New Jersey Supreme Court Affirms Manufacturer Liability for Third-Party Asbestos-Containing Component Parts

This case was initially filed in Middlesex County, NJ by the plaintiff in 2014. The plaintiff, Arthur Whelan, alleged he contracted mesothelioma from working on products manufactured by defendants, including original asbestos-containing components and asbestos-containing replacement components manufactured by other entities. At the summary judgment stage, the defendants argued the plaintiff could not establish that his exposure to asbestos was the result of any product they manufactured or distributed. Further, they denied any liability for the plaintiff’s exposure to asbestos-containing replacement parts that they did …

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Plaintiffs Awarded $750 Million Punitive Damages in Talc Trial

NEW JERSEY – In a case previously covered by the Asbestos Case Tracker, the plaintiffs were awarded $750 million during the punitive damages portion of the trial. The jury had already awarded $37.2 million in compensatory damages, and per New Jersey law, the punitive damages were reduced to $186 million, five times the compensatory award.  As further details emerge, we will update this post.…

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New Jersey Supreme Court Reverses the Appellate Division’s Prior Ruling in Rowe Creating a Positive Light for Asbestos Defendants

On September 11, 2019, the New Jersey Supreme Court returned a defense friendly decision in Donna Rowe v. Bell & Gossett Co. et al. The supreme court overruled the Appellate Division of New Jersey in a decision, which would have negatively affected trial defendants’ ability to allocate fault to settled defendants.

The decedent, Ronald Rowe who suffered from mesothelioma, sued 27 defendants who allegedly caused his illness. The defendants varied from manufacturers of friction products, boilers, pumps, valves, and other companies. On the eve …

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Talc Verdicts Remain a Mixed Bag in Second Half of 2019

In May 2019, we reported on the state of talc litigation following eye-popping verdicts in Missouri in July 2018 that saw Johnson & Johnson hit with $550 million in compensatory damages and over $4 billion dollars in punitive damages in 22 consolidated ovarian cancer cases. With hundreds of mesothelioma cases pending, alleging exposure to asbestos-contaminated talc and enormous damages potentially at stake, a further update is warranted. The last five months have seen several verdicts, and while it’s clear that talc asbestos cases are defensible, …

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Talc Defendant’s Appeal of Personal Jurisdiction Denial Dismissed

NEW JERSEY – After a lengthy discussion of corporate successor liability and the histories of the companies at bar, a New Jersey appellate court ultimately determined that the factual record was too incomplete to resolve questions regarding jurisdiction, and dismissed an appeal of the trial court’s order denying talc defendant Cyprus Amax Minerals Company (Cyprus) personal jurisdiction motion. Ohio resident Linda Huff had sued two Delaware corporations, Imerys Talc America, Inc. and Cyprus in New Jersey state court, alleging that their talc was incorporated into …

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New Jersey Jury Renders $37.3 Million Dollar Verdict Against Johnson and Johnson in Consolidated Talc Cases

NEW JERSEY – A New Jersey jury returned a verdict in the amount of $37.3 million dollars against Johnson and Johnson for combined compensatory damages brought by four mesothelioma claimants. The verdict came after three days of deliberations in a trial that lasted almost two months. The jury was tasked with determining whether Johnson and Johnson’s talc products contained asbestos and whether the plaintiffs’ exposures were a substantial contributing factor in causing their peritoneal mesothelioma. The jury also heard testimony over differing positions regarding asbestos …

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Lack of Specific Personal Jurisdiction Leads to Dismissal of Alleged Successor to Joiner Contractor

NEW JERSEY – The plaintiff filed suit against multiple defendants alleging her decedent developed mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos containing products used or installed by the defendants including, RBC Sonic. It was alleged that Robert Fish was exposed to asbestos panels installed by a joiner contractor while working at the New York Shipbuilding and Drydock located in New Jersey in 1960. Sonic Industries, Inc. (Sonic) moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of specific personal jurisdiction.

The court stated that a plaintiff must “present a …

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Defense Verdict for Johnson & Johnson in New Jersey Talc Meso Case

NEW JERSEY — March 27, 2019, a New Brunswick New Jersey jury found that Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. (J&J) was not liable in causing the mesothelioma of 58-year-old plaintiff Ricardo Rimondi.  Rimondi alleged decades of use of J&J’s baby powder, which the plaintiff alleged contained talc that was contaminated with asbestos. J&J attorneys highlighted the fact that the plaintiff’s experts failed to acknowledge that the plaintiff grew up and lived in close proximity to an asbestos cement factory.…

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Multiple Actions Dismissed Against Brake Manufacturer Due to Forum Non Conveniens

NEW JERSEY — Multiple deceased plaintiffs brought actions against Honeywell alleging they contracted mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos from Bendix brakes while working as mechanics in the United Kingdom. The plaintiffs filed in New Jersey despite the alleged exposure oversees. Honeywell moved for dismissal based on the doctrine of forum non conveniens after discovery was conducted. Judge Cantor granted dismissal in the majority of the cases and Judge Viscomi also granted dismissal in the remaining case. The plaintiffs appealed arguing abuse of …

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$2.38 Million Dollar Verdict Reached in Action Brought on Behalf of Chemical Compounder

NEW JERSEY — A New Jersey State case, Thomasenia L. Fowler v. Akzo Nobel Chemicals, Inc., et al., No. MID-L-4820-11AS (N.J. Super. Ct., Middlesex Cty.), which was previously covered by ACT, has ended in a plaintiff’s verdict against a raw fiber supplier. On January 22, a Middlesex County jury returned a $2.38 Million dollar verdict in favor of the plaintiff, Thomasina Fowler, individually and as administrator of the estate of Willis Edenfield, but declined to award any punitive damages during the trial’s second phase. …

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