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LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Asbestos Legal News

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California Jury Finds For Adhesives Company In Asbestos Trial
LOS ANGELES - A California jury on Oct. 27 rejected claims that asbestos in a company's aerospace adhesives caused a woman's fatal mesothelioma, returning a defense verdict for Dexter Hysol Aerospace, sources told Mealey Publications (Velma Searcy v. 3M Co., et al., No. BC612205, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Agrees To Address Asbestos Bare-Metal Defense
PHILADELPHIA - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Oct. 26 accepted a certified question from the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals under which it will decide whether manufacturers can be held liable for asbestos-containing parts they neither manufactured nor supplied and what standard determines liability if such a duty exists (In re: Asbestos Products Liability Litigation (No VI) Crane Co., No. 110EM 2017, Pa. Sup.).

Conn. Top Court: Asbestos Case Required Expert Specific Causation Opinion
HARTFORD, Conn. - To prevail on asbestos exposure claims against an aircraft adhesive manufacturer, a plaintiff needed expert testimony that sanding the product released asbestos in sufficient levels to cause mesothelioma, Connecticut's top court held in an opinion set for release Nov. 7 (Wayne Bagley, et al. v. Adel Wiggins Group, et al., No. S.C. 19835, Conn. Sup.).

Delaware Judge Finds Evidence Can't Establish Exposure To Asbestos Parts
WILMINGTON, Del. - General testimony regarding a machinist's use of replacement parts in the U.S. Navy cannot be stretched to conclude that the man was exposed to asbestos from a defendant, a Delaware judge held Oct. 27 (Philip A. Walsh, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., No. N15C-08-206 ASB, Del. Super., New Castle Co.).

Judge Excludes Asbestos Deposition Testimony Company Never Got To Challenge
CLEVELAND - Because a defendant did not have a chance to cross-examine a man after he identified its asbestos-containing product in a deposition, his testimony does not fit with an exception to hearsay, a federal judge in Ohio held Oct. 19 (Charlene French, et al. v. A.W. Chesterton Co., et al., No. 16-1777, N.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174020).

Judge Denies New Trial For Premises Owner Hit With $12.9M Asbestos Verdict
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California judge on Oct. 24 denied a premises owner's request for a new trial, leaving stand a jury's $12.9 million verdict for a man's environmental asbestos exposures, according to the docket (Lanette Louise Lopez, et al. v. The Hillshire Brands Co., RG14721622, Calif. Super., Alameda Co.).

4th Circuit Considers Jury's Intervening Cause Finding In Asbestos Case
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals heard oral argument Oct. 24 about whether a jury can logically find that a defendant was the proximate cause of a man's mesothelioma and that an employer was an intervening cause and whether the plaintiff properly objected to a verdict form with both issues (Erik Ross Phillips and Tina Landers v. Pneumo Abex LLC and Reddaway Manufacturing Corporation Inc., No. 16-1508, 4th Cir.).

Judge Finds Workers' Comp Law Bars Claims Against Premises Owner
WILMINGTON, Del. - A man employed by third parties at a chemical plant and whose work was controlled by those parties has no negligence claim against the premises owner, a Delaware judge held Oct. 26 (Jeffrey A. Warner v. Covestro LLC, et al., No. N15C-02-060 ASB, Del. Super., New Castle Co.).

Texas Court Seeks Plaintiffs' Input On Asbestos Causation Reconsideration Motion
DALLAS - A Texas appellate court asked a widow and her two children for a response to an employer's petition for rehearing that argued that its "direct, rifle-shot complaint" preserved a challenge to causation in an asbestos case that produced an $18.6 million verdict (The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Vicki Lynn Rogers, et al., No. 05-15-00001-CV, Texas App., 5th Dist.).

Man Says Ceramics Firm Knew Vermiculite Packing Contained Asbestos
CLEVELAND - A ceramics company packed its products in asbestos-tainted vermiculite long after it learned of the problem and never issued warnings or recalls, a man tells an Ohio court in a Nov. 2 trial brief (Paul M. Cornett, et al. v. Clark Industrial Insulating Co., et al., No. CV-15-845107, Ohio Comm. Pls., Cuyahoga Co.).

Judge Grants 6 Judgment, Says Asbestos Exposure Evidence Falls Short
FRANKFORT, Ky. - Simply claiming exposure to asbestos-containing products without being able to name the products in question is not enough to support strict liability, negligence and breach of warranty claims, a federal judge in Kentucky held in granting six companies summary judgment on Oct. 27 (Rojelio Surita, et al. v. ArvinMeritor Inc., et al., No. 16-62, W.D. Ky., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178133).

