Delaware District Court Rules on Pre-trial Motions in Maritime Law Case United States District Court, D. Delaware, October 25, 2019

DELAWARE – The plaintiff filed this asbestos-related wrongful death action in Delaware on June 11, 2015. While the court does not explain the underlying case facts, motion practice regarding admiralty law and expert exclusion indicates that the decedent was exposed to asbestos while a member of the United States Navy. As trial is approaching for this case, the plaintiff and the defendant, John Crane, Inc. (JCI), both filed motions in limine. The plaintiff’s motion sought to exclude discussion or reference to collateral sources, including…
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Honeywell Rebuffed in Effort to Preclude Plaintiff’s Experts U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, September 30, 2019

MARYLAND – Honeywell filed a Daubert motion to preclude the plaintiff’s experts from opining that chrysotile asbestos used in automobile brakes causes pleural mesothelioma or that every exposure is causative. The plaintiff retained Dr. Arthur Frank, Dr. John Maddox and Dr. John Finkelstein as experts. Honeywell argued that each expert offered the “each and every exposure” theory, which is barred under Daubert. The plaintiff agreed, and instead argued that his experts’ opinions were based on the plaintiff’s specific exposure level and not the general fact…
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Talc Defendant Successfully Excludes Expert Opinion Pursuant to Daubert

The plaintiff, Doris Gordon, alleged that she developed fatal mesothelioma in part from her use of asbestos-contaminated Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder that was manufactured, marketed, and sold by the defendant, Colgate-Palmolive. Colgate sought exclusion of the testimony of the plaintiff’s expert, Dr. Ronald Gordon. The court considered Colgate’s Daubert motion to exclude Dr. Gordon’s testimony and a separate motion in limine to preclude evidence regarding the plaintiff’s testing because of lack of authenticity and relevance of the talc tested. The Daubert motion was granted, and…
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Component Part Supplier Successfully Excludes Expert Testimony Regarding Failure to Warn United States District Court, D. Delaware, July 19, 2019

DELAWARE – The plaintiff Icom Henry Evans worked as a fireman and boiler tender in the United States Navy from 1957 to 1967. He filed suit and alleged that his fatal mesothelioma was caused in part by exposure to asbestos-containing gaskets and packing that were manufactured, sold, distributed, licensed, or installed by John Crane, Inc. (JCI).  JCI moved the court to exclude testimony offered by the plaintiffs’ expert Captain Arnold Moore, a marine engineering authority. They contended that Captain Moore lacked expertise to interpret relevant…
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Denial of Talc Defendant’s Motion for JNOV Reversed on Appeal Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York, June 20, 2019

NEW YORK – In unanimously reversing an order denying the defendant Whittaker Clark & Daniel’s, Inc.’s (WCD) motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, today New York’s First Department determined that the plaintiff Claudine DiScala did not present sufficient evidence to establish a level of exposure that could have caused the decedent, Joan Robusto’s, mesothelioma. They determined that although there was not a requirement to quantify a mathematically precise exposure level, the plaintiff’s causation expert failed to express a legally sufficient opinion because he “merely opined…
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Directed Verdict Reversed for Floor Tile Defendant Based on Admissibility of Expert Opinion Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 4, California June 19, 2019

CALIFORNIA – The plaintiff, Robert Friedman, alleged that he developed mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos through remodeling work undertaken in his home. He proceeded to trial against the defendant, American Biltrite, Inc. (ABI), a manufacturer of asbestos vinyl tile that was allegedly cut and installed in Friedman’s presence over three days in 1966. The plaintiff specifically testified that he observed the tile installers cutting the tile with a circular saw, which created dust. ABI presented testimony from their corporate representative stating that vinyl tile was…
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NYCAL Verdict Tossed on Basis that “a lot” of Asbestos Exposure is Insufficient to Establish Causation Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York, March 28, 2019

NEW YORK – The defendant Caterpillar, Inc. (Caterpillar) appealed a verdict in the aggregate amount of $1.8 million issued by a jury in the New York City Asbestos Litigation (NYCAL) following a trial over which the Honorable Martin Shulman presided. This verdict was unanimously reversed by the First Department, one of which justices is the Honorable Peter Moulton, who previously presided over NYCAL as administrative judge. The First Department based its reversal on the plaintiff Joanne Corazza’s (plaintiff) failure to establish causation as it related…
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Preclusion of Plaintiff Experts Leads to Defense Win in First Philly Talc Trial Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, February 8, 2019

PENNSYLVANIA – The plaintiff Charles Brandt (plaintiff), on behalf of the decedent Sally Brandt (decedent), commenced an asbestos-related action against, among other defendants, Colgate-Palmolive Company (Colgate), alleging that the decedent’s use of Colgate’s Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder exposed the decedent to asbestos, resulting in her mesothelioma diagnosis. Following a Frye hearing, the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas precluded the expert opinions of the plaintiff’s geologist and pathologist, finding numerous methodological flaws in their research claiming asbestos was found in Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder. Colgate…
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Exclusion of the Plaintiff’s Causation Experts Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment in Merchant Marine Mesothelioma Matter U.S.District Court, E.D. Louisiana, February 05, 2019

LOUISIANA — The plaintiff filed suit against multiple defendants alleging he developed mesothelioma while working for Radcliff Materials, a predecessor of Dravo Basic Materials Company (DBMC). Prior to filing suit in Louisiana, The plaintiff had filed a products liability suit against several defendants in California including DBMC. The plaintiff dismissed DBMC from the California suit based on jurisdictional issues. The plaintiff worked as an oiler onboard a dredge known as the Avocet in 1973 for approximately 6 weeks. His primary job duties included reading gauges,…
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New NYCAL Coordinating Judge Grants First Causation-Based Summary Judgement Supreme Court of New York, New York County, January 29, 2019

NEW YORK — New York City Asbestos Litigation Coordinating Judge Manuel J. Mendez has granted a causation based summary Judgment motion to defendant, American Biltrite, Inc. (ABI). With respect to ABI, the plaintiff, Thomas Mantovi, alleged exposure from Amtico from vinyl asbestos floor tile that he encountered as a bystander while performing inspections as an insurance agent from 1967 through 1979. Specifically, he testified that he was exposed to asbestos by breathing in dust during insurance inspections of commercial and residential sites where Amtico asbestos…
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