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Articles Posted in Asbestos Containing Materials

The effects of COVID-19 have been felt across nearly every facet of life in America, and the courts have certainly been no exception. With health and safety protocols limiting in-person gatherings, many individuals seeking justice through the courts have had their hearings and trials seemingly inevitably delayed until the United States is able to bring the virus under control in order to resume our way of life. However, some have been fortunate in that their cases have been able to continue with relatively modest delay, as in the case of a Minnesota factory worker whose trial is finally scheduled to take place in May 2021.

According to the asbestos cancer lawsuit, filed in Ramsey County District Court in 2019, the now deceased plaintiff was diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer in December 2018, and caused due to his exposure to carcinogenic asbestos fibers from his years of working the the Conwed Corporation’s mineral board plant in Cloquet, Minn. According to media reports, the city of Cloquet has a mesothelioma cancer death rate that is 36% higher than anywhere else in the state of Minnesota, and the rate of diagnosis is up to 70 times higher than the average. The report goes on to state that lung cancer screenings have shown that at least 30% of Condwed’s former employees surveyed have developed mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a rare and deadly form of cancer that usually affects vital organs such as the lungs, heart, and abdominal cavity. Developing the disease is directly associated with exposure to asbestos, a mineral that was once used in a variety of commercial, industrial, and military applications for its heat resistant properties and ability to be molded to fit a variety of uses. Conwed Corporation allegedly used asbestos in the construction of its mineral board products at the Cloquet plant from 1958 until 1974, the time period during which the deceased plaintiff was employed at the facility.

A California appeals court recently upheld a substantial multimillion dollar jury verdict awarded to a husband and wife who claimed that the defendant caused the husband’s rare and deadly form of cancer from exposure to asbestos containing products manufactured by the company. In their verdict in favor of the plaintiffs, the California state jury awarded the husband over $14 million for his economic damages, as well as his pain and suffering, and an additional $1 million to his wife for her loss of consortium. The defendant, J-M Manufacturing, appealed the jury’s verdict in the hopes of having the verdict and the awards tossed.

According to the asbestos cancer lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court in 2018, the husband plaintiff was employed as a construction worker and supervision during the 1970s and 1980s. During that time, according to the lawsuit, he was frequently exposed to asbestos fibers in cement pipes manufactured and sold by J-M Manufacturing. As a result of this exposure to asbestos containing products over nearly two decades, the plaintiff developed a rare and deadly form of lung cancer called mesothelioma.

After a trial spanning October and November 2018, the Los Angeles County jury awarded the plaintiff and his wife over $15 million in compensatory damages for their past and future medical bills, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium. Additionally, the jury saw fit to award the plaintiffs an additional $15 million in punitive damages, which are a special type of award handed down in circumstances where it can be established that a defendant acted with an much more egregious level of negligence.

A virtual mesothelioma cancer trial recently got underway via Zoom in a Washington state court with each side presenting their opening arguments to the 16 person jury in Seattle. King County, Wash., is one of the most active jurisdictions in the country when it comes to virtual hearings during coronavirus pandemic. The judge presiding over the case did so from her courtroom, while all the other parties logged into Zoom from their remote locations.

According to the mesothelioma cancer lawsuit , filed in Superior Court of Washington for King County, the plaintiff worked as a boiler worker in a shipyard replacing asbestos containing parts manufactured by Alabama-based Pryor-Giggey Co., a refractory company acquired by Allied Mineral Products Inc. in 2017. The plaintiff performed boiler upgrades on U.S. Navy ships, which involved removing and replacing asbestos-containing castable refractory named Lite-Wate, a heat-resistant material that lines the inside of the boiler.

The victim asserts that in the course of ripping out and replacing these asbestos containing refractories, a large amount of dust was created, and that it contained asbestos fibers which he would routinely inhale during the course of his daily work at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard during the 1970’s. The mesothelioma cancer lawsuit goes on to state that the dangers of asbestos exposure had already been well known in the industry by then, but the defendant continued to use the carcinogenic product in its parts supplied to shipyards.

A New York City court recently struck down a defendant’s attempt in a mesothelioma cancer lawsuit to have the case thrown out on summary judgment, thus allowing the case to proceed on to trial and allow the victim’s widow to pursue justice on behalf of her deceased husband. The three-judge panel of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York County upheld the trial judge’s decision to deny defendant’s Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to dismiss the case on the grounds that the plaintiff had attempted to introduce evidence that would be inadmissible under the law.