Judge: Asbestos Auto Parts Maker's Motion Simply Rehashes Rejected Arguments
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A federal judge in Alabama adopted a magistrate judge's recommendation on Oct. 20, agreeing that an asbestos defendant's motion for summary judgment simply attempts to relitigate issues rejected on at least three other occasions (Donna Franklin, et al. v. Dana Companies LLC, et al., No. 11-2731, N.D. Ala.).

Asbestos Plaintiff Tells Connecticut Justice She Got Jurisdiction Ruling Right
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - A company's shipments of talc to Connecticut, even if only a small portion of its overall business, allow for jurisdiction in the state over an asbestos case, a plaintiff told a judge in the state on Oct. 24 in urging her to deny reargument on the issue (Rice, Brooks, et al. v. American Talc Co., No. FBT CV-15-6053658-S, Conn. Super., Fairfield at Bridgeport; 2017 Conn. Super. LEXIS 4433).

Class Wants Crime-Fraud Exception In Asbestos-Talc Evidence Destruction Case
NEWARK, N.J. - The attorney-client privilege should not protect evidence in a case alleging defendants spent decades fraudulently concealing the existence of asbestos in talc, plaintiffs told a federal judge in New Jersey on Nov. 2 (Kimberlee Williams, et al. v. BASF Catalysts LLC., et al., No. 11-1754, D. N.J.).

Federal Judge Orders Autopsy Over Objections In Mesothelioma Case
SEATTLE - An autopsy presents the best way of evaluating the role and impact asbestos may have played in a mesothelioma victim's death, a federal judge in Washington held Oct. 23 in granting an emergency motion (Patrick Jack, et al. v. Asbestos Corp LTD, et al., No. 17-537, W.D. Wash.).

Law Firm: Asbestos Deposition Isn't Court Record, Jurisdiction Can't Be Revived
DALLAS - A court lacks jurisdiction over 20-year-old deposition testimony into the creation of a memo some believe shows lawyers coaching asbestos witnesses because the testimony is not a court document, plaintiffs and their law firm told a Texas appeals court on Nov. 3 (Christine Cole Biederman v. Beverly Jean Brown, et al., No. 01-07-00263-CV, Texas App., 1st Dist.).

Removal Was Untimely, But Also Improper, Plaintiff Tells 5th Circuit
BATON ROUGE, La. - Even if the court concludes that removal of an asbestos action was ultimately timely under the "other papers" doctrine, the court should find that removal was inappropriate, a plaintiff tells a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel in a Nov. 1 sur-reply letter brief (Curtis D. Morgan v. Dow Chemical Co., et al., No. 17-30523, 5th Cir.).

Plaintiff Can't Remove Federal Allegations Post-Removal, Companies Tell 9th Circuit
PORTLAND, Ore. - The broad right to federal courts defendants who operated under a federal officer enjoy is not erased by a post-removal disclaimer of federal liability, two companies tell the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in an Oct. 20 opening brief (Melissa Coury, et al. v. CBS Corp., et al., No. 17-35492, 9th Cir.).

Retention Of Removed Asbestos Claims Isn't Final Decision, 4th Circuit Says
RICHMOND, Va. - A judge's decision to sever and remand state law asbestos claims while retaining jurisdiction over third-party claims is not a final decision subject to appellate review, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Oct. 24 (Wayne Oliver v. Campbell-McCormick Inc., et al. v. Clifford Oliver, June Stearns v. The Walter Campbell Co. Inc., No. 16-1895, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 21220).

Company Blames Lack Of Familiarity With Asbestos Settlement On Family
NEW ORLEANS - A family's argument that they were unaware a settlement included mesothelioma claims conflicts with the clear language of the release, and any failure to investigate documents of which they had possession is their error, a company told the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 5 (Essie Lemieux, et al. v. American Optical Corp., No. 17-30346, 5th Cir.).

Georgia-Pacific Subsidiary Bestwall Files For Bankruptcy Due To Asbestos Liabilities
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Georgia-Pacific affiliate Bestwall LLC filed a Chapter 11 petition Nov. 2 in North Carolina federal bankruptcy court to create a trust to pay asbestos personal injury claims and receive an injunction forever barring future asbestos claims against the debtor, Georgia-Pacific and their dozens of affiliates (In re Bestwall LLC, No. 17-31795, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).

