Former Speaker of the New York State Assembly’s Motion to Continue Bail and Stay Fine Denied in Part U.S. District Court, S.D. New York. September 17, 2018

NEW YORK — Former Speaker of the New York State Assembly, Sheldon Silver moved to continue bail and stay his fine after a jury found him guilty on two counts of honest services mail fraud, two counts of honest services wire fraud, two counts of extortion under color of official right, and one count of money laundering. Silver was alleged to have schemed to received referral fees from a physician in connection with asbestos litigation. Silver’s motion to continue bail was denied as the “Government…
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First New York State Appellate Level Additur Decision Issued New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, September 13, 2018

NEW YORK — With little to no analysis, the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court affirmed various decisions issued by the trial court in 2017 during a ten day trial, wherein the plaintiff alleged development of mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure. These included, among other rulings: granting defendants Crane Co. and Warren Pumps motion to quash trial subpoenas; denial of defendant Jenkins Bros.’ motion to set aside the verdict; granting of the plaintiff’s motion to set aside the verdict to the extent of…
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Denial of Judgment Notwithstanding The Verdict Reversed For Welding Rod Defendant Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth District, September 5, 2018

Illinois — Following a trial in which a jury found that Hobart Brothers Company (Hobart) had failed to warn the plaintiff, Charles McKinney of the dangers of asbestos from its welding rods, Hobart appealed the trial court’s denial of its motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict. The appellate court reversed the trial court’s denial, finding no evidence in the record demonstrating that the welding industry knew in the 1960s that welding rods could release asbestos fibers, or that welding rods were a substantial cause of…
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Trial Subpoenas to Settling Parties Allowed to Issue For Liability Apportionment Supreme Court, State of New York, County of Erie, Eighth Judicial District, September 5, 2018

NEW YORK — In a currently pending asbestos matter, defendant Jenkins Bros. issued trial subpoenas to three settling defendants – Crane Co., Flowserve, Inc., and Warren Pumps. These three defendants filed motions to quash the subpoenas, which the court denied. The court ruled that the trial subpoenas were served properly on counsel in a timely manner, as no orders or stipulations of discontinuance had been filed by the three parties, and that the information sought in the subpoenas was relevant to establish apportionment of liability…
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Defense Strategies For Alternative Causation Mealey's Litigation Report

Goldberg Segalla asbestos team members, Tom Bernier, Oded Burger, Joseph Cagnoli Jr., and Susan Van Gelder have recently published a practical guide for defense attorneys raising alternative causation defenses in Mealey’s Asbestos Litigation Report. (See article link below.) In the paper, the authors reviewed recent scientific advances to provide the defense practitioner the tools to challenge the plaintiffs’ experts’ one-size-fits-all causation model. One of the most significant recent developments in asbestos litigation has come from the field of genomics. Since 2011, over…
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Bankruptcy Court Vigilant of Attempts to Divert Insurance Proceeds to Legal Fees United States District Court, W.D. Washington, August 20, 2018

WASHINGTON — On appeal from bankruptcy court, a federal district court denied Travelers’ motion to convert a debtor’s Chapter 11 reorganization into a Chapter 7 liquidation. In Travelers Indemnity Company v. Fraser’s Boiler Service, Inc. BHS (W.D. Wash. Aug. 20, 2018), the debtor, Fraser Boiler Service, Inc., was a former boiler repair company that operated for decades installing and maintaining equipment.  Fraser permanently ceased all operations and sold all of its business assets, leaving behind only insurance policies to pay the claims of asbestos…
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California Jury Returns Defense Verdict for Brake Arc Grinder Manufacturer Alameda County Superior Court, August 8, 2018

CALIFORNIA — on August 8, 2018, an Alameda County jury issued a defense verdict for Hennessey Industries, Inc. (AMMCO) in the plaintiff Donald Knutson’s mesothelioma case, which included allegations of exposures to asbestos from time in the United States Navy and from time working with various friction products.  While the jury found that Plaintiff’s mesothelioma was related to asbestos, and that he worked around an AMMCO brake arc grinder, they declined to find that AMMCO was negligent, or that they knew or should have known…
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Talc Defendant Entitled to Costs after Favorable Verdict Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 4, California August 8, 2018

CALIFORNIA — In 2016, a Los Angeles jury ruled in favor of defendant Colgate-Palmolive Company (Colgate), and against Plaintiff Elizabeth Alfaro, who alleged that her mesothelioma was caused by exposure to asbestos from talcum powder products. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Colgate on the exposure claims; this verdict was affirmed on appeal. Colgate then appealed the trial court’s denial of its request for $300,000 in costs and expert witness fees. This request was made pursuant to the California statutory law scheme which…
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PA Supreme Court to Determine Whether Fair Share Act Applies to Asbestos Cases Pennsylvania Supreme Court, July 31, 2018

On July 31, 2018, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted William Roverano’s petition for allowance of appeal from the Superior Court’s December 2017 ruling that the Pennsylvania Fair Share Act applied to asbestos strict liability claims. Specifically, the court accepted review of two issues: 1) Whether, under this issue of first impression, the Superior Court misinterpreted the Fair Share Act 42 Pa.C.S. 7102 in holding that the Act requires the jury to apportion liability on a percentage basis as opposed to a per capita basis in…
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Lack of Personal Jurisdiction over Successor-in-Interest Defendant Leads to Dismissal in Environmental Contamination Case Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department, July 25, 2018

NEW YORK — The plaintiffs filed suit against the defendants alleging damages for environmental contamination within the City of Rochester. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that the successors in interest to the defendants caused contamination to their property throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s. Defendant Valero Corporation (Valero) moved for dismissal of the plaintiff’s second amended complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction. The trial court denied the motion finding that the plaintiffs had established facts that demonstrated justification to “exercise” personal jurisdiction over Valero because “it was…
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