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Preview: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Asbestos Legal News

LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Asbestos Legal News

Headline Asbestos Legal News from LexisNexis®


Johnson & Johnson, Imerys Hit With $80M Punitive Verdict In New Jersey Asbestos Trial
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey jury hearing a case against Johnson & Johnson Inc. and its talc supplier on April 11 awarded a couple $80 million in punitive damages, bringing the total award in the first-ever asbestos verdict against the consumer products company to $117 million, sources told Mealey Publications (Stephen Lanzo, et al. v. Cyprus Amex Minerals Co., et al., No. L00738516, N.J. Super., Middlesex Co.).

New York Jury Awards $60M To Mesothelioma Victim's Family; Boiler Makers Liable
NEW YORK - A New York jury on April 13 awarded $60 million to the family of a mesothelioma sufferer exposed to asbestos in boilers, sources told Mealey Publications (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, Mary Murphy-Clagett v. A.O. Smith Water Products, et al., No. 190311/15, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Pennsylvania Jury Returns Defense Verdict In Asbestos-Pipe Case
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania jury on March 23 found that a man suffered exposure to asbestos from a pipe manufacturer's product but that the company had not acted negligently. The plaintiff asked the court for a new trial and briefs on the motion are due May 2 (Colleen Schrader, et al. v. Ameron International Inc., et al., No. 16901786, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).

California Jury Returns Defense Verdict For Respirator Manufacturer
LOS ANGELES - A California judge on April 3 entered a take-nothing judgment, after a jury found no liability on the part of respirator manufacturer 3M Co. in a man's mesothelioma, sources told Mealey Publications (Angel D. Rigor v. 3M Co., et al., No. BC660976, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).

Railroad Wants YouTube Video Excluded From Asbestos Trial
CLEVELAND - A judge should exclude from a jury trial a YouTube video of ballast cleaners taken well after a man's alleged exposure to asbestos and at a completely different work site, the railway tells an Ohio trial judge in an April 10 filing (Kevin E. Howell v. Consolidated Rail Corp., et al., No. CV-15-846529, Ohio Comm. Pls., Cuyahoga Co.).

Judge Denies Discovery Request; Aviation Contractor Escapes Asbestos Case
SAN FRANCISCO - A couple lacks sufficient evidence tracing a man's mesothelioma to an aviation contractor's products, and their conclusory statements regarding the potential existence of evidence do not warrant a continuance or additional discovery, a federal judge in California held April 16 (Joseph Thrash, et al. v. The Boeing Co., et al., No. 17-1501, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63925).

Judge Allows Common-Law Nuisance Claims Involving Environmental Asbestos Exposure
MADISON, Wis. - An individual alleging environmental exposures to asbestos as a result of releases from a manufacturing facility does not need to explain the decedent's employment history, a federal judge in Wisconsin held April 16 in allowing common-law nuisance claims to proceed (Michael D. Kappel, et al. v. Weyerhaeuser Co., et al., No. 17-519, W.D. Wis., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64000).

Judge: Environmental Asbestos Claims Escape Workers' Compensation Bar
MADISON, Wis. - Claims that workers suffered environmental asbestos exposures separate and distinct from their employment, while perhaps ultimately difficult to prove, fall outside the Wisconsin workers' compensation law, a federal judge in Wisconsin held April 17 while dismissing nuisance claims as time-barred (Pamela Kilty, et al. v. Weyerhaeuser Co., et al., No. 16-515, Scott Spatz, et al. v. Weyerhaeuser Co., et al., No. 16-726, W.D. Wis., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64002).

Rhode Island Judge Finds Employer Had Duty To Prevent Household Asbestos Exposure
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - An employer had a duty to prevent household asbestos exposures given federal regulations, company knowledge and the foreseeability of the injury, a judge in Rhode Island held April 16 (Carolyn Marie Nichols, et al. v. Allis Chalmers Product Liability Trust, et al., No. PC-2008-1134, R.I. Super., Providence Plantation).

Magistrate Judge Recommends Rejecting As Untimely Challenge To Bare-Metal Ruling
WILMINGTON, Del. - The intervening change in the application of the asbestos bare-metal ruling in the Third Circuit came during the period for filing a motion for reconsideration, a federal magistrate judge in Delaware held April 9 in recommending that the motion be denied as untimely (Icom Henry Evans, et al. v. Alfa Laval Inc., et al., No. 15-681 D. Del., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59687).

