$8 Million Plaintiffs’ Verdict in Monroe County

On November 15, 2019, a Monroe County jury returned an $8 million verdict in the Wayne Meissner case, involving a 73-year-old plaintiff who was diagnosed with mesothelioma in August 2018. According to the plaintiff’s answers to interrogatories, he alleged asbestos exposure from home remodeling work from 1963 to 1966, as well as from work for Keene Insulation in 1967 and Eastman Kodak from 1967 to 1979. There was one defendant, a construction contractor, which remained at trial at the time of the verdict. The jury…
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Plaintiff’s Failure to Raise Triable Question of Fact on Causation Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment for Talc Defendant State of New York, Supreme Court, July 22, 2019

NEW YORK – Marsha Madar filed suit against Colgate-Palmolive, alleging she developed perionteal mesothelioma as a result of her use of Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder in the 1970s. It was undisputed that she shared with her mother and sister just two bottles of Cashmere Bouquet. She also recalled using hundreds of bottles of other talcum powder. Colgate moved for summary judgment arguing that:
  1. The talc in its Cashmere Bouquet did not contain asbetsos
  2. There is no general causation as a matter of law, because even

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Plaintiff’s Failure to Establish Exposure to Specific Products Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment for Roofing Defendants Supreme Court of New York, Erie County, September 22, 2019

NEW YORK – The plaintiff, Darlene DiNatale, filed suit against the defendants, Bird Incorporated and Certainteed Corporation, alleging she developed peritoneal mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos in which Bird and Certainteed were liable. Specifically, she claimed that she was exposed to asbestos from cleaning her father’s office. The plaintiff’s father worked as a home improvement contractor for Fillmore Construction. She also alleged that she was exposed to asbestos through the dust that came off of her father’s work clothes. Bird and Certainteed…
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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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