According to the mesothelioma cancer lawsuit, filed in 2017, the victim worked at the Pan Am Unit Terminal Building at JFK International Airport during the 1970s while employed by Pan Am Airlines. During that time, according to the lawsuit, the victim was routinely exposed to asbestos fibers emanating from ongoing construction, particularly by the sanding of sheetrock manufactured by Georgia-Pacific. The lawsuit asserts that the sheet rock used in the renovations of the terminal where the victim was employed contained asbestos fibers, and that this exposure is what caused the victim’s terminal mesothelioma cancer diagnosis, which he succumbed to in 2016.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was onced used in a variety of industrial, commercial, construction applications as an insulation and building material. Unfortunately, asbestos fibers are also carcinogenic and despite knowing this public health risk for decades, many asbestos companies continued to use the material and put profits over the value of people.

The New Jersey state supreme court recently allowed a pair of talcum powder cancer lawsuits to proceed to trial. A lower court had overturned another judge’s decision to toss out the matter and effectively rule in favor of the defendant, Johnson & Johnson. Pharmaceutical and cosmetics giant Johnson & Johnson had petitioned the state’s highest court to review the case’s revival after New Jersey’s Appellate Division ruled in August that a lower Superior Court judge had improperly tossed the two cases after determining that plaintiffs’ expert witnesses were not credible.

“The trial judge was called upon to assess whether the opinions were the product of reliable data and employed methodologies accepted by the scientific community,” the three-judge Appellate Division panel wrote. “Instead, he selected defendants’ scientific methodologies over plaintiffs’, a process well beyond the gatekeeping function, and which resulted in an abuse of discretion.”

According to one of the two talcum powder cancer lawsuits, filed in 2014 in Atlantic County Superior Court, the victims developed ovarian cancer from years of using Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based Baby Powder. Other similar lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson claim that the company knew for decades about possible links between long term use of its talcum powder cosmetics products and women developing ovarian cancer and other serious forms of cancer.

Pharmaceutical and cosmetics giant Johnson & Johnson recently challenged the bankruptcy plan of its long-time talc supplier, Imerys Talc USA, asserting that the defunct American subsidiary’s plan to create a liability trust related to talcum powder asbestos cancer lawsuits is a way to immunize its French parent company. Imerys Talc USA was once embroiled in 14,000 asbestos cancer lawsuits with Johnson & Johnson brought by consumers and surviving family members who claim that they or their deceased loved ones developed serious forms of cancer, including mesothelioma, from years of using consumer cosmetics products such as Baby Powder and Shower to Shower.

Johnson & Johnson currently faces an estimated 22,000 talcum powder asbestos cancer lawsuits in state and federal courts across the country, and therefore has a keen interest to oppose the bankruptcy plan under review. In November 2020, French parent company Imerys SA sold all of its North American holdings at auction to Canadian company Magris for $223 million, which will be placed into a liability trust for victims to draw compensation from and spare the French company any more legal trouble over the same or similar claims.

Plaintiffs claimed that Johnson & Johnson knew for decades that the talc sourced and mined by Imerys USA to create its iconic Baby Powder contained asbestos, a known carcinogen directly linked to developing mesothelioma cancer. Mesothelioma commonly affects thin linings of tissue surrounding vital organs such as the lungs and heart, as well as the abdominal cavity, before spreading to other parts of the body. Lawsuits filed across the country have been based on documentation of internal company memos showing that Johnson & Johnson was aware of the risk of asbestos contamination in its talc but chose not to provide any warning to consumers.

A Washington state court recently issued a strong penalty against a defendant in a mesothelioma cancer lawsuit for what the judge determined to be willful withholding of evidence by the defendant and false statements by defense counsel. In determining that the defendant, PACCAR, Inc. willfully violated rules of civil discovery procedure to produce evidence in the asbestos cancer lawsuit, the Pierce County Superior Court ruled that the defendant must pay the plaintiff $150,000, as well as attorneys fees for the time the plaintiff’s lawyers spent litigating the matter over the evidence in question.

The evidence in question in the mesothelioma cancer lawsuit concerned blueprints of trucks manufactured by a subsidiary of PACCAR, Kenworth, which contained information such as what companies supplied brakes, engines, axels, clutches, etc. Additionally, the blueprints, known as “build sheets” would contain information regarding the part’s model number and the totality of the information from the buildsheets would be of value to the plaintiff’s case that he developed mesothelioma from asbestos containing parts manufactured by the defendant and/or its subsidiary, which the victim’s employer purchased and maintained.

