Fire-Door Manufacturer’s Affidavit Based Only on Personal Knowledge Not Enough to Overcome Plaintiff’s Decedent’s Testimony About Exposure to Their Product Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York, May 16, 2019

NEW YORK – The defendant Algoma Hardwoods, Inc. filed a motion for summary judgment in the instant matter, contending via an affidavit signed by its principal that it did not sell or distribute asbestos-core fire doors in the New York metropolitan area where the plaintiff’s decedent worked during the relevant time period and therefore he could not have been exposed to their product. The affidavit was based on the principal’s personal knowledge, but was unaccompanied by documentation such as sales records substantiating the averments. The…
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Court Denies All Post-Trial Motions of Valve Defendant and Plaintiffs New York Supreme Court, April 24, 2019

NEW YORK — In James and Lynn Stock v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al, the Supreme Court of The State of New York, Eighth Judicial District, recently considered the defendant’s and the plaintiffs’ post-trial motions. At the trial of the original case, the plaintiffs James and Lynn Stock (plaintiffs) filed suit for James Stock’s (Stock) mesothelioma allegedly caused by exposure to asbestos while he was employed at New York Wire Mills in Tonawanda, NY from 1979 through 1986. The plaintiffs argued that…
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Supplemental Depositions from Unrelated Actions Insufficient as Only Evidence of Exposure Supreme Court of New York, April 12, 2019

NEW YORK — The plaintiff John Spicijaric (decedent) was diagnosed with lung cancer in June 2014, and died one week later. Prior to his lung cancer diagnosis, The decedent was also diagnosed with asbestosis. The decedent was deposed in his asbestosis case in 1985, but was never deposed in the present action. The decedent was a member of the Local 12 Asbestos Workers Union, and remained a member through the early 1990s. The defendant Electrolux Home Products (Electrolux) moved for summary judgment, claiming that plaintiff…
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Summary Judgment Granted to Floor Tile Defendant in Esophageal Cancer Case Due to Insufficient Causation Evidence Supreme Court of New York, April 12, 2019

New York — The plaintiff was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in October 2013 and filed suit in 2014. The plaintiff identified ten projects where he worked with vinyl asbestos floor tile. In addition to defendant American Biltrite’s (ABI) tile, the plaintiff identified seven other brands of tiles he used throughout his career. The plaintiff could not state which specific tiles were used on any of the ten jobs he described. With regards to ABI, the plaintiff testified that he used their brand of tiles on…
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Jury Instructions Confused Non-Party’s Role as Employer and Manufacturer, Leading to Incorrect Attribution of Liability Supreme Court of New York, New York County, March 28, 2019

NEW YORK — The sole issue on appeal “is the attribution of liability as between Con Ed and non-party Robert A. Keasbey, Co., (Keasbey).” For three months in 1958, the plaintiff’s decedent worked in close proximity to Keasbey employees, who used asbestos-containing concrete products, including Rex and Rakco concrete manufactured by Keasbey.  From the winter of 1964 to the spring of 1965, the plaintiff’s decedent worked for Keasbey as an asbestos installer at a Con Ed plant in Ravenswood, Queens and used Rex and Rakco.…
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NYCAL Verdict Tossed on Basis that “a lot” of Asbestos Exposure is Insufficient to Establish Causation Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York, March 28, 2019

NEW YORK – The defendant Caterpillar, Inc. (Caterpillar) appealed a verdict in the aggregate amount of $1.8 million issued by a jury in the New York City Asbestos Litigation (NYCAL) following a trial over which the Honorable Martin Shulman presided. This verdict was unanimously reversed by the First Department, one of which justices is the Honorable Peter Moulton, who previously presided over NYCAL as administrative judge. The First Department based its reversal on the plaintiff Joanne Corazza’s (plaintiff) failure to establish causation as it related…
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Prior Depositions of Non-Party Asbestos Supplier Representative Ruled Inadmissible on Appeal Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, March 21, 2019

NEW YORK — In 2014, decedent, Kimberlee Billok, was diagnosed with mesothelioma and died three months later at the age of 42. She claimed to have been exposed to Georgia-Pacific joint compound as an infant, and sued Union Carbide based upon it having supplied asbestos to Georgia-Pacific. Prior to trial in 2017, Union Carbide filed a motion in limine to preclude depositions of Georgia-Pacific’s corporate representative taken in 2001 and 2003, or in the alternative, to permit introduction of a 2007 deposition of the same…
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NY District Court Provides Guidance on Insurance Notice Provisions Northern District of New York, February 19, 2019

NEW YORK — In the latest decision in a long-running series of cases involving coverage for thousands of asbestos-related lawsuits filed against Fulton Boiler Works, Inc., the Federal District Court for the Northern District of New York established principles for the application of a notice provision in an insurance policy. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company was one of several insurers in Fulton’s coverage block between 1976 and 1993. As often occurs when a company becomes the target of asbestos litigation, the insured did not discover…
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Talc Meso Case Remanded After Fraudulent Joinder Theory Fails U.S. District Court, S.D. New York, February 26, 2019

NEW YORK — The plaintiff Laura Shanahan sued Kolmar Laboratories, Inc. (Kolmar), Johnson & Johnson (J&J), and seven other defendants in state court in New York, alleging that her use of their asbestos-containing talc products led to the development of mesothelioma. While the plaintiff and Kolmar were both residents of New York, J&J nonetheless removed the matter to federal court and invoked the doctrine of fraudulent joinder to establish diversity jurisdiction. J&J argued that the plaintiff failed to plead specific facts showing what role Kolmar…
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Dismissal of 1997 Lawsuit against Non-Party Defendants Insufficient for Summary Judgment Under Federal Employer’ Liability Act Court of Appeals of New York, February 21, 2019

NEW YORK — The plaintiff’s decedent Mason South and his wife Ann South sued Chevron Corp. and several other defendants, alleging that the defendants were responsible for causing Mason’s mesothelioma. Chevron moved for summary judgment based on a release that the plaintiff’s decedent signed when he settled a 1997 lawsuit against Texaco, Inc. and many other defendants based on his exposure to asbestos.The Supreme Court denied Chevron’s motion, reasoning that the record at that stage of the proceedings did not meet Chevron’s heightened burden under…
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