WASHINGTON – The plaintiff, Donald Yaw, filed a lawsuit against numerous equipment manufacturers alleging that he suffered injuries as a result of asbestos exposure. The plaintiff experienced his exposure while working as a shipfitter at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard from 1964 to 2001. The plaintiff was deposed before he passed away, but did not remember working on any particular product on any ship. The plaintiff’s expert, Captain Arnold Moore, opined that the plaintiff was exposed to asbestos while others were removing insulation, packing, and gaskets …Continue Reading
CONNECTICUT – The plaintiff alleged that the decedent, James Schmidt, was exposed to asbestos during the course of his various careers. The defendant CNH Industrial America (CNH) moved for summary judgement, which was denied on the basis of decedent’s deposition testimony that he worked on asbestos-containing bulldozers and excavators CNH moved for reconsideration, and summary judgement was granted.
CNH argued that the deposition testimony was inadmissible and the plaintiff lacked the expert evidence required to carry her burden of proof under the Connecticut Product Liability …Continue Reading
In July 2018 a St. Louis City jury heard one of the first trials involving allegations of the development of ovarian cancer due to talc contaminated with asbestos. In a decision that shocked both the plaintiff and defense bar, the jury awarded $25 million to each of 22 plaintiffs for a total of $550 million in compensatory damages. The jury then spent less than two hours deliberating punitive damages before returning with a total award of $4.14 billion against defendants Johnson & Johnson …Continue Reading
NEW JERSEY — In Arthur G. Whelan v. Armstrong International Inc. et al, various defendants convinced the New Jersey Supreme Court to review a ruling that manufacturers may be held liable for failure to warn about the risks of asbestos-containing components or replacement parts in their products even if they did not build or distribute the parts.
The question before the Supreme Court in the matter is, “In a products liability case arising out of exposure to asbestos, does a manufacturer have a duty to …Continue Reading
NEW YORK — With little to no analysis, the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court affirmed various decisions issued by the trial court in 2017 during a ten day trial, wherein the plaintiff alleged development of mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure. These included, among other rulings: granting defendants Crane Co. and Warren Pumps motion to quash trial subpoenas; denial of defendant Jenkins Bros.’ motion to set aside the verdict; granting of the plaintiff’s motion to set aside the verdict to the extent of …Continue Reading
MISSOURI – The city of St. Louis, Missouri, has traditionally been an unfavorable venue for defendants, particularly for those involved in allegations of personal injury or death due to cancer caused by asbestos or talc exposure. Until recently, these two causative agents – asbestos and talc – were separate materials for purposes of personal injury or wrongful death claims. In July 2018 these two theories merged in the first trial which heard that plaintiffs’ claims of ovarian cancer were caused in part by asbestos-contaminated talc. …Continue Reading
DELAWARE – On Friday, June 8th, the jury returned a $40.6 million verdict in Larry W. Knecht, et Ux. v. Borg-Warner Corporation, et Al, a Delaware asbestos case. The case was tried under New Mexico law. The jury found Ford strictly liable due to a failure to warn, and apportioned 30 percent fault to the decedent, Larry Knecht, and 20 percent to Ford. The remainder of the liability was apportioned as follows: General Motors and Chrysler (20 percent each) and …Continue Reading
WISCONSIN — In this case set for trial on June 4, 2018, the plaintiffs filed eleven motions under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993) and various motions in limine. After hearing and argument, the court granted defendant Pabst Brewing Company’s motion to bar, under Daubert, Kenneth Garza’s reports, opinions, and testimony, and granted the Daubert motion of defendants Sprinkmann, Employers Insurance Company and WEPCO’s to exclude Garza’s testimony. The court found that although Garza’s training and background gave him the …Continue Reading
DELAWARE — Plaintiffs Michael and Sally Harding filed claims in Delaware state court due to Michael Harding’s exposure to asbestos while working as a pipefitter for the United States Navy from 1963-67. Defendant Crane Co. removed to federal court. Defendant Exelon Corporation moved for dismissal due to lack of personal jurisdiction. Exelon was not a Delaware business entity and did not have a principal place of business in Delaware. The plaintiffs did not respond to Exelon’s motion to dismiss. The magistrate judge recommended granting this …Continue Reading
Plaintiff Sandra Kivell alleged her husband developed and died from mesothelioma due to his asbestos exposure as a union pipefitter and welder. Defendant Union Carbide moved for summary judgment, which was granted.
Union Carbide was a premises owner of a petrochemical facility in Taft, Louisiana, where decedent worked from January 1967-October 1969. Decedent did not work for and did not receive instruction from Union Carbide, which employed third-party contractors to build process units. Decedent testified he ran pipe and worked side by side with insulators. …Continue Reading