Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge Rejects Company's Effort To Reopen Discovery In Asbestos Case

MILWAUKEE - Federal multidistrict litigation discovery deadlines govern an asbestos case, and a defendant "must stop" its repeated attempts at reopening them or face sanctions, a Wisconsin federal judge held June 25 (Margaret L. Wondrash, et al. v. CBS Corp., No. 94-216, E.D. Wis.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Ill. Workers' Comp Time Bar Triggers Tort Option In Asbestos Cases, Court Says

CHICAGO - Employees suffering from asbestos-related injuries may pursue a tort action against an employer where the state's Workers' Compensation Act's statute of repose bars a workers' compensation claim, an Illinois appeals court panel held June 27 (Ellen Folta, et al. v. Ferro Engineering...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Fire Investigator Deemed Qualified To Testify On Design In Dryer Fire Cases

MADISON, Wis. - Denying in part a clothes dryer manufacturer's motion to exclude the testimony of the plaintiff insurers' expert witnesses, a Wisconsin federal magistrate judge on June 26 concluded that an arson expert and certified fire investigator was qualified to testify as to the purported...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Texas Appeals Court: Couple Never Objected To Arbitration With Third Parties

DALLAS - A Texas appeals panel on June 30 affirmed a trial court's entry of an arbitration award among a couple, a builder and two subcontractors, ruling that there is nothing in the record to suggest that the plaintiffs objected to the addition of the subcontractors to the arbitration agreement...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge Remands Case, Says Personal Injury Time Bar May Not Block Death Claim

SEATTLE - Whether a widow may pursue a wrongful death claim despite the time bar to asbestos personal injury claims remains an open question in Washington State, a federal judge held in remanding a case on June 30 (Geraldine Barabin, et al. v. AstenJohnson Inc., et al., Nos. 14-557, W.D. Wash.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Asbestos Pipe Claims Revived After Court Affirms Dismissal Of 2 Others

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California appeals court on July 1 said sufficient evidence supports a couple's action against a manufacturer of asbestos-containing pipe and rejected its sophisticated user defense. In the same ruling, the court affirmed judgment to joint compound and plastic cement companies...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Texas Top Court Finds Asbestos Plaintiffs Must Produce Relevant Pulmonary Test

HOUSTON - To pursue an asbestos claim, plaintiffs must produce pulmonary function testing tied to a disease diagnosis, and imposition of the standard is constitutional as applied to a man whose health prevented him from undergoing such testing, a divided Texas Supreme Court held July 3 (Union Carbide...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - N.J. Judge Awards $90.5M After Default In 11 Cases Against International Companies

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. - A New Jersey judge on July 2 awarded $90.5 million in asbestos-related damages against Eternit successors Anova Holding AG and Becon AG after awarding default judgments against the international companies, sources told Mealey Publications (Tuturice v. Anova Holdings AG, et al.,...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - 7th Circuit Vacates Ruling Denying Certification Of Roofing Shingle Class

CHICAGO - A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 2 overturned a federal judge in Illinois' ruling denying certification for a class of consumers from eight states who claim that organic asphalt roofing shingles made by Iko Manufacturing Inc. did not meet industry standards, after finding...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Divided New York Court Affirms 2 Asbestos Verdicts, Replacement Parts Liability

NEW YORK - The majority of a divided New York appeals court on July 3 affirmed millions of dollars awarded in two consolidated asbestos trials, the jury's liability findings and Crane Co.'s responsibility for replacement parts (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, No. 190196/10 190134/10...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge Excludes Testimony On Jaw Disease Cause, Dismisses Negligence Claims

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - A professor's differential diagnosis testimony failed to show that a plaintiff's osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) was caused by a bisphosphonate produced by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., an Alabama federal judge ruled July 2, granting Novartis' motion to exclude the testimony...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Federal Judge Gives Preliminary Approval To NFL Brain-Injury Settlement

PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania July 7 preliminarily approved a settlement between the National Football League and retired players claiming football-related brain injuries (In Re: National Football League Players' Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2323, No. 2:12-md-2323...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Calif. Supreme Court: Architects Owe Duty Of Care To Future Homeowners

