On March 9, 2023, a federal judge granted summary judgment on causation to three manufacturers of asbestos-containing products in a maritime lawsuit arising from the death of Thomas Deem from mesothelioma. The judge held that Ms. Deem had failed to put on evidence sufficient to show that Decedent’s exposure to the products manufactured by three defendants—John Crane, Inc. (“JCI”), Crosby Valves, LLC, and the William Powell Company—was a substantial contributing factor to his developing mesothelioma. See Sherri L. Deem v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 17-5965BHS (W.D. Wash. Mar. 9, 2023). Continue Reading Frequency, Regularity, Proximity: The Western District of Washington Requires More Than a Product’s Presence to Find Causation
In a move that further cements Louisiana’s place as the 7th Ranked Judicial Hell Hole of 2023, the Court of Appeals of Louisiana affirmed a second 8-figure verdict of 2023 for a mesothelioma personal injury case in Strauder v. Shell Oil Co., 2023 WL 2009251 (La. App. 4 Cir. 2/15/23). The first affirmation came in Pete v. Boland Marine, 2023 WL 110608 (La. App. 4 Cir. 1/5/23). Included within the $10.4 million total verdict in Strauder was a $2.75 million award to each of Decedent’s two adult children for wrongful death damages.Continue Reading Court of Appeals of Louisiana Affirms Second 8-Figure Verdict of 2023
We are pleased to announce that Husch Blackwell has published its inaugural “Legal Insights for Manufacturing” report, which provides a look ahead to 2023 and explores the key trends and issues that will shape the coming year for the manufacturing industry.Continue Reading Husch Blackwell Publishes Its Inaugural Legal Insights for Manufacturing Report
The American Tort Reform Foundation (ATR) released its 2022-2023 Judicial Hellhole report. In this report, the ATR ranks the eight most dangerous jurisdictions for corporate defendants and their defense attorneys. This year the hellhole ranks had a significant shake up.Continue Reading Judicial Hellhole Ranks for 2022-23 Receive a Significant Shake Up
Overview of Original Daubert Rulings
In orders issued on October 25, 2022 and November 9, 2022, U.S. District Court Judge Loretta Biggs provided some clarification to her prior expert rulings in the matter of Walls v. Ford Motor Company, et al., a mesothelioma wrongful death case pending in the Middle District of North Carolina. The plaintiff, Laura Walls, alleges that her deceased husband, Robie Walls, developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos-containing products through his naval service and career as a truck mechanic. The plaintiff intends to call several experts to offer opinions that the defendants’ products caused the decedent’s disease. The defendants intend to introduce expert testimony that friction products made with chrysotile asbestos did not and could not have caused the alleged injury while asserting that the decedent sustained significant exposure to asbestos during his naval service. The Court took up the parties’ various Daubert challenges over two days of oral argument in June 2022 and made several significant rulings regarding expert admissibility on August 11, 2022 as discussed herein.Continue Reading Walls Closing in on Experts: Federal Court Clarifies Daubert Rulings in Asbestos Case
The President swore in a new face to the Commission for the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on June 30, 2022. Mary T. Boyle, however, is not an entirely new face as she served in various positions within the CPSC for more than a decade. She formerly served in various leadership rules, including CPSC’s Executive Director from 2018 before being confirmed as the new Commissioner. Ms. Boyle also served as CPSC’s Senior Counselor for Policy and Planning, General Counsel, and Deputy General Counsel.Continue Reading Mary T. Boyle: New Commissioner for the Consumer Product Safety Commission
On November 4, 2022, the New York City Asbestos Litigation (NYCAL) coordinating Judge Adam Silvera issued a long-awaited decision denying defendants’ motion to sever punitive damages in asbestos claims filed in NYCAL. Defendants had urged the Court to amend NYCAL’s current Case Management Order (CMO) to indefinitely postpone plaintiffs’ ability to seek punitive damages against defendants, as was the case in the original NYCAL CMO and a procedure that had been in place for over 2 decades up until 2017.Continue Reading NYCAL Defendants Lose Requested Case Management Order Amendment Severing Punitive Damages
Where a case is filed can sometimes be as important as the facts of the case itself. The Washington Court of Appeals, recently revisited specific jurisdiction in the context of consent in Bradley v. Globus Medical, Inc.
In February 2021, Rachel Bradley filed suit in Spokane County Superior Court against Globus Medical, Inc. alleging…
The American Tort Reform Foundation (ATR) published its 2021-2022 Judicial Hellholes Executive Summary. The report highlights the most prominent jurisdictions across the United States known for allowing innovate lawsuits, welcoming litigation tourism, and expanding civil liability.
The 2021-2022 Judicial Hellholes
The ATR’s top judicial hellholes are:
(1) California. “The Golden State” is back in the No. 1 Judicial Hellhole spot due to appellate courts holding e-commerce companies strictly liable for products sold on their sites, “baseless” Prop-65 lawsuits, “frivolous” Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) and American with Disabilities Act (ADA) claims, and the AG promoting an “expansive view” of public nuisance law.
(2) New York. “The Empire State” is right behind California for having one of the worst legal climates in the nation. The ATR notes this is due to New York’s unmatched number of “no-injury” class actions, ADA lawsuits, and immense asbestos litigation docket.
Continue Reading Things Are Heating Up: The Top “Judicial Hellholes” For 2021-2022
On November 5, 2021, Cook County’s HIPAA Qualified Protective Order (“QPO”) was considerably reconstructed in light of the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision in Haage v. Zavala, 2021 IL 125918. Illinois litigators were alerted of these new changes through a Law Division-issued order, titled General Administrative Order 21-3 (“GAO”), and a corresponding standard QPO. According to the GAO, to the extent that any previously entered QPO conflicts with the new one, the new QPO controls, and motions to vacate, amend, and/or modify are not required. As explained below, these changes, which affect virtually all Cook County cases involving bodily injuries, will make fact investigation and damages substantiation significantly more difficult for defendants.
Continue Reading Cook County Issues Revised HIPAA Order, Narrowing the Utility of Medical Provider Subpoenas