Denial Of Summary Judgment Sends Asbestos Case To New York Jury
NEW YORK - An asbestos flooring manufacturer fails to eliminate the potential for an architect's bystander exposure or demonstrate that its products contained only the chrysotile fibers its expert claims could not cause mesothelioma, a New York justice held in an opinion posted April 19 (Tatjana Pogacnik, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 190340/2015, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Court: Federal Officer Defense Frees Navy Insulation Supplier
SAN FRANCISCO - The government's selection of asbestos-containing insulation is enough for the federal officer defense to bar litigation against an insulation supplier, a California court held April 19 (Paula Tarjani, et al. v. Metalclad Insulation Corp., No. A140577, Calif. App., 1st Dist., 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2690).

County Says Discovery Rule Not Applicable In Former Judge's Asbestos Action
HOUSTON - The discovery rule does not apply to a former judge's asbestos torts claims act action against the county in which he worked, rendering his action untimely, the county told a Texas appeals court on April 18 (Jefferson County, Texas v. Ellarene Farris, et al., No. 01-17-00493-CV, Texas App., 1st Dist.).

Defendants Want Asbestos Plaintiffs Precluded From Raising Tobacco-Use Issues
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Federal law prevents lung cancer and mesothelioma asbestos plaintiffs from arguing or presenting evidence that they lacked sufficient warning about the dangers tobacco use posed, four defendants told a West Virginia judge on April 13 (In re: Asbestos Litigation, No. 03-C-9600, W.Va. Cir., Kanawa Co.).

Attorney Faces Sanctions After Presenting Jury With Excluded Asbestos Report
SEATTLE - An attempt at using deposition testimony to place a previously excluded report on asbestos causation before a jury could result in sanctions for the attorney, a federal judge in Washington said April 9 (Geraldine Barabin v. Scapa Dryer Fabrics Inc., No. 07-1454, W.D. Wash., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60084).

Railroad Wants Dismissal Of Asbestos Case As Sanction For Inflating Damage Number
CLEVELAND - Failure to disclose that an insurer would not seek subrogation for medical expenses associated with treatment for a man's asbestos-related lung cancer constitutes an "extraordinary violation" of the rules that cannot be exaggerated and warrants dismissal as a sanction, a railroad tells an Ohio court in an April 11 filing (Kevin E. Howell v. Consolidated Rail Corp., et al., No. CV-15-846529, Ohio Comm. Pls., Cuyahoga Co.).

Companies: Asbestos Claims Waiver Doesn't Erase Complex Federal Questions
SAN FRANCISCO - The indivisible nature of asbestos injuries makes separating Navy and non-Navy exposures nearly impossible, and the broad approach to federal officer removal warrants having a federal court address the complex situation, two companies tell the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a brief filed April 17 (Maxine Pelker, et al. v. CBS Corp., et al., No. 18-35114, 9th Cir.).

Judge Finds Corporate Ownership Questions Warrant Remand Of Asbestos-Talc Case
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Genuine disagreement over the proper owner of a store where a woman allegedly purchased asbestos-tainted consumer talc products creates sufficient questions to defeat claims of fraudulent joinder, a federal judge in South Carolina held April 16 (Antoine Bostic, et al. v. 3M, et al., No. 18-948, D. S.C.).

Shipyard Appeals After Judge Remands Asbestos Action
NEW ORLEANS - A shipyard on April 12 filed a notice of appeal indicating that it will challenge an April 11 opinion remanding an asbestos case alleging exposure at a shipyard outside the scope of Navy contracts (Raymond Burkart Jr. v. PPG Industries Inc., et al., No. 17-12646, E.D. La.).

Shipbuilder Appeals After Judge Finds Claims Outside Navy Asbestos Mandate
NEW ORLEANS - Nothing in the U.S. Navy's mandate to use asbestos-containing products prevented a shipbuilder from warning employees or instituting safety measures to prevent a woman's take-home exposures, a federal judge in Louisiana held April 11 in remanding a case. The shipyard appealed the decision April 12 (Linda Guillot v. Avondale Industries Inc., et al., No. 17-7666, E.D. La.).

