CINCINNATI - Application of Oregon substantive law and dismissal of wrongful death claims stemming from alleged benzene exposure under that state's six-year statute of repose were correct, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held June 13 (Lisa Caswell, et al. v. Olympic Pipeline Company, et al., No. 10-35748; Lisa Caswell, et al. v. Union Oil Company of California; et al., No. 11-35260, 6th Cir.). Subscribers may view the opinion available within the full update.
NEW ORLEANS - A unanimous Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel issued an opinion June 13 affirming the award of survivors benefits to the widow of a longshoreman who died from pulmonary artery disease caused by occupational exposure to lime dust and diesel fumes (M-I, et al. v. Director, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, U.S. Department of Labor, No. 11-60694, 5th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 11994).
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on June 11 blocked an insurance company from subpoenaing a silica injury law firm in a dispute with a manufacturer of dust respirators (Louis L. Plotkin, et al. v. The North River Insurance Company, No. 12-1077, E.D. La.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81054).
LONDON - The United Kingdom Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on June 13 announced that a Wales magistrates court fined a timber company after it committed various offenses that resulted in employees being potentially exposed to asbestos dust.
SAN FRANCISCO - A California appeals court on June 13 rejected an expert's conclusion that a man suffered exposure to asbestos, finding that it constituted conjecture based on generalities and that the man had not demonstrated causation (John Casey and Patricia Casey v. Perini Corp., No. A131881, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 4). Subscribers may view the opinion available within the full update.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Despite a jury finding that a plaintiff's decedent was addicted to cigarettes and a stipulation that smoking was the cause of death from lung cancer, the jury's finding that the decedent was not a member of a class of Florida smokers and could not recover must stand, a Florida federal judge ruled June 11 (Anita Young McCray, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds, et al., No. 3:09-cv-11895, M.D. Fla., Jacksonville Div.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80382).
TORONTO - A Canadian labor relations board member on June 8 ruled that an appeal filed by a teachers federation of an inspector's order and its request that all schools in a district be required to put numerous asbestos safety standards in place was overreaching and broad, finding that the order related only to one school in the district and, therefore, the federation's request had to be limited to that school (Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario v Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, No. 2499-11-HS, Ontario Labour Relations Board).
NEW ORLEANS - A federal magistrate judge in Louisiana presiding over discovery in a benzene products liability suit on June 11 refused to impose sanctions against Chevron USA Inc. after finding that the company's delayed production of records and corporate representatives for depositions was not willful or in bad faith (Bryan Morin, et al. v. Chevron USA Inc., et al., No. 11-45 Section "G" $(3$), E.D. La.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81066).
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal magistrate judge on June 11 granted a law firm's motions to quash an insurer's subpoenas and for a protective order after determining that the insurer already has the requested information from other sources and has an alternative means of obtaining the information (Louis Plotkin, et al. v. The North River Insurance Co., No. 12-1077, E.D. La.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81054).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A unanimous District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel issued an opinion June 12 in which it vacated an order compelling document production by an environmental consultant linked to the Lago Agrio, Ecuador, personal injury and property damage litigation against Chevron Corp. (Chevron Corp. v. Weinberg Group, No. 11-7097, D.C. Cir.).
LONDON - The United Kingdom Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on June 11 announced that a brewery was fined by an English magistrates court after workers completing refurbishment at a pub were exposed to asbestos.
NEW ORLEANS - Allegations of exposure to asbestos while employed at a shipyard involve conduct monitored and inspected by federal officers and warrant removal even in light of the plaintiff's disclaimer, a Louisiana federal judge held June 7 in adopting a magistrate judge's report and recommendation (Robert Legendre, et al. v. Anco Insulations Inc., et al., No. 12-94, M.D. La.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79113).
JACKSON, Miss. - The Mississippi Supreme Court on June 7 reconsidered an earlier opinion and ruled that a silica plaintiff could add additional defendants to his complaint even after he agreed to settle with the original defendants (Lone Star Industries, Inc., et al. v. Charles Larry McGraw, et al., No. 2010-IA-01005-SCT, Miss. Sup.; 2012 Miss. LEXIS 276).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware federal judge on June 11 granted requests to rehear arguments and alter his opinion confirming W.R. Grace & Co.'s Chapter 11 plan of reorganization and then filed an amended 228-page confirmation decision that also includes changes to reflect two recent federal circuit court rulings (In re: W.R. Grace & Co., et al. $(Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC, et al. v. W.R. Grace & Co., et al.$), No. 11-199, D. Del.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80461).
