Channeling Injunction Protects Insurer Against Industrial Hygiene Claims U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, August 14, 2018

The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that a channeling injunction entered in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding of W.R. Grace & Co. (Grace) protected one of its insurers, Continental Casualty Company and Transportation Insurance Company (CNA), from claims that CNA was independently liable for asbestos-related injuries because it was negligent in providing industrial hygiene services in conjunction with worker’s compensation and employer’s liability policies it issued to Grace. Mass-tort liability drove Grace into Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. The Bankruptcy Code…
Continue reading...

Exclusion of Evidence Not an Abuse of Discretion; Judgment for Railroad Defendant Affirmed Supreme Court of Montana, August 14, 2018

MONTANA — The plaintiff filed suit against Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Company (BN) under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) and the Locomotive Inspection Act (LIA). Specifically, Mr. Daley alleged he was exposed to asbestos while working at the Somers rail tie treatment plant from 1967-1986 when it closed. After a seven day trial, a verdict was entered finding BN had not violated FELA or LIA. The laintiff appealed arguing the trial court had abused its discretion on multiple evidentiary issues. The parties stipulated…
Continue reading...

Summary Judgment on Civil Conspiracy Claims Reversed Appellate Court of Illinois, August 10, 2018

ILLINOIS — The plaintiffs, John and Debra Jones, filed suit against Pneumo Abex LLC (Abex), Owens-Illinois, Inc. (O-I) and others, alleging John suffered from lung cancer as a result of exposure to asbestos while employed in construction. The plaintiffs alleged that Abex entered into a civil conspiracy with Johns-Manville to suppress information about the harmful health effects of asbestos. They asserted the same claim against O-I with regard to an alleged conspiracy with Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corporation (O-C). The trial court granted summary judgment for the…
Continue reading...

Plaintiff’s Expert Causation Opinion Not Considered to be Each and Every Exposure Theory The United States District Court, Western District of Washington, August 10, 2018

WASHINGTON — The United States District Court, Western District of Washington addressed several expert challenges including, among others, motions to preclude Dr. Ronald Gordon, Dr. Carl Brodkin, and Dr. Arnold Brody – all which involve the application of the “each and every exposure” and/or “cumulative exposure” theories. For a brief case background, this case centers around allegations that decedent developed mesothelioma, and ultimately passed away from the disease, due to occupational exposure to asbestos from work as a machinist in the Navy and in the…
Continue reading...

Naval Architect Not Qualified to Render Opinions as to Automotive Products The United States District Court, Western District of Washington, August 10, 2018

WASHINGTON — The United States District Court, Western District of Washington addressed several expert challenges including the motion of the defendant Ford (Ford) to exclude Dr. Charles Cushing’s statements regarding the plaintiffs’ likely exposure to asbestos during automotive work. For a brief case background, this case centers around allegations that decedent developed mesothelioma, and ultimately passed away from the disease, due to occupational exposure to asbestos from work as a machinist in the Navy and in the Naval reserve from 1954-1962; as a machinist and…
Continue reading...

Transfer Granted Where Severance of John Doe Defendants Aids Judicial Economy United States District Court, D. New Jersey. August 07, 2018

DELAWARE — The United States District Court issued a Show Cause Order requiring the parties to show why this matter should not be transferred to the District of Delaware. The plaintiff opposed the transfer arguing that two of the defendants also known as “John Doe” defendants may not be subject to personal jurisdiction in Delaware.  The defendants countered and argued that the plaintiff’s claims against those two defendants, RBC Sonic and Aetna Steel Products Corporation, could easily be severed. The court agreed that claims against…
Continue reading...

Plaintiff’s Failure to Establish Minimum Contacts Leads to Dismissal for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction District Court of Appeal of Florida, Fourth District. August 08, 2018

FLORIDA — The plaintiff alleged he was exposed to products manufactured by the defendant or its predecessor from 1975-1977 in Florida. The defendant submitted an affidavit confirming it had no contacts in Florida before 1994. However, its predecessor ran an operations plant in Florida in the early 1980’s, after the alleged exposure. The plaintiff put forth no evidence of minimum contacts other than the allegation of use of defendant’s products in the 1970’s according to the Court. Relying on Southern Wall Products, the Court…
Continue reading...

Failure to Timely Submit Supplemental Expert Report Leads to Denial of Motion for Leave Superior Court of Delaware, August 8, 2018

DELAWARE — The plaintiff moved for leave to submit a supplemental expert report after a change in substantive Ohio law. The court had previously granted summary judgment in favor of four defendants. Specifically, the defendants argued that summary judgment was proper based on the Ohio Supreme Court’s recent decision in Schwartz which found theories advanced on cumulative exposure as invalid to establish substantial factor causation. In the instant matter, The plaintiffs submitted an expert report from Dr. Ginsberg 8 months prior to the deadline imposed…
Continue reading...

California Jury Returns Defense Verdict for Brake Arc Grinder Manufacturer Alameda County Superior Court, August 8, 2018

CALIFORNIA — on August 8, 2018, an Alameda County jury issued a defense verdict for Hennessey Industries, Inc. (AMMCO) in the plaintiff Donald Knutson’s mesothelioma case, which included allegations of exposures to asbestos from time in the United States Navy and from time working with various friction products.  While the jury found that Plaintiff’s mesothelioma was related to asbestos, and that he worked around an AMMCO brake arc grinder, they declined to find that AMMCO was negligent, or that they knew or should have known…
Continue reading...

Talc Defendant Entitled to Costs after Favorable Verdict Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 4, California August 8, 2018

CALIFORNIA — In 2016, a Los Angeles jury ruled in favor of defendant Colgate-Palmolive Company (Colgate), and against Plaintiff Elizabeth Alfaro, who alleged that her mesothelioma was caused by exposure to asbestos from talcum powder products. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Colgate on the exposure claims; this verdict was affirmed on appeal. Colgate then appealed the trial court’s denial of its request for $300,000 in costs and expert witness fees. This request was made pursuant to the California statutory law scheme which…
Continue reading...