Kirk Hartley

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Interesting times ahead as Imerys filed a chapter 11 petition in an effort to try to manage the mesothelioma and ovarian cancer claims against it and other entities.  The petition and a related declaration list the top 30 plaintiff firms, which includes numerous plaintiff firms that are not “regulars” in chapter 11 asbestos cases, as well as some firms who are regulars. The list of “regulars” includes Motley Rice and the Simmons firm. The declaration…
It’s world cancer day, a reminder of the biggest global terrorist and driver of much litigation. The chart is from: Bray F, Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Siegel RL, Torre LA, Jemal A. Global cancer statistics 2018: GLOBOCAN estimates of incidence and mortality worldwide for 36 cancers in 185 countries. CA Cancer J Clin. 2018 Nov;68(6):394-424. doi: 10.3322/caac.21492.
Lawyers involved in mass tort litigation should be aware of this January 24, 2019 article (some would say puff piece) in Science regarding Dr. David Egilman, as well as some of quotes in it. The title is:  “Expert witness David Egilman wins billions—and makes enemies—as he fights companies over public health.” The author,  Douglas Starr,  is co-director of the Boston University Science Journalism Program.…
For those litigating drug cases, the NEJM just published an open access article with a broad set of data on medical marketing. It’s online here at NEJM.  The abstract is pasted below. _______________________________ “Key Points Question  How has the marketing of prescription drugs, disease awareness, health services, and laboratory tests in the United States changed from 1997 through 2016? Findings  From 1997 through 2016, medical marketing expanded substantially, and spending increased from $17.7 to $29.9 billion,…
January 14, 2019 articles around the web describe PG&E moving to file chapter 11 due to risks and potential liabilities. One of the articles, at the WSJ, describes PG&E equipment as playing a role in some 1,500 fires, some massive. As with numerous past filers of chapter 11, one of the key problems is failure to understand the magnitude of risk, and lack of financial resources sufficient to pay when the risks come to…
Depending on perspectives, the California Supreme Court is famous (or infamous) for its rulings and is nationally influential. Accordingly, its useful to keep an eye on changes. Most recently, Joshua Groban, age 45, was confirmed to the court.  He is a long time senior advisor to Governor Brown and was involved in the selection of over 600 judges for the state. His private practice career was at Munger Tolles and then Paul Weiss, as described
Amazing changes in the litigation industry include the real arrival of television covering trials, including plenty of “mass tort” cases. Thus, as we start out 2019, Courtroom View Network published its “top 10” list from 2018 as to plaintiff verdicts. Presumably a defense list will follow.…
My automated daily google search for “asbestos” recently pulled up a link to a 90 minute video, apparently from the Library of Congress. The landing page is: https://lccn.loc.gov/91790914/dc The page includes both the video, and the following information: “About this Item Title The story of asbestos–illustrating the mines and factories of the H.W. Johns-Manville Company Other Title Illustrating the mines and factories of the H.W. Johns-Manville Company Summary Shows the operation of asbestos mines (in…
An arbitration agreement may specify confidentiality, but does that term necessarily control and require sealing of subsequent proceedings in court? “No,” usually, is the answer according to a recent federal district court ruling in CAA Sports LLC v. Dogra, No. 4:18-cv-01887-SNLJ, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 214223 (E.D. Mo. Dec. 20, 2018).  The key portion of the ruling is quoted below. “But, in the context of arbitration, courts routinely reject arguments that arbitration awards and supporting documents…