Home's Liquidator Seeks Approval Of $1.7M Asbestos Settlement With Insured
CONCORD, N.H. - The liquidator for The Home Insurance Co. on Oct. 23 asked a New Hampshire trial court to approve a $1.7 million settlement with an insured to resolve asbestos claims under three insurance policies (In the Matter of the Liquidation of The Home Insurance Co., No. 03-E-0106, N.H. Super., Merrimack Co.).

Expert Index

When Strategies Go Awry: Part I In A Series On Cognitive Biases And Their Impact
By Laura A. Frase We make decisions every day. With simple questions, we normally rely upon intuition, feelings, instincts or automatic reactions to make a decision (ex: do I turn left or right?). Our brains make thousands, if not millions, of these types of decisions, with seemingly little effort or analysis. "Judgment pervades human experience."1 These intellectual shortcuts save time, take less effort and allow us to choose quickly. We do not take the time, for example, to decide which foot to put forward when we walk; we decide automatically or on "gut instinct". If we fully analyzed every simple decision, we would be paralyzed and unable to function in our daily lives. We traditionally believe that we make rational and logical decisions; we "absorb information, process it, and come up with an optimal answer of solution."2 Yet, the fact that we err is undisputed. Our missteps sometimes come when we use these same intuitive shortcuts (known as heuristics) to make complex decisions, particularly when we are dealing with uncertain or unknown information. Countless qualitative studies demonstrate that our ability to analyze intricate facts or numbers is involuntarily thwarted by various cognitive, social and emotional responses which may ultimately force us toward illogical reasoning. As lawyers, we are not immune. Why, for example, do some parties reject generous offers? Why do we invest significant resources into "losing" cases? How does the first demand, even if it is outrageous, tilt negotiations? Why do our brains play these games?

California Jury Hears Competing Arguments In Asbestos-Talc Case
LOS ANGELES - After failing to remove asbestos from its product, Johnson & Johnson worried more about "protecting the franchise" than preventing exposure to asbestos from its talcum powder, a plaintiff told a California jury on Oct. 19 in a closely watched asbestos trial (Tina Herford, et al. v. AT&T Corp., et al., No. BC646315, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).

Companies Want Daubert As Florida Law, Every Exposure Asbestos Testimony Rejected
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Two companies on Oct. 20 defended a ruling rejecting an $8 million judgment, telling the Florida Supreme Court that the state's Legislature is free to adopt the Daubert standard and that expert testimony that every exposure to asbestos leads to mesothelioma fails regardless of which standard the court applies (Richard DeLisle v. Crane Co., et al., No. SC16-2182, Fla. Sup.).

Florida Top Court Asked To Review Cumulative Asbestos Exposure Opinion
MIAMI - The Florida Supreme Court should resolve a conflict in the state's appellate courts and firmly reject the discredited "cumulative exposure" asbestos causation theory, a shipyard argues in an Oct. 9 petition (Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., et al. v. Rosa-Maria Britt, et al., No. SC17-1780, Fla. Sup.).

Court: Expert's Tainted-Talc Opinion Saves California Asbestos Case
SAN FRANCISCO - Expert testimony that asbestos contaminated the source of the talc a woman regularly used for more than 20 years by itself creates triable issues and required denying summary judgment, a California appeals court held Oct. 19 (Mary Lyons v. Colgate-Palmolive Co., No. A150567, Calif. App., 1st Dist.).

Judge Denies Reconsideration, Excludes Cumulative Asbestos Exposure Testimony
CHARLESTON, S.C. - An expert's opinion that the cumulative dose of asbestos leads to mesothelioma is indistinguishable from the theory that every exposure causes the disease, a federal judge held Sept. 18 in denying a motion for reconsideration and granting summary judgment to a defendant (John E. Haskins and Mary L. Haskins v. 3M Co., et al., No. 15-2086, James Willson Chesher, et al. v. 3M., No. 15-2123, D. S.C.).

John Crane, Oregon Plaintiffs Square Off On $3M Punitive Damages Award
PORTLAND, Ore. - A jury properly awarded $3 in punitive damages against a company that sold asbestos-containing products without providing a warning, even while it was protecting its employees from exposure, plaintiffs told an Oregon court Sept. 29. But in an Oct. 3 reply, the company argues that the plaintiffs' claim was "flawed from inception" and that their argument in support ignores significant facts (Robert G. Sprague Jr., et al. v. A.W. Chesterton Co., et al., No. 15CV14771, Oregon Cir., Multnomah Co.).

