Freier v. Westinghouse Electric Co., 303 F.3d 176 (2d Cir. 2002)
The plaintiffs and their decedents suffered various forms of cancer that they attributed to their exposure to hazardous substances at an area landfill. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed summary judgment on statute of limitations grounds, holding that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) section providing for discovery of the injury and its cause applied to the case, and that fact issues existed rendering summary judgment improper.
Welch v. Celotex Corp., 951 F.2d 1235 (11th Cir. 1992)
The United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit reversed summary judgment that dismissed a Georgia insulator’s case as untimely under the Georgia statute of limitations. The court held that the statute of limitations does not begin to run until a plaintiff knows or should have known that his injury was caused by the wrongful conduct of the defendants.
Willis v. Raymark Indus., Inc., 905 F.2d 793 (4th Cir. 1990)
In this asbestos case brought by Virginia insulation workers, the United States Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit held that manufacturers of asbestos-containing products were not entitled to have the lawsuit dismissed under Virginia’s statute of repose, which bars actions for injuries caused by unsafe conditions to real property if not brought within five years of exposure. If the asbestos manufacturers had won, virtually every Virginia victim of asbestos exposure would have been denied their day in court since asbestos diseases such as mesothelioma do not develop, as a general rule, until many years after exposure. The court also held that the manufacturers were not entitled to Virginia’s “sophisticated user” defense to argue that the workers’ employer (rather than the manufacturers) should be held liable.
McCleary v. Armstrong World Industries, Inc., 913 F.2d 257 (5th Cir. 1990)
The United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit upheld a substantial judgment in favor of a victim of asbestos disease and his wife. The court of appeals held that the trial court properly refused to reduce the judgment by the percentage of fault the jury assigned to three defendants the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed before trial, and that the award of punitive damages against defendant Celotex did not violate the company’s due process rights.
Edwards v. Armstrong World Indus., Inc., 911 F.2d 1151 (5th Cir. 1990)
The United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit upheld a judgment in favor of an insulator suffering from asbestosis. The court held that the defendant Celotex Corporation was liable for punitive damages for the acts of its predecessor corporation, which had manufactured asbestos-containing products. The court also held that the award of punitive damages did not violate the company’s constitutional rights, even though the company had previously been assessed punitive damages in other cases for the same conduct by its predecessor company.
Aguirre v. Armstrong World Indus., Inc., 901 F.2d 1256 (5th Cir. 1990)
The United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit affirmed a judgment–including an award of punitive damages–in favor of Texas workers who developed asbestos-related diseases as a result of their exposure to asbestos-containing products manufactured by Philip Carey Company, defendant Celotex Corporation’s predecessor corporation.
McNair v. Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp., 890 F.2d 753 (5th Cir. 1989)
The United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit agreed with Baron & Budd that under Texas law, an asbestos defendant who loses at trial cannot have the amount of the judgment against it reduced by the amounts of “notes” the plaintiffs received from two other defendants that would pay a settlement only if they won their insurance coverage cases against their insurance companies. The court also affirmed the trial court’s finding that under Texas’ comparative responsibility law in effect at the time of trial, defendant Celotex was liable for the total jury award (less the settlement amounts paid by other defendants), and not just the percentage of fault the jury assigned to Celotex.
Irving v. Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp., 864 F.2d 383 (5th Cir. [Tex.] 1989), cert. denied, 493 U.S. 823, 110 S.Ct. 83, 107 L.Ed.2d 49 (1989)
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that the trial court had jurisdiction over a Yugoslavian company that shipped raw asbestos into the United States, harming more than 100 workers at a Houston manufacturing plant.
In re Temple, 851 F.2d 1269 (11th Cir. 1988)
The United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ordered a trial court to vacate its order certifying a mandatory class action. The court held that the class certification violated asbestos victims’ due process rights and that the class did not satisfy the requirements of Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Goad v. Celotex Corp., 831 F.2d 508 (4th Cir. 1987), cert. denied, 487 U.S. 1218 (1988)
Together with civil procedure expert Charles Alan Wright, Baron & Budd mesothelioma lawyers convinced the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit that the application of a favorable statute of limitations to the plaintiff’s case did not violate the Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit Clause.
Meyer v. Armstrong World Indus., Inc., 820 F.2d 329 (9th Cir. 1987)
The United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit reversed the district court’s dismissal of an Idaho asbestos victim’s case based on the statute of limitations.
Bickel v. Burkhart, 632 F.2d 1251 (5th Cir. 1980)
In this employment rights case, the United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit held that a municipal fireman’s criticisms of the fire department at a departmental meeting were constitutionally protected speech and that he was wrongfully denied a promotion as a result.
Results depend on the facts of each case.