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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New Jersey Talc Manufacturer’s Motion to Dismiss New York Case With Exposure In Virginia Granted Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County, July 27, 2018

NEW YORK — The plaintiffs sued Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and Johnson and Johnson Consumer Inc. (JJCI), alleging that Mrs. Hammock’s exposure to asbestos-containing J&J baby powder caused her to develop mesothelioma. Mrs. Hammock was a Virginia resident her entire life, and all of her alleged exposure took place in Virginia.   JJCI is the sole entity responsible for manufacturing and distributing J&J baby powder during the subject time period. JJCI is a New Jersey Corporation  with its principal place of business in New Jersey. JJCI…
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In-State Business Activities Unrelated to Asbestos Personal Injury Claims Ruled Insufficient to Confer Personal Jurisdiction Supreme Court of New York, June 16, 2018

NEW YORK – Newly appointed NYCAL Asbestos Coordinating Judge Manuel Mendez continued the recent trend of New York trial level decisions dismissing claims for lack of personal jurisdiction following  Bristol Myers Squibb Co. v. Supreme Court of California (2017) and Daimler AG v. Bauman (2014). In the matter of Irene Grabowski, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Alex Grabowski v. A.O. Smith Corporation, the plaintiff brought suit in New York State Court against The Scotts Company LLC (Scotts), alleging exposure from using Scotts…
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Defendant’s Joinder Denied; Parallel Suits Allowed in Federal and State Court United States District Court, S.D.N.Y, June 21, 2018

NEW YORK — On October 3, 2017, the plaintiffs filed two lawsuits in New York state court against two different groups of defendants. One lawsuit was filed against 83 defendants, not including Crane Co. (Crane), alleging that John Grimes developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to defendants’ asbestos-containing products. At present, that matter remains pending in state court. The second action—the instant action—was filed against four other defendants, including Crane. The plaintiffs similarly alleged that Mr. Grimes developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure…
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Recent NYCAL Trends in the 2017 & 2018 Accelerated Clusters

The current state of asbestos litigation in New York City (NYCAL) continues to evolve as both the plaintiffs’ bar and defense bar deal with a revised Case Management Order (CMO) and judicial turnover. For a better understanding of the types of claims that are actually being litigated in NYCAL, and what firms are filing these claims, we can look at the current filing trends under the “cluster” procedure that is used in this jurisdiction. The CMO explains there are three dockets used in NYCAL: (1)…
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Allegations of “Information and Belief” Interrogatory Answers Insufficient to Overcome Summary Judgment Supreme Court of the State of New York, Fifth Judicial District, May 23, 2018

NEW YORK — The decedent Julia Sgarlata’s estate brought suit against various companies alleging that she was exposed to asbestos while employed as an inspector, and as a shipping and receiving manager at Diemolding Corporation in New York State from 1955 to 1990, causing her peritoneal mesothelioma. The court issued a written decision on its April 19, 2018 grant of summary judgment for defendant Cytec Engineering, f/k/a American Cyanamid as successor to Fiberite (Fiberite), finding no evidence that the decedent was ever in the presence…
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Insufficient Evidence to Show Chrysotile Flooring Products Caused Plaintiff’s Peritoneal Mesothelioma Supreme Court, State of New York, Nassau County, April 18, 2018

NEW YORK — The court granted summary judgment for two flooring manufacturers in this peritoneal bystander mesothelioma matter. Plaintiff Victoria Pistone alleged that she was exposed to asbestos from vinyl floor covering manufactured by Mannington Mills, and tile manufactured by American Biltrite, while she accompanied her father to work, and in their home from his clothing. The court cited prior New York law in noting that a plaintiff must use a causation expert to establish that the plaintiff was exposed to sufficient levels of asbestos…
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Removal Upheld on Government Contractor Defense for Turbine and Gasket Manufacturers U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, November 27, 2017

NEW YORK — Plaintiffs Michael and Anne Donohue brought suit against multiple defendants including Westinghouse (CBS) and Crane Co. alleging Mr. Donohue contracted mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos containing products for which the defendants were liable. Mr. Donohue claimed exposure from his time working in the Navy and with the New York Fire Department (NYFD). CBS removed the case one day after the plaintiff’s trial deposition. Crane quickly joined the removal. Both asserted the government contractor defense which shields liability in certain instances. The plaintiffs…
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Mesothelioma Verdict Reduced by $4.3 Million on Appeal Supreme Court, State of New York, November 8, 2017

NEW YORK — Plaintiff Mary Nash filed suit on behalf of the plaintiff’s decedent, Lewis Nash, alleging bystander exposure to asbestos-containing dust from defendant Navistar’s brakes and gaskets while working as a janitor and bus driver in the Fayettteville-Manluis Central School District. The decedent’s exposure occurred in the bus garage at the school, where decedent routinely spent time during his bus runs. The jury awarded the plaintiff the following: three million dollars in conscious pain and suffering; three million dollars in emotional pain and suffering…
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New York Appellate Court Affirms Nine Million Dollar Verdict in Duty to Warn Grinder Case New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, October 5, 2017

NEW YORK — The plaintiff filed suit against various defendants, including Hennessy Industries’ subsidiary, Ammco, alleging that the plaintiff’s use of Ammco’s grinder on asbestos-containing brake linings exposed him to asbestos. The plaintiff’s expert testimony was sufficient to establish exposure to asbestos via use of the grinder in sufficient quantities to cause the plaintiff’s mesothelioma. Further, “because the asbestos-laden dust was created by plaintiff’s use of defendant’s grinder and defendant knew its grinder would be used on asbestos-containing products, defendant had a duty to warn…
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