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The California Supreme Court on July 3 affirmed an appeals court's reversal of a ruling granting demurrer in favor of two architectural firms accused of contributing to construction defects in a condominium development in San Francisco, after finding that the defendants owed...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Ohio Court Affirms Dismissal Of Asbestos Action Naming Incorrect Estate Executor

CLEVELAND - A widow likely knew of a change in the executor of her late husband's estate at least a year before she filed a motion challenging it as improper, an Ohio appeals court held July 3 in affirming dismissal of an asbestos action with prejudice (National City Bank, executor, etc. v. Goodyear...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge Grants Couple Extension To Comply With Florida Asbestos Statute

WILMINGTON, Del. - Concluding that the alternative would certainly doom a couple's asbestos claims, a Delaware judge on July 2 granted them an extension of time to comply with Florida's asbestos statutes (Harry A. Davis and Madonna S. Davis v. Ace Hardware Corp., et al., No. 12-1185, D. Del.;...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Failure To Produce Insurance Policies, Documents May Merit Sanctions, Judge Rules

SCRANTON, Pa. - A townhouse association's failure to timely provide insurance policies and related documents and its "plainly inadequate" privilege log may merit sanctions and an award of expenses to two plaintiffs suing the association for negligence related to a 2009 explosion, a Pennsylvania...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Massachusetts Enjoined From Making Doctors Certify Need For Zohydro Opioid Drug

BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal judge on July 8 preliminarily enjoined Massachusetts from requiring doctors to write a letter of medical necessity (LMN) for the new opioid drug Zohydro until the state can define how alternative pain treatments must first fail before Zohydro is dispensed (Zogenix, Inc...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Appeals Court Upholds EPA's Decision To Add Site To Superfund List

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 8 denied CTS Corp.'s petition challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's decision in 2011 to add a site in Asheville, N.C. that was formerly owned by a subsidiary of the company to the National Priorities...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - N.Y. Justice Criticizes Defendant's Discovery Efforts But Denies Sanctions

NEW YORK - An asbestos defendant's request for more time to review discovery is moot and baseless in light of its own failures, while plaintiffs' request for sanctions is unwarranted as both parties violated discovery orders, a New York justice held in an opinion posted July 8 (In re: New York...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - California Court Reinstates Case Featuring Belated Admission Of Work At Site

LOS ANGELES - A plaintiff responded with more than mere "boilerplate" allegations of asbestos exposure after a company's belated concession that it performed work at a job site, a California appeals court held July 8 in reinstating the claims (Rose Marie Ganoe, etc., et al. v. Metalclad...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Justice Finds Credibility Of Realtor's Product ID A Question For Jury

NEW YORK - A boiler maker's challenges to product identification by a woman allegedly exposed to asbestos as a social worker and real estate agent goes to credibility and does not warrant judgment, a New York justice held in an opinion posted July 8 (Harriet Noble and Robert Berger v. A.O. Smith...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Texas Supreme Court Rules Spoliation Evidence Should Not Be Presented To Jury

AUSTIN, Texas - Taking the opportunity presented by the erasing of video surveillance footage evidence in a slip-and-fall premises liability case, a Texas Supreme Court majority on July 3 "enunciate[d] with greater clarity" a two-step judicial process regarding "the parameters of a trial...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - California Top Court Rejects Case Involving Michigan Punitive Damages Ban

SAN FRANCISCO - The California Supreme Court on July 9 declined a petition challenging an appeals court's conclusion that Michigan's ban on punitive damages did not apply in a California asbestos action, according to its docket (Patrick Scott, et al. v. Ford Motor Co., No. S218322, Calif. Sup...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Senate Democrats Introduce Contraceptive Coverage Bill Reversing Hobby Lobby

WASHINGTON, D.C. - An employer's religious preferences could not block employee access to contraceptives provided for in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) under legislation introduced by two Senate Democrats on July 9.

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - MDL Judge Allows Punitives In Maritime Asbestos Cases Alleging Unseaworthiness

PHILADELPHIA - Punitive damages are available under maritime asbestos law to seaman alleging injury from a vessel's unseaworthiness but not for survival actions, the federal judge overseeing the maritime asbestos multidistrict litigation held July 9 (In re: Asbestos Products Liability Litigation...