Premises Owner Says $12.9M Asbestos Verdict Unfounded, Inconsistent
OAKLAND, Calif. - A jury's finding that a premises owner, but not the manufacturers of the products in question, is liable for a man's asbestos exposure is inconsistent and ignores the paucity of evidence of exposure, a food company told a California judge on Oct. 2 (Lanette Louise Lopez, et al. v. The Hillshire Brands Co., RG14721622, Calif. Super., Alameda Co.).

Mesothelioma Sufferer, Company, Spar Over Size Of Pain-And-Suffering Award
NEW YORK - A man with mesothelioma told a New York justice on Sept. 15 that trial evidence of his immense suffering warrants increasing a jury's $3.3 million award for such injuries, an award the defendant says fits nicely with other asbestos jury awards in the state (Thomas McGlynn v. Aerco International Inc., et al., No. 190219-16, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

N.Y. Court Told To Nix Asbestos Punitive Damages, Safeguard Trust Transparency
NEW YORK - An appeals court should vacate a provision of the new case management order allowing for punitive damages in asbestos cases and vacate or amend a provision governing how asbestos bankruptcy trust claims are handled, an amicus curiae group told the court on Oct. 10 (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, All Asbestos Cases., No. 40000/1988 782000/2017, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.).

Valve Company Seeks To Extinguish $4.6M Asbestos Verdict
NEW YORK - A Scottish immigrant's $4.6 million asbestos award was built on improper evidentiary rulings involving experts, causation, the absence of settled defendants on the verdict sheet, as well as other errors, a valve company tells a New York justice in an Oct. 13 brief in support of a motion seeking a new trial or to set aside the verdict (Thomas McGlynn v. Aerco International Inc., et al., No. 190219-16, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

BASF, Citing Its Employment Of Judge's Sister, Seeks Recusal Of Asbestos Judge
NEWARK, N.J. - A judge's sister's access and control over company documents while employed by a defendant require that the judge recuse herself from a case alleging asbestos contamination of talc and spoliation of evidence, the company claims in an Oct. 10 memorandum (Audrey Sampson, et al. v. 3M Co., et al., No. MID-L-5384-11AS, N.J. Super., Middlesex Co.).

Pennsylvania Judge Finds Evidence Lacking In Asbestos Arc Chute Case
PHILADELPHIA - Evidence that some of a company's arc chutes contained asbestos and general beliefs about asbestos and warnings from employers about the material's presence in the workplace are not enough to hold the company liable, a judge in Philadelphia held Sept. 12 (Robert Eorio v. GE, No. 0737, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).

Wisconsin Court Finds Lack Of Worksite Recall Doesn't Doom Asbestos Case
MILWAUKEE - The ability to recall specific jobsites is not necessary to overcome summary judgment, an appeals court in Wisconsin held Oct. 10, finding that evidence of asbestos-containing products' presence at worksites and testimony regarding the work done at those sites satisfies the standard (Russell Robertson, et al. v. Cleaver-Brooks Inc., et al., No. 2015AP2486, Wis. App., Dist. 1, 2017 Wisc. App. LEXIS 812).

Couple Seeks Appeal After CBS Obtains Judgment In Asbestos Case
PHILADELPHIA - A couple on Oct. 18 asked a federal court in Pennsylvania to dismiss its case so that they can appeal judgment for a company that allegedly installed asbestos-containing insulation on U.S. Navy ships (Carol Decourcey, et al. v. ABB Inc., et al., No. MDL 875, 14-6337, E.D. Pa.).

Judge Finds Affidavit, Asbestos Crafting Product Case Equally Convincing
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - A daughter's affidavit that can be read as contradicting her mother's deposition testimony goes to the credibility of that testimony and is not subject to rejection under the sham affidavit doctrine, and the two pieces of evidence combine to create triable issues in a home-crafting asbestos action, a Rhode Island judge held Oct. 19 (In re: Asbestos Litigation, Loretta Belac v. 3M Co., et al., No. PC-2016-0544, R.I. Super., Providence Plantation).

California Supreme Court Won't Review Ruling Ending Asbestos Suit Against City
LOS ANGELES - The California Supreme Court on Sept. 27 declined to review a ruling finding that the date of a woman's mesothelioma diagnosis ultimately rendered her notice of intent to sue the City of Pasadena untimely (City of Pasadena v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Sandra Reyes Jauregui, et al., No. S243654, Calif. Sup.).

