LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Illinois Court Differentiates Harm From Injury In Asbestos Tape Case

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - A man may suffer harm in the form of pleural plaques without a resulting symptomatic injury on which a suit could be based under the Restatement (Second) of Torts, a divided Illinois appeals court held June 20 in reversing a verdict (Joseph Sondag and Phyllis Sondag v. Pneumo Abex Corp., et al., No. 4-14-0918, Ill. App., 4th Dist.; 2016 Ill. App. LEXIS 380).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Illinois Court Says Exposure Elsewhere Not Sufficient To Transfer Asbestos Case

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - A trial judge did not err in denying a tobacco company's request to transfer an asbestos case to counties where the plaintiff either lived or suffered exposed, an Illinois appeals court panel held June 15 (Bill Baugher and Sharon Baugher v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 4-15-0663, Ill. App., 4th Dist.; 2016 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1214).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Illinois Court Says Exposure Elsewhere Not Sufficient To Transfer Asbestos Case

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - A trial judge did not err in denying a tobacco company's request to transfer an asbestos case to counties where the plaintiff either lived or suffered exposed, an Illinois appeals court panel held June 15 (Bill Baugher and Sharon Baugher v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 4-15-0663, Ill. App., 4th Dist.; 2016 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1214).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge: Expert Not Allowed To Testify On Man's Discomfort Felt Before Lost Of Consciousness

CHICAGO - An expert may not testify that a deceased man may have experienced discomfort breathing soot before losing consciousness or as to how long the man experienced pain and suffering, an Illinois federal judge held June 14; however, the expert may offer her opinion that the man would have remained conscious after he began inhaling carbon monoxide and that he would have lost consciousness at a certain carboxyhemoglobin level (David Ostrinsky, as administrator of the Estate of Michael Ostrinsky, deceased v. Black & Decker [U.S.] Inc., et al., No. 15-1545, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77956).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge: Expert Not Allowed To Testify On Man's Discomfort Felt Before Lost Of Consciousness

CHICAGO - An expert may not testify that a deceased man may have experienced discomfort breathing soot before losing consciousness or as to how long the man experienced pain and suffering, an Illinois federal judge held June 14; however, the expert may offer her opinion that the man would have remained conscious after he began inhaling carbon monoxide and that he would have lost consciousness at a certain carboxyhemoglobin level (David Ostrinsky, as administrator of the Estate of Michael Ostrinsky, deceased v. Black & Decker [U.S.] Inc., et al., No. 15-1545, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77956).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - VTech Argues No Injury Or Contract Breach Occurred As A Result of Data Breach

CHICAGO - In a June 15 reply brief supporting its bid to dismiss a class action over a 2015 website hack, a digital smart toys maker tells an Illinois federal court that the plaintiffs have failed to plead any harm in the wake of the theft of their personally identifiable information (PII) (In re VTech Data Breach Litigation, No. 1:15-cv-10889, N.D. Ill.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Approves Sale Of Insolvent Insurer's Australian Subsidiary

CHICAGO - An Illinois judge on June 10 approved the sale of an Australian insurer owned by an insolvent Illinois insurer in liquidation (People of the State of Illinois, ex rel. Andrew Boron, Director of Insurance of the state of Illinois v. Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Co., No. 12-24227, Ill. Cir., Cook Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Marathon Petroleum To Reduce Air Pollution From Refineries In 5 States

DETROIT - Marathon Petroleum Co. on June 9 agreed to reduce air pollution at refineries in Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan and Ohio by spending $319 million to install a Flare Gas Recovery System (FGRS) that will capture and recycle gases that would otherwise be sent to combustion devices, according to an amended consent decree filed in Michigan federal court (United States of America v. Marathon Petroleum Company LP, et al., No. 12-cv-11544, E.D. Mich.).

Mealey's Insurance - Reinsured Says Late Notice Asbestos Reinsurance Dispute Belongs In California

CHICAGO - An insurer argued in a federal court in Illinois on June 6 that an asbestos-related reinsurance dispute should be heard in California and not in Illinois (R&Q Reinsurance Company v. The American Insurance Company, No. 16-cv-04199, N.D. Ill.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - John Crane Inc. Files RICO Actions Against Asbestos Plaintiff Firms

CHICAGO - Two plaintiff side asbestos firms fabricated false exposure histories in a scheme to defraud and obstruct justice, John Crane Inc. (JCI) alleges in a pair of Illinois federal complaints filed June 6 alleging violation of the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (John Crane Inc. v. Shein Law Center Ltd, et al., No. 16-5913, John Crane Inc. v. Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett, et al., No. 16-5918, N.D. Ill.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - John Crane Inc. Files RICO Actions Against Asbestos Plaintiff Firms

CHICAGO - Two plaintiff side asbestos firms fabricated false exposure histories in a scheme to defraud and obstruct justice, John Crane Inc. (JCI) alleges in a pair of Illinois federal complaints filed June 6 alleging violation of the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (John Crane Inc. v. Shein Law Center Ltd, et al., No. 16-5913, John Crane Inc. v. Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett, et al., No. 16-5918, N.D. Ill.).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - John Crane Inc. Files RICO Actions Against Asbestos Plaintiff Firms

CHICAGO - Two plaintiff side asbestos firms fabricated false exposure histories in a scheme to defraud and obstruct justice, John Crane Inc. (JCI) alleges in a pair of Illinois federal complaints filed June 6 alleging violation of the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (John Crane Inc. v. Shein Law Center Ltd, et al., No. 16-5913, John Crane Inc. v. Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett, et al., No. 16-5918, N.D. Ill.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - John Crane Inc. Files RICO Actions Against Asbestos Plaintiff Firms

CHICAGO - Two plaintiff side asbestos firms fabricated false exposure histories in a scheme to defraud and obstruct justice, John Crane Inc. (JCI) alleges in a pair of Illinois federal complaints filed June 6 alleging violation of the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (John Crane Inc. v. Shein Law Center Ltd, et al., No. 16-5913, John Crane Inc. v. Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett, et al., No. 16-5918, N.D. Ill.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge Won't Reconsider Ruling Nixing Duty To Household Members

CHICAGO - A woman's displeasure with the court's reading of precedent does not warrant reconsideration of a ruling finding that an asbestos-containing product manufacturer cannot be liable for household asbestos exposures, a federal judge in Illinois held May 31 in denying reconsideration and granting further dismissals (Doris Jane Neumann v. Borg-Warner Morse Tec LLC, et al., No. 15-10507, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70458).

