Congratulations to David Cannella and Phil Hoffman for their victory against Asbestos Corporation, LTD of $6,420,467. Asbestos Corporation Limited is a Canadian mining company that has been selling asbestos fiber since the 1940s. Despite numerous deaths the company continues to maintain it sold the nice asbestos that does not cause mesothelioma . As evidenced by this case, the juries are not buying it.
Congratulations to my friends Michael Ponterio, Joseph Kremer and Myles Epperson for thier great efforts in beating back the no pay Crane Company once again. The Plaintiff died at age 77 of mesothelioma. He worked as a Union Pipefitter from 1961 to about 1985 at a General Motors Engine Plant in Tonawanda, New York. Crane was found 4 percent at fault. The charge conference was reportedly a dog fight. The Court ended up charging the following language on replacement parts, based on Sage and Call (New York Cases), “A manufacturer is liable for injuries resulting from defects in replacement parts that are foreseeably incorporated into its products, even if it did not, in fact, manufacture the replacement part.” The application of this law is great precedent for future case.Crane was represented by K & L Gates attorneys Angela DiGiglio, David Fusco, and Michael Ross.
Congratulations to Brendan Tully who won a 2.5 million dollar verdict today against John Crane in New York City. Tom Burns tried the case for John Crane, John Crane a manufacturer of asbestos containing gaskets continues to assert a scorched earth policy toward settlement. Today the earth scorched John Crane.
California Supreme Court Takes A Stand in Favor of First Amendment in Mesothelioma and Asbestos Litigation
Yesterday the California Supreme Court took a stand in favor of the First Amendment and overruled the trial court which ordered the plaintiff lawyer to take down her website during trial. The initial application was made by Volkswagen and later joined in by Ford, both of which are known for very aggressive litigation tactics in mesothelioma and asbestos death cases. This ruling is an important precedent for free speech. A full copy of the briefing filed with the court is available by clicking here, and also here.
Last weekend a bankruptcy judge approved the sale of GM as part of the bailout. The settlement leaves those currently injured by defective vehicles out in the cold. While the courts provided a partial win for GM vehicle owners by ruling those injured in a defective vehicle from the date of sale forward can pursue a claim, all pending cases are wiped out by the bankruptcy agreement, including current and future asbestos cases.
Today the Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed the jury’s $4.6 verdict against John Crane in the Newinski case tried last spring by Christian Hartley and Michael Strom. Crane’s appeal challenged several discretionary rulings by the trial court, Crane also challenged the very existence of joint and several liability in Minnesota products liability cases. Crane asserted that Minnesota employs several liability only. The plaintiffs argued that Minnesota has joint and several but that defendants can use a process called "reallocation" to reallocate shares of uncollectible entities’ fault (in this case OCF, Asbestospray, and Anchor) to all at fault parties, and somewhat the reduce the full impact of joint and several. The effect of the trial court’s reallocation to the case was to reduce Crane’s joint and several liability from $3,689,193 to $3,381,722. The Minnesota not only upheld the trial court’s application of joint and several, but also ruled that Crane was not currently entitled to reallocation. . Anyone interested in the opinion can find it at www.mncourts.gov under the court of appeals’ unpublished opinions.
Very often a case is all but won before trial because the lawyers have done their job and prepared the case correctly. Yesterday in New Port News Virginia this proved to be true. The jury returned a verdict against Jon Crane(who never settles) for 3.8 million dollars. As part of its defense John Crane offered voodoo science that the Judge struck as too speculative at the pre trial conference.
The case was tried very well by my good friend Bobby Hatten and his staff with a 3.8 million dollar result for this deserving family.
Copy of the pretrial transcript can be read by clicking this link
While settlements with individual defendants are often confidential, the total settlement in a given case may not be. Accordingly, please see the attached listing of recent settlements and verdicts.
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