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› Jessalee Landfried
› Gayatri Patel
› Toren M. Elsen
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Dealing a blow to plaintiffs who lack evidence of a significant exposure, Pennsylvania’s highest court rejected the testimony of a plaintiff’s expert that “any exposure” to asbestos – regardless of the amount, duration or frequency – could have caused plaintiff’s injury.
Emphasizing that expert causation testimony must be based on reliable scientific grounds, the Fifth Circuit upheld the exclusion of testimony that failed to demonstrate a causal link between chemical exposure and chronic lung disease.
Reaffirming the availability of damages related to short periods of pain and suffering that may occur prior to loss of consciousness, the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky denied a defendant’s motion for summary judgment on a claim for pain and suffering associated with a worker’s accidental death at a chemical plant.
In a decision that reaffirms the importance of having plaintiffs establish causal connections for their claims prior to full discovery, a Colorado state court used a so-called Lone Pine order to dismiss plaintiffs’ hydraulic fracturing-related toxic tort suit against three natural gas drilling companies.
In a decision that may strengthen certain defendants’ ability to offer alternate causation evidence, a Florida appellate court allowed introduction of medically possible , even if not probable , theories for a former smoker’s cancer.
Underscoring the challenges to certifying class actions in mass tort cases, an Illinois trial court denied plaintiffs’ motion for class certification in an action seeking damages for personal injuries resulting from contaminated drinking water.
Giving a boost to Plaintiffs who are not able to adduce direct evidence of a design defect, New York’s intermediate appellate court allowed a plaintiff to prove its design defect claims based solely on circumstantial evidence.
Reinforcing the difficulty of escaping CERCLA’s joint and several liability scheme, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington held that a potentially responsible party must account for the entirety of the harm it is seeking to divide before equitable apportionment may apply.
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