Judge: Defunct Company's Litigation Efforts Don't Provide Minnesota Jurisdiction
MINNEAPOLIS - A company existing for the last 30 years merely to litigate asbestos claims lacks the type of contacts in a state necessary to overcome diversity removal or to create jurisdiction in the state, a federal judge in Minnesota held Oct. 10 (Michael P. McGill, et al. v. Conwed Corp., No. 17-01047, D. Minn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167165).

Asbestos Plaintiff Rejects 'Designed For Delay' Transcript Removal Trigger
BATON ROUGE, La. - Two companies cannot even agree on what their "plain meaning" interpretations of federal law would require, so their interpretations should be rejected in favor of a clear rule that deposition testimony triggers the period for removing an asbestos case, an asbestos plaintiff told the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Oct. 11 (Curtis D. Morgan v. Dow Chemical Co., et al., No. 17-30523, 5th Cir.).

Asbestosis Settlement Contemplates, Bars, Mesothelioma Claim, Judge Says
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An agreement resolving a couple's asbestosis claim specifically envisions future mesothelioma claims as among the universe of potential claims and bars a subsequent suit, a federal judge in Louisiana held Oct. 13 (Lorita M. Savoie, et al. v. Huntington Ingalls Inc., et al., No. 15-1220, E.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169348).

New York Politician Freed From Asbestos Charges Seeks High Court Review
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court should decide the exact scope of the broad statute governing money-laundering claims, a former New York politician who was freed from charges that he used his influence to illegally profit from asbestos cases claims in an Oct. 11 petition (United States of America v. Sheldon Silver, No. 17-562, U.S. Sup.).

Expert Index

Jury Awards $6.8 Million In 2nd Massachusetts Asbestos Trial
WOBURN, Mass. - For the second time in nine days, a Massachusetts jury on Sept. 29 handed down a multimillion asbestos verdict, this time handing $6.8 million to a widow who claims that her deceased husband suffered exposure while serving as a part-time insulator while in school (Amy Ross, et al. v. New England Insulation Co., et al., No. 13-5580, Mass. Super., Middlesex Co.).

Jury Hears Opening Arguments In 1st Asbestos-Talc Trial Against Johnson & Johnson
LOS ANGELES - Attorneys representing parties to the first asbestos-tainted talc case against Johnson & Johnson presented opening arguments Oct. 5 in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, arguing over what the testing says about the source of the talc used in the company's products and alternative sources of a woman's mesothelioma (Tina Herford, et al. v. AT&T Corp., et al., No. BC646315, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).

3rd Circuit: Maritime Negligence Claims Survive Asbestos Bare-Metal Defense
PHILADELPHIA - The bare-metal defense does not bar asbestos negligence actions under maritime law's "bedrock principle" of protecting sailors, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Oct. 3 (In re: Asbestos Products Liability Litigation [No. VI], Roberta G. DeVries, et al. v. Buffalo Pumps Inc., et al., No. 16-2602, Shirley McAfee, et al. v. Ingersoll-Rand & Co., No. 16-2669, 3rd Cir.).

Pennsylvania Judge Excludes Asbestos-Talc Experts As Unreliable
PHILADELPHIA - While portions of asbestos-talc experts' testimony regarding the presence of asbestos and causation may arise from generally accepted scientific methodology, they deviate enough from those methodologies to exclude their opinions, a Pennsylvania judge held Sept. 25 (Sally Brandt, et al. v. The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., et al., No. December Term, 2015, 2987, Pa. Comm Pls., Philadelphia Co.).

Man Tells Ohio High Court Expert Testimony Meets Causation Standard
CLEVELAND - An expert's testimony that asbestos and tobacco use both substantially contributed to a man's lung cancer easily meets Ohio's causation standard and does not require review, a man argues to the Ohio Supreme Court in a Sept. 27 brief (Kevin E. Howell v. Consolidated Rail Corp., et al., No. 2017-1207, Ohio Sup.).

New York Court Affirms Brake-Grinding Maker's Liability, $9M Asbestos Award
NEW YORK - A manufacturer of brake-grinding machines had a duty to warn about the dangers the use of its machines with asbestos-containing brakes posed, a New York appellate court held Oct. 5 while also affirming a stipulated $9 million award (Walter Miller v. BMW of North America LLC, et al., No. 190087/2014, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Employer Urges Court To Reconsider Asbestos Causation Waiver Finding
DALLAS - A "direct, rifle-shot complaint" and footnote incorporating earlier arguments preserved challenges to the jury's asbestos causation finding, an employer argues in a Sept. 28 motion asking a Texas appellate court for rehearing (The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Vicki Lynn Rogers, et al., No. 05-15-00001-CV, Texas App., 5th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 8382).

