New York Jury Finds Talc Distributor Liable For $8.25 Million For Mesothelioma Death After Judge Denies Defense Motion In Limine To Preclude Plaintiff's Expert
Florence Nemeth used cosmetic talc from 1960 to 1971. The talc, Desert Flower Dusting Powder, was distributed by Whittaker Clark & Daniels, Inc., (WCD) to the product manufacturer, Shulton, Inc. Mrs. Nemeth developed peritoneal mesothelioma and died on March 5, 2016 at age 69 after a 40-month cancer battle.
Prior to her death, on April 16, 2014, plaintiffs Florence and Francis Nemeth filed a product liability action against WCD, Shulton, and others in the Supreme Court of New York County, NY. The claims against Shulton settled. Plaintiffs' claim that WCD was negligent when it distributed and/or sold talc contaminated with asbestos to Shulton without providing an adequate warning and that such negligence caused Mrs. Nemeth's mesothelioma and death, proceeded to a six-week jury trial. Just prior to the start of trial, the court denied a defense motion in limine to preclude the testimony of plaintiff’s expert, Dr. Jacqueline Moline.
On April 7, 2017, the jury returned a verdict for plaintiff, awarding $15,000,000 for Florence Nemeth's pain and suffering up to her death and $1,500,000 for Francis Nemeth's loss of society and services. The jury found WCD 50% at fault and Shulton 50% at fault, making WCD liable for $8,250,000 of the award.
The case is titled Florence Nemeth and Francis Nemeth v. Brenntag North America, as a successor-in-interest to Mineral Pigment Solutions, Inc., as a successor-in-interest to Whittaker, Clark & Daniels, Inc., et al. Plaintiffs were represented by James M. Kramer, Robert Komitor, and Nicholas E. Novack of Levy Konigsberg, LLP. WCD was represented by Christopher S. Kozak and Andrew Kornblau of Landman Corsi Ballaine & Ford, P.C. Attached is the transcript of the arguments to the court regarding the motion in limine to exclude the testimony of plaintiff’s expert.