In response to the plaintiff’s request for build sheets of Kenworth vehicles, the defendant and its counsel responded by asserting that the build sheets could only be searched if the plaintiff could provide a vehicle information number for the truck make in question, that there were no records of to what entities the Kenworth trucks were ultimately sold, and that the build sheets were kept on microfiche and it would be too burdensome to hand search each build sheet. The court subsequently ordered PACCAR to turn over 10 randomly selected build sheets so that the plaintiffs and the court could have a better understanding of the information contained therein.

A federal appeals court has upheld a record-setting mesothelioma cancer verdict in North Carolina, finding no fault with the manner in which the trial court oversaw the case or the legal reasoning for refusing to reduce the multimillion dollar jury verdict. With the three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the $32.7 million dollar verdict in the lower federal district court in North Carolina, the award constitutes the largest ever single-plaintiff and largest ever mesothelioma cancer lawsuit verdict in the state’s history.

According to the mesothelioma cancer lawsuit, originally filed in U.S. District Court for the District of North Carolina, the plaintiff’s husband worked at the Firestone Tire Plant in Wilson, North Carolina, from 1975 until 1995. The plaintiff alleged that during his employment at the Firestone tire plant, her husband was exposed to asbestos fibers in insulation pipes in the curing room of the plant, where he would change tires in the tire mold presses. The curing room of the tire plant contained 120 steam operated tire presses, connected to multiple steam pipes which the plaintiff asserted were insulated with asbestos-containing materials.

While the defendant, Covil Corporation, did not manufacture or supply the tire presses, the company did admit to supplying hundreds of feet of the asbestos-containing insulation materials which covered the pipes from these machines. Upon the victim’s passing away from mesothelioma cancer, the plaintiff filed a wrongful death mesothelioma cancer lawsuit against Covil Corporation, claiming that the company’s asbestos containing pipe insulation was responsible for her husband’s mesothelioma cancer diagnosis.

A U.S. federal judge recently handed down an important ruling in a mesothelioma cancer lawsuit that will allow four expert witnesses to testify on behalf of the plaintiff who claims that her husband developed a serious form of lung cancer as a result of negligence on the part of the deceased’s former employer. Attorneys for defendant Air & Liquid Services Inc. had sought to exclude the expert witnesses’ testimony in the case, in what can only be interpreted as an attempt to skirt liability for the harm caused by their client.

According to the asbestos cancer lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, the deceased victim worked in the engine room aboard the USS Tuscaloosa in 1974 and was exposed to asbestos containing components during that time. As a result of his exposure to deadly asbestos fibers while serving his country, the deceased developed a rare and deadly form of cancer called mesothelioma.

One of the expert witnesses the plaintiff had intended to call at trial was to testify that during the 1960s and 1970s, ships like the USS Tuscaloosa would have their asbestos-containing gaskets removed and replaced during routine maintenance. Further, the removal and replacement of these asbestos gaskets would often produce airborne asbestos fibers, which would settle on horizontal surfaces  in densely packed machinery spaces and that enginemen like the deceased would work on these types of systems.

A New York City jury recently handed down a substantial verdict to a woman who blamed the maker of the talc-based cosmetics powder for her cancer diagnosis, claiming that the company knew for decades about the risk of asbestos exposure but provided no warning to her and other consumers about the dangers. The Manhattan jury awarded the plaintiffs, the victim and her husband, $325 million in actual and punitive damages, finding that defendant Johnson & Johnson acted with negligence and recklessness by knowingly selling a carcinogenic product to the public.

The $325 million awarded consisted of $25 million in actual damages of medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, as well as a tremendous $300 million in punitive damages for what the jury deemed to be especially reckless conduct on the part of Johnson & Johnson. However, the judge hearing the case ultimately cut the jury’s award down to $15 million in actual damages and $105 million in punitive damages but gave the plaintiffs the option of requesting a new trial solely for the damages portion of the case. Ultimately, the plaintiffs opted to accept the reduced award.

The asbestos cancer lawsuit alleged that the plaintiff developed mesothelioma cancer from years of using asbestos-contaminated Baby Powder manufactured and sold by pharmaceutical and cosmetics giant Johnson & Johnson. The plaintiff filed her lawsuit back in 2017 after receiving her mesothelioma diagnosis, which is a rare and deadly form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos and commonly affects the thin linings of tissue surrounding vital organs such as the heart and lungs and abdominal cavity.

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