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Bankruptcy Judge: Plaintiffs, Lawyers Covered Up Evidence In Garlock Mesothelioma Cases

CHARLOTTE, N.C. —(Mealey’s) Chapter 11 debtor Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC’s total estimated liability for present and future mesothelioma claims is only $125 million, not $1.2 billion as asbestos personal injury claimants argued, because Garlock’s history of settling mesothelioma...

Top Environmental Issues Facing Automotive Suppliers in 2014

Executive Summary Like any other part of the manufacturing sector, auto suppliers face a number of challenges complying with environmental regulatory requirements, in particular managing and monitoring development of greenhouse gas emissions limits in the United States, European Union, and elsewhere...

A Third Wave In Asbestos Liabilities Lies Ahead: Actuarial Models Are Systematically Underestimating Exposures

By Bill Wilt and Alan Zimmermann | [Editor's Note: Bill Wilt, President of Assured Research, has had diverse roles in insurance including actuary, research analyst, and corporate development executive. Since founding Assured Research in 2011 the firm has focused on providing actionable research...

Missouri: M is for Meso

Missouri has radically changed the comp rules for workers with mesothelioma with a new category of “occupational disease due to toxic exposure.” What is mesothelioma? Mesothelioma is a rare and highly aggressive disease related to asbestos exposure. It can be distinguished from lung...

William A. Ruskin: U.S. Bankruptcy Court Exposes Plaintiff Scheme To Suppress Asbestos Exposure Evidence

By William A. Ruskin On January 10, 2014, the Hon. George R. Hodges, United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of North Carolina, handed down a decision that promises to be a “game changer” for asbestos manufacturers facing potentially crushing mesothelioma death claims....

NYC Asbestos Litigation Justice Ends Deferral Of Punitive Damages, Keeps CMO Intact

NEW YORK — Continued deferral of punitive damages in New York City Asbestos Litigation (NYCAL) unfairly prejudices plaintiffs, and fears of runaway verdicts bankrupting defendants appear overblown in light of the standard necessary for such awards, a New York justice held today. The justice also...

William A. Ruskin: The New York City Asbestos Litigation Just Became More Complicated

By William A. Ruskin | Pursuant to the Decision and Order of the Hon. Sherry Klein Heitler, dated April 8, 2014, asbestos plaintiffs for the first time since 1996 may seek permission from the New York City trial judges to charge the jury on the issue of punitive damages. Until Judge Heitler’s...

California Workers' Comp Case Roundup (6/14/2014)

CALIFORNIA COMPENSATION CASES Vol. 79 No. 5 May 2014 A Report of En Banc and Significant Panel Decisions of the WCAB and Selected Court Opinions of Related Interest, With a Digest of WCAB Decisions Denied Judicial Review CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE © Copyright 2014 LexisNexis. All rights...

Contractor Sentenced To Prison For Contaminating Beach With Asbestos From Condo Renovation

As a result of beach contamination that occurred from illegally pressure washing siding on a high rise condo in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, David Braswell has been sentenced in federal court in Florence, South Carolina, for violation of the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. § 7412, [ enhanced version available...

N.J. Judge Awards $90.5M In Asbestos-Related Damages After Default In 11 Cases Against International Companies

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — (Mealey’s) 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...

Duane Morris LLP: Pa. Superior Court Confirms Statutory Right of Repose for Improvements to Real Estate in Asbestos Cases

The Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed a jury verdict in favor of plaintiffs in an asbestos mesothelioma case, finding that the 12-year statute of repose bars all claims related to improvements constructed on real estate brought beyond the statutory period pursuant to 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §...

2nd Circuit: Bankruptcy Court Order Final; Insurers’ Deals With Asbestos Claimants Valid

NEW YORK — (Mealey's) The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 22 reinstated a federal bankruptcy court ruling requiring two insurance companies to pay $510 million to asbestos personal injury plaintiffs under decades-old settlements, finding that conditions precedent to payment under...

Bostic v. Georgia-Pacific: The Texas Supreme Court Extends And Refines Substantial Factor Causation In Asbestos Litigation

By Patrice Pujol and Laura A. Frase [Editor's Note: Patrice Pujol is an appellate and litigation attorney in the Houston Office of Forman Perry Watkins Krutz & Tardy, LLP. Laura A. Frase is a litigation partner in the Dallas Office of Forman Perry Watkins Krutz & Tardy, LLP. Both authors...

