NEW SOUTH WALES, Australia - Damages awarded for the inability to provide services do not arise from the same injury and are not offset by damages for a widow's loss of services, an Australian court held Sept. 17 (Dionisatos (for the estate of the late George Dionysatos) v. Acrow Formwork & Scaffolding Pty Ltd., No  NSWCA 281, New South Wales App.).
LEXINGTON, Ky. - A widow's evidence that her husband worked with radio and television heat shields during the time manufacturers used asbestos and that the work created dust overcomes summary judgment, a Kentucky appeals court panel held Sept. 11 (Thelma B. Anderson, as administratrix of the estate of Kenneth W. Anderson v. Motorola Solutions Inc. and Zenith Electronics LLC, No. 2013-CA-001350, Ky. App.; 2015 Ky. App. Unpub. LEXIS 659).
CITY ISLAND, Fla. - A jury in Florida on Aug. 31 awarded $750,000 to a man who sued R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (RJR) alleging that the company was liable for the death of his wife because her addiction to cigarettes made by the company was the cause of her lung cancer. The jury found the company 25 percent liable (James Lewis, as the representative of the Estate of Rosemary Lewis v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, No. 2009 30058 CIC, Fla. Cir., 7th Jud. Cir.).
HARTFORD, Conn. - An executrix's four-year delay in substituting herself as a plaintiff in an asbestos action prejudiced defendants and warranted dismissal for failure to prosecute, a Connecticut appeals court held Sept. 2 (Adrienne Brochu, executrix of the estate of Adrien Brochu v. Aesys Technologies, et al., No. AC36483, Conn. App.; 2015 Conn. App. LEXIS 314).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - In a majority ruling, a Florida appeals court on Aug. 28 granted a psychiatric hospital's petition for writ of certiorari of a trial court's decision to dismiss an estate's case against it, finding that the estate's allegations, which were related to the death of a patient, constituted an ordinary negligence claim (Shands Teaching Hospital and Clinics Inc., d/b/a Shands Vista v. The Estate of Ashley Lawson, by and through John Mark Lawson, No. 1D14-4675, Fla. App., 1st Dist.; 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 12951).
BENTON, Ill. - A medical doctor's certifications and experience qualify him to testify as an expert, and his testimony accounts for levels of exposure and thus goes beyond "every exposure" testimony, a federal judge in Illinois held Aug. 31 (Mrs. Sharon Bell, executor of the estate of Mr. Richard Bell v. ABB Group Inc., et al., No. 13-1338, S.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115341).
CLEVELAND - An Ohio federal judge held Aug. 28 that a primary insurer is liable under the principles of equity to reimburse an excess insurer for the $7,996,655.57 in defense costs it was ordered to pay to their insured in connection with an underlying lawsuit arising from a failed real estate project in Orlando, Fla. (IMG Worldwide Inc., et al. v. Westchester Fire Insurance Co., No. 11-1594, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Div.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114659).
DENVER - A Colorado federal judge on Aug. 26 denied a loan servicing company's request to transfer a borrower's lawsuit, which asserts a cause of action for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), to a bankruptcy court, finding that its arguments were moot or inappropriate (Christine Warren v. Green Tree Servicing LLC, No. 14-cv-02241, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114978).
HAGATNA, Guam - A Guam federal judge on Aug. 24 found that a Delaware company did not waive its right to compel arbitration in South Korea of claims asserted by a widow on behalf of her husband who died aboard one of its vessels, but found that former owner of the vessel was not entitled to compel arbitration of the dispute as a nonsignatory to an underlying employment contract (Esther Margarita Lima Suarez Viuda De Yang, individually and as personal representative of the Estate of Chang Cheol Yang, et al. v. Majestic Blue Fisheries LLC, et al., No. 13-00015, D. Guam; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112040).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Alabama Supreme Court on Aug. 24 rejected certified questions from a federal judge regarding premises owner liability and the proper causation standard in a take-home asbestos exposure case (Melissa Ann Bobo and Sharon Jean Cox, as co-personal representatives of the estate of Barbara Bobo v. Tennessee Valley Authority, No. 1141023, Ala. Sup.).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 24 affirmed dismissal of claims asserted by borrowers for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and other claims, but remanded the case so that they can have the chance to amend their complaint (Nina Shahin, et al. v. PNC Bank, Local Branch at 87 Greentree Driver, Dover, DE 19904, et al., No. 15-1405, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14836).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - An appeals court in Florida on Aug. 19 reversed a trial court decision and ruled that a plaintiffs' wrongful death case against tobacco companies was improperly dismissed because the statute of limitations did not bar the action (Diana Pappas, as personal representative of the Estate of Mina Pappas, v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, et al. No. 4D13-4600, Fla. App., 4th Dist.; Fla. App. LEXIS 12480).
HOUSTON - A father who sued a vehicle manufacturer and others in relation to his daughter's death in a vehicle accident argued Aug. 18 before the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a Texas federal court erred when it dismissed his claims related to allegedly defective air bags (Joseph B. Flynn, et al. v. American Honda Motor Co., et al., No. 15-20220, 5th Cir.).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Florida state court jury on Aug. 7 awarded $800,000 in punitive damages to the estate of a woman who developed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer after 52 years of smoking (Lillian Kaplan v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 08-19469, Fla. 17th Jud. Cir., Broward Co.).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A state court jury awarded $1,028,000 Aug. 7 to the estate of a woman who developed constructive obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer after 52 years of smoking (Lillian Kaplan v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 08-19469, Fla. 17th Jud. Cir., Broward Co.).
NEW YORK - A take-home and friction asbestos exposure case must be tried separately from a pair of trial groups each featuring a couple of cases with similar diseases and sufficient overlap in work histories and time periods, a New York justice held in an opinion filed July 31 (Gwendoline Santos, as executrix of the estate of Robert Flahive, as deceased, et al. v. 3M Co., et al., No. 190043/2014, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.; 2015 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 2752).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on July 27 found that a borrower's claims for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) were valid but that her damages claims failed and that the case should be dismissed with leave to replead (Elina Zaychick v. Bank of America, N.A., No. 9:15-CV-80336, S.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. LEXIS 97514).
INDIANAPOLIS - An Indiana appeals panel on July 22 found that a business owners insurance policy's "limitation of real estate operations" endorsement precludes coverage for an underlying negligence suit against a real estate listing agent insured, reversing and remanding a lower court's ruling against the insurer (Property-Owners Insurance Co. v. Gerald T. Powers and Phyllis J. Powers, et al., No. 73A05-1501-PL-2, Ind. App.; 2015 Ind. App. Unpub. LEXIS 826).