Justice: Potential Asbestos Siding Purchase Keeps Reseller In New York
NEW YORK - An asbestos-cement siding reseller's potential purchase of the product from a New York-based supplier keeps a widow's mesothelioma case in the state, a justice held in an opinion posted April 13 (Shirley Jo Godfrey, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products, et al., No. 190280/2015, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Insurer Seeks Reconsideration Of Reinsurance Duties For $3.2M Asbestos Settlement
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - In a dispute over whether a reinsurer is obligated to an insurer for more than $3.2 million in reinsurance proceeds for an underlying asbestos settlement, the insurer in an April 3 motion seeks reconsideration of a New York federal judge's finding of ambiguity in the reinsurance certificate provisions related to expense (Utica Mutual Insurance Co. v. Munich Reinsurance America Inc., Nos. 12-00196 & 13-00743, N.D. N.Y.).

Expert Index

N.J. Jury Awards $37M, Finds Johnson & Johnson Liable For Man's Mesothelioma
TRENTON, N.J. - Johnson & Johnson Inc.'s consumer talc product contained asbestos, causing a man's mesothelioma, a New Jersey jury found April 5, awarding $37 million during phase 1 of the trial, sources told Mealey Publications (Stephen Lanzo, et al. v. Cyprus Amex Minerals Co., et al., No. L00738516, N.J. Super., Middlesex Co.).

Washington State Federal Jury Awards Asbestos Widow $1.56M On Negligence Claim
SEATTLE - A federal jury in Washington state on April 6 awarded a widow $1.56 million in a retrial of a negligence claim against the manufacturer of asbestos-containing dryer felts. In 2009, a different jury awarded her $10.2 million, but the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erased that verdict after it found that the judge erred by not holding a Daubert hearing (Geraldine Barabin v. Scapa Dryer Fabrics Inc., No. 07-1454, W.D. Wash., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54869).

Washington Jury Finds For John Crane In Mesothelioma Case
SEATTLE - A Washington state jury on March 15 found that lone remaining defendant John Crane Inc. supplied an unreasonably dangerous product and failed to provide adequate warnings, but that its conduct was not a proximate cause of a man's mesothelioma (Era Clevenger v. Bartells Asbestos Settlement Trust, et al., No. 16-2-07573-8, Wash. Super., King Co.).

Supreme Court Must Review Maritime Bare-Metal Ruling, Asbestos Company Says
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The interests of uniformity in maritime law and resolution of a split among circuit courts warrant review of the Third Circuit's rejection of the bare-metal defense in the maritime negligence setting, a company told the U.S. Supreme Court on April 5 (Air and Liquid Systems Corp, et al. v. Roberta G. DeVries, et al., Ingersoll Rand Co. v. Shirley McAfee, et al., No. 17-1104, U.S. Sup.).

Man Tells Federal Judge 3rd Circuit Bare-Metal Ruling Strengthens Case
WILMINGTON, Del. - Recent Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals precedent rejecting the blanket application of the bare-metal defense strengthens a record that shows Crane Co. sold asbestos-containing parts and asbestos-containing replacement parts, and specified the use of asbestos-containing replacements, a man suing the company told a Delaware federal judge March 30 in a supplemental brief (Dwight Kenneth Gaston v. Aurora Pump Co., et al., No. 16-579, D. Del.).

Maryland High Court Finds Asbestos Injury Arises At Exposure
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - A man's asbestos-related injury occurred during exposure to asbestos-containing insulation, not when doctors diagnosed him with mesothelioma and he first discovered his injury, Maryland's highest court held March 28 in finding the statute of repose inapplicable (June Diane Duffy, et al. v. CBS Corp., et al., No. 41 September Term, 2017, Md. App.).

Judge: Statute Of Repose Can't Create Absolute Asbestos Liability Immunity
BOSTON - A federal judge on March 30 declined to read the Massachusetts six-year statute of repose as creating absolute immunity for asbestos-related injuries, keeping alive several claims against a turbine generator manufacturer (June Stearns, et al. v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-13490, D. Mass., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56363).

9th Circuit Affirms Punitive Damages Award In Crane Co. Asbestos Case
SAN FRANCISCO - Sufficient evidence supports an Arizona federal jury's $5 million punitive damage verdict against asbestos-defendant Crane Co., and nothing in state law or the 2.8-to-1 ratio of the award to the jury's economic damages warrants disturbing the finding, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held March 29 (Sandra Brown Coulbourn v. Air & Liquid Systems Corporation, et al., No. 16-16925, 9th Cir.).

