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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NYCAL Judge Rejects Causation Challenge; Reduces $75 Million Verdict to $17,250,000 Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County, October 11, 2018

NEW YORK — Late Thursday night, NYCAL Justice Joan Madden issued a long awaited post-trial motion decision in Robaey v. Air and Liquid Systems, et al, NYCAL Index No. 190276/13, previously reported by ACT here. In January of 2017, a New York City jury returned a record setting $75 Million verdict, comprising $50 Million for plaintiff, Ms. Marlena F. Robaey ($40 Million in Past Pain and Suffering and $10 Million in Future Pain and Suffering), and $25 Million for derivative plaintiff, Mr. Edward…
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Plaintiff’s Request for Reconsideration of Granting of Summary Judgment Denied in Railroad Take-Home Exposure Case U.S. District Court. W.D. Washington, September 30, 2018

WASHINGTON — In an update to a case previously reported by Asbestos Case Tracker, The plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration of the Court’s Order granting summary judgment for Union Pacific Railroad has been denied. By way of background, the plaintiffs alleged that Mr. Jack was secondarily exposed to asbestos from the work clothes of his father who worked at Union Pacific Railroad. The plaintiffs argued that the court failed to properly review 1) information provided by the plaintiffs’ expert Dr. Barry Castleman; and 2) the court…
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New York’s Highest Court Set to Hear First Asbestos Causation Challenge New York Court of Appeals, October 16, 2018

NEW YORK — The New York Court of Appeals has set oral argument for October 16th, 2018 in Matter of NYC Asbestos Litig. (Juni v A.O. Smith). Since 2006, the Court of Appeals has weighed in three times[i] on the applicable causation standards in toxic tort cases, but Juni is the first asbestos related appeal to reach the high court. In this article, we provide a primer on the case and share a few thoughts about what to look for when…
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Court Precludes Some But Not All Testimony of Naval Expert United States District Court, E.D., Virginia, September 28, 2018

VIRGINIA — Following up with a prior ACT post on the Harry Goodrich matter pending in the United States District Court, E.D., Virginia, the Court has issued an omnibus opinion concerning motions in limine. Among other issues decided, the court addressed the plaintiffs’ motion to limit the testimony of defendants’ naval expert, Margaret McCloskey (McCloskey). Pursuant to Rule 702, the plaintiffs sought to limit the testimony of McCloskey in four (4) respects: (i) as unqualified to opine about plaintiffs actual exposure to asbestos-containing thermal insulation…
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Plaintiffs’ Causation Experts Stricken Under Daubert; Defendants’ Motions for Summary Judgment Granted United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, September 25, 2018

FLORIDA — The plaintiff’s Decedent Richard Doolin was diagnosed with mesothelioma in June of 2013 and passed away as a result on June 22, 2014. The plaintiff Stacey Doolin filed suit against multiple companies, alleging that Richard was exposed to asbestos when visiting his father’s automotive workshop as a child. The plaintiff further alleged that Richard did shadetree automotive work throughout his life that also exposed him to asbestos.  The last remaining defendants were Ford Motor Company (Ford) and Pneumo Abex LLC (Abex). Ford and…
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Weight-of-the-Evidence Standard Used by Plaintiff’s Experts Found to Satisfy Daubert Requirements United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division. September 5, 2018

OHIO — Defendant Honeywell International filed Motions in limine to Preclude the plaintiff’s Experts Dr. Murray Finkelstein and Dr. Carlos Bedrossian and dismiss the plaintiff’s claims, or, in the alternative, its request for evidentiary hearing. The plaintiffs filed oppositions. The court determined that both doctors utilized the weight-of-the-evidence standard in formulating their opinions of the case in line with the prescriptions under Daubert.  Additionally, Dr. Finkelstein’s methodology had previously been scrutinized at a Daubert hearing in another jurisdiction and was upheld as valid and…
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Exclusion of Evidence Not an Abuse of Discretion; Judgment for Railroad Defendant Affirmed Supreme Court of Montana, August 14, 2018

MONTANA — The plaintiff filed suit against Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Company (BN) under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) and the Locomotive Inspection Act (LIA). Specifically, Mr. Daley alleged he was exposed to asbestos while working at the Somers rail tie treatment plant from 1967-1986 when it closed. After a seven day trial, a verdict was entered finding BN had not violated FELA or LIA. The laintiff appealed arguing the trial court had abused its discretion on multiple evidentiary issues. The parties stipulated…
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Plaintiff’s Expert Causation Opinion Not Considered to be Each and Every Exposure Theory The United States District Court, Western District of Washington, August 10, 2018

WASHINGTON — The United States District Court, Western District of Washington addressed several expert challenges including, among others, motions to preclude Dr. Ronald Gordon, Dr. Carl Brodkin, and Dr. Arnold Brody – all which involve the application of the “each and every exposure” and/or “cumulative exposure” theories. For a brief case background, this case centers around allegations that decedent developed mesothelioma, and ultimately passed away from the disease, due to occupational exposure to asbestos from work as a machinist in the Navy and in the…
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Naval Architect Not Qualified to Render Opinions as to Automotive Products The United States District Court, Western District of Washington, August 10, 2018

WASHINGTON — The United States District Court, Western District of Washington addressed several expert challenges including the motion of the defendant Ford (Ford) to exclude Dr. Charles Cushing’s statements regarding the plaintiffs’ likely exposure to asbestos during automotive work. For a brief case background, this case centers around allegations that decedent developed mesothelioma, and ultimately passed away from the disease, due to occupational exposure to asbestos from work as a machinist in the Navy and in the Naval reserve from 1954-1962; as a machinist and…
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