Judge Finds Allegations Don't Put Asbestos Case Outside Workers' Comp Laws
ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Merely knowing of the presence of asbestos and its hazards is not enough to escape the state's workers' compensation exclusivity provision, a federal judge in North Carolina held Sept. 29 (Howard Milton Moore Jr., et al. v. Alcatel-Lucent USA Inc., et al., No. 16-157, W.D. N.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162517).

N.Y. Court Won't Rehear Case After Rejecting Coke Oven Product Liability Claim
BUFFALO, N.Y. - A New York appeals court on Sept. 29 rejected a motion seeking reargument and declined a man's request for leave to further appeal a decision that a contract governing the construction of coke oven batteries involves materials, work and labor rather than a product for product liability purposes (In the matter of the Eighth Judicial District Asbestos Litigation, Donald J. Terwilliger, et al. v. Beazer East Inc., et al., No. 85 CA 16-00947, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 4th Dist., 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 6836).

Asbestos Defendant Fails In Bid For Appeal Of Ruling Denying Dismissal
ASHEVILLE, N.C. - A company unable to escape what it portrays as a "shotgun" asbestos complaint at the motion to dismiss stage has not shown that an interlocutory appeal is warranted or that it would help forward the litigation, a federal judge in North Carolina held Oct. 5 (Tommy Lineberger, et al. v. CBS Corp., et al., No. 16-390, W.D. N.C.).

Judge: Asbestos Defendant's Database Search Objections Unconvincing
SEATTLE - A company cannot avoid discovery from its database simply by claiming that the resulting search would be "incomprehensible," but a second company's claim that it has no responsive documents in an asbestos case ends any debate, a federal judge in Washington held Sept. 19 (William C. Blosser, et al. v. Ashcroft Inc., et al., No. 17-5243, W.D. Wash.).

Ohio Top Court Won't Weigh In On FELA Settlement's Impact On Lung Cancer Case
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio Supreme Court on Sept. 27 declined to review a state appellate court's ruling that a settlement resolving Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) asbestosis claims did not bar a subsequent lung cancer claim (Richard C. Arpin v. Consolidated Rail Corp., et al., No. 2017-0171, Ohio Sup.).

Companies Say Transcript, Not Deposition, Starts 'Other Paper' Removal Clock
BATON ROUGE, La. - The federal officer removal statute's plain language unambiguously supports a conclusion that receipt of a deposition transcript, and not the deposition itself, triggers the time period for removing an asbestos case, two companies told a federal appellate court in Sept. 6 and Sept. 11 briefs (Curtis D. Morgan v. Dow Chemical Co., et al., No. 17-30523, 5th Cir.).

Judge OKs Defendant's Pre-Service Removal Of Asbestos Action
NEW ORLEANS - A defendant's quick removal of an asbestos action precludes consideration of the forum of any unserved defendants, but is not the type of "snap removal" that is objectionable and absurd, a federal judge in Louisiana held Sept. 29 in denying remand (Margaret Leech, et la. V. 3M Co., et al., No. 17-446, E.D. La.).

Expert Index

Considerations In Deciding To Seek, Or Not To Seek, Lone-Pine Orders In Mass Tort Litigation
By James M. Beck So-called "Lone Pine" orders are something of a hybrid litigation tool. Named after an unpublished New Jersey trial court opinion, Lore v. Lone Pine Corp.,1 such orders have become "a common trial management technique in toxic torts cases with multiple plaintiffs."2 "Lone Pine" has come to describe a variety of pretrial case management orders that "require plaintiffs to provide facts in support of their claims including by expert evidence or risk having their cases dismissed."3 Most commonly, they relieve "potential burdens on defendants and the court in mass tort litigation by requiring plaintiffs to produce some evidence to support a credible claim," such as "an affidavit from a qualified treating or other physician."4 The original Lone Pine order directed several hundred plaintiffs claiming injuries from environmental pollution to produce "sufficient information to establish the existence of a prima facie case."5 The Lone Pine court declared "that prior to the institution of such a cause of action, attorneys for plaintiffs must be prepared to substantiate, to a reasonable degree, the allegations of personal injury, property damage and proximate cause."6 Such a requirement is hardly onerous, as this kind of information "should have" been marshaled by plaintiffs even "before filing their claims."7