July 24, 2019

Clyde & Co wins dismissal of two cases following in limine hearing

On June 21, 2019 Clyde & Co secured a dismissal of two mesothelioma cases which were about to begin trial following an in limine hearing regarding the admissibility of plaintiffs' causation reports. Plaintiffs Nelson Bayron and Norman Hill had sued various defendants in connection with the development of malignant mesothelioma, claiming that the defendants' asbestos-containing products substantially contributed to their disease. By the time of trial the remaining defendants consisted of manufacturers of boilers and electrical equipment. Clyde & Co moved to preclude plaintiffs' causation experts from testifying as in their reports they had not given a scientific expression of what levels of asbestos exposure each plaintiff might have had from working with its client's products (in this case a manufacturer of residential boilers). After extensive oral argument, Judge Barbara Jaffe issued a preliminary decision granting the motion and indicated that a more detailed decision was to follow – in response, plaintiffs' counsel voluntarily dismissed their cases the next day. This appears to be the first time since the 2018 Court of Appeals decision in In Re New York City Asbestos Litigation (Juni) that a New York State trial court has issued such a preclusion decision for a friable insulation product (plaintiff claimed exposure from ripping thermal insulation from boilers), as opposed to encapsulated products such as brakes, gaskets, or floor tiles. The motion was argued by Clyde & Co partner Jeffrey Fegan – to read a copy of the transcript of the argument and Judge Jaffe's preliminary decision, please download the PDF below.