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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$8 Million Plaintiffs’ Verdict in Monroe County

On November 15, 2019, a Monroe County jury returned an $8 million verdict in the Wayne Meissner case, involving a 73-year-old plaintiff who was diagnosed with mesothelioma in August 2018. According to the plaintiff’s answers to interrogatories, he alleged asbestos exposure from home remodeling work from 1963 to 1966, as well as from work for Keene Insulation in 1967 and Eastman Kodak from 1967 to 1979. There was one defendant, a construction contractor, which remained at trial at the time of the verdict.

The jury …

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No Minimum Contacts Results in Defendant’s Dismissal

The plaintiff, Daniel Bannister, filed a petition for damages against numerous defendants alleging asbestos exposure that resulted in his diagnosis of mesothelioma. After his death, plaintiffs Patricia Ann Bannister, Shannon Rose Jordan, Daniel E. Bannister Jr., Dolphus Jacob Bannister, Anna Kay Springer, and Grayson Humble Bannister were substituted as proper-party plaintiffs. The defendant did not file an answer to the lawsuit, but rather filed a declinatory exception raising the objection of lack of jurisdiction over the person, and challenging the propriety of Louisiana court’s jurisdiction …

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