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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EPA Proposes Ban on Chrysotile Asbestos

On April 5, 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) announced proposed regulation that would prohibit the use, manufacture, and import of chrysotile asbestos, also known as ‘white asbestos.’[1] Chrysotile asbestos is the most commonly used variety of asbestos in the United States and can be found in certain products, including brake pads and linings, gaskets, and roofing materials.[2] EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan characterized the proposal as a “bold, long-overdue” action with the aim of protecting the American people.[3]

This is not …

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A Matter of Trust: Promoting Truth in New York Asbestos Trust Claims with Legislative Solutions

Previously on Asbestos Case Tracker, we took a look at the successful efforts of certain states to combat manipulation and abuse of the asbestos bankruptcy trust system. These states passed legislation that prevents claimants from being doubly compensated for alleged exposures to asbestos-containing products manufactured, used, or supplied by bankrupt and viable companies. The legislation enabled defendants in the tort system to obtain evidence of alternative exposures submitted only to bankruptcy trusts but not during the course of personal injury litigation.

New York’s Solution

New …

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North Dakota Joins States Enacting Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Transparency Legislation

On April 14, 2017, North Dakota became the third state this year to enact legislation mandating disclosure of asbestos bankruptcy trust claims. The new legislation requires plaintiffs to provide, within thirty days after an asbestos action is filed, a sworn statement from both plaintiff and counsel stating that all asbestos trust claims have been made. Plaintiffs must also provide parties with all trust claim materials, which are admissible in evidence. Supplementation is required, and failure to comply may result in dismissal of the case by …

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Proposed New York Bill Seeks Fairness in Asbestos Litigation by Requiring Claimant to File All Asbestos Trust Claims Within 45 Days of Commencement of Civil Action

A recent proposed New York Bill seeks fairness in asbestos civil litigation. SB2511, sponsored by Senator Jon J. Bonacic and co-sponsored by Senator John A. DeFrancisco, aims to bring transparency to asbestos litigation by requiring plaintiffs to file asbestos trust claim forms within 45 days of filing a civil asbestos action. After the recent decision in In re Garlock Sealing Techs, LLC, 504 B.R. 71 (W.D.N.C. Bankr. 2014), it became apparent that asbestos litigation “has been infected with the manipulation of exposure evidence” by certain …

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Personal Injury Trust Fund Transparency Act Introduced to Assembly Judiciary Committee of New Jersey

On June 2, 2016, a bipartisan bill known as the Personal Injury Trust Fund Transparency Act was introduced to the Assembly Judiciary Committee of New Jersey. Per its synopsis, the act’s main purposes are to require plaintiffs to file personal injury trust claims under certain circumstances, address allocations of trust claims, and establish scheduling and discovery requirements for certain tort actions.

The bill, sponsored by assemblywoman Holly Schepisi and assemblyman Gordon M. Johnson, arose out of its sponsors’ beliefs that there is currently a lack …

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Utah Passes Asbestos Litigation Transparency Act

In an effort to halt asbestos fraud, Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed into law a bill to prevent plaintiffs’ lawyers from, on behalf of a single client, seeking money from multiple asbestos trusts while additionally bringing a lawsuit. As stated by Lisa Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, this law “will ensure that companies and bankruptcy trusts both pay their fair share of recoveries to claimants. It will also help Utah manufacturing companies and protect jobs by ensuring that no more …

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U.S. House of Representatives Passes Bill to Add Fairness in Class Action Litigation and Further Asbestos Claim Transparency

On January 8, 2016, the United States House of Representatives passed a bill titled the “Fairness in Class Action Litigation and Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act of 2016” in an effort to tighten standards for class certification in lawsuits and require asbestos bankruptcy trusts to publicize claimants’ details.

Essentially, this bill requires that any party seeking to assert a class action affirmatively demonstrate that each proposed class member suffered the same type and scope of injury as the named class representative(s).  Additionally, the bill requires …

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New Jersey Legislation Proposing to Change Statute of Limitations for Mesothelioma Cases

On September 24, 2015, legislation was introduced in New Jersey that would create new Statute of Limitations for civil actions for personal injury and wrongful death caused by mesothelioma.

First, the bill would amend New Jersey statute § 2A:14-2, actions for injury caused by wrongful act, appointment of guardian ad litem.  It would add a subsection stating that an action for damages for damages for personal injury from mesothelioma related to exposure to asbestos may be commenced at any time, and that such action shall …

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Bill Proposed in Pennsylvania House Seeks to Add Fairness and Transparency to Asbestos Actions

On June 30, 2015, Rep. Warren Kampf introduced a bill in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives titled as the “Fairness in Claims and Transparency (FaCT) Act.”

The purposes are listed as providing transparency of claims made against bankruptcy trusts and in the tort system, to facilitate fair and appropriate compensation to plaintiffs while rationally allocating responsibility, to preserve the resources of defendants involved to help promote adequate recoveries for deserving plaintiffs, and to ensure that liabilities properly borne by bankruptcy trusts are not imposed upon …

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