The law concept background.

Asbestos Damages in the Maritime Sphere

The shipping industry is an extensive and foundational mode of global transportation and resource distribution. The men and women who work aboard the U.S. fleet are routinely exposed to varying types of cargo, machinery, and unfortunately, a vast array of harmful materials such as asbestos. According to the NGO Shipbreaking Platform, asbestos can still be found in over 65 percent of vessels, including 50 percent of all new-builds despite it being a banned material in shipbuilding since July 2002. It is estimated that a commercial …

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Wooden judge gavel, close-up view.

New York Holds its Position as a “Judicial Hellhole” in 2024

Perhaps unsurprisingly, New York City — and New York City Asbestos Litigation or NYCAL — continues to hold its position as a judicial hellhole in 2024.

However, New York City was once ranked second; it is now ranked third, so perhaps this can be considered an improvement. The 2023-2024 Judicial Hellholes report is intended to shine a spotlight on nine jurisdictions that have earned reputations as Judicial Hellholes for various reasons.

As of July 2023, asbestos litigation filings increased more than 30 percent year over …

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A Review of 2023 Efforts to Broaden Wrongful Death Acts

Several states over the past year have eliminated limitations that have been part of Wrongful Death Acts. 

In Maine, the Legislature enacted “An Act to Amend the Laws Governing Damages Awarded for Wrongful Death.” As a result, the cap for wrongful death, non-economic damages — loss of comfort, society, and companionship — was increased from $750,000 to $1,000,000 and will automatically be adjusted for inflation each year. The punitive damages ceiling was raised from $250,000 to $500,000, and the timeline for commencing a wrongful death …

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Wooden judge gavel, close-up view.

Hawaii Court Grants Motion to Compel Genetic Testing in Asbestos Lawsuit

On August 30, 2023, a Hawaii court ruled on 3M’s motion to compel blood sampling for the purposes of genetic testing in an asbestos matter. Hawaii First Circuit Judge James H. Ashford granted 3M’s motion in the McCabe v. 3M Co., et al matter.

Plaintiff Randolph McCabe filed suit in Hawaii’s First District in October 2022.  McCabe worked as a warehouse employee for Acuron and Associated Insulation Co. from the early-to-mid 1980s. He alleged that although he occasionally wore respirators (including 3M’s 8710 model) he …

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Mid-Year Asbestos Filing Update for 2023

On Thursday, KCIC posted their 2023 Mid-Year Asbestos Filings Update. This update is compiled using information collected through July 31. Here are some highlights from the update:

Asbestos-Related Lawsuits Increase After Last Year’s Decrease

The number of asbestos-related lawsuits decreased from 2021 (1,972) to 2022 (1,922). However, 2023 shows an increase in the number of filings over the same span (1,963). In addition, the number of filings in 2023 is down from the high point of the last five years in 2019 (2,191).  …

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Courtroom, Gavel And Law Books

2022 Asbestos Litigation Trends

KCIC recently issued its latest industry report: Asbestos Litigation: 2022 Year in Review, which collected data through January 31 of this year, and assessed that data alongside statistics from its 2021 Year in Review.   

Several takeaways from the update, each addressed at greater length below, are as follows:  

  1. As of January 31, 2023, the total asbestos filings reflected a decrease of 7 percent compared to total filings in 2021.   
  2. Mesothelioma filings increased 2 percent in 2022; however, filings for other disease types, including lung
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2022 Mid-Year Asbestos Filing Update

Recently, KCIC posted their 2022 Mid-Year Asbestos Filings Update. This update is compiled using information collected through July 31st. This article illustrates some highlights from the update.

Number of Asbestos-Related Lawsuits Decrease While Mesothelioma Filings Increase

The number of asbestos-related lawsuits increased from 2020 (1,790) to 2021 (1,972). However, 2022 shows a decrease in the number of filings over the same respective time spans (1,914).

Mesothelioma and lung cancer filings continue to make up the majority of filings (86%). Notably, mesothelioma claims …

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Third Circuit to Consider Validity of J&J’s Use of Bankruptcy to Handle Asbestos Claims

On September 19, 2022, a panel of three judges for the Third Circuit heard oral argument in In re LTL Management LLC, Case No. 22-2003.  Before the Court is Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) use of Chapter 11 to resolve asbestos-related litigation.  The appeal to the Third Circuit follows a ruling by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey in February 2022, in which Judge Michael Kaplan declined to dismiss the bankruptcy case on bad faith grounds.  

Last year, J&J created …

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Alameda County Awaits Key Decision Regarding The Use of Genetic Testing in Asbestos Cases

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Jo-Lynne Q. Lee set a hearing on nationally recognized plaintiff’s firm Maune Raichle French Hartley & Mudd. LLC’s motion for protective order in a pending asbestos case in which the defendants’ experts wanted to perform genetic testing. The case is John Lohmann and Suzanne Lohmann v. Aaon, Inc., et al. Alameda County Superior Court Case No. RG21098862. In this case, the plaintiffs filed their action in May 2021 in Alameda County against several defendants alleging that Mr. Lohmann contracted mesothelioma …

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New York Manages to Remain a “Judicial Hellhole” in 2021

While trials and in person court conferences are starting to trickle in, some jurisdictions such as New York still managed to hold its position as a judicial hellhole in 2021. According to American Tort Reform Foundation 2021-22 Judicial Hellholes, California regained its position to the top of the judicial hellhole list. Following California, New York was named as the second judicial hellhole. Georgia, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania followed. Cook, Madison, and St. Clair Counties in Illinois; Louisiana; …

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