Category Archives: Litigation

CSX Awarded Triple Damages on Allegations of Fraudulent Asbestos Claims

The U.S. District Court in the Northern District of West Virginia recently tripled a jury’s near $430,000 jury verdict pursuant to the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) against two former members of Pittsburgh’s Robert Peirce & Associates, an asbestos plaintiff’s firm, and radiologist Ray Harron. CSX Transportation brought suit five years ago alleging that attorneys Robert Peirce and Louis Raimond conspired with Harron, who lost his medical license in 2007 amid accusations of fraudulent diagnoses, to manufacture hundreds of claims, eleven of…

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Arm & Hammer Can’t Rub Off Deodorant False-Ad Claims

The plaintiffs argued that Church & Dwight, the manufacturer of Arm & Hammer’s “natural” deodorant, participated in a false and misleading marketing strategy claiming the product actually contains the synthetic antibacterial agent Triclosan, which is linked to various health risks. The manufacturer filed a motion to dismiss the claim and argued the pleadings were insufficient to support a claim for fraud under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b). A New Jersey federal court disagreed and is letting the case move forward. Some consumer…

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It’s A Contract of Adhesion if You Need to Sign it in Order to Work?

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently declined to hear an appeal from an $8 million jury verdict in favor of injured plaintiffs. An Allegheny County jury attributed liability to Consol Energy in a personal injury suit brought by two workers who were injured as a result of corroded bolts that failed and caused a metal staircase to collapse. One interesting part of this case was an agreement that one of the injured workers signed prior to the collapse. That agreement released Consol of all liability. The…

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Third Circuit Deals Blow to Class Certification for Food and Low Cost Merchandise Claims

In what is being viewed as a game-changing decision, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a false advertising lawsuit on the grounds that there was no reliable way to identify class members absent receipts or sale records. The decision is expected to make it significantly more difficult for consumers to bring class action suits against food and other low-cost products. In Carrera v. Bayer Corp., et al, Case Number 12-2621, the proposed class, which was certified by the District Court of New Jersey,…

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Pennsylvania Narrows Its Rejection Of Every Exposure Theory

In July, Risky Business reported on two more jurisdictions rejecting the “every exposure” causation theory. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected the theory years ago; but now, a Superior Court has narrowed that rejection and left a door open which may lead to every exposure-like theories being reintroduced into the asbestos litigation landscape. In Campbell v. A.W. Chesterton Inc. (No. 2005 EDA 2012; Pa. Super. Ct.), a Pennsylvania Appellate Court upheld a $1.29 million verdict where the only defendant held liable argued that plaintiff’s expert…

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Garlock’s Bankruptcy Trial Closes – Only Decision on Value of Future Liability Remains

In 2010, Garlock Sealing Technologies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection seeking the formation of an asbestos trust to assume any future liability related to its manufacture of asbestos-containing gaskets. The case, filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of North Carolina, finally went to trial in July and wrapped up after three weeks of testimony. Now, one key decision rests in the hands of Judge George Hodges – how much money will Garlock need to place in trust for future…

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No Texting Someone Who You Know Is Driving – It’s The Law

A New Jersey Appellate Court recently established potential legal liability for anyone that knowingly sends a driver a text message. In Kubert v. Best, the plaintiffs were seriously injured when their motorcycle was struck by a truck. The 18 year old driver of the truck had been texting with a young lady that he was “seeing” in the seconds before the impact. The accident was the result of the truck crossing the center line and striking the motorcycle. The plaintiffs filed suit not only against…

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Pennsylvania Jury Finds Smoking Plaintiff 85% Liable for Lung Cancer

In Liptak v. Crane Co. (No. 1111-02145, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.), a Pennsylvania jury found that plaintiff, a cigarette smoker, was 85% liable for his lung cancer. The remaining 15% liability was attributed to Crane Co. on the grounds that plaintiff was exposed to asbestos from gaskets and packing used on its products. The vast majority of asbestos matters that go to trial are mesothelioma cases. According to Mealey Publications, all but two of the 28 asbestos verdicts in 2012 dealt with plaintiffs…

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Supplement Maker Cannot Run Away From False Advertisement Suit

The plaintiffs in a putative class action suit accused Botanical Laboratories (Botanical) of falsely advertising that its glucosamine supplements rebuild cartilage tissue. Specifically, the plaintiffs allege Botanical’s claims are not based upon reliable scientific evidence and were made in contradiction to over twenty different studies.  The plaintiffs’ claims are largely based upon the California Unfair Competition Law, breach of express warranty, and the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act. The Court found these theories are not based upon an interpretation or violation of the Federal Food,…

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Record Breaking Jury Verdict of $1.2 Billion Handed Down in Florida Against Nursing Home

A jury recently awarded a staggering $1.2 billion in damages ($110 million in damages and $1 billion in punitive damages) to the family of a deceased Florida woman who allegedly received poor care prior to her death in 2007. This verdict is believed to be one of the highest, if not the highest, verdict ever brought against a skilled nursing facility. The decedent, Arlene Townsend, was admitted to Auburndale Oaks Healthcare Center in Florida back in 2004. She subsequently died while in the nursing home…

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