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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Nonparty Discovery Allowed in Take Home Exposure Case Supreme Court, State of New York County of Nassau, February 21, 2019

NEW YORK — The instant motion by the defendants Ford Motor Company and Hennessey Inc. stems from lawsuit filed on behalf of decedent Frances Lange; the plaintiffs assert that Mrs. Francis Lange (Frances) contracted mesothelioma as a result of the inhalation of asbestos during the course of laundering her deceased husband’s (Carl) and son’s (Jeffery) clothing. On November 12, the defendant Ford requested authorizations for Carl and Frances’ Social Security records, in response the plaintiff only provided Francis’ records. Ford also requested Carl and Jeffery’s…
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New NYCAL Coordinating Judge Grants First Causation-Based Summary Judgement Supreme Court of New York, New York County, January 29, 2019

NEW YORK — New York City Asbestos Litigation Coordinating Judge Manuel J. Mendez has granted a causation based summary Judgment motion to defendant, American Biltrite, Inc. (ABI). With respect to ABI, the plaintiff, Thomas Mantovi, alleged exposure from Amtico from vinyl asbestos floor tile that he encountered as a bystander while performing inspections as an insurance agent from 1967 through 1979. Specifically, he testified that he was exposed to asbestos by breathing in dust during insurance inspections of commercial and residential sites where Amtico asbestos…
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Manufacturer’s Argument that Asbestos Not Present in Its Baby Powder Fails Due to Conflicting Expert Reports Supreme Court of New York, New York County, November 30, 2018

NEW YORK — The plaintiff Anna Zoas sued Johnson & Johnson (J&J) alleging that her mesothelioma was caused by asbestos  present in J&J Baby Powder. She allegedly used the product daily from 1945 to 1948 and regularly from 1948 to 1956. The plaintiff’s complaint was filed on May 12, 2017, and was amended on July 4, 2017. J&J then moved for summary judgment to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims. To prevail on a summary judgment motion in New York, a defendant must make a prima facie
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New York’s Highest Court Upholds Defense Judgment as a Matter of Law Based on Lack of Sufficient Scientific Evidence New York State Court of Appeals, November 27, 2018

NEW YORK — New York’s highest Court issued its first decision addressing causation standards in an asbestos case, and upheld the trial and intermediate appellate court decisions granting Ford Motor Company judgment as a matter of law in Juni v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co. et al.. ACT has previously reported on the Juni matter here and here. The majority found that “[v]iewing the evidence in the light most favorable to plaintiffs, the evidence was insufficient as a matter of law to establish…
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Policy Covered Injuries Arising From Operations During Policy Period Supreme Court, Appellate Division. November 15, 2018

In a brief opinion, a New York appellate court held that an insurance policy covered injuries arising out of operations performed during the policy period, and therefore was not limited to injuries that actually occurred during the policy period. This meant that coverage was triggered under the policy by claims arising from use of spray-on asbestos fireproofing during the policy period, even though the injury did not manifest until later. The court further held that the claims did not arise from a single occurrence and…
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NYCAL Judge Rejects Causation Challenge; Reduces $75 Million Verdict to $17,250,000 Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County, October 11, 2018

NEW YORK — Late Thursday night, NYCAL Justice Joan Madden issued a long awaited post-trial motion decision in Robaey v. Air and Liquid Systems, et al, NYCAL Index No. 190276/13, previously reported by ACT here. In January of 2017, a New York City jury returned a record setting $75 Million verdict, comprising $50 Million for plaintiff, Ms. Marlena F. Robaey ($40 Million in Past Pain and Suffering and $10 Million in Future Pain and Suffering), and $25 Million for derivative plaintiff, Mr. Edward…
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