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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Experts Deem New Legislation in Oregon Insufficient, Call for Stricter Asbestos Rules

On October 19, 2015, Oregon environmental regulators invited two dozen asbestos experts to a meeting in an effort to determine the best way to implement a new law that would require contractors to investigate for asbestos when demolishing a house. The group, however, went far beyond the scope of this approved legislation, determining that contractors should provide documented proof that they’ve checked for asbestos before a demolition, that asbestos work done by homeowners should no longer be exempt, and that the rule should apply to…
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UK Parliamentary Group Declares Final War on Asbestos, Calls for Complete and Accelerated Eradication

In Britain, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Occupational Safety and Health (“the Group”) is demanding legislation that will work to completely eliminate asbestos from buildings in the UK.  The Group wants to put regulations in place that will require the safe, phased, and planned removal of asbestos in every workplace in Britain.  It also wants asbestos reports included in all home-buyers’ surveys and a national program of asbestos surveys. In its recommendations, the Group wants to require that all commercial, public, and rented domestic premises…
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The High Court Down Under Allows Earlier Cause of Action Accrual in Lawsuits Claiming Inevitable Onset of Mesothelioma

On October 7, 2015, the High Court of Australia dismissed the appeal of a negligent employer and held that where the contraction of mesothelioma was an inevitable result of asbestos exposure, the cause of action accrues shortly after the initial exposure as opposed to when the symptoms manifest. This ruling came from a case in which the plaintiff inhaled asbestos fibers in the course of his employment. The plaintiff’s mesothelial cells changed quickly after the initial exposure, but the symptoms were not apparent until 2013…
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Thoracic Surgeon Provides Heated Chemo, Hope for Veterans With Pleural Mesothelioma

Good news has come out of Boston for veterans suffering from mesothelioma.  Thoracic surgeon Dr. Abraham Lebenthal recently performed the first intraoperative heated chemotherapy procedure for a VA patient with malignant pleural mesothelioma, a procedure that should aid in this hard-fought battle against this cancer.  As Lebenthal said in an interview, “[f]or some veterans, it could mean the difference between long-term survival or not.” While some doctors have differing opinions as to this heated chemotherapy’s effectiveness, Dr. Lebenthal has been lobbying for its use…
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