New Jersey Supreme Court to Review Apportioned Asbestos Verdict in Meso Case

NEW JERSEY — The New Jersey Supreme Court will review whether a recent judgment reduced by allocation amongst 9 companies should be retried. The judgment was rendered in favor of a widow, Donna Rowe, whose husband died of mesothelioma. Mr. Rowe allegedly came into contact with asbestos products while repairing and installing heating equipment. Several defendants settled and therefore did not attend trial. As a result, the trial court admitted certified discovery answers and deposition testimony as the settling defendants’ witnesses were determined to be…
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Johnson & Johnson Secures Defense Verdict in Asbestos Talc Case Superior Court of New Jersey, County of Middlesex, October 11, 2018

NEW JERSEY — Today, a central New Jersey jury determined that Johnson & Johnson (J&J) was not liable for the mesothelioma of the plaintiff Rosalind Henry, who alleged that she developed the disease in part from use of J&J’s baby powder. In closing arguments, counsel for J&J told jurors that Ms. Henry had told her doctors that she was exposed to asbestos while working for a company that serviced Naval vessels, and that Ms. Henry only used J&J’s talc product for a small number of…
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District Court Remands Case Back to New Jersey State Court After Federal Defendant is Dismissed United States District Court, District of New Jersey, August 17, 2018

NEW JERSEY — On October 30, 2015, The plaintiffs Thomas Grimes and Estelle Grimes Estelle Grimes initially filed suit in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Middlesex County against a number of defendants alleging that Mr. Grimes’s mesothelioma was caused by exposure to defendants’ asbestos or asbestos-containing products. Shortly thereafter, the case was removed to the United States District Court, District Court of New Jersey, following Defendant Crane’s Notice of Removal relating to the federal officer removal statute, 28 U.S.C. Section 1442(a)(1). Pursuant to…
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Transfer Granted Where Severance of John Doe Defendants Aids Judicial Economy United States District Court, D. New Jersey. August 07, 2018

DELAWARE — The United States District Court issued a Show Cause Order requiring the parties to show why this matter should not be transferred to the District of Delaware. The plaintiff opposed the transfer arguing that two of the defendants also known as “John Doe” defendants may not be subject to personal jurisdiction in Delaware.  The defendants countered and argued that the plaintiff’s claims against those two defendants, RBC Sonic and Aetna Steel Products Corporation, could easily be severed. The court agreed that claims against…
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New Jersey Appellate Court Undermines Bare Metal Defense Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, August 6, 2018

NEW JERSEY — The plaintiff, Arthur Whelan, worked as a plumber and auto mechanic and later developed mesothelioma.  He filed suit against numerous manufacturers of boilers, valves, steam traps and brake drums.  While the plaintiff did install original products, the bulk of his testimony concerned replacement components used with the products.  Many defendants filed motions for summary judgment, arguing that plaintiff had failed to demonstrate evidence of exposure to a product they sold, manufactured or supplied.  The trial court found the defendants were not liable…
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Shipyard Defendants Establish a Colorable Federal Defense in Mesothelioma Case; Remand Denied United States District Court, D. New Jersey. July 31, 2018

NEW JERSEY — The plaintiff filed suit on behalf of her decedent Robert Fish alleging he developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos products of the defendants. Specifically, the plaintiff believed Mr. Fish was exposed to joiner panels while working onboard the USS Savannah for New York Shipbuilding and Drydock Company. The dfendants removed the matter to federal court asserting the federal officer removal statute. The plaintiff moved to remand. The court began its review by noting the standard for federal officer removal.…
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$650,000 Verdict Vacated Based on Lack of Evidence That Cement Manufacturer Was “Exclusive Supplier” to Boiler Company Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, July 9, 2018

NEW JERSEY — The plaintiff’s Decedent William Condon and Plaintiff Debbie Condon originally filed suit in 2014 against 97 defendants, alleging that Decedent’s exposure to asbestos from their products caused his mesothelioma. On June 19, 2014, a Law Division judge denied Defendant Pecora Corporation’s motion for summary judgment. Of the defendants who settled with the plaintiff, nine did so before trial. At trial, the jury apportioned liability and damages between eleven defendants, including Pecora. Six of the eleven defendants went to trial; the others were
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Admission into Evidence of Testimony and Answers to Discovery of Settled Defendants Leads to New Trial Ordered on Issue of Apportionment Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, June 29, 2018

NEW JERSEY — Donna Rowe (plaintiff), individually and as executrix and executrix ad prosequendum of the estate of Ronald Rowe (Rowe), appealed an April 27, 2015 judgment of $304,152.70 plus prejudgment interest. The plaintiffs originally sued 27 defendants, alleging that exposure to asbestos from their products caused Rowe’s mesothelioma. Twelve defendants were granted summary judgment, four were dismissed, and two never appeared and the claims against them were abandoned. Additionally, eight parties settled their claims before trial, leaving only Hilco, Inc., the successor-in-interest to Universal…
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$117 Million Verdict Upheld in Talc Case Middlesex County, New Jersey, July 2, 2018

NEW JERSEY — Superior Court Judge Ana C. Viscomi denied motions from Johnson & Johnson and Imerys Talc America, Inc. to set aside a $37 million verdict in compensatory damages and a combined $80 million verdict in punitive damages awarded earlier this year.  On Wednesday, May 23, 2018, the court heard arguments on Imerys Talc America, Inc.’s motions to overturn the verdict. The court instead upheld the verdict. In rendering her decision, Judge Viscomi stated that the verdicts “do not shock the judicial conscience.”…
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Unavailability Exception in Asbestos Coverage Dispute Affirmed by New Jersey Supreme Court New Jersey Supreme Court, June 27, 2018

NEW JERSEY — The decision involved questions about the insurance coverage available to defendant Honeywell International, Inc. (Honeywell), a New Jersey based corporation, for thousands of bodily-injury claims premised on exposure to brake and clutch pads (friction products) containing asbestos.  The court first considered whether the law of New Jersey or Michigan (the headquarters location of Honeywell’s predecessor when the disputed excess insurance policies were issued) should control in the allocation of insurance liability among insurers for nationwide products-liability claims. Second, the court addressed whether…
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