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Appeals Court Affirms NYCAL Judge’s Denials of Motions to Dismiss on Successor Liability Grounds

Court: Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department

Defendant P.B. Heat previously moved to dismiss multiple complaints in New York City Asbestos Litigation (NYCAL) cases. NYCAL Coordinating Judge Adam Silvera denied each of these motions. Asbestos Case Tracker covered one of Judge Silvera’s previous decisions where he denied P.B. Heat’s motion in the Catapano matter. P.B. Heat appealed the multiple denials to dismiss.

The court discussed two arguments on appeal. First, P.B. Heat contended that there were no factual allegations setting forth the …

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Circuit Court Affirms Automatic Stay as to Georgia-Pacific’s Asbestos Lawsuits

Court: United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

In 1965, Georgia-Pacific LLC (Old GP) merged with Bestwall Gypsum Company, a manufacturer of asbestos-containing products. In 2017, Georgia-Pacific LLC underwent a divisional merger under Texas law. As a result, Old GP ceased to exist, and its assets and liabilities were divided between two new entities as wholly owned subsidiaries of Georgia-Pacific Holdings LLC: Bestwall LLC (Bestwall) and Georgia-Pacific LLC (New GP).

In accordance with this merger, Bestwall became solely responsible for all asbestos-related liabilities. Following …

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Jury Award of $36 Million Affirmed against Contractor

Court: Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit

In this asbestos action, plaintiff William Walker alleged asbestos exposure from working as a pipefitter and welder for Level 3 Holdings Inc. f/k/a Peter Kiewit & Sons, Co. (“Level 3”) from 1967 until 1970. During this time, he worked at the Union Carbide Plant, Waterford I, and Waterford II. This case proceeded to trial in May 2022 where the jury found for the plaintiff and awarded damages in the amount of over $36 million dollars. In July …

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Joint Compound Manufacturer Files Appeal of $15M Verdict: Key Issues on Appeal

As previously reported in the Asbestos Case Tracker here, in June 2022 a jury awarded plaintiff Munir Seen $15 million, allocating 70 percent of the fault to joint compound manufacturer Kaiser Gypsum. Following the trial, Kaiser moved for three forms of post-trial relief. The court denied Kaiser’s motions in their entirety in March.  

Kaiser first moved for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, contending that “plaintiff’s expert proof at trial . . . was defective and insufficient as a matter of law” as per the Court …

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Dryer Felt Manufacturer’s Judgment Upheld on Appeal

Court: Court of Appeals of Washington, Division One

In this asbestos action, decedent Kevin Holdsworth worked at a paper mill in Camas, Washington from 1964 to 2001. He alleged exposure to asbestos from several sources during his employment, including from his role on the paper machine cleanup crew which required him to “blow down” every paper machine at the Camas mill.

Holdsworth also alleged exposure to asbestos from his role in the maintenance department at the Camas mill, where he frequently used a hammer to …

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$5.5 Million Wrongful Death Damages and Pre-Judgment Interest Awards Affirmed on Appeal

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit

In this asbestos action, David Stauder Jr. (decedent) developed mesothelioma after working as a pipefitter for two decades. His daughters, Jill and Shelley Stauder (appellees) brought a survival action and wrongful death action against several defendants. Following a trial in December 2021 where Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) was the sole remaining defendant, the jury found UCC negligent and strictly liable for the decedent’s injuries. The jury apportioned 20% to UCC. As pertinent to this appeal, the jury awarded …

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First Department Reverses Denial of Valve Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss on Personal Jurisdiction Grounds

Court: Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department

Plaintiff Ralph Vavala alleged his lung cancer diagnosis arose from alleged exposure to asbestos from a variety of products, including valves manufactured by the defendant, Jenkins Bros., during his employment as a steamfitter and welder from the 1960s through the 1980s. Upon commencement of the plaintiff’s lawsuit, Jenkins Bros. moved to dismiss the complaint against it for lack of personal jurisdiction. In response, the plaintiff cross-moved for jurisdictional discovery. On December 6, 2021, the trial …

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Mesothelioma

Grant of Summary Judgment to Employer Defendants Reversed on Appeal

Jurisdiction: Superior Court of Pennsylvania

Richard and Pamela Shellenberger filed a lawsuit to recover damages from several defendants, including Mr. Shellenberger’s employers — Kreider Dairy Farms Inc. and Noah W. Kreider & Sons LLP (Appellees) — as a result of his exposure to asbestos and subsequent mesothelioma diagnosis, from which he ultimately died. Specifically, they alleged that Mr. Shellenberger was exposed to asbestos through maintenance work he performed on the boiler at Kreider Farms’ dairy processing plant from 1972 through September 1980.    

The appellees …

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Boiler Manufacturer Directed to Appear for Punitive Damages Deposition

Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department

In this asbestos action, Defendant Burnham (“Burnham”) moved to vacate the NYCAL Special Master’s ruling directing Burnham to appear for a deposition with regard to punitive damages. The trial court denied Burnham’s motion. Burnham subsequently appealed the trial court’s decision.

The Appellate Division affirmed the trial court’s decision. After noting the relevant portions of the NYCAL Case Management Order, the Appellate Division set forth that “[t]he  Special Master providently exercised her discretion in directing Burnham to …

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Appellate Division Reverses Trial Court’s Denial of Dismissal of Punitive Damages Claim

Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department

Plaintiffs Victor Arana and Romeo Maffei, both allege asbestos exposure from working with asbestos cement pipe previously distributed by the defendant, J-M Manufacturing Company.

In these actions, the plaintiffs sought punitive damages against JMM as the company did not place a warning on all of the pieces of pipes it distributed. JMM moved for summary judgment on the punitive damages claim, which the trial court denied. JMM appealed the trial court’s decisions.

Ultimately, the Appellate Division …

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