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August 2017

Asbestos litigation continues unabated in jurisdictions across the country. Exposure scenarios that rarely gave rise to lawsuits just a few years ago are now the norm. Bystander, take-home and environmental drift cases are filed with regularity. The rise of these de minimis dose cases makes the proper application of causation criteria all the more important. Causation standards should be based on legitimate science and sound legal principles. This is our 2017 Update: Compendium of Asbestos Causation Standards.

July 2017

In a welcome development for toxic tort defendants, New York’s Appellate Division, First Department, affirmed a trial court’s order setting aside a plaintiffs’ verdict on the ground that the plaintiff’s expert testimony failed to meet the New York standard under Parker, and so was legally insufficient to establish that the plaintiff’s mesothelioma was caused by asbestos-containing friction products.

  • Update: 2017

    The marijuana and drug-testing laws continue to evolve. As public opinion shifts across the country favoring legalization of marijuana, and regulating marijuana more like alcohol, it is likely that employers will be subject to greater scrutiny for drug testing employees for marijuana including at-will employees. Therefore, employers should at a minimum consider the inherent tension between employer and employee rights, and the desire to have a safe and drug-free workplace. 

  • June 26, 2017

    On June 20, 2017, Justice Peter Moulton, Administrative Judge and Coordinating Justice of the New York City Asbestos Litigation, issued a new Case Management Order and an accompanying Decision and Order. The new NYCAL CMO – whose first iteration was implemented by Justice Helen E. Freedman in 1988 – will govern litigation in one of the country’s largest asbestos dockets and site of some of the highest plaintiff verdicts rendered in recent history. 

  • June 20, 2017

    After five trials, four single-plaintiff verdicts, almost $310 million in awarded damages, two target defendants, and one sensational claim--talc-based personal care powder causes ovarian cancer--the St. Louis County Circuit Court has declared a mistrial in trial number six following the United States Supreme Court’s personal jurisdiction ruling in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California.