.  It also wants asbestos reports included in all home-buyers’ surveys and a national program of asbestos surveys.

In its recommendations, the Group wants to require that all commercial, public, and rented domestic premises …

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Philadelphia Federal Judge Puts Hold on a Dozen Asbestos Claims by Formerly Bankrupt Plaintiffs

On Tuesday, October 6, 2015, U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno ordered a stay on a dozen nearly-identical asbestos claims brought by plaintiffs who had previously sought bankruptcy protection. Judge Robreno stated in all of them that the plaintiffs’ trustees must be given the choice of either pursuing or abandoning the claims.

In one such case, the plaintiff was a ship worker who had filed an asbestos claim in 2001, followed by a bankruptcy action in 2003. His claim, however, was not included as part of …

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Bill Proposed in Pennsylvania House Seeks to Add Fairness and Transparency to Asbestos Actions

On June 30, 2015, Rep. Warren Kampf introduced a bill in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives titled as the “Fairness in Claims and Transparency (FaCT) Act.”

The purposes are listed as providing transparency of claims made against bankruptcy trusts and in the tort system, to facilitate fair and appropriate compensation to plaintiffs while rationally allocating responsibility, to preserve the resources of defendants involved to help promote adequate recoveries for deserving plaintiffs, and to ensure that liabilities properly borne by bankruptcy trusts are not imposed upon …

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New Arizona Law Adds Significant Hurdles for Victims of Asbestos Exposure

On April 9, 2015, Governor Doug Ducey signed a bill into Arizona state law that places new requirements on victims of asbestos exposure.

Pursuant to the new law, asbestos victims must submit a sworn statement that identifies each personal injury claim that the victim has filed and each claim that the victim reasonably anticipates filing against an asbestos company.  Furthermore, the new law permits the asbestos companies being sued to request a delay in the proceedings if they believe that the victim may be eligible …

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