Illinois Top Court Rejects Asbestos Action Filed By Mississippi Resident

    MOUNT VERNON, Ill. - A Mississippi resident's asbestos action alleging exposure in Mississippi belongs in that state, the Illinois Supreme Court held Dec. 28 (Walter Fennell v. Illinois Central Railroad Co., No. 113812, Ill. Sup.).

    7th Circuit: Facts Underlying Environmental Consultant's Reports Are Privileged

    CHICAGO - A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 26 affirmed a ruling finding that previously unreleased portions of reports prepared by Amendola Engineering Inc. for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act lawsuit are protected by the work product doctrine (Appleton Papers Inc. v. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 12-2273, 7th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 26346).

    Jury Hits Lawyers, Expert With $429,240.47 Verdict On Railroad's Fraud Claims

    WHEELING, W.Va. - In a written decision filed Dec. 27, a federal judge in West Virginia barred two lawyers from relying in any way on 8,417 pages of documents as a sanction for untimely production. On Dec. 20, a jury in the case awarded a railroad $429,240.47 after finding that asbestos attorneys and a radiologist conspired to file fraudulent claims against it (CSX Transportation Inc. v. Robert V. Gilkison, et al., No. 05-202, N.D. W.Va.).

    Federal Judge Dismisses Claims Against Maker Of Allegedly Defective Windows

    COLUMBUS, Ohio - An Ohio federal judge on Dec. 20 dismissed the majority of claims against two window manufacturers and sellers by a consumer who claims that the windows caused mold growth in her home, but the judge refused to strike her class allegations (Kim Allen v. Andersen Windows Inc., et al., No. 2:12-cv-347, S.D. Ohio; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 180320).

    Jury Finds For Railroad On Fraud Claims Against Lawyers, Expert

    WHEELING, W.Va. - Asbestos attorneys and a radiologist conspired to file fraudulent asbestos claims against a railroad, a federal West Virginia jury held Dec. 20, sources told Mealey Publications (CSX Transportation Inc. v. Robert V. Gilkison, et al., No. 05-202, N.D. W.Va.).

    Ohio Governor Signs Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Disclosure Bill

    COLUMBUS, Ohio - In a widely expected move, Ohio Gov. John R. Kasich on Dec. 20 signed legislation requiring plaintiffs to provide a sworn statement detailing claims against asbestos bankruptcy trusts and to produce all related materials.

    New York Justice Allows Claims Against Airline Brake Maker

    NEW YORK - A widow's evidence that a company manufactured brakes compatible with airplanes on which her husband worked creates triable questions, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Dec. 19 (Helen Chilarski and Michael Chilarski, et al. v. A.W. Chesterton Co., et al., No. 190391/10, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

    Virginia Top Court Accepts Widow's Asbestos Case Against Elevator Makers

    RICHMOND, Va. - The Virginia Supreme Court on Dec. 17 agreed to decide whether a woman successfully pleaded asbestos claims against elevator defendants, including whether they "knew or should have known" of the dangers asbestos posed for installers and maintenance men (Bettie J. Paschall, et al. v. Dover Elevator Co., et al., No. 121519, Va. Sup.).

    Michigan Federal Judge Dismisses Complaint Alleging Black Mold Exposure

    DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on Dec. 18 dismissed a complaint filed by a prisoner who alleged that he was exposed to black mold on a daily basis, saying the prisoner failed to state a claim (David Lyons v. Anthony Wickersham, et al., No. 2:12-CV-14353, E.D. Mich.; 2012 U.S.Dist. LEXIS 178576).

    Gag Order Lifted In Lawsuit Of Oregon Guard Members Alleging Iraq War C6 Injuries

    PORTLAND, Ore. - The gag order imposed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon in anticipation of the bellwether trial of the claims filed by Oregon National Guard members for hexavalent chromium exposure during a Restore Iraqi Oil mission was lifted Dec. 19; a second order issued Dec. 19 denies a defense motion to conduct post-verdict interviews of the jury (Rocky Bixby, et al. v. KBR, Inc., et al., No. 09-632, D. Ore.; 2012 U.S. Dist. 179494).

    2nd Circuit: Environmental Claims Against Texaco Fail; Discharged In Bankruptcy

    NEW YORK - A panel of the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 19 ruled that a realty company's claims against Texaco Inc. related to contamination from environmental cleanup efforts were discharged as a result of Texaco's bankruptcy and subsequent successful confirmation of its reorganization plan (Kling Realty Co. v. Texaco Inc. [In Re: Texaco Inc.], No. 11-4587, Chapter 11, 2nd Cir.).

    Meso Sufferer's Claims Against Pittsburgh Corning Affiliate Allowed To Proceed

    PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania federal bankruptcy judge on Dec. 18 modified the protective injunction in the Chapter 11 case of Pittsburgh Corning Corp. (PCC) so a 46-year-old woman diagnosed with terminal malignant mesothelioma can pursue personal injury claims against a PCC affiliate in a California state court (In re: Pittsburgh Corning Corporation, No. 00-22876, W.D. Pa. Bkcy.).

    Court Reverses Ruling On Fees In Mold Action, Dismisses Cross-Appeals

    YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - An Ohio appeals court on Dec. 14 reversed a trial court's decision that a contractor could not recover attorney fees that were awarded in an underlying arbitration that sought damages in relation to mold but dismissed cross-appeals asserted by a building architect for lack of merit (B&B Contractors & Developers Inc. v. Olsavsky Jaminet Architects Inc., No. 12 MA 5, Ohio App., 7th Dist.; Mahoning Co.; 2012 Ohio App. LEXIS 5150).