Asbestos Trial Parties Brief New York Court On Punitive Damages
NEW YORK - Facts introduced at trial have made it "abundantly clear" that newly permitted punitive damages are warranted, a woman told a New York justice presiding over her asbestos trial on March 31, sources told Mealey Publications. But in an April 5 trial memorandum, one of the defendants says the evidence does not support the conclusion that the decedent encountered its products, let alone that punitive damages are warranted, sources told Mealey Publications (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, Mary Murphy-Clagett v. A.O. Smith Water Products, et al., No. 190311/15, Kelly O'Connor v. A.O. Smith, et al., No. 190147/15, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Judge Won't Reopen Discovery For Review Of 2M Documents In Asbestos-Talc Case
ORLANDO, Fla. - A federal judge in Florida on March 26 denied a motion seeking to reopen discovery into an asbestos-talc case, rejecting complaints about the method through which defendants produced more than 2 million documents while ordering the plaintiff to produce an expert affidavit or face potential sanctions (Susan Stevenson, et al. v. Brenntag North America Inc., et al., No. 17417, M.D. Fla.).

Magistrate Judge Orders Insurer To Produce Nonprivileged Documents
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - In an asbestos coverage dispute, a New York federal magistrate judge on March 28 granted in part a reinsurer's motion for reconsideration of a discovery ruling and ordered an insurer to disclose nonprivileged documents on coverage issues relating to primary and umbrella policies (Utica Mutual Insurance Co. v. R&Q Reinsurance Co., No. 15-cv-270, N.D. N.Y.).

N.Y. Court Denies Reargument In Asbestos Document Destruction Sanctions Case
NEW YORK - New York's top court on April 3 denied an asbestos-pipe defendant's motion asking the court to reconsider its decision not to review an award of sanctions for the company's destruction and loss of documents that the trial judge said demonstrated "gross negligence at a minimum" (Richard Warren v. Amchem Products Inc., et al., No. 2018-226, N.Y. App., 2018 N.Y. LEXIS 765).

FELA's Causation Standard Doesn't Alter Asbestos Expert Admissibility, Court Says
FORT WORTH, Texas - The featherweight standard for causation in Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) cases does not require courts to also relax the expert admission standard, a Texas appeals court held March 2 (BNSF Railway Co, et al. v. Leonard A. Baca, No. 02-17-00168-CV, Texas App., 2nd Dist., 2018 Tex. App. LEXIS 2280).

Asbestos Expert's Reinstated Opinion Creates Triable Issues, Federal Judge Says
SAN FRANCISCO - Expert testimony reinstated by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals creates triable issues regarding a man's alleged exposure to asbestos from insulation supplied by a boiler company, a federal judge in California held April 2 (Geraldine Hilt, et al. v. Foster Wheeler LLC, FKA Foster Wheeler Corp., No. 11-2367, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56151).

Judge Rejects Expert's Human Anatomy Testimony In Asbestos Dryer Felt Trial
SEATTLE - A federal judge presiding over the retrial of a $10.2 million Washington asbestos case on March 30 excluded an expert's testimony regarding asbestos and its interaction with human anatomy, finding the general testimony of "minimal probative value" (Geraldine Barabin v. Scapa Dryer Fabrics Inc., No. 07-1454, W.D. Wash., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54869).

New York High Court Briefed On Settlement's Impact On Mesothelioma Claim
NEW YORK - A settlement involving smoke-related injuries specifically envisioned and released liability for asbestos-related diseases as well, a company told New York's top court on Feb. 20 in arguing that the Jones Act does not permit a subsequent mesothelioma lawsuit (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, Anne M. South, etc. v. Chevron Corp., etc., et al., No. APL-2017-00252, N.Y. App.).

Woman Urges Federal Judge To Reject Alternative Exposure Evidence
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A judge should find that a man's mesothelioma was caused by asbestos and that inadmissible asbestos bankruptcy trust forms are insufficient evidence of causation on which to place other potential sources of exposure before the jury, a woman told a federal judge in Kansas on March 26 (Nancy Little, et al. v. The Budd Co., No. 16-4170, D. Kan.).

Widow Says Window For Asbestos Suit Against County Started At Diagnosis
HOUSTON - A former judge's development of mesothelioma triggered the six-month window for filing a Texas Tort Claim Act (TTCA) action against a county where he worked, not his last day of employment or last exposure, a widow tells a Texas appeals court in an April 2 response (Jefferson County, Texas v. Ellarene Farris, et al., No. 01-17-00493-CV, Texas App., 1st Dist.).

