New Appointed NYCAL Coordinating Judge Adam Silvera Ready to “Roll Up His Sleeves” and Get to Work

As the Asbestos Case Tracker previously reported here, former NYCAL Coordinating Judge Manuel Mendez was appointed to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, First Department, in July 2020. With Judge Mendez assuming his new role in the First Department, Judge Adam Silvera was announced as the new NYCAL coordinating judge.

Silvera obtained his undergraduate degree in 1994 from the City University of New York and received his juris doctor from Brooklyn Law School in 2001. Prior to becoming a judge, he worked for …

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Key 2020 Rulings on the “Every Exposure” Causation Theory and Anticipated Rulings for 2021

Due to court closures and stays placed in cases as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a significant downturn in the advancement of motions throughout the second and third quarters of 2020. However, the Asbestos Case Tracker has reported on recent motions in limine and causation-based motions for summary judgment involving these issues, which provides some guidance into the anticipated rulings going forward.

In mid-September 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana issued several decisions on motions in limine …

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Zoom: The Final Trial Frontier?

In a case recently reported by the Asbestos Case Tracker, the nation saw the first asbestos-related Zoom trial go to verdict. While the trial went through to verdict, it was not without serious procedural and technological hiccups that were noted by both sides of the bar and the judge.

During the trial, Honeywell’s counsel filed a “notice of irregularities,” which listed myriad issues with the jurors themselves, including seeing a juror working and emailing from another computer during opening statements and two jurors looking …

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NYCAL Judge Manuel Mendez Appointed to Appellate Division, Question Remains: Who is the Next NYCAL Coordinating Judge?

On July 13, 2020, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced four appointments to fill vacancies in the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, in the First Department of New York State. Two of those appointees are no strangers to New York Asbestos Litigation (NYCAL), Judge Martin Shulman and Judge Manuel Mendez. NYCAL has one of the most active asbestos dockets in the United States. In fact, NYCAL had approximately 314 filings in 2019.

Justice Shulman, a well-known judge in NYCAL was first elected to the Manhattan …

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Iowa Breaks Ground with Asbestos Litigation Over-Naming Law—The First of its Kind in the U.S.

Over the past year, an increasing number of state legislatures are considering bills or have passed legislation intended to promote fairness, clarity, and efficiency in asbestos litigation throughout the country. (For example, New York is currently considering a bill that would promote transparency in plaintiffs’ asbestos bankruptcy trust proof of claim submissions, a development ACT previously covered). Iowa, which has recently successfully passed various types of tort reform, is particularly notable despite not being an asbestos litigation national hot spot. Following codification of …

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Jurisdictions Remain Split on Existence of Liability and Scope of Same in Secondary Exposure Cases

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana recently issued a decision holding that an employer or premises owner, in a negligence claim, may owe a duty of care to a plaintiff who alleges exposure to asbestos from coming into contact with that employer’s or premises owner’s employees at an offsite location. In Hernandez v. Huntington Ingalls, Inc., the plaintiff, Jesse Hernandez, alleged he was exposed to asbestos from working at a family grocery store and deli that was frequented by employees …

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2019 Asbestos Litigation Trends

KCIC recently issued Asbestos Litigation: 2019 Year in Review, which complied statistics for 2019 and assessed them in comparison with the data from its previous Asbestos Litigation: 2018 Year in Review. Please note all data KCIC analyzed for their report was based on complaints received and processed through January 31, 2020, regardless of file year.

The overall takeaways from the update, each assessed at greater length below, are:

  1. As of January 31, 2020, the total asbestos filings reflect a slight decrease of 2
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Remand Granted After Finding that Removal Period was Triggered by Plaintiffs’ Discovery Responses

NEW YORK – The plaintiffs sued dozens of defendants, including Cleaver-Brooks, alleging that Frederick Brown developed an asbestos-related injury as a result of exposure to the defendant’s products. The complaint was filed in July 2017. The plaintiff served answers to interrogatories in October 2017. The responses stated in pertinent part “…While performing my sheet metal worker duties, I was exposed to asbestos from the work I did as well as from the work of tradesmen around and in close proximity to me who were cleaning, …

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Failure to Warn: To Whom and How Does it Apply?

As we have seen nationwide, plaintiffs assert claims against various types of defendants in asbestos litigation, including product manufacturers, suppliers, and premises owners. Even further, some of the product manufacturers may or may not have actually manufactured asbestos-containing products, whereas others’ products merely required the use of asbestos-containing component parts. Even more proliferating as to the possible types of claims, there are different standards related to the plaintiffs with direct asbestos exposure versus take-home cases, where the individual injured never worked directly with or around …

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Court Grants Summary Judgment for Valve Manufacturer due to Plaintiff’s Failure to Establish Causation

WASHINGTON – In a case extensively covered by the Asbestos Case Tracker, the court granted the summary judgment motion of defendant, Crosby Valve LLC. The decedent, Rudie Klopman- Baerselman, alleged that he developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos through his work as a merchant mariner aboard several vessels. The defendant argued that there was no evidence that the decedent was exposed to asbestos from a Crosby valve and that there is no evidence that asbestos from a Crosby Valve product was …

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