Dangerous lead levels in Lowe’s plumbing product, complaint says

From Westlaw Journal Toxic Torts :  The Lowe’s home improvement chain is selling a plumbing product that contains dangerously high levels of lead, according to a California state court lawsuit.

Lowe’s vacuum breakers, which prevent backflow in plumbing systems, contain lead and lead compounds that make those who touch or handle them “vulnerable to the toxic effects of lead,” the complaint said.

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Worker’s benzene exposure didn’t cause cancer, Louisiana appeals court affirms

From Westlaw Journals Toxic Torts:

A workers’ compensation board judge properly denied a laborer’s claim for benefits after finding the claimant did not provide sufficient evidence that on-the-job exposure to benzene caused him to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a Louisiana appeals court has ruled.

“[T]he record before us demonstrates a reasonable basis for the workers’ compensation judge’s factual findings and, as such, her finding cannot be clearly wrong,” a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeal said in an Oct. 28 opinion.

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Texas jury hits DuPont with $8.2 million verdict in benzene suit

From Westlaw Journal Toxic Torts: A jury in Dallas has awarded $8.2 million to a man with leukemia who was exposed to benzene in DuPont Co.’s paints and thinners.

The unanimous 12-person jury found there was a design defect in the company’s paints and thinners that was a cause of plaintiff Virgil Hood’s injuries and that DuPont failed to give adequate warnings of the products’ dangers.

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Auto defendants duck $30 million demand in meso trial

From Westlaw Journal Asbestos: A California jury has returned a verdict in favor of four automotive defendants, finding the companies were not negligent in failing to warn a mechanic of the dangers of exposure to asbestos.

Plaintiff Steve Swasey was exposed to the defendants’ asbestos-containing products, but they were as safe as could be expected when used as intended, a 12-person jury in the Alameda County Superior Court said in a Sept. 22 verdict.

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Judge asks Puerto Rico high court for guidance on liability for natural toxins

From Westlaw Journal Toxic Torts: A federal judge in Puerto Rico has asked the territory’s Supreme Court to decide if a company can be held strictly liable for poisoning caused by a natural toxin found in seafood.

“[T]his case relies solely on an unsettled issue of Puerto Rico law, as to which this court cannot reasonably predict how the Puerto Rico Supreme Court would rule,” U.S. District Judge Gustavo A. Gelpi of the District of Puerto Rico said in a Sept. 11 opinion.

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Kentucky appeals court reinstates meso suit against radio makers

From Westlaw Journal Asbestos: A trial court should not have granted summary judgment in favor of two manufacturers accused of producing asbestos-containing radios that caused a repairman to develop mesothelioma, a Kentucky appeals court has ruled.

“While we can imagine stronger cases than the [plaintiff’s] case, it is not our job to weed out the weaker cases on summary judgment if they are supported by evidence of some probative value,” the Court of Appeals said in a Sept. 11 opinion.

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Divided Utah high court revives toxic injury suit against Chevron

From Westlaw Journal Toxic Torts: A divided Utah Supreme Court has reinstated a lawsuit filed by a Chevron oil refinery worker who alleges she suffered permanent injuries after a supervisor ordered her to work with sulfuric acid that caused a violent reaction.

A dissenting justice said the plaintiff’s exclusive remedy should be through a workers’ compensation claim.

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Judge won’t exclude expert testimony in asbestosis, cancer suit

From Westlaw Journal Asbestos: A medical expert for a man who claimed he developed asbestosis and lung cancer from asbestos exposure in the U.S. Navy and at Ford Motor Co. is qualified to offer expert testimony on causation, an Illinois federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Staci M. Yandle of the Southern District of Illinois rejected the defense argument that Matthew A. Vuskovich lacked “a basic understanding of asbestos,” according to an Aug. 31 order.

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Baltimore jury finds for John Crane in 2 meso cases

From Westlaw Journal Asbestos: John Crane Inc. has won defense verdicts in two lawsuits consolidated for trial in a Baltimore court, a jurisdiction well known for “being plaintiff friendly,” the company’s lawyers said in a statement.

After a nearly three-week trial, a jury in the Baltimore City Circuit Court took just 26 minutes to return two verdicts in the company’s favor, according to a statement from the law firm representing John Crane, O’Connell, Tivin, Miller & Burns in Chicago.

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New York jury awards $1.4 million against John Crane Inc. in meso suit

From Westlaw Journal Asbestos: A jury in Buffalo, N.Y., has returned a $1.4 million verdict against John Crane Inc., finding that a U.S. Navy veteran developed mesothelioma after being exposed to the company’s asbestos-containing products, but offsets will mean the defendant will have no financial liability.

“Although we disagree with the jury’s holding, we are pleased that the settlement and medical setoffs on the case exceed the amount of the verdict and remove any financial liability for [John Crane],” said attorney Thomas J. Burns of O’Connell, Tivin, Miller & Burns, who represented the company.

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