Boiler Manufacturer Ordered to Disclose All Documents Referencing Asbestos or Asbestos-Containing Materials

In this NYCAL case, a June 23, 2014 order denied defendant Cleaver-Brooks’ motion to vacate a November 9, 2013 order of the Special Master directing the production of “all its commercial files, all other relevant documents and records, and its index card database.”  The order also denied Cleaver-Brook’s application for a confidentiality order and cost sharing.

In a unanimous decision, the appellate court modified the order holding that Cleaver-Brooks had to produce all documents that reference asbestos or asbestos-containing products, parts or components used for …

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Plaintiff Allowed to Substitute and Limitedly Amend Complaint, Several Cases Consolidated Against 3M Among Court Rulings on Daubert Hearings and Expert Preclusion

In these federal court cases there were several motions brought forward, including a motion by the plaintiff to substitute the estate and file a third amended complaint following the death of the decedent, defendant 3M’s motion to preclude the plaintiff’s expert Dr. Arnold Brody, and defendant Weyerhaeuser’s Daubert motion regarding the plaintiff’s experts Frank M. Mark, III, and Drs. Henry A. Anderson and Jerrold L. Abraham.

Regarding the plaintiff’s motion for substitution and to amend the complaint, the court held: “The court will grant the …

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Court Denies Motion to Dismiss Criminal Indictment Regarding Asbestos Workplace Violations

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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Co-Defendant’s Bankruptcy Filing Did Not Result In A “Certain and Final Dismissal” For Purposes Of Removal Under Diversity Jurisdiction

The plaintiff and his wife commenced this action in Louisiana state court, alleging that his mesothelioma was caused by his exposure to several asbestos-containing products, including products supplied by various Louisiana companies. At the time of commencement, diversity jurisdiction did not exist and the action was therefore not removable to federal court. Several defendants settled, leaving defendants Foster Wheeler and Eagle as the only remaining defendants.  oster Wheeler is a diverse company for purposes of removal, Eagle is not. Eagle filed for bankruptcy during the …

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Plaintiff Widow Allowed to Proceed on Claims Even Though Not Timely Substituted as Special Administrator of Husband’s Estate

The decedent died of mesothelioma and the plaintiff, his widow, proceeded on the claims that had been filed prior to his death; the plaintiff did not substitute herself as special administrator of his estate. Defendant Owens-Illinois filed a notice of death pursuant to federal rules, then filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 25(a)(2), requiring timely substitution of a proper party. Defendants 3M and Weyerhaeuser filed motions to join. The plaintiff then dismissed Owens-Illinois, and 3M and Weyerhaeuser filed no …

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Washington Appellate Court Applies New Case Law to Bar Wrongful Death Suits if Statute of Limitations Expires on Personal Injury Claim During Decedent’s Lifetime

In 2006, the plaintiff successfully sued two defendants for injuries related to the plaintiff’s workplace asbestos exposure. This judgment was vacated and remanded to federal district court, where it remained pending. The plaintiff passed away in 2012; two years later, his widow filed a wrongful death claim against new defendants.  The defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing that the statute of limitations on a personal injury action during the decedent’s lifetime precludes a wrongful death action based on this underlying personal injury claim. The trial …

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Reliance of Dr. Eugene Mark on MSDS Sheets Not Enough to Overcome Court’s Exclusion of His Testimony Based on Daubert

The court excluded the testimony of the plaintiff’s expert, Dr. Eugene Mark, on the basis of Daubert. After this order, defendant Ford filed a motion for summary judgment and a motion to dismiss, and defendant Honeywell filed a motion to reconsider the court’s summary judgment order; both were made pursuant to the court’s order excluding Dr. Mark. The plaintiff then moved to continue the trial to find a different causation expert and to file a motion for reconsideration. The court denied the motion to …

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Litigating Asbestos Cases in Today’s Environment

On Wednesday, December 2, 2015, Joseph J. Welter, partner and Co-Chair of Goldberg Segalla’s Toxic Torts Practice Group, will be speaking at “Litigating Asbestos Cases in Today’s Environment” presented by Perrin Conference in New York City. This is Perrin’s 5th annual conference and will feature insight from seven New York Judges, as well as the NYCAL Special Master. Other topics that will be discussed at the conference include:

  • Lung Cancer Cases — What’s Next
  • Trials in the NYCAL
  • Expected Appellate Decisions: Dummit, Konstantin,
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Defense Verdict in New Jersey Cosmetic Talc Case Under New Jersey’s Product Liability Act

In a case of first impression under New Jersey’s Product Liability Act, a Middlesex County, New Jersey jury returned a defense verdict in a mesothelioma case involving a 60-year-old plaintiff who claimed exposure to cosmetic talcum powder products in the 1950s-1970s that were allegedly contaminated with trace amounts of asbestos. The jury found that Shulton, Inc., the supplier of some of the products to which the plaintiff claimed exposure, and Whittaker, Clark & Daniels, Inc., the supplier of some of the raw talc used to …

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Illinois Supreme Court Rules Workers’ Compensation Is Employees’ Exclusive Remedy for Asbestos Claims Against Employers, Even if Workers’ Compensation Claim is Time-Barred

The plaintiff was employed by Ferro Engineering for four years, and alleged that during this time he was exposed to products containing asbestos. Forty-one years after this employment he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, and sued Ferro under several theories including negligence. Ferro filed a motion to dismiss, arguing the plaintiff’s claims were barred by the exclusive remedy provisions of the Workers’ Compensation Act (820 ILCS 305/5(a), 11 (West 2010)) and the Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act (820 ILCS 310/5(a), 11 (West 2010)).  The plaintiff replied that …

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