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May 2018

Under Illinois law plaintiffs have the burden under the provisions of the Joint Tortfeasor Contribution Act, 740 ILCS 100/0.01 et seq., to apportion liability and payment among the defendants. Defendants, third-party defendants, and defendants who have already settled with the plaintiff would all need to be included on the verdict form for the jury to appropriately apportion fault. However, this approach was turned on its head with the 2008 decision in Ready v. United/Goedecke Services, Inc., 232 Ill.2d 369, 905 N.E.2d 725, 328 Ill.Dec 836 (Ill. 2008).

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.

  • June 28, 2018

    In the wake of a $50 million agricultural nuisance verdict against Murphy-Brown/Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina in April, the North Carolina legislature took note and took swift action. In response to the Murphy-Brown/Smithfield case, the North Carolina legislature passed Senate Bill 711, overriding a veto by Governor Roy Cooper, which amended the North Carolina Right to Farm statute to provide greater protections for farmers, including pork and poultry farmers, against nuisance lawsuits.

  • June 2018
  • June 2018

    Last month, the Supreme Court added BNSF v. Loos to the October term, scheduling a resolution to the issue of whether a railroad’s payment to an employee for time lost from work is subject to employment taxes under the Railroad Retirement Tax Act. Far from a one-off tax matter, the case impacts thousands of claims from railway workers each year and raises interesting questions about history, statutory construction, and the proper deference to administrative agencies.