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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Three Experts’ Opinions Deemed Reliable and Relevant Under Daubert Standard United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana, January 7, 2019

LOUISIANA — The defendants Ford and Cummins filed motions in limine to exclude or limit the expert testimony of the plaintiffs’ experts Dr. Brent Staggs, Dr. Murray Finkelstein, and Christopher Depasquale. The plaintiff Victor Michel filed suit in state court against multiple defendants, alleging that his exposure to asbestos while working as a mechanic and generator service technician caused him to contract peritoneal mesothelioma. Under Daubert, the district court “is to act as a gatekeeper to ensure that ‘any and all scientific testimony or…
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Plaintiff’s Experts Precluded for Untimely Disclosure United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, December 28, 2018

LOUISIANA — The plaintiff Victor Michel (plaintiff) initially filed suit in state court on July 28, 2017, alleging asbestos exposure as a result of his work as a mechanic and generator service technician from 1965-2005. The defendants removed the case to federal court on May 8, 2018. After the case was removed to federal court, a status conference was held at which the court asked the parties to notify it of any remaining discovery. There was no discussion as to any further expert discovery. The…
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Plaintiff’s Experts Satisfy Daubert, Allowed to Testify in Brake Dust Exposure Case United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division, December 11, 2018

ARKANSAS — Ronald Thomas worked as a brake mechanic and manager at auto repair shops for approximately twelve years. In March of 2017, he was diagnosed with mesothelioma and subsequently passed away later that year. His estate brought product liability claims against multiple defendants for negligence and strict liability, alleging that exposure to asbestos in brake pads caused Thomas’s mesothelioma. The plaintiff brought forth two experts, Dr. Arnold Brody and Dr. Edwin Holstein, to support his theory.  Dr. Brody is a professor emeritus of pathology…
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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 State Court of Appeals, November 27, 2018

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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Defendant’s Motions in Limine to Exclude Common Plaintiff’s Experts Denied and Granted in Part in Railroad Case United States District Court, D. Kansas, October 21, 2018

KANSAS — Asbestos Case Tracker brings you the following development in the previously reported Robert Rabe case. Click to read the factual background. The defendant, The Budd Company (Budd) moved in limine to exclude the plaintiff’s experts, Drs. Brody, Castleman and Frank. The court began its analysis with the standard for expert challenges: A witness who is qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify in the form of an opinion or otherwise if: a) the expert’s scientific, technical…
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Supreme Court Rules Frye Standard Applies to Florida Cases, Overturns District Court’s Decision Excluding Plaintiff’s Experts’ Causation Testimony Supreme Court of Florida, October 15, 2018

FLORIDA — The plaintiff Richard DeLisle filed a personal injury action against sixteen defendants, claiming that each caused him to be exposed to asbestos. Of the sixteen, DeLisle proceeded to trial against three: Crane, Lorillard Tobacco Co., and Hollingsworth and Vose (H&V). At trial, the plaintiff presented evidence that he was exposed to “Cranite” sheet gaskets containing chrysotile asbestos fibers and Kent cigarettes; the cigarettes were produced by Lorillard’s predecessor, and the filters were supplied by a former subsidiary of H&V. The filters contained crocidolite…
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