Preview: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ International Asbestos Liability Legal News
LexisNexis® Mealey's™ International Asbestos Liability Legal News
Headline International Asbestos Liability Legal News from LexisNexis®
English Court Affirms Dismissal Of Dockworker's Asbestos Case As Time-Barred
LONDON - An England and Wales appeals court on May 23 affirmed a trial judge's decision to dismiss an asbestos-related lawsuit filed by a former London dock worker against his former employers, finding that the action was time-barred (George Collins v. Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills, et al., No. $(2014$) EWCA Civ 717, England and Wales App.; See May 2013, Page 4).
English Court Overturns Finding Of Asbestos-Related Liability For Parent Company
LONDON - An England and Wales appeals court on May 13 allowed a company's appeal of a decision, which found that as a parent company, it owed a former laborer a duty of care in relation to his asbestos exposure at work, finding that the evidence relied on by the trial court was too limited to impose a duty of care on the company (David Thompson v. The Renwick Group plc, No. $(2014$) EWCA Civ 635, England and Wales App.).
Australian Court Refuses Appeal Of Decision Deeming Contaminated Property Safe
SYDNEY, Australia - An Australian appeals court on May 30 dismissed an application to appeal a decision that denied an application to stay a judgment that deemed a property safe and ordered a tenant to return to it, finding no issue of public importance in the proposed appeal (El-Saeidy v NSW Land & Housing Corporation, $(No. 2014$) NSWCA 172, New South Wales Sup.; See March 2014, Page 8).
5th Circuit Upholds Enhanced Fees In ASARCO Proceedings
NEW ORLEANS - Fee enhancements were properly awarded to two law firms that represented ASARCO LLC in its reorganization process, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 30 (In re: ASARCO LLC, et al., No. 05-21207, S.D. Texas Bkcy. $(ASARCO LLC v. Jordan Hyden Womble Culbreth & Holzer P.C., 5th Cir., No. 12-40997, ASARCO v. Baker Botts, 5th Cir., No. 12-40998$)).
Relief From Stay Properly Denied By Bankruptcy Judge, Flintkote Tells District Court
WILMINGTON, Del. - The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware did not err in refusing to lift the automatic stay to allow a New Jersey property owner to pursue environmental claims in state court, Flintkote Co. argues in a brief filed May 2 with the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware (In re: The Flintkote Co., et al., No. 04-11300, D. Del. Bkcy.; 8 E. Frederick Place LLC v. The Flintkote Co. et al., D. Del., No. 12-1176).
New York Jury Awards $11M In Mesothelioma Case; Ford 49 Percent Liable
NEW YORK - A New York jury on May 27 awarded a widow $11 million and held Ford Motor Co. 49 percent liable for her husband's death from mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos in automotive products, sources told Mealey Publications (Arthur H. Juni Jr. and Mary Juni v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 190315/12, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
California Jury Awards $7.4M, Adds $3.5M In Punitives, In Asbestos-Brakes Case
FRESNO, Calif. - A California jury on May 27 awarded the family of a man felled by an asbestos-related disease $7,438,500 plus $3.5 in punitive damages and held sole remaining defendant Honeywell International Inc. 30 percent liable, sources told Mealey Publications (James Phillips v. Amcord Inc., et al., No. 12CECG04055, Calif. Super., Fresno Co.).
Defendant Tells Top Court To Reject Petition In Expert-Witness Case
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A judge's failure to perform his expert-witness gate-keeping function combined with a "sparse" record conspire to create a case so rare it is unlikely to be replicated and does not require review by the U.S. Supreme Court, a defendant in an asbestos action argues May 19 (Henry and Geraldine Barabin v. AstenJohnson Inc. and Scapa Dryer Fabrics Inc., Nos. 13-1252, U.S. Sup.).
English Justice Dismisses Asbestos Claim, Finds No Evidence Of Dust Levels
LONDON - After finding that a company was not liable for a woman's asbestos exposure at a shoe store, an English justice on May 8 found that her compensation claim for mesothelioma must be dismissed (Marie Georgina McGregor v. Genco $(FC$) Limited, No. $(2014$) EWHC 1376 $(QB$), England and Wales High, QBD).