Federal: Complaint Alleging Damages From Take-Home Exposure to Asbestos Barred by Exclusive Remedy

A federal court dismissed a complaint filed against Weyerhaeuser Co. arising out of plaintiff's exposure to asbestos and a related disease, malignant mesothelioma, while employed at a Weyerhaeuser facility that used asbestos products in the manufacture of fireproof doors. Finding the plaintiff’s...

Washington: Widow’s Wrongful Death Action for Husband’s Mesothelioma Barred by Exclusivity

Washington state courts may not use the “substantially certain” test to determine whether an employer’s actions against an injured worker were intentional, again held the Supreme Court of Washington in a split decision. Accordingly, a widow’s contention that her husband’s...

Supreme Court To Decide If Bankruptcy Lawyers Can Get Fees For Pursuing Bonus Fees

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 2 agreed to decide whether the U.S. Bankruptcy Code gives bankruptcy courts discretion to award lawyers their fees for successfully defending applications for enhanced attorney fees ( Baker Botts, LLP, et al. v. ASARCO, LLC , No...

Waste Hauler Illegally Demolished Building Filled With Asbestos and 14,500 Tons of Trash

A federal indictment has been filed charging three businessman, including the owner of several garbage-hauling businesses, with violating the Clean Air Act by failing to remove asbestos prior to demolishing a former factory filled with trash. Related charges for illegally dumping garbage at the factory...

North Carolina: Average Weekly Wage Computation Must Be Just to Both Parties

Construing a statutory provision that describes how an injured employee’s average weekly wage should be computed, a North Carolina appellate has affirmed a determination by the state’s Industrial Commission that based an award of death benefits on the wages the deceased employee earned during...

Illinois Appellate Court Clarifies Duty to Defend Standards

By David F. Cutter and William P. Pipal In a decision issued on January 13, 2015, the Illinois Appellate Court, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], affirmed a trial court's ruling that insurers had a duty to defend an insured against the thousands of lawsuits filed against...

Payment Of Attorneys For Defending Fee Requests Debated In Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) There is no basis in the law for categorically denying payment to lawyers for successfully defending their fee applications in bankruptcy cases, attorney Aaron M. Streett of Texas law firm Baker Botts LLP told the U.S. Supreme Court Feb. 25 in a case in which...

Let It Bleed: A Delaware Case On Venous System Impairment

I recently put a call out for case law guidance on certain of the more obscure permanency values. One of them was the vascular system. And lo and behold, right on top of things was Walt Schmittinger with John Lowman v. Connectiv Power Delivery , IAB#1188166 (10/30/03) , an older case, which like the...

No Diagnosis, No "Damages": Wisconsin's Construction Statute of Repose in Asbestos Cases

How to apply Wisconsin’s construction statute of repose, Wis. Stat. § 893.89, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], in asbestos cases has recently been a hot topic dividing trial courts. The statute bars a broad category of claims if they are brought more than 10 years after...

Pennsylvania: Claimant’s Contention That Third-Party Tort Action Settled for $1 Found Less Than Credible

A Pennsylvania appellate court agreed that a Workers’ Compensation Judge appropriately dismissed a claimant’s Review, Modification and Reinstatement Petitions and agreed that claimant could not recover workers’ compensation benefits because he failed to disclose to the employer or its...

Criminal Asbestos Case Against Tennessee Salvage Company

By E. Lynn Grayson U.S. District Judge Ronnie Greer sentenced five people to prison terms in federal court in Greeneville, Tennessee, this week for conspiring to commit Clean Air Act offenses in connection with the illegal removal and disposal of asbestos-containing materials at the former Liberty...

California Jury Awards $13 Million In Couple’s Asbestos-Tainted Talc Case

LOS ANGELES — (Mealey’s) A California jury on April 28 awarded a couple more than $13 million in a mesothelioma case alleging asbestos exposure from tainted talc. It is the first asbestos-tainted talcum powder verdict against Colgate-Palmolive Co., sources told Mealey Publications ( Judith...