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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Zadroga Bill Passes, Provides Financial Support for Veterans with Mesothelioma and 9/11 First Responders

Congress has approved two programs that will provide financial support for those who were sickened following the terrorist attacks on 9/11 on the World Trade Center and those veterans who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result exposure to asbestos during their service. The funding bill is valued at $1.1 trillion and has been enacted as the “James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act.”  The funding provided by the bill will be available for the next 75 years, giving the illness plenty of…
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New U.S. Senate Report Confirms Continued Risk of Asbestos Exposure for Students, Teachers, and Staff

The staff of Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) has released a new report that confirms that students, teachers, and staff are still at risk for asbestos exposure. On March 31, 2015, Senator Markey and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) began an investigation into the management of asbestos hazards in school buildings. In doing so, they sent letters to the governors of all fifty states to find out more about their implementation and enforcement of the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA), passed by Congress in 1986.…
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Ford Seeking Discovery and Sanctions Against Co-Defendant John Crane Alleging Collusion With Plaintiffs to Keep Cases in State Court.

In November, Ford’s counsel brought a motion seeking sanctions against John Crane and its attorneys and plaintiff’s counsel. Ford alleges that John Crane has continuously cooperated with plaintiffs in remaining in cases as a “straw man” to prohibit removal to federal court. Genuine Parts Company joined in with the motion, but subsequently asked to withdraw the part of its motion seeking sanctions. On December 4, 2015,  Crane responded that Ford’s motion is nothing more than a “witch hunt” and that there is no agreement between…
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Former NY Assemblyman Sheldon Silver Convicted On All Seven Corruption Charges

Following a five week trial and after two jurors asked to be excused during jury deliberations, former New York Assemblyman Sheldon Silver was convicted on all seven corruption charges arising from two deals that netted him approximately $4 million in kickbacks. One deal involved the transfer of $500,000 in State funds to Silver’s friend, Dr. Robert Taub at Columbia University for cancer research. In exchange for these funds, Dr. Taub referred mesothelioma patients to Weitz & Luxenberg, who in turn paid Mr. Silver for the…
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Sheldon Silver Corruption Trial Ongoing with Testimony from Weitz & Luxenberg Attorneys

Jury selection has been completed and trial testimony is ongoing in the corruption trial against State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Prosecutors allege, among other things, that Silver, who had previously been on the payroll at Weitz & Luxenberg, funneled state funds to Dr. Robert Taub of Columbia University for cancer research in exchange for referrals of mesothelioma patients to Weitz & Luxenberg, which then paid Silver for the patient referrals. Jury selection started in early November and the panel originally consisted of nine women and…
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Illinois Appellate Court Affirms Dismissal of Asbestos-Related Legal Malpractice Suit

On November 10, 2015, the Illinois First District Appellate Court affirmed the circuit court’s holding that a legal malpractice suit was brought too late to continue, regardless of how the calendar of events was viewed. Originally, Vernon and John Q. Nelson had filed a wrongful death suit due to asbestos exposure in 2005, in which they were represented by Cascino Vaughn Law Offices. In May 2007, the court closed discovery in the asbestos suit, and six months later, it dismissed the suit. Accordingly, in November…
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Court Denies Motion to Dismiss Criminal Indictment Regarding Asbestos Workplace Violations U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, November 10, 2015

In a Middle District of Florida lawsuit, the defendants sought to dismiss an eight-count indictment alleging violations of various work practice standards involving regulated asbestos containing material (RACM).  In their motion to dismiss, the defendants argued that the government failed to allege an essential element of the offense, that essential facts of the offense were missing, and that the criminal offense alleged did not exist. Considering the essential elements and facts of the offense claims simultaneously, the court refused to dismiss the case and found…
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Toyota Australia Hunting for Suppliers of Counterfeit Brake Pads Containing Asbestos

On Monday, November 2, 2015, Toyota Australia brought suit in the Australian Federal Court against several distributors of counterfeit brake pads that contain asbestos.  According to reports, thousands of fake brake pads have been imported into Australia illegally.  Currently, Toyota is taking steps in an effort to prevent these suppliers from selling more of these counterfeit parts. Furthermore, Toyota is attempting to track down those distributors who may have sold imitation brake pads and plans to force them to either replace the fake items…
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