Australian Judge Orders Insurer To Turn Over Reinsurance Monies To Amaca
SYDNEY, Australia - An Australian judge on April 29 granted an application for an order that certain reinsurance monies be paid to a former asbestos-product maker rather than being distributed among the creditors of an insurance company in liquidation (In the matter of HIH Underwriting Insurance (Australia) Pty Ltd (in liquidation and subject to a scheme of arrangement), No. $(2014$) NSWSC 484, New South Wales Sup.).
Australian Judge Awards Boilermaker Costs Of Mesothelioma Claim
ADELAIDE, South Australia - An Australian judge on April 29 found that a corporation should pay the costs of a former boilermaker and foreman's mesothelioma compensation case, finding that the case was complicated and that he was entitled to the costs of the entire proceeding (Geyer v. Resi Corp., No. $(2014$) SADC 64, South Australia Dist.; See September 2013, Page 4).
Canadian Panel Finds Asbestos Exposure Caused Worker's Esophageal Cancer
EDMONTON, Alberta - After finding that occupational asbestos exposure caused a worker's cancer and related death, a Canadian commission on April 25 reversed a workers' compensation board's decision that refused to award his estate damages (Decision No. 2013-0579, Docket No. AC0657-12-86, Alberta Wrks. Comp. App. Comm.).
Former Chemistry Teacher's Asbestos Action Belongs In Indonesia, Judge Says
HONOLULU - A former chemistry teacher's action alleging mesothelioma arising from asbestos exposure in school supplies belongs in Indonesia, where the exposures occurred and much of the evidence resides, a federal judge in Hawaii held April 14. On April 23 the plaintiff filed notice that he would appeal (No. 14-15760, 9th Cir.) (In the Matter of James R.S. Herbert and Barbara Ellis v. Fisher Scientific Co. LLC, VWR International LLC, Nos. 13-452, 13-705, D. Hawaii; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51436).
Equitable Estoppel Not Applicable In Coverage Dispute, Insurer Argues
PHILADELPHIA - The doctrine of equitable estoppel does not apply to a dispute over the arbitrability of coverage for asbestos claims against Flintkote Co., insurer Aviva PLC says in a reply brief filed with the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 17 (Flintkote Co. v. Aviva PLC, f/k/a Commercial Union Assurance Co. Ltd., No. 13-4055, 3rd Cir.).
New York Jury Awards $7.33 Million In Asbestos-Bakelite Trial
NEW YORK - A New York jury on April 24 awarded $7.33 million to the widow of delivery truck driver who suffered asbestos exposure while loading products at a New Jersey Bakelite plant, sources told Mealey Publications (Daniel Carlucci v. A.W. Chesterton Co. Inc., et al., No. 190486-11, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
Aetna, Rawlings May Access Claimants' Rule 2019 Statements
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Aetna Inc. and the Rawlings Co. are entitled to access to documents filed by asbestos personal injury plaintiffs against Garlock Sealing Technologies, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of North Carolina ruled April 16 (In re: Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, No. 10-31607, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
High Court Won't Rule On Injunctive Relief Under Bankruptcy Code Section 524(g)
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on April 21 denied a petition to resolve the question of whether a bankruptcy court's order barring the assertion of contribution claims against settling insurers must be accompanied by the establishment of alternative means for the nonsettling insurers to receive compensation for those claims (OneBeacon Insurance Co., et al. v. Plant Insulation Co., et al., U.S. Sup., No. 13-1090).
CEMEX Liable To ASARCO For $1.1M In Cleanup Costs
EL PASO, Texas - ASARCO LLC is entitled to recover $1.1 million in costs from CEMEX Inc. for the cleanup of arsenic contamination at a Texas site, a federal judge in Texas ruled March 31 (ASARCO LLC v. CEMEX Corp., et al., No. 12-155, W.D. Texas).
James Hardie Fund Settles Home Renovation Asbestos Compensation Claim
SYDNEY, Australia - In what sources are calling a landmark case, the Asbestos Injuries Compensation Fund (AICF) in Australia on April 9 agreed to the confidential settlement of a claim asserted by a homeowner who alleged that he developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos products made by James Hardie & Coy Pty Ltd while completing home renovations in 1994, sources told Mealey Publications (Stephen Wickham v Amaca Pty Limited, No. 328 of 2013, New South Wales DDT).
