Federal Court Declines to Enjoin Receiver from Pursing Coverage Claims and Defenses in Receivership Court

U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, March 1, 2021

The issues before the court arise from an insurance coverage action in which the parties disputed the rights and obligation of Covil under a policy allegedly issued to it and whether injuries in underlying asbestos actions are within the products and completed operations hazard of the policies, as well as the proper method for allocating injury across multiple policy years.

The action was initially filed in state court by the appointed receiver for …

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Summary Judgment Awarded to Pipe Insulation Company Under Lohrmann Test

U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, Columbia Division, October 26, 2020

The plaintiff alleged that the decedent, Paul Cruise, was exposed to asbestos-containing products while serving as a boiler tender in the United States Navy, and while working as an electrician at various industrial facilities from 1965 to 1980. The defendant, Covil Corporation, moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff could not show evidence of the decedent’s exposure to a Covil product. The allegations against Covil arose from Mr. Cruise’s work …

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Court Holds Law Firm May Be Alter-Ego of Defunct Company

In October 2018, a jury in a federal district court in North Carolina granted a judgment in excess of $30 million against Covil Corporation, a company that formerly manufactured products containing asbestos but has been defunct since 1993. By the time the North Carolina litigation commenced, Covil had no officers, directors, agents, or employees. As a result, the litigation was directed by Covil’s insurers. After the jury verdict was handed down, a receiver for Covil was appointed in South Carolina.

In an effort to collect …

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Talc Verdicts Remain a Mixed Bag in Second Half of 2019

In May 2019, we reported on the state of talc litigation following eye-popping verdicts in Missouri in July 2018 that saw Johnson & Johnson hit with $550 million in compensatory damages and over $4 billion dollars in punitive damages in 22 consolidated ovarian cancer cases. With hundreds of mesothelioma cases pending, alleging exposure to asbestos-contaminated talc and enormous damages potentially at stake, a further update is warranted. The last five months have seen several verdicts, and while it’s clear that talc asbestos cases are defensible, …

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Jury Finds Johnson and Johnson not Liable for Causing Peritoneal Mesothelioma in Talc Case

South Carolina – A Richland County jury found Johnson and Johnson (J&J) not liable in a South Carolina peritoneal mesothelioma case. The plaintiff Beth Anee Johnson alleged that her and her mother’s use of J&J baby powder over the course of two decades caused her disease.

J&J attempted to move the case to Delaware to consolidate it with thousands of other cases. However, the case was remanded to South Carolina state court after a finding that the plaintiffs would suffer an injustice since trial was …

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$14 Million Verdict Upheld Against Chemical Plant Defendant

SOUTH CAROLINA — A $14 million verdict against Celanese Corporation was upheld on appeal in the mesothelioma case of 70 year old deceased the plaintiff Dennis Seay.  Seay did maintenance and repair work in a Celanese plant as a contractor for Daniel Construction for nine years in the 1970s. In 2015, a South Carolina jury found that Celanese was negligent in running the plant and awarded Seay $12 million dollars in compensatory damages and $2 million dollars in punitive damages.

The appellate court disagreed with …

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Second Mistrial Declared in South Carolina Talc Case

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

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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Case Remanded Based Upon Lack of Fraudulent Joinder

SOUTH CAROLINA — The plaintiff filed a lawsuit in the Court of Common Pleas for Darlington County, South Carolina, alleging that Bertila Boyd-Bostic suffered from mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure in the 1980s. On March 2, 2018, a Third Amended Complaint was filed, alleging that Johnson & Johnson, Imerys Talc America, Rite Aid of South Carolina and others were liable for Ms. Boyd-Bostic’s mesothelioma, based upon her use of baby powder. The recently-joined defendants removed the case on April 6, 2018.

The plaintiff filed an …

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Valve Manufacturer’s Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment Granted Based on Preclusion of Plaintiff’s Expert Witness

SOUTH CAROLINA — In this mesothelioma case, the plaintiff, James Chesher, sued alleging asbestos exposure while serving as a machinist mate and commissioned officer in the Navy from 1965 to 1989. Defendant Crane had moved for and was denied summary judgment. However, Crane’s motion to preclude the plaintiff’s causation expert, Dr. Carlos Bedrossian, was granted. The plaintiff moved for reconsideration of the preclusion of his expert and Crane moved to renew its motion for summary judgment.

The parties agreed that maritime law applied. The court …

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