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Talc Supplier’s Motion for Summary Judgment Denied as to Causation, Granted as to Punitive Damages

Court: Supreme Court of New York, Erie County

In this asbestos matter, plaintiffs claimed that decedent, Jeffrey Campise, was exposed to asbestos through consumer talcum powder products. Plaintiffs filed suit against a number of manufacturers of cosmetic-talc products, along with Whitaker, Clark & Daniels (WCD), as an alleged supplier of talc to the aforementioned manufacturers. WCD filed a motion for summary judgment seeking to dismiss plaintiffs’ claims in their entirety. 

As a preliminary matter, WCD argued it was speculative as to whether its talc was in …

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Plaintiff’s Worksite Testimony Precludes Summary Judgment for Contractor Defendant

Court: Supreme Court of New York, New York County

In this asbestos action, defendant Tishman Liquidating Corporation moved for summary judgment on the grounds that it is not responsible for any of the three job sites for which the plaintiff identified the company as the general contractor, and, therefore, is not liable for any injury that the plaintiff allegedly sustained from such sites.

For two of the sites, Tishman proffered New York Times articles that reported the general contractors to be companies other than Tishman, …

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Clutch Manufacturer Obtains Summary Judgment on Medical Causation Grounds

Court: Supreme Court of the State of New York, Nassau County

In this asbestos action, plaintiff Donna Daniell alleged asbestos exposure from working near auto mechanics, including her husband, Robert, while they used asbestos-containing products. She also alleged asbestos exposure from laundering her husband’s work clothes. She contends that she developed lung cancer from these exposures. Defendant LuK Clutch Systems LLC moved for summary judgment, arguing that Donna’s exposure to asbestos from LuK clutches would have been minimal and “similar [to] the ambient levels of asbestos in …

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General Contractor Defendant Fails to Meet Its Burden on Summary Judgment; Motion Denied

In this asbestos-related lawsuit, the defendant, Structure Tone, filed for summary judgment arguing that the plaintiff failed to establish that he was exposed to asbestos from working with or near products used by Structure Tone on jobsites.

In support of its motion, Structure Tone cited its answers to site-specific interrogatories that stated itdid not use asbestos–containing materials on the plaintiff’s job sites. Structure Tone argued further that the plaintiff affirmatively testified he was not exposed to asbestos at two job sites where it was the general contractor. And finally, Structure Tone …

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Joint Compound Defendant Post-Trial Motions Denied

Court: Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York

In this asbestos action, Munir Seen alleged he developed mesothelioma from asbestos exposure from various products, including joint compound from defendant Kaiser. The plaintiff’s experts included Drs. Jacqueline Moline and David Rosner. In June 2022, a jury awarded the plaintiff $15 million and allocated 70 percent of the fault to Kaiser. Following the trial, Kaiser moved for three forms of post-trial relief. Ultimately, the court denied Kaiser’s motions in their entirety.

Kaiser …

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Boiler Manufacturer Partial Motions for Summary Judgment on Punitive Damages Denied

Court: Supreme Court of New York, New York County (NYCAL)

In these asbestos actions, defendant Burnham LLC moved for partial summary judgment seeking the dismissal of the plaintiffs’ punitive damage claims, arguing the plaintiffs failed to establish that Burnham’s conduct rose to the level of egregious and morally culpable conduct necessary for the award of punitive damages.  

In the first matter, plaintiff Frank Passanisi worked as a painter from 1966 to 1986. He alleged exposure to asbestos from Burnham boilers from performing work on …

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Defendant’s “Conclusory” Affidavit Not Enough to Meet Burden on Summary Judgment

Court: Supreme Court of New York, New York County

In this asbestos-related lawsuit, defendant, Perkins Engines, filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that plaintiff could not have used its brakes, clutches, or gasoline engine gaskets. In support of its motion, defendant proffered the affidavit of Kevin Klein, a technical coordinator in Litigation Technical Support for Caterpillar Inc. Klein asserted the defendant never manufactured, designed, or distributed any brakes or clutches, and that it supplied gaskets only for diesel engines. According to the defendant, partial …

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First Department Reverses Denial of Valve Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss on Personal Jurisdiction Grounds

Court: Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department

Plaintiff Ralph Vavala alleged his lung cancer diagnosis arose from alleged exposure to asbestos from a variety of products, including valves manufactured by the defendant, Jenkins Bros., during his employment as a steamfitter and welder from the 1960s through the 1980s. Upon commencement of the plaintiff’s lawsuit, Jenkins Bros. moved to dismiss the complaint against it for lack of personal jurisdiction. In response, the plaintiff cross-moved for jurisdictional discovery. On December 6, 2021, the trial …

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$23 Million Verdict Awarded in Mesothelioma Case Against Valve Manufacturer

Jurisdiction: NYCAL

A Manhattan jury handed down a $23 million verdict Dec. 21 in a living mesothelioma case brought by the law firm of Weitz & Luxenberg. 

The jury awarded compensatory damages to 81-year-old plaintiff James McWilliams, designating $13 million for past pain and suffering and $10 million for future pain and suffering.

Mr. McWilliams was a career union steamfitter for Local 638 in New York City. 

The trial began in November before Justice Suzanne Adams. The six jurors found a valve manufacturer 90-percent liable …

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Automobile Manufacturer Denied Summary Judgment as Corporate Representative Affidavit Deemed Insufficient

Court: Supreme Court of New York, New York County

In this asbestos action, the defendant, Francesco Carboni, alleged asbestos exposure working on automobiles for Zumbach Sports Cars. The defendant, Porsche Cars North America, moved for summary judgment, arguing that the decedent was not exposed to asbestos from any PCNA products. The plaintiff Susan Carboni opposed PCNA’s motion.

PCNA argued that it could not be liable for any alleged exposure in this case as the decedent testified that he last worked on Porsche automobiles in 1981 …

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