Naval Contractor’s Summary Judgment Win Overturned on Appeal Court of Appeal, First District, Division 5, California, June 26, 2019

CALIFORNIA – Yesterday, a three-judge panel reversed a California trial court’s grant of summary judgement for the defendant, Triple A Machine Shop (Triple A), Inc., and remanded the matter to the trial court for further determination of Triple A’s arguments in support of summary adjudication. The decedent, Michael Harris, sued Triple A, among others, and alleged that their subcontracted work overhauling the USS San Jose in San Francisco for over three months in 1973 disturbed asbestos and contributed to the development of his mesothelioma. The…
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Jury Verdict on Future Pain and Suffering Found to be Unreasonable Compensation Against Boiler Defendant Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York, June 25, 2019

NEW YORK – A New York appellate court has vacated the trial court’s entry of judgement of $2 million for future pain and suffering in a recent mesothelioma case and has ordered the plaintiff to stipulate within 30 days to a reduction of future pain and suffering damages to $500,000 or face a new trial on damages. The verdict included a $5 million award for the plaintiff’s past pain and suffering, which was untouched on appeal. Although the plaintiff presented evidence that their future condition…
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Additional Discovery Ordered to Determine Location of Exposure in Facility Defendant’s Personal Jurisdiction Challenge U.S. District Court E.D. of Louisiana, June 21, 2019

LOUISIANA — The plaintiff, Frederico Lopez, filed suit against the defendants, alleging he developed mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos while working as a gasket cutter for Lamons Gasket Company from 1971-1973 and as a pipefitter for Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR) from 1973-1986. Lopez passed away on November 9, 2017. The plaintiffs amended their complaint to include ConocoPhillips (Conoco) as a defendant. The amended complaint claimed that Lopez was “exposed to asbestos during his work for KBR at premises/sites owned and/or operated by…ConocoPhillips, as successor…
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New York Talc Case Continued on Eve of Trial to Allow for Further Testing Supreme Court of New York, New York, June 4, 2019

NEW YORK – The plaintiff Beverley Alleyne filed suit against Revlon alleging she developed mesothelioma from asbestos in Revlon’s Charlie talcum powder product. Less than ten days before a May trial date, the plaintiff disclosed a report of Dr. William Longo, summarizing his testing of a Charlie product purchased on Etsy. Due to the late disclosure, the trial court continued the case to June 4, 2019 so that Dr. Longo could be deposed. Revlon moved to strike Longo’s report and for an additional continuance in…
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Lack of Personal Jurisdiction Against Artificial Snow Manufacturer Leads to Dismissal on Appeal Court of Appeals of Utah, June 20, 2019

UTAH – The plaintiff, Michele Felix, filed suit in 2015 on behalf of her brother, who died of mesothelioma in 2014. In 2017, she amended the complaint to join Novelis, whose predecessor in interest, Metal Goods, allegedly exposed Raymond Felix to asbestos through its manufacture of an artificial snow product. Novelis subsequently moved for dismissal based upon a lack of personal jurisdiction. The district court found there was no general jurisdiction over Novelis but that specific jurisdiction had been established upon evidence that the artificial…
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Denial of Talc Defendant’s Motion for JNOV Reversed on Appeal Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York, June 20, 2019

NEW YORK – In unanimously reversing an order denying the defendant Whittaker Clark & Daniel’s, Inc.’s (WCD) motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, today New York’s First Department determined that the plaintiff Claudine DiScala did not present sufficient evidence to establish a level of exposure that could have caused the decedent, Joan Robusto’s, mesothelioma. They determined that although there was not a requirement to quantify a mathematically precise exposure level, the plaintiff’s causation expert failed to express a legally sufficient opinion because he “merely opined…
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Directed Verdict Reversed for Floor Tile Defendant Based on Admissibility of Expert Opinion Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 4, California June 19, 2019

CALIFORNIA – The plaintiff, Robert Friedman, alleged that he developed mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos through remodeling work undertaken in his home. He proceeded to trial against the defendant, American Biltrite, Inc. (ABI), a manufacturer of asbestos vinyl tile that was allegedly cut and installed in Friedman’s presence over three days in 1966. The plaintiff specifically testified that he observed the tile installers cutting the tile with a circular saw, which created dust. ABI presented testimony from their corporate representative stating that vinyl tile was…
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List of Asbestos Products Used at Trial to Refresh Plaintiff’s Recollection in Multi-Million Dollar Verdict Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York, June 18, 2019

NEW YORK – A New York Appellate Court upheld the trial court’s finding that the plaintiff Pietro Macaluso’s use of a list of products to refresh his recollection of alleged exposure to asbestos was proper in a recent multi-million dollar verdict. The verdict was stipulated down to $10 million for pain and suffering, $9 million for Macaluso’s son’s loss of parental guidance, and $10 million for his daughter’s loss of parental guidance. The court also ordered a new trial on damages to $4 million for…
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SC District Court Grants Motion to Realign, Preserves Jurisdiction Covil Corp. v. Zurich Am. Ins. Co., No. 18-3291-BHH, 2019 WL 2482382, June 14, 2019

The federal district court for the District of South Carolina granted the motion of defendant Sentry Insurance, a Mutual Company, to realign certain defendants in the case as plaintiffs in order to create diversity jurisdiction in the federal court. The overall matter is an insurance coverage dispute among Covil Corp., a now-defunct company that once manufactured asbestos-containing thermal insulation, and its insurers, regarding underlying personal injury claims. In 2018, Covil was subjected to a $38 million judgment in one of the underlying suits, and it…
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California Court Allows Insurer to Repair Default California Superior Court, June 13, 2019

CALIFORNIA – A San Francisco Superior Court allowed Century Indemnity Company (Century) to vacate a default and default judgment against its potential former insured, James A. Nelson, Co., Inc. (Nelson). The plaintiff, the wife of a decedent whose death was attributed to alleged exposure to asbestos-containing products, brought several lawsuits for wrongful death in or around 2012. About a year after bringing suit against Nelson Co., the plaintiff requested and received an entry of default. The following year, in January 2014, she received a default…
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