Plaintiff’s Experts Stricken for Failure to Comply with Scheduling Order

U.S. District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Northern Division, February 26, 2020

NORTH CAROLINA – On December 21, 2017, the plaintiff, Karen Cahoon  filed a complaint alleging state law claims of negligence, breach of an implied warranty, failure to warn and punitive damages against, among others, the defendant, Edward Orton, Jr. Ceramic Foundation. A scheduling order was issued by the court on May 11, 2018.  After multiple joint requests on behalf of  Cahoon and the defendant, on Jan. 8, 2019, the court issued new deadlines for …

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Case Remanded to Trial Court on Issues of Admission of Alternative Causation Evidence and Jury Instruction

District Court of Appeal of Florida, Third District, February 26, 2020

FLORIDA – An appeal was brought on behalf of the defendant, Union Carbide, after a second jury trial was completed and a jury verdict entered in favor of the plaintiff.  The plaintiff, Paula Font, filed a wrongful death lawsuit alleging her father, Luis Torres, contracted and died of mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos-containing products.

The defendant raised three issues on appeal. First, the defendant claimed the trial court erred in denying the …

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Remand in Meso Case Denied Upon Finding that Common Defense Exception Inapplicable

U.S. District Court C.D. of Illinois, February 25, 2020

ILLINOIS – The plaintiff sued several defendants alleging that Roy Hicks developed mesothelioma as a result of his exposure to asbestos for which the defendants were allegedly responsible. Specifically, Mr. Hicks alleged exposure to asbestos while working for the City of Bloomington, where he encountered asbestos from vehicles made by Ford, and others. He also alleged exposure to products from John Crane as a result of his wife’s work at General Electric. As trial approached, the …

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Fifth Circuit Clarifies Requirements Under Federal Officer Removal Statute

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, February 24, 2020

LOUISIANA — Noting that its precedents concerning the scope of the Federal Officer Removal Statute were “extraordinarily confusing,” in the matter of Latiolais v. Huntington Ingalls, Inc., the Fifth Circuit has aligned itself with sister circuits and clarified the requirements to remove a case to federal court. The salient facts follow.

The United States Navy contracted with the defendant-appellant, Avondale, in the 1960s and 1970s to build and refurbish naval vessels, and most of the …

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Court Grants Summary Judgment to Turbine Manufacturer Due to Lack of Causation

CONNECTICUT – The plaintiff, Patricia Murray, alleged that the decedent was exposed to asbestos from products manufactured or marketed by multiple defendants, including CBS Corporation. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that there was insufficient evidence from which a reasonable jury could conclude that the decedent was exposed to asbestos from CBS’s products. The motion was unopposed.

The plaintiff’s claims of strict liability, negligence, breach of warranty, and failure to warn all fall under the Connecticut Products Liability Act (CPLA). Causation is …

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Use of Future Claims Representative Satisfied Due Process

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, February 19, 2020

The Johns-Manville Corporation entered bankruptcy in the early 1980s. In 1986, the bankruptcy court established a fund pursuant to a settlement with Johns-Manville’s insurers to compensate individuals injured by the corporation’s asbestos-containing products. The court then ordered that all claims—both those against Johns-Manville based on their products and those against its insurers related to their coverage for such claims—be brought against the trust that would administrate the fund. That trust still exists and processes claims from people …

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Court Grants Remand Based on Lack of Complete Diversity

United States District Court, Southern District of Illinois, February 20, 2020

ILLINOIS – The plaintiffs, Arland and Dina Wieland, originally filed the instant matter in the Circuit Court of the Third Judicial Circuit, Madison County, alleging that Arland sustained injuries due to asbestos exposure. Trial in the matter started on Feb. 20, 2020 and on Feb. 19, the defendant ArvinMeritor removed the matter, asserting diversity jurisdiction. The plaintiffs filed an emergency motion for remand. 

The plaintiffs are citizens of New Mexico. In their notice of removal, ArvinMeritor …

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Under the Fair Share Act: Pennsylvania Asbestos Liability Share will be Allocated Per Capita

Supreme Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, February 19, 2020

The Trial Court

PENNSYLVANIA – The plaintiffs, William Roverano and Jacqueline Roverano, filed an asbestos-related lawsuit on March 10, 2014 in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County. The plaintiffs alleged that William Roverano contracted lung cancer as a result of his exposure to asbestos-containing products during his employment as a helper and a carpenter at PECO Energy Company from 1971 to 1981. On Jan. 7, 2016, the defendant, John Crane, Inc. filed a third-party complaint joining …

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Summary Judgment Granted to Automotive Manufacturer Due to Lack of Causation

United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, February 18, 2020

MISSISSIPPI – The plaintiffs allege that the decedent, Beverly Bedford, developed mesothelioma from asbestos exposure through her work at Honda of Tupelo, a motorcycle dealership and service center she owned from the late 1970s to 2014. It is alleged that she was exposed to asbestos from Honda’s brakes, clutches, and gaskets. The decedent primarily worked in an office separate from the service shop area. Honda moved for summary judgment dismissing all of the plaintiffs’ claims.

Honda …

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Filing Date for Latent Asbestos Claimants Found Not to Violate Due Process in Reorganization Plan

United States Court of Appeals Third Circuit, February 18 2020

DELAWARE – The appellants are latent asbestos claimants who did not file by the bar date set by Chapter 11 bankruptcy but who were subsequently diagnosed with mesothelioma. The appellee is Energy Future Holdings Corporation (EFH), which was a holding company for several energy properties. Those subsidiaries became defunct long ago as a result of asbestos litigation. EFH also filed for bankruptcy as a result of vast sums of money owed to asbestos debtors. The …

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