Pump Makers, Asbestos Widow Brief Court In Advance Of April Trial Date
TACOMA, Wash. - Parties on March 26 filed dueling briefs in anticipation of an April 16 trial over whether pump company Warren Pumps LLC could be liable for asbestos-containing component parts used in conjunction with its products (Janice M. McMann, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp, et al., No. 16-5635, W.D. Wash.)

New York Court Won't Review Case Involving Site Control, $3.5M Asbestos Award
NEW YORK - New York's top court on April 3 denied a motion for leave to appeal in a case where a lower appellate court concluded that an asbestos defendant's supervision of superintendents rather than individual workers did not preclude liability under New York labor law and affirmed a jury's $3.5 million award for future pain and suffering (Ralph North v. National Grid Generation LLC, No. 2018-164, N.Y. App.; 2018 N.Y. LEXIS 762).

Asbestos Insulation And Not Prototype Focus Of Case, Jurisdiction, Widow Says
LOS ANGELES - Commercially available asbestos insulation caused a man's injuries, and the fact that it was installed on a prototype military nuclear propulsion engine does not support removing a case to federal court, a widow tells the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a brief filed April 3 (Wayne Yocum, et al. v. CBS Corp., et al., No. 17-56344, 9th Cir.).

Asbestos Commerce Allegations Create Washington Jurisdiction, Federal Judge Says
SEATTLE - Allegations that two defendants purposely placed their products into Washington state's stream of commerce suffice for personal jurisdiction purposes, and plaintiffs are free under state law to assert a claim for prejudgment interest starting from the time of any verdict, a federal judge held March 28 (Donald Varney, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 18-5105, W.D. Wash.).

2nd Circuit: Failure To Disclose Tort In Bankruptcy Doesn't Bar Asbestos Case
NEW YORK - The balance of the equities weigh against barring a mesothelioma case simply because the couple failed to disclose the litigation in the weeks before completely repaying creditors in a bankruptcy, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held March 30 in vacating a judicial estoppel ruling (John Clark, et al. v. AII Acquisition LLC, et al., No. 17-1727, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 8135).

Court: Survivor Action Supplements, Doesn't Amend Asbestos Case, Is Untimely
WILMINGTON, Del. - Survivor and wrongful death claims supplement an asbestos personal injury action and are not amendments that can relate back to the original action for statute of limitations purposes, a Delaware judge held March 26 (Sandra Kivell, et al. v. Murphy Oil USA Inc., et al., No. N15C-07-093 ASB, Del. Super., New Castle Co.).

Federal Judge Affirms Access To Asbestos Trust Data For Ford, Honeywell
WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware federal bankruptcy court ruling that Ford Motor Co. and Honeywell International Inc. can have access to asbestos claimants' data from nine asbestos trusts, though with limitations, was affirmed in its entirety March 27 by a federal judge (In re: Motions Seeking Access to 2019 Statements, No. 16-1078, D. Del., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50352).

Pennsylvania Bill Would Reinstate Workers' Comp Exclusivity For Latent Diseases
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Those suffering from asbestos injuries and other long latency occupational disease would once again fall under the Pennsylvania workers' compensation law's exclusivity provision under legislation introduced in the state's General Assembly April 2.

Expert Index

When Strategies Go Awry: Part 6 In A Series On Cognitive Biases And Their Impact
By Laura A. Frase Refining Our Thinking About Thinking: Battling the Sway of Cognitive Biases "They will get it straight one day at the Sorbonne. We shall return at twilight from the lecture pleased that the irrational is rational." - Wallace Stevens (1942)1

Vanderbilt, Plaintiff Settle Florida Asbestos-Talc Case During Trial
BARTOW, Fla. - A minerals company and a couple who claim that its talc was contaminated with asbestos reached a confidential settlement on March 15 as the Florida jury deliberated, sources told Mealey Publications (Robert Lord v. Vanderbilt Minerals LLC, No. 2017-CA-000783, Fla. Cir., 10th Jud. Dist. VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE).

