Articles Tagged with mesothelioma lawyer Boston

The government contractor defense was accepted in a recent asbestos liability lawsuits out of California. The decision by a state appellate court breaks with a ruling by the federal Ninth Circuit. navy

The government contractor defense shields the federal government’s exercise of discretion and judgment in contract specifications and designs. It can be raised by government contractor defendants in certain product liability lawsuits, such as those pertaining to asbestos exposure. It’s often used by companies that provide products that have some type of military application, though matters can get complicated when the product in question is sold to both the government and the general public.

The California case involves a man who was exposed to asbestos insulation while working on nuclear submarines in the early 1970s. The insulation product was called Unibestos, and it’s been available for decades. In 1936, the U.S. Navy started using the product in its vessels because of its high resistance to heat. Although ads for the product indicated it was “available everywhere,” there is no evidence as to how much of the product was sold commercially.  Continue reading

The “every exposure” theory in asbestos litigation has been widely criticized and many judges have concluded it doesn’t pass muster in a court of law. The crux of it is that because no amount of exposure to asbestos is safe, every exposure to asbestos must be harmful. But simply showing a single exposure – or just a few exposures – to asbestos usually isn’t enough to win a personal injury or wrongful death case. gavel7

That means asbestos injury attorneys have to be prepared to introduce as much evidence as possible showing plaintiff endured a great deal of exposure. Failure to do so may result in an outcome like what was seen recently in Georgia in the case of Scapa Dryer Fabrics Inc. v. Knight et al., in which the Georgia Supreme Court tossed a $4 million mesothelioma verdict, finding the use of the every exposure theory in trial was inadequate to prove defendant’s liability.

Specifically, the court ruled, plaintiff’s expert witness failed to analyze the extent of exposure in any sort of meaningful way and he also failed to qualify his opinion on causation by limiting it to such an estimate of exposure.  Continue reading

Some defendants in asbestos litigation, facing crippling debt in the face of accountability for concealing the danger of their products and failing to protect the public, filed for bankruptcy and established trusts to pay out current and future claims.gavel21

More than 100 companies have filed for bankruptcy protection due in whole or in part to asbestos litigation, collectively containing about $20 billion in assets – and another $12 billion in assets pending, according to an analysis by Bates White Economic Consulting. It’s important for mesothelioma attorneys to keep careful tabs on how much is contained in these trusts because it plays a role in how much will be paid out per each individual claim.

Many of the bankrupted companies – and claimants – have relied on previous insurance policies to make good on claim payments. In fact, a 2015 report by rating agency A.M. Best Co. indicated the insurance industry has paid out more than $90 million in combined asbestos and environmental losses, and there is approximately $27 billion still available to fund future payments. This heavy reliance on the insurance industry makes it imperative to follow the cases that may have an impact on claimants’ ability to collect. Recently, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York recently ruled in Rapid-American Corp. et al. v. Travelers Casualty & Surety Co. et al. that providers of excess insurance to a now-bankrupt asbestos product manufacturer do not have to provide coverage unless and until the primary insurers have paid in full under those policies.  Continue reading

An asbestos tort reform bill has gained traction in Congress with approval from the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. Luckily for those afflicted with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases, it’s unlikely to gain enough traction to become law.senate

Although the measure has a name that implies “fairness,” it is in actuality anything but fair for victims. The Fairness in Class Action Litigation and Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act of 2016 was given the green light largely along partisan lines in January. The measure would prohibit class action litigation unless every single member of the class suffered exactly the same injury as the named plaintiff.

Additionally – and pertinent to mesothelioma victims – is that any damage settlement from an asbestos bankruptcy trust (funds set aside by companies bankrupted by asbestos litigation) would need to be made public. Continue reading

For the improper handling of toxic material resulting in asbestos danger in Massachusetts, four affiliated firms agreed to pay $129,000 in fines. However, half of that cost will be deferred if the affiliates can manage to avoid any further environmental trouble, according to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. constructionsite

The settlement stems from a Suffolk Superior Court case filed in July 2014 against Patriots Environmental, an Oxford-based firm with affiliates there and also in Charlton and Worcester.

According to the government’s allegations, Patriots Environmental flouted safety regulations and proper procedures in the removal of asbestos from a residential home in Sturbridge. This is the kind of thing that exposes workers, homeowners, guests and even members of the general public to an unnecessary risk of a potentially fatal disease. Asbestosis and mesothelioma are caused by exposure to asbestos particles in the air, and it is well-established that there is no safe level of asbestos exposure.  Continue reading

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