Talc Case Remanded To State Court When Fraudulent Joinder Theory Fails United States District Court, N.D. New York, July 31, 2019

NEW YORK – The plaintiff, Marilyn LaFlair, sued Port Jervis, New York resident Kolmar Laboratories, Inc. (Kolmar) and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) in state court in St. Lawrence County, New York. She alleged that asbestos-contaminated cosmetic talcum powder products manufactured and supplied by these defendants caused her mesothelioma. J&J removed the action to federal court and argued that non-diverse defendant Kolmar was fraudulently joined to the action. J&J contended that the “boilerplate allegations” of the plaintiff’s pleadings at most only suggested that Kolmar manufactured, sampled…
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Second Notice of Removal by Pump Defendant Found Timely Despite Administrative Close of Original Action United States District Court, S.D. New York, July 30, 2019

NEW YORK – The plaintiff Francis Keating filed suit against dozens of companies alleging he contracted lung cancer as a result of exposure to asbestos containing products for which the defendants were liable. Specifically, he believed he had been exposed to asbestos while working as a machinist in the United States Navy from 1953-1974 and while working for Eastman Kodak and Motorola as a refrigeration technician during the 1970s and 1980s. Aurora Pump Co. contacted the plaintiff and sought the plaintiff’s consent for the entry…
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Jury Verdict on Future Pain and Suffering Found to be Unreasonable Compensation Against Boiler Defendant Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York, June 25, 2019

NEW YORK – A New York appellate court has vacated the trial court’s entry of judgement of $2 million for future pain and suffering in a recent mesothelioma case and has ordered the plaintiff to stipulate within 30 days to a reduction of future pain and suffering damages to $500,000 or face a new trial on damages. The verdict included a $5 million award for the plaintiff’s past pain and suffering, which was untouched on appeal. Although the plaintiff presented evidence that their future condition…
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Denial of Talc Defendant’s Motion for JNOV Reversed on Appeal Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York, June 20, 2019

NEW YORK – In unanimously reversing an order denying the defendant Whittaker Clark & Daniel’s, Inc.’s (WCD) motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, today New York’s First Department determined that the plaintiff Claudine DiScala did not present sufficient evidence to establish a level of exposure that could have caused the decedent, Joan Robusto’s, mesothelioma. They determined that although there was not a requirement to quantify a mathematically precise exposure level, the plaintiff’s causation expert failed to express a legally sufficient opinion because he “merely opined…
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New York City Asbestos Litigation Verdict Against Johnson & Johnson Includes $300 Million Punitive Damages Award Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York, May 31, 2019

NEW YORK – Johnson & Johnson (J&J) was hit with a $300 million punitive damages award on May 31, 2019, after a jury found the company responsible for a woman’s development of mesothelioma after decades of use of J&J talc bath products. In Donna A. Olson v. Brenntag North America Inc., et al., the jury awarded the plaintiff, Donna Olson, and her husband, Robert Olson, with $25 million in compensatory damages, which brought the total verdict to $325 million. The lawsuit claimed…
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Substantial Justice is Driving Factor in Decision to Transfer Mesothelioma Case to Colorado Supreme Court of New York, May 24, 2019

NEW YORK – The plaintiff, Carl Lanz, filed suit in New York against the defendants alleging he developed mesothelioma as a result of his occupational exposure to asbestos. Specifically, Carl Lanz alleged he had been exposed to asbestos while working as an electrician apprentice and electrician for the Public Service Company of Colorado from 1969 -2008. Carl Lanz had never been to New York despite having filed his complaint in New York. General Electric and Union Carbide moved to dismiss the complaint on the basis…
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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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