Summary Judgment Affirmed for Trailer Manufacturer

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit, September 28, 2022

In this asbestos action, John Brindell (“Brindell”) allegedly contracted mesothelioma as a result of working as a mechanic for Puerto Rico Marine Management, Inc. (“PRMMI”) at the Port of New Orleans. Brindell’s surviving spouse and children (“Plaintiffs”) asserted a wrongful death and survival action against several defendants. Defendant CRA Trailers, Inc. f/k/a Great Dane Trailers, Inc. (“CRA/Great Dane”) moved for summary judgment, arguing that CRA/Great Dane trailers were not present at the Port during Brindell’s …

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Summary Judgment against Reinsurer Affirmed where Exhaustion and Attachment Point Provisions were Ambiguous

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, September 15, 2022

Fireman’s Fund Ins. Co. v. Onebeacon Ins. Co., 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 25863

            Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company (“Fireman’s Fund”) issued three excess insurance policies to ASARCO, Inc., in 1983 and 1984, which functioned as layers of a coverage tower assembled for ASARCO. Two of the Fireman’s Fund policies provided $20 million in coverage for losses in excess of $30 million, one in 1983 (“policy 1”) and the other in 1984 (“policy 2”). …

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Judgment Against Dryer-Felt Supplier Affirmed on Appeal

Court of Appeals of South Carolina, August 3, 2022

In this asbestos action, decedent Stephen Stewart alleged exposure from working with asbestos-containing dryer felt associated with a paper machine from 1963 until 1981.

Stewart was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma in September 2012. After settling with all other defendants, Stewart proceeded to trial against Scapa Waycross, supplier of the dryer felt to Stewart’s employer. The jury found in Stewart’s favor and awarded damages in the amount of $600,000 for the survival action, and $100,000 for …

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NYCAL Verdict Against Talc Product Manufacturer Reversed on Causation Grounds

Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department, July 19, 2022

In 2017, Plaintiff Donna Olson (“Plaintiff”) filed suit against Johnson & Johnson (J&J), claiming that her lifelong use of J&J talcum powder exposed her to asbestos and caused her to develop mesothelioma. After a 12-week jury trial in 2019, a New York City jury found J&J liable and awarded damages to Plaintiff in the amount of $325 Million. In November 2020, the trial court reduced the award to $120 Million, but affirmed the …

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New Jersey Supreme Court Reverses Appellate Division and Reinstates Plaintiff’s Verdict

New Jersey Supreme Court, June 30, 2022

In this asbestos action, decedent Willis Edenfield (“Edenfield”) commenced a failure to warn product liability action against defendant Union Carbide. The Appellate Division vacated the jury’s verdict for Plaintiff and remanded for a new trial. However, the New Jersey Supreme Court reversed the Appellate Division’s  decision. The Supreme Court found that there were two important contentions at issue.

The Supreme Court explained that this matter is “governed by our common law jurisprudence on product liability.”  As per Whelan

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Appellate Court Affirms in Part, Remands Trial Court’s Ruling Regarding Mask Manufacturer’s Negligence

Court of Appeals of Washington, Division One, May 9, 2022

In January 2020, the plaintiff, Larry Roemmich, sued 3M, among others, for product liability and negligence based on his diagnosis of mesothelioma, which he alleged was a result of his exposure to asbestos. The plaintiff worked at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard from 1968 to 1995 and alleged he was exposed to asbestos and asbestos-containing products as part of his work from 1968 until the early 1980s. The plaintiff wore 3M 8710 masks from 1972 until …

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Appellate Court Reverses Plaintiff’s Verdict on Causation Grounds

New York Court of Appeals, April 26, 2022

The plaintiff’s decedent, Florence Nemeth, was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma in 2012 and passed away in 2016. She and her husband filed suit against numerous defendants, alleging that Ms. Nemeth’s exposure to asbestos-containing products throughout her lifetime caused her mesothelioma. Ms. Nemeth was deposed prior to her death, but died prior to trial. The plaintiff settled with all defendants prior to trial with the exception of Whittaker, Clark & Daniels (Whittaker), the entity that the plaintiff alleged …

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Prior Release Bars Plaintiff’s Claims Against Railroad Defendant

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Plaintiff Leopoldo Mendoza-Gomez worked for 20 years as a laborer for the defendant, Union Pacific Railroad Company. He alleges that, while working for Union, he was exposed to various toxic substances including asbestos, and that he was diagnosed with cancer and asbestosis in 2019. In response to his filing of a federal lawsuit, Union asserted that the plaintiff’s claims were barred due to a release that the parties entered into in 2012. In that release, the plaintiff specifically …

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Final Judgment and Imposition of Sanctions Affirmed Against Automotive Defendant

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, March 24, 2022

In this asbestos action, Deborah Marino (the plaintiff) alleged that her mother, Anita Creutzberger (the decedent), developed peritoneal mesothelioma from the decedent’s history of washing her husband’s and son’s clothing following their automotive work.  The plaintiff sued Ford Motor Company, among other defendants. During discovery in an unrelated case, Matthew Fyie, Ford’s employee designated to search for responsive discovery, testified that he did not review documents prior to his deposition as there were no documents …

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Plaintiffs Judgment Against Joint Compound Manufacturer Affirmed on Appeal

Court of Appeals of Washington, Division One, February 22, 2022

The plaintiffs, Raymond Budd and his wife, sued Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc. (Kaiser) and others for damages, alleging that Kaiser’s joint compound product caused Mr. Budd’s mesothelioma.  The plaintiffs sued Kaiser for negligence and strict liability, premised upon failure to warn and defective design theories. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiffs and awarded them nearly $13.5 million. Kaiser appealed, raising nine claims, including the following: (1) lack of proximate causation, (2) lack …

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