Australia High Court Refuses To Hear Appeal Of Asbestos Verdict
CANBERRA, Australia - The High Court of Australia on March 17 released a transcript of a hearing in which it refused to grant special leave to appeal a decision that affirmed a $232,704 asbestos-related verdict for an electrician's estate and that found that the trial judge's award for pain and suffering was manifestly inadequate (BHP Billiton Ltd. v. Hamilton & Anor, No. $(2014$) HCATrans, Australia High; See September 2013, Page 4).
Australian Justice Grants Extension Of Writ For Filing Asbestos-Related Claim
MELBOURNE, Australia - An Australian justice on April 7 granted an application that sought an extension for filing a claim for asbestos-related damages asserted by the estate of a builder who died of mesothelioma, noting that additional investigation into the claim needs to be completed (Stinton v Amaca Pty Ltd, No. $(2014$) VSC 150, Victoria Sup.).
Commission Finds Widow Is Entitled To Benefits After Husband's Meso Death
EDMONTON, Alberta - A Canadian commission on March 20 reversed a workers' compensation board's ruling, finding that the widow of a man who died of mesothelioma caused by occupational asbestos exposure was entitled to a full spousal pension (Decision No. 2014-0059, Docket No. AC0538-13-9, Alberta Wrks. Comp. App. Comm.).
Australian Justice Awards Asbestos Claimant Costs Of Compensation Case
ADELAIDE, South Australia - After finding that a man who sought damages for asbestos exposure made reasonable attempts to settle his claim, an Australian judge on March 20 granted his request for an award of costs for the entire proceedings (Cadoo v. BHP Billiton Limited, $(No 4$) $(2-14$), S.D. Australia).
Justice: Testimony Regarding 'Take-Home' Exposures Overcomes Judgment Motion
NEW YORK - A man's testimony regarding work with and around asbestos and his wife's exposure while laundering clothing sufficiently establishes exposure, a New York justice held in an opinion posted March 17 (Anthony M. Bova, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 116852/06, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
Insurers Ask High Court To Review Injunctions Under Section 524(g)
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A group of nonsettling insurers asked the U.S. Supreme Court on March 20 to resolve the issue of whether a bankruptcy court's order barring the assertion of contribution claims against settling insurers must be accompanied by the establishment of alternative means for the nonsettling insurers to receive compensation for those claims (OneBeacon Insurance Co., et al. v. Plant Insulation Co., et al., U.S. Sup., No. 13-1090).
U.S. High Court Will Not Hear Case On Transfers Made Under Bankruptcy Code
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 24 declined to hear a case in which an unsecured creditors committee had argued that 11 U.S. Code Section 546(e) permits it to recover transfers made by a debtor company to stockbrokers, financial institutions and other "qualified" entities (The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Quebecor World (USA) Inc. v. American United Life Insurance Company, et al., No. 13-455, Chapter 11, U.S. Sup.).
New York Jury Awards $12.5M, Defense Verdict To 3 In Consolidated Asbestos Trial
NEW YORK - A New York jury on March 18 awarded three widows a combined $12.5 million on their consolidated asbestos claims while also handing down three defense verdicts (Mary Anne McCloskey, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products, et al., No. 190441-12, Phyllis Brown, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products, et al., No. 190415/12, Debra Terry, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products, et al., No. 190403-12, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
Court: Michigan's Ban On Punitives Doesn't Extend To California Asbestos Trial
SAN FRANCISCO - The State of Michigan has little interest in seeing its ban on punitive damages imposed on a California asbestos action, a California appeals panel held March 26 in also rejecting a sophisticated user defense and other challenges to a $6.8 million award (Patrick Scott, et al. v. Ford Motor Co., No. A137975, Calif. App., 1st Dist.).
Jurisdictional Tricks, Changing Stories The Focus In Asbestos Remand Arguments
BALTIMORE - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 19 heard oral arguments over whether an asbestos plaintiff conducted impermissible strategic jurisdictional manipulation or whether the defendant shifted its storyline in an attempt to find a foothold (Joyce Barlow v. Colgate-Palmolive Co. and John Crane-Houdille Inc., et al., Clara Mosko v. Colgate-Palmolive Co. and John Crane-Houdaille Inc., et al., No. 13-1839, 4th Cir.).