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Settlements & Medicare Reporting – An Ongoing Series, Part One: Pinpointing Timeframe of Alleged Asbestos Exposure

Author

Kurowski Shultz LLC

In certain cases, it may make good business sense to resolve an asbestos claim out of court.  But an omnipresent source of frustration with settlements and the processing of Release documents in asbestos litigation is determining whether the settlement is reportable to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  The stakes in “getting it right” are high.  The responsibility to report does not only fall to plaintiffs – defendants/insurers who fail to properly report risk penalties and reimbursement liability. The short and tortured answer is that if: (a) a plaintiff was a Medicare or Medicaid beneficiary, and (b) one

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Justice Lucy Billings Appointed NYCAL Coordinating Judge

Author

Justin A. Reinhardt

It was announced Monday that Justice Lucy Billings has been appointed as the New York City Asbestos Litigation (NYCAL) Coordinating Judge. The official announcement by Acting Administrative Judge, George Silver, provided some insight into the background and experience of Justice Billings: Justice Billings received her B.A. magna cum laude from Smith College and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in 1970 and received her J.D. with honors from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law in 1973. Justice Billings was a staff attorney at Vermont Legal Aid, a Senior Attorney at Utah Legal Services, Director of Legal Support

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Appellate Decision in New York Affects Supplier Liability in Asbestos Litigation

Author

Justin A. Reinhardt

The Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, Third Department, recently handed down a decision that is likely to have a negative impact on defendant former suppliers of asbestos-containing products in New York asbestos litigation. In O’Connor v AERCO Intern., Inc., the Plaintiff was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma alleging that her illness stemmed from exposure to asbestos-containing products while working at the Westchester County Department of Labs and Research (hereinafter, “the lab”). O’Connor v AERCO Intern., Inc., 2017 NY Slip Op 05487 [3d Dept July 6, 2017]. Plaintiff brought suit in the Supreme Court in Saratoga County (4th JDAL) against,

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Madison County Jury Issues Defense Verdict in Asbestos Trial

Author

Candice C. Kusmer

A Madison County jury continued a streak of defense verdicts for asbestos defendants yesterday in finding for defendant, Hennessy Industries, in the Stanley Urban matter.  Mr. Urban, a living mesothelioma plaintiff represented by the Shrader Law Firm, was a shop teacher who alleged he inhaled asbestos fibers from his work with the defendant’s brake grinders.  Plaintiffs alleged that Hennessy Industries knew that asbestos was dangerous, sold brake grinders in every state and failed to warn of the dangers before and after sale.  Plaintiffs are Michigan residents and all of Mr. Urban’s alleged exposures occurred in the state of Michigan. Mr.

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Does Daubert Matter?

Author

Alexander J. Baker

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon recently vetoed a bill which would have adopted the federal standard for admission of expert scientific testimony – commonly referred to as the Daubert standard.  The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure adopted Daubert in 1993, and since then a vast majority of states have followed suit.  Missouri is in a minority of states that instead follow the Frye standard. Under Frye, a court may admit scientific testimony if it is considered “generally accepted” by a meaningful segment of the associated scientific community.  Proponents for Daubert, however, argue that its standard improves the scientific evidence heard in

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Jury Returns a $55 Million Verdict Against Johnson & Johnson in Second St. Louis City Cosmetic Talc Trial

Author

Kyler H. Stevens

On Monday evening, May 2, 2016, following a three-week trial and two days of deliberation, a St. Louis City jury returned a verdict against Johnson & Johnson for $55 million to a South Dakota woman who claimed her use of the company’s talc products caused her to develop ovarian cancer. The jury awarded plaintiff, Gloria Ristesund, $5 million in actual damages and $50 million in punitive damages. The jury returned a verdict in favor of defendant Imerys Talc America, Inc. During the trial, Ms. Ristesund testified that for decades she used Johnson & Johnson talc products, including Baby Powder and Shower to

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Principal Lindsay Dibler Testifies before Missouri House Committee in Support of Bankruptcy Trust Transparency

Author

Lindsay A. Dibler

On April 13, Lindsay Dibler appeared before the Civil and Criminal Proceedings Committee of the Missouri House of Representatives to testify in support of H.B. 2438. Introduced by District 14 Rep. Kevin Corlew (R), H.B. 2438 would provide transparency in asbestos litigation by requiring plaintiffs to file bankruptcy claims at the beginning of the tort process, and disclose those claims and payments during the litigation. In addition, should a defendant believe other trusts may be available to a plaintiff, it may move to stay a case on that basis. Similar legislation has been enacted in Texas, Ohio, Tennessee, Utah, West

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  • Editor

  • CANDICE C. KUSMER

    Candice Kusmer enjoys working with several of Kurowski Shultz’s major clients, oversees the firm’s asbestos docket in Central Illinois and handles high-level matters in Madison County. An accomplished writer, she has a passion for writing and leads the firm’s Appellate Practice.

  • Contributors

  • LINDSAY A. DIBLER

    Mr. Dibler has been with Kurowski Shultz since 2002 and is responsible for the firm's substantial St. Louis City and Cook County (Chicago) asbestos dockets. He is one of few defense counsel who have taken verdicts in the challenging defense environment of St. Louis City.

  • JUSTIN A. REINHARDT

    Justin Reinhardt joined Kurowski Shultz in July 2015. He concentrates his practice in complex civil litigation and toxic tort defense. He is licensed to practice law in the state of Missouri. He is a member of the Missouri Bar, the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the American Bar Association.

  • KYLER H. STEVENS

    Kyler Stevens has been with Kurowski Shultz since October 2012 and has focused his practice on complex civil litigation, protecting the interests of large and small businesses alike. Mr. Stevens is also active in the defense of schools and municipal corporations in various civil matters.

  • Alexander J. Baker

    Alexander J. Baker joined Kurowski Shultz in 2012. His practice area concentrates on complex civil litigation including the defense of toxic tort and personal injury lawsuits. Mr. Baker also recently tried to verdict a Southern District of Illinois pro bono case regarding First Amendment rights and violations of the Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection under the US Constitution. He is an active member of the St. Clair County and the Illinois State Bar Association.

  • Joshua N. Severit

    Joshua N. Severit, joined Kurowski Shultz in July 2016. Mr. Severit specializes in toxic tort and personal injury. He is a member of the Illinois State and Madison County Bar Associations and is licensed to practice law in Illinois.