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.).
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).
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.).
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).
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.).
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 - 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.).
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.).
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).
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).
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.).
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.).
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 - 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.).
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.
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.).
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).
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.
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.
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.).
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.).
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).
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.)
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.).
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.).