court of appeals

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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Judge Hitting Mallet On Dollar

$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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Pump Manufacturer Obtains Partial Summary Judgment

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

In this asbestos action, the plaintiff, Albert Howard, contends that he developed mesothelioma following his service in the United States Navy from 1961 to 1978. During this time, he alleged asbestos exposure from working with pumps, including Armstrong pumps, while serving on various submarines whose names he could not recall. The defendant, Armstrong, moved for summary judgment, which the plaintiff opposed. The trial court denied Armstrong’s motion.

Armstrong appealed the trial court’s denial of summary judgment. …

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Courtroom, Gavel And Law Books

Gasket Manufacturer’s Motion for Summary Judgment Denied in Take Home Exposure Case

Plaintiff Edith Niedert alleged that she developed lung cancer as a result of her exposure to asbestos from laundering the clothing of her husband, Paul Niedert. From 1956 to 1993, Mr. Niedert was employed as a plumber and steamfitter, and was responsible for removing and installing Goodyear gaskets and gasket-containing materials. The plaintiff was diagnosed with lung cancer on July 19, 2017. 

In a motion for summary judgment, Goodyear argued that the plaintiff’s exposure to asbestos from laundering her husband’s clothing was “so insignificant that it …

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Boiler Manufacturer Directed to Appear for Punitive Damages Deposition

Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department

In this asbestos action, Defendant Burnham (“Burnham”) moved to vacate the NYCAL Special Master’s ruling directing Burnham to appear for a deposition with regard to punitive damages. The trial court denied Burnham’s motion. Burnham subsequently appealed the trial court’s decision.

The Appellate Division affirmed the trial court’s decision. After noting the relevant portions of the NYCAL Case Management Order, the Appellate Division set forth that “[t]he  Special Master providently exercised her discretion in directing Burnham to …

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Appellate Division Reverses Trial Court’s Denial of Dismissal of Punitive Damages Claim

Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department

Plaintiffs Victor Arana and Romeo Maffei, both allege asbestos exposure from working with asbestos cement pipe previously distributed by the defendant, J-M Manufacturing Company.

In these actions, the plaintiffs sought punitive damages against JMM as the company did not place a warning on all of the pieces of pipes it distributed. JMM moved for summary judgment on the punitive damages claim, which the trial court denied. JMM appealed the trial court’s decisions.

Ultimately, the Appellate Division …

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Asbestos Supplier’s Motion Seeking Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict and New Trial Denied

State of New York, Supreme Court, County of Niagara, November 4, 2022

Plaintiffs Benedict Viglietta and Terri Viglietta alleged that Mr. Viglietta developed mesothelioma as a result of his exposure to asbestos while employed at a Durez chemical plant during the summers of 1974 and 1976. With respect to defendant Hedman Resources Limited, the plaintiffs alleged that Mr. Viglietta’s exposure to Hedman cationic fiber was a substantial factor in causing his mesothelioma. The plaintiffs further alleged that Hedman failed to provide an adequate warning and …

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PPE Manufacturer’s Motion to Dismiss on Personal Jurisdiction Grounds Denied

Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department, November 2, 2022

In this asbestos action, Steel Grip Inc., a personal protective equipment manufacturer, was sued along with other defendants for decedent Giacinto Pira’s alleged asbestos exposure, which allegedly contributed to his mesothelioma diagnosis.  

At his discovery deposition, Pira testified that his employer purchased asbestos-containing safety gloves from SGI in New York, and that he used these gloves for welding on his jobsite.

SGI moved to dismiss the case for lack of personal jurisdiction, …

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Pump Manufacturer’s Motion for Summary Judgment on Replacement Parts Denied; Court Critical of Corporate Representative Affidavit

Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County, October 11, 2022

In this asbestos action, the plaintiff Gloria Maryn alleged exposure to asbestos from laundering the clothes of her son, Victor Arana. Mr. Arana worked as a plumber’s apprentice for the New York Plumbers Association from 2000 to 2014. One product that Mr. Arana worked with, and that he believes contained asbestos, was Armstrong pumps. Specifically, Mr. Arana removed external insulation from Armstrong pumps and the dust from this insulation would allegedly …

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