Court Grants Summary Judgment for Furnace Manufacturer Based on Lack of Evidence of Exposure

NEW YORK – On January 24, 2020, the Honorable Deborah Chimes granted Foster Wheeler, LLC’s motion for summary judgment in the Schuman case. The plaintiff, Patricia Schuman, executrix for the decedent , Matthew Schuman, filed suit alleging that the decedent died of mesothelioma as a result of his exposure to asbestos. The decedent passed away prior to being deposed in this action, but was deposed in March 2003 in a separate action for his damages related to pleural plaques. The plaintiff argued that the decedent …

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Plaintiffs’ Motion to Remand Granted Due to Untimely Notice of Removal by Bankrupt Defendant

NEW YORK – On Nov. 29, 2016, the plaintiffs, Anna and Guido Nocelli, both citizens of New York, filed an action in the Supreme Court of New York alleging 11 causes of action related to Anna Nocelli’s, alleged asbestos-related disease. The initial complaint named multiple defendants, including the Union Carbide Corp., that were citizens of New York. The plaintiffs allege they were legally barred from naming Kaiser Gypsum Company  as a defendant in the initial complaint because Kaiser filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in …

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Insurer’s Settlement Allocation Entitled to Defense in Dispute with Reinsurer

NEW YORK — Reinsurer Century Indemnity Company filed a series of motions following an adverse jury verdict in its dispute with Insurer Utica Mutual Insurance Company regarding Utica’s handling of a settlement with Goulds Pumps related to a slew of asbestos claims against Goulds.

Century first contended that the judgment should be amended to properly calculate prejudgment interest. According to Century, the jury calculated all prejudgment interest from the date of Utica’s initial billings to Century, when in fact only a fraction of the total …

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A Matter of Trust: Promoting Truth in New York Asbestos Trust Claims with Legislative Solutions

Previously on Asbestos Case Tracker, we took a look at the successful efforts of certain states to combat manipulation and abuse of the asbestos bankruptcy trust system. These states passed legislation that prevents claimants from being doubly compensated for alleged exposures to asbestos-containing products manufactured, used, or supplied by bankrupt and viable companies. The legislation enabled defendants in the tort system to obtain evidence of alternative exposures submitted only to bankruptcy trusts but not during the course of personal injury litigation.

New York’s Solution

New …

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Plaintiff’s Claims Time Barred Against Defendant After Expiration of Tolling Agreement

NEW YORK – The defendant Union Carbide Company (UCC) entered into a tolling agreement with the plaintiff’s former counsel that terminated on December 31, 2009. The plaintiff filed the instant matter on July 30, 2013, well after the two year deadline for filing a wrongful death action and three year deadline for filing a personal injury action based on exposure to asbestos. UCC filed for summary judgment based on those facts, which the trial court granted.

The plaintiff’s appeal centered on the argument that the …

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$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

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

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

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

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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