Defendant Granted Summary Judgment Despite Allowance of Late Evidence of Product on Site U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, July 30, 2015

In this federal court case, the decedent, Wayne Perkins, alleges exposure to various asbestos products while working as a merchant mariner between 1952 and 1973. Defendant Honeywell International Inc., successor-in-interest to Bendix Corporation, moved for summary judgment,  arguing there is no evidence of the decedent being exposed to asbestos from a product manufactured by it or its predecessor. Despite discovery being closed, the court allowed affidavits of individuals who worked with the decedent, which were submitted by the plaintiff in opposition to Honeywell’s motion. However,…
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Illinois Appellate Court Reverses Verdict Based on Defendant Being Precluded from Introducing Alternative Exposure Evidence Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth District, July 30, 2015

In this Illinois case, the plaintiff claimed at that he was exposed to asbestos at property owned by the defendant. At trial, the defendant sought to introduce into evidence other substantial asbestos exposure at a different unrelated facility. The defendant’s argument was that the other, more substantial exposure was the sole proximate cause of the plaintiff’s asbestosis, not the minimal asbestos exposure at defendant’s facility. After a lengthy discussion of Illinois’ case law on proximate cause and burden, the appellate court decided the trial court…
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Plaintiffs’ Replacement Expert’s Testimony Limited in Scope to That of Originally Disclosed Expert U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, July 29, 2015

In this case, the plaintiffs timely disclosed the expert report of Dr. Samuel Hammar in accordance with the case scheduling order. Subsequently, Dr. Hammar was unable to provide trial testimony due to health issues and the plaintiffs sought to replace Dr. Hammar’s report with reports from either Dr. Kraus or Dr. Kradin. The defendants did not generally oppose the request to replace Dr. Hammar, but did oppose the replacement of one expert with two and argued that the new expert’s testimony should not go outside…
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Defendants Unsuccessful in Removal Effort Based on Diversity U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, July 28, 2015

In this New Jersey case, two defendants moved for summary judgment, motions for which were not opposed by the plaintiff. Following the dismissal of the two defendants, those remaining removed the case under 28 U.S.C. 1441(a) and 1446(b)(3) based on diversity of citizenship.  Under these sections, if a plaintiff voluntarily dismisses non-diverse parties — creating diversity of citizenship for the remaining parties — the case can be removed to federal court. In response to the plaintiff’s motion to remand, the remaining defendants argued that the…
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Willful and Wanton Claim Dismissed in Asbestos Case U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Western Division, July 27, 2015

In this case, the plaintiff worked as an auto mechanic and performed brake work in the 1960s and 1970s.  Defendant Genuine Auto Parts moved for summary judgment, seeking to dismiss the plaintiff’s claim for willful and wanton conduct. The plaintiff opposed the motion, essentially pointing to the general state of knowledge as to the hazards of asbestos, but failed to offer any evidence that Genuine Auto Parts consciously made a decision to sell asbestos-containing products with knowledge of the decision. The dismissal of the claim…
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Brake Manufacturer Obtains Dismissal of Claims of Willful and Wanton Conduct U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Western Division, July 27, 2015

In this federal court case, the plaintiffs alleged exposure to asbestos from a variety of automotive parts while working as mechanics’ helper, maintenance laborer, inspector, construction worker, and salesman, in addition to automotive maintenance work performed on his own personal vehicles and those of his family. The defendant, brake manufacturer Genuine Parts, moved for summary judgment to dismiss the plaintiffs’ claims that it committed false representation and fraud regarding the dangers of asbestos exposure. The plaintiffs opposed, offering among other things historical documents, an expert…
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Brake Manufacturer Obtains Dismissal of Claims of Willful and Wanton Conduct U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Western Division, July 27, 2015

In this federal court case, the plaintiffs alleged exposure to asbestos from a variety of automotive parts while working as mechanics’ helper, maintenance laborer, inspector, construction worker, and salesman, in addition to automotive maintenance work performed on his own personal vehicles and those of his family. The defendant, brake manufacturer Genuine Parts, moved for summary judgment to dismiss the plaintiffs’ claims that it committed false representation and fraud regarding the dangers of asbestos exposure. The plaintiffs opposed, offering among other things historical documents, an expert…
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NYCAL Court Consolidates Some Cases But Not Others Supreme Court of New York, New York County, July 25, 2015

In this NYCAL decision, the court assessed the consolidation of five remaining cases and ended up grouping two cases into Trial Group 1, two cases into Trial Group 2, and left one case to be tried on its own. The court’s reasoning for the decision is the following: “Applying the Malcolm factors, I conclude the cases are properly consolidated into Trial Group 1 and Trial Group 2, with the Valensi case to be tried separately. Valensi is distinguishable from the other cases, as it is…
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NYCAL Court Denies Post-Verdict Disclosure of Settlement Amounts and Agreements Supreme Court of New York, New York County, July 24, 2015

In this NYCAL case, defendants Cleaver Brooks, Inc. and Burnham LLC brought post-verdict motions on a variety of issues, including disclosure of settlements for the purpose of molding the judgment. By the time the motion was heard, the remaining issues were if “plaintiffs failed to disclose settlements in a timely fashion, and, if so, whether such failure affected defendants ability to present evidence with respect to Article 16 entities, and whether defendants are entitled to disclosure of the settlement agreements, including the amounts of settlement…
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Crane Co. Granted Summary Judgment in Two California Federal Court Cases U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, July 23, 2015 and U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, July 21, 2015

In two separate decisions, Crane Co. was granted summary judgment on different grounds in two federal court cases. In the first, a Southern District case, Crane moved on the grounds that the plaintiffs could not show that the decedent, Michael Walashek, was exposed to asbestos from any of its products. In support of its motion, Crane relied on the plaintiffs’ interrogatory responses where they failed to identify any specific documents supporting the claimed exposure against Crane. In granting the motion, the court held that Crane…
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