Louisiana Jury Finds For Pipe Supplier In Asbestos Case
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana jury on Jan. 29 found that a man was exposed to asbestos and that the exposure was a substantial factor in his lung cancer but that the pipe supply company defendant was not liable, sources told Mealey Publications (Thomas Handy v. Ferguson Enterprises, et al., No. 14-5392, La. Dist., Orleans Parish).

New York Panel Upholds Punitive Damages, Other Aspects Of Asbestos CMO
NEW YORK - New York City asbestos plaintiffs will be able to seek punitive damages after a New York appeals court affirmed changes to the case management order (CMO) on March 22 (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, All Asbestos Cases, No. 40000/1988 782000/2017, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.).

High Court Rejects Case Challenging Punitive Damages In Missouri Asbestos Action
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on March 26 declined to weigh in on whether a state appeals court was free to ignore extenuating factors in affirming a $10 million punitive damage asbestos award (Crane Co. v. Jeanette G. Poage, No. 17-900, U.S. Sup.).

New York Justice Quashes Subpoenas Seeking Settled Defendants' Trial Testimony
NEW YORK - The new case management order governing asbestos trials permits two defendants to introduce interrogatories and deposition testimony from settled defendants but does not allow them to call corporate representatives from those companies, a New York justice held in a trio of opinions posted March 21 (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, Mary Murphy-Clagett v. A.O. Smith Water Products, et al., No. 190311/15, Kelly O'Connor v. A.O. Smith, et al., No. 190147/15, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Court: California Judge Erred In Denying Preferential Date For Asbestos Trial
SAN FRANCISCO - A trial court improperly denied an 81-year-old asbestos lung cancer sufferer a preferential trial date after grafting the standard from one part of the state's civil code on to another, a California court held March 20 (Ardella Fox, et al. v. The Superior Court of the City and County of San Francisco, et al., No. A153672, Calif. App., 1st Dist.).

Talc Company Signals Intent To Appeal $22.1M Asbestos Verdict
OAKLAND, Calif. - A talc defendant hit with a share of a $22.1 million asbestos verdict has indicated in a March 19 docket entry that it will appeal the verdict after a California state judge denied its post-trial motion (Booker v. Vanderbilt Minerals, No. RG15796166, Calif. Super., Alameda Co.).

Chamber Urges High Court Review Of Asbestos Maritime Bare-Metal Case
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals abdicated centuries-old responsibilities in concluding that foreseeability required sending novel bare-metal asbestos claims to a jury, an amicus party told the U.S. Supreme Court March 9 (Air and Liquid Systems Corp, et al. v. Roberta G. DeVries, et al., Ingersoll Rand Co. v. Shirley McAfee, et al., No. 17-1104, U.S. Sup.).

New Mexico Court Set To Decide Take-Home Asbestos Exposure Duty
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A New Mexico appellate court is set to decide whether the state recognizes a duty to prevent take-home asbestos exposures after receiving briefing over the last four months (Peggy Ann Torres, et al. v. BNSF Railway Co., et al., No. A-1-CA-36240, N.M. App.).

Product's Sale Not Sufficient To Overcome Judgment, Wisconsin Top Court Told
MILWAUKEE - While evidence of the sale of a company's products to a man's employer creates the theoretical possibility of asbestos exposure, a man's failure to ever place the decedent in the presence of the company's asbestos products should doom the case, a company told the Wisconsin Supreme Court on March 16 (Russell Robertson, et al. v. Cleaver-Brooks Inc., et al., No. 2015AP2486, Wis. Sup.).

Family Says Evidence Supports $9M Asbestos Verdict Against Employer
DALLAS - The surviving family of a mesothelioma victim on March 15 defended a $9 million verdict against the man's former employer, telling a Texas appeals court that plentiful evidence supported the jury's conclusion that the mechanical engineer was injured during his employment with the helicopter components company (Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. v. Shirley Dickson, et al., No. 05-17-00979-CV, Texas App., 5th Dist.).

Railcar Company Tells Judge Jury Should Hear Evidence Of Alternative Exposures
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A jury should hear evidence of a man's other alleged exposures to asbestos and alternative causes of his mesothelioma, a proposition so standard that there doesn't appear to be a federal court to have even considered any other route, a railcar company told a federal judge in Kansas on March 16 (Nancy Little, et al. v. The Budd Co., No. 16-4170, D. Kan.).

