Asbestos, tobacco, and now tanning salons?

The first thing any industry faced with negative scientific evidence does is form a trade group.  And the first thing that trade group does is gin up “scientific” evidence that claims the industry is being falsely maligned.  The asbestos industry did (and does) it, and of course so did the tobacco industry.  Now, it’s the


Asbestos Legal Journal Launches Asbestos Timeline

In my day job, I’m an asbestos and mesothelioma lawyer.  As part of that job, I have to keep track of the various significant events related to asbestos and mesothelioma.  I have a database of hundreds of scientific articles, corporate studies, etc. that track the development of the knowledge that asbestos is harmful. I’ve decided not


I-1082 = Higher Taxes On Washington Small Business

I don’t know of a lot of small businesses in Washington who can afford to see their premiums go up by 28%: As written, I-1082 would virtually eliminate oversight of workers’ compensation claims, leaving injured workers in the lurch. I-1082 is also a terrible hit on small business owners — increasing their tax burden at


Are All 15-Passenger Vans Defective?

Some auto experts think that all 15-passenger vans are defectively designed because they have a propensity to roll over.  This quote raised my eyebrow: “The rollover rate for fully loaded or nearly loaded 15-passenger vans is about three times the rollover ratio of vans with fewer than five passengers,” the report said. Source: Consumer Groups: Type of Van


Biller gets cleared to use Toyota documents

It’s no exaggeration to say that the entire product liability bar is dying to know what is in the Biller documents:  An arbitrator has ruled that a former Toyota Motor Corp. attorney can use internal company documents to press his claim that he was hired to “plan and carry out discovery fraud” on behalf of


Dehumidifiers Recalled Due To Fire Hazard

98,00 dehumidifiers were recalled due to the risk of fire: The company has received four reports of fires involving dehumidifiers, including Goldstar model No. GHD30Y7, which were sold at Home Depot outlets, model No. DH305Y7, sold at Walmart stores, and Comfort-Aire BHD-301-C dehumidifiers, sold at Heat Controller Inc. Source: LG Electronics dehumidifiers recalled – UPI.com



Motorola Workers Allege That Chemicals Caused Birth Defects

A lawsuit filed in Cook County, Illinois alleges that Motorola knowingly exposed workers to dangerous chemicals, and as a result of those exposures, the workers’ children had birth defects: According to the lawsuit, their collective employment period stretches between 1965 and 2007. The filing enumerates a variety of physical disabilities and developmental problems suffered by


Judge Finds Asbestos Liability for Insurers in Unusual Defendant Class Action

More than 20,000 individuals who have asbestos-related tort claims pending against the Robert A. Keasbey Co. scored a major victory Tuesday, as Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Richard Braun ruled that the defunct insulation giant’s insurers may be liable for hundreds of millions of dollars in coverage.

The ruling came in an unusual defendant class action — in which the class constitutes a defendant, not the plaintiff — initiated by the Keasbey Co.’s primary insurers, plaintiffs Continental Casualty Coverage and American Casualty Co. of Reading, Pa.

In their class action, the insurers sought a declaratory judgment holding that their policies were exhausted by $8.7 million in previously made payments. In the alternative, they argued, numerous equitable doctrines precluded the defendant class members from pursuing their claims.

Braun disagreed, and found that the insurers may be liable for upwards of $250 million.

Oops. Details here from the New York Law Journal via Law.com. The Court’s decision is here.


Asbestos Attorney Accepts 10-Year Term in Plea Deal

Louis Robles, a nationally prominent Miami plaintiffs attorney who was charged with stealing millions of dollars from thousands of asbestos clients nationwide, has accepted a plea deal that calls for him to serve 10 years in prison and provide full restitution to his victims. The plea deal is the latest chapter in the spectacular fall of the class action and mass tort lawyer, who at one time had 40 lawyers on his staff and more than 12,000 class action clients.

Details here from the Daily Business Review via Law.com.