NEW YORK - Medical evidence suggesting a man did not suffer asbestos exposure combined with expert testimony that cigarette smoking more likely contributed to his lung cancer sufficiently support a judge's denial of workers' compensation benefits, a New York appeals court held June 7 (In the Matter of the claim of Paula Connolly, et al. v. Hubert's Service Inc., et al., Workers' Compensation Board, No. 512610, N.Y. Sup., App. Div. 3rd Dept.; 2012 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4352).
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - A New York appeals court on June 8 affirmed a lower court's decision to deny summary judgment for a town on a resident's claims that a drainage system owned by the town caused flooding and toxic mold growth in her property that resulted in personal injuries, but it found that her property damage claim was not timely filed and the amount of damages she could recover must be limited (Kathleen Prachel v. Town of Webster, No. 450 CA 11-02197, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 4th Dept.; 2012 N.Y. Slip. Op. 4468).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - When a corporate representative speaks, he speaks not as an individual but on behalf of the company, a Pennsylvania court held June 8 reversing a ruling in an asbestos personal injury case that a deceased representative's testimony regarding a company's use of asbestos constituted hearsay (Margaret T. Petrina, et al. v. Allied Glove Corp., et al., No. 894 WDA 2011, Pa. Super.; 2012 PA Super 121).
NEW YORK - A New York appellate panel on June 7 affirmed a lower court decision and held that more discovery is required before it can be determined how many occurrences are involved in a large number of asbestos-related claims (Mt. McKinley Insurance Company, et al. v. Corning Incorporated, et al., No. 5187, 602454/02, N.Y. Sup., App. Div. 1st Dept.; 2012 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4330).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The director of the World Trade Center Health Program announced June 8 that he will adopt the recommendations of the WTC Health Program Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) to add cancer to the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act list of covered conditions; the proposed regulation will be published June 13 in the Federal Register.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. House of Representative's Committee on the Judiciary on June 8 passed House Resolution 4369, the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act of 2012, an amendment to 11 U.S.C.S. § 524(g) by a 15-14 vote on the 17th roll call vote. A complimentary copy of the FACT Act is attached below.
LAUREL, Miss. - Cross-examination of an expert based on exhibits not admitted in court created "highly prejudicial" conditions, the Mississippi Supreme Court held June 7 in reversing a jury's $15.2 million verdict for a man suffering from asbestosis (Phillips 66 Co., et al. v. Troy Lofton, No. 2010-CA-01465-SCT, Miss. Sup.). Subscribers may view the opinion available within the full update.
WHEELING, W.Va. - A natural gas extraction company's motion for summary judgment was granted in part June 7 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia in a case seeking damages for personal injuries and property alleged to arise from exposure to drill cuttings left on the plaintiffs' real property (Martin Whiteman, et uxor v. Chesapeake Appalachia, No. 11-31, N.D. W.Va.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78876).
NEWARK, N.J. - The judge presiding over six putative class actions in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey seeking damages for injuries to pets from topical flea and tick treatments denied without prejudice defense motions to dismiss in an order issued June 5 and ordered the parties to file briefs addressing choice of law and class certification (Aundria Arlandson, et al. v. Hartz Mountain Corp., et al., No. 10-1050 (consolidated), D. N.J.).Subscribers may view the order available within the full update.
SHREVEPORT, La. - Improperly joined defendants in a natural gas extraction well water contamination case in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana were dismissed June 6, and a motion to remand was denied on the basis of diversity of the remaining parties (Scott Teekell, et uxor v. Chesapeake Operating Inc., No. 12-44, W.D. La.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78753).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued an order June 8 denying a Missouri plaintiff's motion to remand to the District of Missouri from the welding fume multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio (In re: Welding Fume Products Liability Litigation (Janice Emerson, No. 09-17066), MDL 1535, JPMDL). Subscribers may view the order available within the full update.