Judge Largely Allows Insurers' Suit Seeking Recovery From Asbestos Law Firm
GALVESTON, Texas - Insurers may largely proceed with their Employee Retirement Income Security Act case seeking recovery of monies they spent on insured's medical care and for which the insureds allegedly were compensated from asbestos bankruptcy trusts, a federal judge in Texas held March 16 (Humana Inc., et al. v. Brent W. Coon P.C., a/k/a Brent Coon & Associates, et al., No. 16-240, S.D. Texas).

Court Affirms That FELA Asbestos Settlement Bars Lung Cancer Case
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Following Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals precedent, Pennsylvania courts permit Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) settlements to include all known risks, and a judge properly concluded that the parties in an asbestos action were aware that lung cancer was a possible cancer arising from a man's asbestos exposure, a state appeals court held March 23 (Margaret Jarrett, et al. v. Consolidated Rail Corp., No. 1229 EDA 2017, Pa. Super.).

Magistrate Judge Admits Trio Of Plaintiffs' Experts In Asbestos Conspiracy Case
WILMINGTON, Del. - While not directly relevant, three experts' testimony on the presence of asbestos, causation and Crane Co.'s knowledge all bolster a woman's conspiracy claim, a federal magistrate judge in Delaware held March 14 in denying a motion to strike the testimony under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharm., Inc., and Federal Rules of Evidence (Marguerite MacQueen v. Warren Pumps LLC, et al., No. 13-831, D. Del., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41749).

5th Circuit Finds Shipyard Asbestos Negligence Claims Escape Removal
NEW ORLEANS - While the U.S. Navy mandated the use of asbestos on its ships, the record shows that nothing prevented the shipyard from taking safety precautions that could have allegedly prevented exposures, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held March 16 in affirming remand of a negligence case (Stephen R. Legendre, et al. v. Huntington Ingalls Inc., et al., No. 17-30371, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 6658).

Judge Finds Post-1978 Registration Creates Pennsylvania Jurisdiction
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Out-of-state companies that remained registered in Pennsylvania after the state enacted a law recognizing registration as creating jurisdiction are subject to suit in the state, a federal judge held March 19, though she dismissed the "overwhelmingly conclusory" claims (Thomas D. Gorton II, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 17-1110, M.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44152).

Court: Legal Analyst Role Doesn't Permit Privileged Document Production
SAN FRANCISCO - An asbestos plaintiff's role as a legal consultant for the railroad does not eradicate privilege claims over documents he reviewed as part of his job, a California appeals court held March 16 (Dennis M. Fitzpatrick v. The Superior Court of Alameda Co., et al., No. A151122, Calif. App., 1st Dist.).

Don't Reopen Discovery For Stalling Asbestos-Talc Plaintiff, 4 Defendants Say
TAMPA, Fla. - A woman stalled discovery in her asbestos-talc case until the last minute and should not be allowed a "re-do" through extended discovery and continued trial date, four defendants told a Florida federal judge March 12 (Susan Stevenson, et al. v. Brenntag North America Inc., et al., No. 17417, M.D. Fla.).

Louisiana Federal Judge Grants 30-Day Inquiry Into Contacts With State
NEW ORLEANS - Asbestos plaintiffs have not shown any connection between Rohm & Haas Chemicals LLC and Louisiana sufficient for jurisdiction purposes, but may yet if they can show that the company is responsible for asbestos at Weeks Island Morton Salt facility, a federal judge in the state held March 23 in granting jurisdictional discovery (Leech, et al. v. 3M. Co., et al., No. 17-446, W.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48197).

Virgin Islands Judge Orders Deposition Of Dead Lawyer's Partner In Asbestos Spat
CHRISTIANSTED, Virgin Islands - Asbestos plaintiffs properly served a subpoena on a Virgin Islands attorney's secretary while he was off island, and he may appear by telephone to testify regarding an affirmation his partner gave shortly before his death, a Virgin Island judge held Feb. 21 (In re: Asbestos, Catalyst, and Silica Toxic Dust Exposure Litigation, No. SX-15-CV-096, Virgin Islands Super., St. Croix, 2018 V.I. LEXIS 21).

Judge Allows Asbestos Scheme Claims To Proceed Against Former Speaker Silver
NEW YORK - An indictment alleging a scheme to direct referrals to a law firm affiliated with former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver need allege only that the conduct continued into the limitations period, a federal judge in the state held March 20 in allowing the case to proceed (United States of America v. Sheldon Silver, No. 15-93, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45681).

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