Mealey's Insurance - Illinois Federal Judge Denies Motion To Reconsider Contamination Coverage Suit

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on June 2 denied an insured's motion for reconsideration and reiterated that there is no causal connection alleged in an underlying contamination complaint between the allegations of wrongful entry of pollutants onto a site and the damages sought by the underlying plaintiff (John Sexton Sand & Gravel Corp. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., et al., No. 14-9827, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72015).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Won't Reconsider Ruling Nixing Duty To Household Members

CHICAGO - A woman's displeasure with the court's reading of precedent does not warrant reconsideration of a ruling finding that an asbestos-containing product manufacturer cannot be liable for household asbestos exposures, a federal judge in Illinois held May 31 in denying reconsideration and granting further dismissals (Doris Jane Neumann v. Borg-Warner Morse Tec LLC, et al., No. 15-10507, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70458).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Claims Of Assignee Of Reinsurance From Insolvent Insurer Are Untimely

CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on May 31 held that the assignee of certain reinsurance recoverables' breach of contract claims against a Brazilian reinsurer are untimely under Illinois law (Pine Top Receivables of Illinois, LLC v. Banco De Seguros Del Estado, No. 12-cv-06357, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70462).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Federal Judge: Fact Issue Exists As To Insured's Concealment Of Tolling Agreements

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge held May 27 that there is a material dispute regarding whether an insured concealed the existence of tolling agreements from its insurer before the issuance of an April 29, 2013, insurance policy, denying the insurer's motion for partial summary judgment as to its rescission claim in a products liability coverage dispute (Illinois Union Insurance Co., et al. v. Intuitive Surgical Inc., No. 13-04863, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70234).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Montreal Convention Claims Survive Dismissal In Class Suit Against Polish Airline

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on May 27 partially granted and partially denied a motion to dismiss a class complaint filed against a Polish airline over delayed and canceled flights and rejected a proposal to deny class certification, finding that the motion to dismiss phase was the improper time to raise the arguments (Iryna Dochak, et al. v. Polskie Linie Lotnicze LOT S.A., No. 15-4344, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69632).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge: Fact Issue Exists As To Insured's Concealment Of Tolling Agreements

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge held May 27 that there is a material dispute regarding whether an insured concealed the existence of tolling agreements from its insurer before the issuance of an April 29, 2013, insurance policy, denying the insurer's motion for partial summary judgment as to its rescission claim in a products liability coverage dispute (Illinois Union Insurance Co., et al. v. Intuitive Surgical Inc., No. 13-04863, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70234).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 7th Circuit Reinstates Fired Deputy Sheriff's Political Speech Claim

CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 24 vacated a trial court's dismissal of a First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution claim by a former deputy sheriff who claims that he was terminated because of his political affiliation, finding that the plaintiff demonstrated a genuine issue of material fact on the sheriff's intent in firing him (Steven Yahnke v. Kane County, Illinois, et al., No. 15-2162, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9517).

Mealey's Insurance - Court Applied Wrong State Law In Ruling Exclusion Is Invalid, Panel Says, Remands

CHICAGO - An Illinois appeals panel held May 23 that because an actual conflict exists between the notice required under Illinois and Indiana laws when a new exclusion is added to an insurance policy upon renewal, a lower court should have applied Indiana law in determining whether a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) conduct exclusion barred coverage for an underlying class action lawsuit against an insured (Cincinnati Insurance Co. v. Arnold Chapman and C.T. Phoenix of Indiana, Inc., No. 1-15-0919, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 1st Div.; 2016 Ill. App. LEXIS 309).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Approves Agreement Between Special Funds Committee And Liquidator

CHICAGO - An Illinois judge on May 19 approved the settlement of an asbestos-related workers' compensation lien between the liquidator of an insolvent insurer and an out-of-state injury fund (People of the State of Illinois, ex rel. Andrew Boron, Director of Insurance of the state of Illinois v. Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Co., No. 12-24227, Ill. Cir., Cook Co.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - VTech Data Breach Plaintiffs Oppose Dismissal Of Suit Sounding In Contract

CHICAGO - A group of lead plaintiffs argue in a May 18 brief that their putative class claims related to the breach of a digital smart toys maker's website should not be dismissed, telling an Illinois federal court that they properly alleged contractual claims based on the defendant's failure to keep their personally identifiable information (PII) secure (In re VTech Data Breach Litigation, No. 1:15-cv-10889, N.D. Ill.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Illinois Supreme Court: Warranty Does Not Extend To 2nd Home Buyer

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - The Illinois Supreme Court on May 19 reversed an appeals court's ruling allowing a plaintiff to pursue a claim for breach of the implied warranty of habitability against a home builder, holding that the first buyer waived the warranty when purchasing the home from the builder (John Fattah v. Mirek Bim, et al., No. 119365, Ill. Sup.; 2016 Ill. LEXIS 518).