    New York Justice Finds Sufficient Evidence Of Man's Work Around Valves On Ship

    NEW YORK - A man's failure to name a valve company is not fatal where blueprints indicate that its product was aboard a ship on which the man served and no evidence suggests that the valves were replaced, a New York justice held in an opinion filed Dec. 13 (Robert Engle Sr. and Linda Engle v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 190172/11, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

    Florida Appeals Court Rules Injury Claim May Be Amended After Death

    LAKELAND, Fla. - A divided Florida appeals court has reinstated a tobacco wrongful death suit that was dismissed after the death of the plaintiff, saying in a Dec. 14 opinion in which the majority certified the question for appeal that the trial judge's dismissal ran counter to the intent of the statute on which it was based (Wesley Smith v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al.,  No. 2D11-2562, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2012 Fla. App. LEXIS 21520). View a complimentary copy of the opinion available in the pdf attached below.

    Canadian Commission Finds Asbestos Exposure Caused Worker's Lung Cancer

    EDMONTON, Alberta - A Canadian commission on Dec. 12 allowed a worker's appeal of a decision that denied her compensation for lung cancer, finding that her asbestos exposure at work contributed to the development of the disease (Docket No. AC0322-12-26, Decision No. 2012-1116, Alberta Wrks. App. Comm.).

    Judge To Hear Arguments On Consolidation, Trial Of Inactive Docket Asbestos Cases

    BALTIMORE - A Maryland judge was scheduled to hear arguments Dec. 17 from parties involved in Maryland's asbestos litigation on a motion seeking consolidation and trial of more than 13,000 cases in the state's inactive docket (In re Baltimore City Personal Injury Asbestos Cases Proposed Consolidation, No. 24-X-87-048500, Md. Cir., Baltimore City).

    English Court Orders 27,000 Pounds In Fines For Unsafe Work At School

    LONDON - The United Kingdom Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on Dec. 14 announced that a county council and a refurbishment firm were fined after exposing children, school staff and workers to asbestos.

    5th Circuit: Negligence Claims Against Rescue Vessels Properly Dismissed

    NEW ORLEANS - General maritime negligence law claims brought by fishermen against rescue vessel owners and operators that extinguished the fire on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig before its explosion were properly dismissed due to a lack of foreseeability, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 13 (In re: Deepwater Horizon, Nos. 11-31172, 11-31178, 11-31179, 11-31180, 11-31181, 11-31183, 5th Cir.). View a complimentary copy of the complete Mealey's article in the pdf attached below.

    Texas Supreme Court Orders Liability, Damages Trial In Natural Gas Pipeline Suit

    AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court issued an opinion Dec. 14 vacating a $1.8 million judgment for diminution of property values alleged by landowners because of the noise and odors from a natural gas pipeline and remanded the case for a new trial on liability and damages, after finding that the evidence of reduced property values presented to the jury is insufficient under Texas Rule of Evidence 701 (Natural Gas Pipeline Co. of America v. William Justiss, et al., No. 10-451, Texas Sup.).

    Illinois Supreme Court Permits Legal Malpractice Suit In Manganese Poisoning Action

    CHICAGO - The Illinois Supreme Court unanimously ruled Dec. 13 that an Illinois worker with alleged manganese poisoning can pursue a legal malpractice case against attorneys he retained in 1999 to represent him in a workers' compensation action because they failed to advise him of his potential claims against his employer and the manufacturers of the products that contained the manganese (Jesse E. Hernandez, et al. v. Jeffrey Pritikin, et al., No. 113054, Ill. Sup.).

    Federal Judge Finds Prisoner Failed To Show That Mold Caused Illness

    RENO, Nev. - A Nevada federal judge on Dec. 12 partially adopted a magistrate judge's report and recommendation that summary judgment be granted in favor of various prison officials, finding that an inmate failed to show that he suffered injuries as a result of mold exposure (Roderick Sawyer v. Morrow Cole, et al., No. 3:10-cv-00088, D. Nev.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176062).

    Federal Jury In New York Awards $1.3 Million To Smoker's Widow

    WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - A New York federal jury on Dec. 12 awarded more than $1.3 million in compensatory damages to the widow of a Troy, N.Y., man who died eight years ago of lung cancer, according to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York docket (Eileen Clinton, et al. v. Altria Group, et al., No. 7:05-cv-09907, S.D. N.Y.)

    W.R. Grace Gets Approval For Stock Warrant Deal, Qualified Settlement Fund

    WILMINGTON, Del. - A federal bankruptcy judge in Delaware on Dec. 11 approved requests by W.R. Grace & Co. to enter into a cash-settled collar agreement that will guarantee between $375 million and $490 million in funding for an asbestos trust and to establish a qualified settlement fund of up to $100 million so the Chapter 11 debtor can receive a tax deduction for 2012 (In re: W.R. Grace & Co., et al., No. 01-01139, D. Del. Bkcy.).

    5th Circuit Reverses Award; Barclays Not Entitled To Fee In Asarco Chapter 11 Case

    NEW ORLEANS - A panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 11 reversed a fee award to Barclays Capital Inc. related to the financial services it rendered in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding of Asarco LLC (Asarco LLC v. Barclays Capital Inc. [In The Matter of Asarco LLC], No. 11-41010, Chapter 11, 5th Cir.).