Plaintiff’s Failure to Establish Causation Against Pump Defendant Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment U.D. District Court Washington W.D., May 14, 2019

WASHINGTON – The plaintiffs filed suit against several defendants alleging their decedent, Mr. Klopman-Baerselman developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos for which the defendants were liable. The case was removed to federal court. Viking Pump (Viking) moved for summary judgment arguing that the plaintiff could not establish the necessary element of causation. Specifically, Viking argued that the plaintiff had no evidence that he was exposed to a Viking product and therefore he could not prove that Viking’s products were a substantial factor…
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Summary Judgment Granted for Multiple Defendants in W.D. Washington When Plaintiff’s Affidavit Ruled Inadmissible U.S. District Court for the District of Washington, May 6, 2019

WASHINGTON — The plaintiff, Donald Varney, filed suit against numerous defendants alleging exposure to asbestos while working as a marine machinist at shipyards in Washington caused his mesothelioma. The complaint was removed to federal court. One day before he passed, plaintiff signed an affidavit stating that he worked with various defendants’ products or products supplied by the defendants, including those of defendants Crosby Valves, Goodyear Tire and Rubber, Foster Wheeler, Air and Liquid Systems, Weir Valves and John Crane, Inc. The plaintiff was not deposed…
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Washington’s Statute of Repose Determined to Not Apply to Premises Owners Court of Appeals of Washington, Division 1, May 13, 2019

WASHINGTON – For approximately seven months in 1971, Gary Cameron worked as a boilermaker at the Centralia Steam Plant in Washington State during its construction, which was completed in 1972. Asbestos-containing thermal insulation was used in building the plant, and Cameron’s estate alleged that his fatal mesothelioma was caused in part by exposures during his time at Centralia. They sued appellee PacifiCorp, who was among those responsible for constructing the plant, and who maintained an ownership interest until 2000, bringing claims against them as both…
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Sale Transaction Documents Obviate Need for Policy Interpretation Oregon Court of Appeals, May 8, 2019

OREGON – The plaintiff Allianz Global Risks US Ins. Co. defended and indemnified its insured, Daimler Trucks North America LLC, as successor to Freightliner, in three CERCLA cases and more than 1,500 asbestos personal injury cases. It then brought suit seeking contribution against several insurance companies that had issued insurance policies to Con-way, Inc., the former parent company of Freightliner, for policy years that were implicated in the underlying asbestos actions. The trial court ruled in favor of the defendants on several policy interpretation issues,…
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J&J’s Emergency Motion for Provisional Transfer Deemed Unwarranted, Denied United States District Court, D. Delaware, April 9, 2019

DELAWARE — Non-debtors Johnson & Johnson and Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. (J&J) filed an emergency motion for provisional transfer, seeking entry of an order directing provisional transfer of approximately 2,400 federal and state personal injury and wrongful death actions, pending the court’s decision on J&J’s motion to fix venue for claims. The motions relate to the chapter 11 cases of Imerys Talc America, Inc. and certain affiliates (debtors), which were filed on February 13, 2019. The plaintiffs in the approximately 2,400 federal and state…
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Plaintiff’s Future Medical Award Reinstated Against Defendant Stevedore Company Based on Strength of Evidence Presented Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit, May 8, 2019

LOUISIANA — The plaintiff Jerry Craft (plaintiff) filed suit against multiple stevedore companies, alleging that his work as a longshoreman on the New Orleans riverfront from 1953 until 1989 exposed him to asbestos that caused him to develop mesothelioma. Multiple other stevedore companies for which the plaintiff worked settled out of court, were dismissed from the litigation, or did not appear in the litigation at all. The defendant Ports America Gulfport, Inc. (defendant) pursued litigation, and went to trial. The jury was given a special…
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Jury Verdict of $32.7 Million Against Insulation Manufacturer Upheld Based on Weight of Evidence United States District Court, M.D. North Carolina, May 1, 2019

NORTH CAROLINA — The plaintiff Ann Finch filed suit on behalf of herself and the plaintiff’s decedent, Franklin Finch, alleging that his exposure to asbestos caused his mesothelioma. The plaintiff resolved or dismissed her claims against all parties outside of Covil Corporation (Covil), and the case was tried in October of 2019. The court charged the jury on North Carolina state law negligence and failure to warm claims. The jury found Covil liable on both counts, and returned an award of $32.7 million in damages.…
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Missouri on Brink of Passing Updated Venue and Joinder Statute

MISSOURI — On Wednesday, May 1, 2019, the Missouri House of Representatives voted in favor of a bill, already approved in the State Senate, that would change the rules for joinder and venue in the state.  The bill, which is expected to be signed by Governor Mike Parson, has potentially far-reaching implications in one of the busiest mass tort case jurisdictions in the country. At its core, the measure would require individuals to bring a claim where they live, where they were injured, or the…
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Forum Non Conveniens Stay Upheld Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 4, California, April 30, 2019

CALIFORNIA — Wisconsin resident Charlene Rickert filed a wrongful death suit in the Superior Court of Los Angeles, and alleged that American Honda, Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA, and Kawasaki Motors Corporation, USA (respondents), among others, contributed to the mesothelioma death of Wisconsin resident Gary Staszewski, through his use of the respondents’ brakes, clutches, and gaskets. All of the relevant work and medical treatment occurred in Wisconsin, and all witnesses necessary to prove exposure and damages remained in Wisconsin. While the respondents maintained corporate headquarters in…
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Beyond the Gateway Arch -Talc Litigation Update Nine Months After Mammoth St. Louis City Jury Verdict

  In July 2018 a St. Louis City jury heard one of the first trials involving allegations of the development of ovarian cancer due to talc contaminated with asbestos.[1] In a decision that shocked both the plaintiff and defense bar, the jury awarded $25 million to each of 22 plaintiffs for a total of $550 million in compensatory damages. The jury then spent less than two hours deliberating punitive damages before returning with a total award of $4.14 billion against defendants Johnson & Johnson…
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