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Asbestos Supplier’s Motion Seeking Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict and New Trial Denied

State of New York, Supreme Court, County of Niagara, November 4, 2022

Plaintiffs Benedict Viglietta and Terri Viglietta alleged that Mr. Viglietta developed mesothelioma as a result of his exposure to asbestos while employed at a Durez chemical plant during the summers of 1974 and 1976. With respect to defendant Hedman Resources Limited, the plaintiffs alleged that Mr. Viglietta’s exposure to Hedman cationic fiber was a substantial factor in causing his mesothelioma. The plaintiffs further alleged that Hedman failed to provide an adequate warning and …

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Ninth Circuit Reverses Denial of Longshore Act Benefits to California Widows

U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Two widows of California shipyard workers, whose husbands were allegedly exposed to asbestos and died as a result, sought compensation under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (“the Longshore Act” or “the Act”). The Longshore Act was enacted to protect longshore workers who suffered injuries related to their employment, but terminates benefits when “‘the person entitled to compensation (or the person’s representative) enters into a settlement with a third person’ for the employee’s disability or death for an …

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Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment Granted Due to Lack of Causation

In a case extensively covered by Asbestos Case Tracker, the Western District of Washington considered another defendant, Henry Company LLC’s, motion for summary judgment.

The seminal products liability case in Washington, Lockwood v. AC & S, Inc., enumerates seven factors to consider when “determining if there is sufficient evidence for a jury to find that causation has been established:”

  1. The plaintiff’s proximity to an asbestos product when the exposure occurred;
  2. The expanse of the work site where asbestos fibers were released;
  3. The extent
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Federal District Court Declines to Guess at Ohio Law, Applies Continuous Trigger

WISCONSIN – The Eastern District of Wisconsin ruled this week that a continuous trigger and all-sums allocation applied in a dispute between an Eaton Corporation — sued in a large number of personal injury cases based on exposure to asbestos through products manufactured by Cutler-Hammer, Inc., which Eaton acquired by merger in 1979 — and its excess insurers.

The parties recognized that Wisconsin has adopted both continuous trigger and all-sums allocation in asbestos cases. However, the defendants contended that their policies were governed by Ohio …

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California Jury Finds Defendant’s Talc Did Not Contain Asbestos

CALIFORNIA — In Blinkinsop v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., a California jury found that a defendant’s talcum powder did not contain asbestos, and therefore rejected the plaintiff’s claims that his use of the defendant’s products caused his mesothelioma. The plaintiff’s case was filed in September 2017, two months after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, alleging that his use of personal care products up through the 1980s caused his “likely terminal” illness. Following a five-week trial, a Long Beach jury deliberated for less than …

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Workers’ Compensation Exclusivity Provision Leads to Dismissal of Construction Worker’s Complaint

WISCONSIN — Plaintiff Johnson Carter filed suit against Henry Carlson’s Construction Company (HCCC) alleging he suffered “a variety of severe medical symptoms” after exposure to asbestos while working for HCCC as a temporary construction worker. Specifically, he claimed that he was exposed to asbestos during a demolition of a hospital in the late 1980s. He could not recall the name of the temporary agency or hospital, but stated that he was provided a dust mask for the tear-out work. HCCC moved to dismiss the complaint …

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Fifth Circuit Affirms Preemption of Claims Under Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

In a per curiam opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit addressed the appeal of pro se appellant, Johnny Kirkland. He alleged suffering injuries as a result of asbestos exposure while working for Huntington Ingalls in the 1970s. The district court found that plaintiff’s claims related exclusively to his work for Huntington Ingalls in the field of ship construction and repair, and were therefore governed by the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). The plaintiff did not dispute that the Huntington …

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Motion for Nonsuit Granted in Los Angeles Talc Trial

CALIFORNIA — Following a four-week trial, nonsuit was entered just prior to closing arguments in a talc mesothelioma trial venued in Los Angeles state court. At the conclusion of the plaintiffs’ case, Colgate-Palmolive moved for nonsuit, arguing that the plaintiffs had failed to present a prima facie case linking the use of Cashmere Bouquet talcum products to the plaintiff’s injury. The plaintiffs responded by arguing that they only had to prove that fibers from the defendant’s product contributed to the aggregate dose of asbestos to …

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Delaware Court Upholds Jury Verdict in Favor of Auto Mechanic

DELAWARE — Following up on a prior ACT post, where a Delaware jury returned a verdict of over $40 Million in favor of the widow of a deceased auto mechanic, defendant, who was attributed a liability share of 20 percent, filed a renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law under Rule 50(b) and a motion for a new trial, or in the alternative, remittitur. The defendant argued among other things, that the jury’s verdict was irreconcilably inconsistent and the amount of damages …

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New York’s Highest Court Upholds Defense Judgment as a Matter of Law Based on Lack of Sufficient Scientific Evidence

NEW YORK — New York’s highest Court issued its first decision addressing causation standards in an asbestos case, and upheld the trial and intermediate appellate court decisions granting Ford Motor Company judgment as a matter of law in Juni v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co. et al.. ACT has previously reported on the Juni matter here and here.

The majority found that “[v]iewing the evidence in the light most favorable to plaintiffs, the evidence was insufficient as a matter of law to establish …

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