Madison County, IL Continues to Top the List for Asbestos Filings

According to a recent article published by the Madison County Record, Madison County, Illinois continues to top the list as the jurisdiction with the most asbestos filings nationally. Several Madison County firms (including Gori Julian & Associates, P.C., Simmons Hanly Conroy, and Maune Raichle) filed hundreds of asbestos cases in 2015 and appear on target to reach those numbers this year. Baltimore comes in as a distant second, with approximately 45 percent fewer cases than Madison County. Read the full article here.…
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Sealing Technology Manufacturer John Crane Inc. Files Two Lawsuits Against Plaintiffs Firms Alleging Fraud and RICO Violations, Following Step with Garlock U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

Sealing Technology Manufacturer John Crane Inc. (JCI) has filed two separate lawsuits against asbestos plaintiffs firms Shein Law Center, Ltd. and Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett, PC, alleging that they violated federal mail and wire fraud statutes, federal obstruction of justice and witness tampering statutes, and the federal RICO statute. JCI claims the defendants “systematically and falsely denied their clients were exposed to numerous other asbestos-containing products in litigation against JCI, and once the litigation was complete, filed claims with asbestos bankruptcy trusts set up by…
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World Health Organization Calls for Global Ban on the Production of Asbestos and its Use Due to Exorbitant Cost of Treatment

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently finalized a study that concluded that the costs of treating asbestos-related diseases are four times higher than the cost of producing asbestos materials. As a result, WHO has called for a global ban on the production of asbestos and its use. This research was announced at a recent meeting of the Asia Pacific Cancer Leaders’ Summit in Brisbane, Australia, an area where the use of asbestos has significantly cost the population. Australia has one of the highest incidence of…
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Exxon Mobil Pleads No Responsibility in Lawsuit Against Lockheed Martin Over Asbestos Litigation Bill

On April 4, 2016, Exxon Mobil Corporation brought suit against Lockheed Martin Corporation, seeking a declaration that the 1963 asset purchase agreement between Martin-Marietta, Lockheed’s predecessor, and Mobil Finishes does not give rise to an obligation to pay or reimburse costs that Lockheed Martin allegedly incurred or may incur with regards to alleging asbestos bodily injury claims against Lockheed or its predecessor. This suit arises out of a letter in February sent from claims administrator Resolute Management Inc. seeking $16 million to cover costs of…
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North Carolina Federal Judge Stays RICO Cases Against Asbestos Plaintiffs Firms

On Monday, March 28, 2016, Judge Graham Mullen of the Western District of North Carolina granted Garlock Sealing Technologies’ motion to stay the four racketeering lawsuits fired against it. Judge Mullen granted Garlock’s motion based on the parties’ “consent and for good cause shown.” In its motion, Garlock explained that it reached an agreement on a consensual plan of reorganization with the representatives for all current and future asbestos claimants.  Under the plan, Garlock and its parent, Coltec Industries Inc., and ultimate parent, EnPro Industries…
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Finding of Personal Liability, Joint and Several Liability, and $850,000 Civil Penalty for Environmental Violations in Connection with Asbestos Remediation Project Affirmed on Appeal Court of Appeals of Ohio, Seventh Appellate District, Jefferson County, March 3, 2016

Appellants Arthur David Sugar, Honey Creek Contracting Company, Inc., Dave Sugar Excavating, LLC, ADS Leasing Corp., and Excavating Technologies appealed findings of personal liability, joint and several liability, and a March 27, 2013 environmental enforcement civil penalty awarded to the State of Ohio by the Jefferson County Common Pleas Court. Appellant Sugar individually argued that the trial court improperly found him personally liable “for environmental violations that occurred during the asbestos removal in a mill owned by his company.” Prior to his 2004 purchase of…
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Garlock’s Action Based on Fraud For Failure to Disclose Exposure to Bankrupt Manufacturer’s Products Dismissed as Time-Barred Court of Appeals of Kentucky, March 4, 2016

In a prior action brought by estate representative, Delores Robertson, for alleged asbestos exposure to the decedent, Thomas Robertson, Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC was found by a jury to be 25-percent liable. The remainder of the liability was split between the decedent and other settled and non-settled first and third party defendants. Judgment was entered on December 1, 2008.  On July 26, 2012, Garlock brought an action pursuant to CR 60.02(d) claiming that the judgment was based on fraud for plaintiff failing to disclose in…
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Japanese Court Finds Construction Materials Makers Liable for Failure to Warn About Asbestos Exposure

On January 29, 2016, the Kyoto District Court held that nine companies must pay 112 million yen in damages for selling materials without warning that they contained asbestos. Presiding Judge Kazumi Higa further ordered the government to pay 104 million yen for its failure to take preventative measures. This lawsuit arose when a former construction worker filed a claim for damages for the lung cancer and mesothelioma contracted by inhaling asbestos at construction sites.  He demanded a payment of about one billion yen from the…
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Armstrong World Industries, Inc. Asbestos Personal Injury Settlement Trust Drops Under 20 Percent Ownership in Industries-Company, Files 13G Form

The Armstrong World Industries, Inc. Asbestos Personal Injury Settlement Trust recently filed a SC 13G/A form. The form reported a decreased stake in the company by a total of -29.36 percent to 5,251,234 shares, leaving the Trust owning 9.5 percent of the Industrials-company.  This form was required as a result of trading activity on December 31, 2015. Armstrong World Industries, Inc. produces flooring products and ceiling systems for use in the construction and renovation of various types of buildings.  This 13G form is used when…
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Honorable Garrett Wong Formally Takes the Reigns as San Francisco Asbestos Presiding Judge

On January 11, 2016, Judge Garrett L. Wong formally replaced the Honorable Teri L. Jackson as the San Francisco Superior Court Asbestos Presiding Judge. Judge Wong, a San Francisco native and alum of the University of California, has worked in civil and criminal litigation in the public and private sectors. He was originally appointed to the San Francisco Superior Court by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2005 and served as a misdemeanor and trial judge at the Hall of Justice in San Francisco. Although Judge Wong…
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