Pennsylvania Superior Court Refuses to Extend Statute of Limitations for Employee’s Exposure Claims Pennsylvania Superior Court, November 16, 2018

PENNSYLVANIA — The Pennsylvania Superior Court, in an unpublished opinion, recently declined to extend the statute of limitations for workplace exposure claims brought by employees. Since the Tooey case was decided in 2013, Pennsylvania law has allowed employees to bring lawsuits against their employers if the diagnosis of an occupational disease occurred more than 300 weeks after the date of last exposure to the hazardous substance. However, the new case law did not alter the statute of limitations for brining such claims. In Moeller v.
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Second Mistrial Declared in South Carolina Talc Case Court of Common Pleas for the Fourth Judicial Circuit of South Carolina. November 15, 2018

CALIFORNIA — The plaintiff’s decedent’s second trial related to claims that Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) talcum powder products caused her mesothelioma ended a mistrial on Thursday, November 15, 2018. The plaintiffs filed suit against fifteen companies in May of 2017, alleging that exposure to asbestos caused the thirty year old attorney to develop mesothelioma. The plaintiff’s decedent Antione Bostic passed away on October 2017; one month prior, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint, adding talcum powder defendants, including J&J. The plaintiffs first trial ended in…
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South Carolina Workers Compensation Statute of Repose Bars Claims for Latent Asbestos Diseases United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division. November 13, 2018

SOUTH CAROLINA — A federal court in South Carolina granted the summary judgment motion of defendant E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont) on the theory that DuPont was a statutory employer, and South Carolina Workers Compensation law provided the exclusive remedy for the plaintiff.  For at least two years in the 1960s, decedent Jerry Matthews worked as an insulator for Armstrong Contracting & Supply Company at DuPont facilities in South Carolina, where he alleged he was exposed to asbestos insulation that caused his…
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New Jersey Supreme Court to Review Apportioned Asbestos Verdict in Meso Case

NEW JERSEY — The New Jersey Supreme Court will review whether a recent judgment reduced by allocation amongst 9 companies should be retried. The judgment was rendered in favor of a widow, Donna Rowe, whose husband died of mesothelioma. Mr. Rowe allegedly came into contact with asbestos products while repairing and installing heating equipment. Several defendants settled and therefore did not attend trial. As a result, the trial court admitted certified discovery answers and deposition testimony as the settling defendants’ witnesses were determined to be…
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Court, Sua Sponte, Refuses to Dismiss Thirteen Year Old Non-Malignancy Suit Superior Court of the Virgin Islands, Complex Litigation Division, October 30, 2018

In 2005, The plaintiff Samuel Holloway sued 29 companies including Hess Oil Virgin Islands Corporation (HOVIC) and Amerada Hess Corporation (Hess) through the Motley Rice firm, alleging non-malignant injuries arising from exposure to asbestos.  Proofs of service on summons were never filed; only HOVIC and Hess appeared and answered the complaint, and at the same time filed crossclaims against all defendants.  In 2006, a stipulation of dismissal with prejudice was entered as to HOVIC and Hess, but was silent as to their pending crossclaims.  Also…
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Interlocutory Appeal Citing Federal Safety Appliance Act Denied United States District Court, D. Kansas, October 18, 2018

KANSAS — The plaintiff Nancy Little filed suit individually and as the personal representative of the estate of her father, Robert Rabe, against the defendant The Budd Company (Budd). The plaintiff alleges that her father was exposed to asbestos-containing pipe insulation that Budd placed in passenger railcars it manufactured; this exposure allegedly caused Mr. Rabe’s mesothelioma. Defendant Budd asserted several defenses, including that the Federal Safety Appliance Act (SAA) preempts plaintiff’s state law claims.  Budd twice moved the court to dismiss plaintiff’s claims based on…
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Welding Contractor Must Indemnify Premises Owner for Exposures to its Own Employee United States District Court, Eastern District Louisiana, October 10, 2018

LOUISIANA — Wayne Bourgeois worked as a welder from 1989 to 1994 at Chevron Chemical (Chevron) in Belle Chasse, Louisiana. His employer was J.E. Merit, a predecessor to Defendant Jacobs Field Services North America, Inc. (Jacobs). As part of their contract to provide maintenance for the Chevron plant, including welders, Jacobs agreed to indemnify Chevron against loss, damage, injury or death connected with their work under the contract. Bourgeois developed mesothelioma and sued Chevron, who tendered the defense to Jacobs who declined to defend. Chevron…
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Johnson & Johnson Secures Defense Verdict in Asbestos Talc Case Superior Court of New Jersey, County of Middlesex, October 11, 2018

NEW JERSEY — Today, a central New Jersey jury determined that Johnson & Johnson (J&J) was not liable for the mesothelioma of the plaintiff Rosalind Henry, who alleged that she developed the disease in part from use of J&J’s baby powder. In closing arguments, counsel for J&J told jurors that Ms. Henry had told her doctors that she was exposed to asbestos while working for a company that serviced Naval vessels, and that Ms. Henry only used J&J’s talc product for a small number of…
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Jury Finds Tile Manufacturer Failed to Provide Adequate Warnings, But The Failure Was Not A Substantial Contributing Factor To Plaintiff’s Mesothelioma Diagnosis Supreme Court of the State of New York, Count of Monroe, September 27, 2018

NEW YORK — A Monroe County jury returned a verdict in favor of Defendant American Biltrite in a mesothelioma case Thursday, September 28, 2018. The Jury found that American Biltrite failed to exercise reasonable care by not providing an adequate warning about the hazards of exposure to asbestos with respect to the use of Amtico vinyl asbestos tile.  However, the jury subsequently found that American Biltrite’s failure to warn Jo Ann Shields was not a substantial contributing factor in causing her peritoneal mesothelioma. This is…
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Ohio Defendants Can Force Plaintiffs to Prove That Asbestos Was a Substantial Factor in Lung Cancer With Sufficient Proof of Smoking Supreme Court of Ohio, September 27, 2018

OHIO — The Plaintiff Bobby Turner, an occasional cigar smoker, alleged that he developed lung cancer as a result of exposure to asbestos from his work as a drywall finisher between 1962 and 1978. At the outset of his case, Turner did not submit a report per RC 2307.92(c)(1).that showed “diagnosis by a competent medical authority that [he] has primary lung cancer and that exposure to asbestos is a substantial contributing factor to that cancer.” Essentially, Turner took the position that he was not a…
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