Articles & Publications

In the Wake of Garlock – More than A Quarter of U.S. States Have Adopted Asbestos Claims Transparency Legislation

Brandon  T. Glanz

Lehoan T. Pham

With Michigan’s 2018 adoption of its Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Claims Transparency Act, fourteen states now have asbestos claims transparency laws on the books. These laws ensure defendants are not kept in the dark when asbestos claimants seek recovery from asbestos bankruptcy trust funds. This stands in stark contrast to the landscape as of just three years ago, when only three states had such asbestos claims transparency laws on the books. Why the shift? In short, it can be attributed to “the Garlock effect.”

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General Data Protection Regulation: What U.S. Companies Should Know

Casey Suszynski

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) adopted by the European Parliament went into effect in May 2018.1 Why is this news to American companies? Because GDPR regulations may apply to American companies which collect personal data on European Union (“EU”) citizens or monitor the behavior of EU-based data subjects – even if the companies do not maintain a physical presence in the EU. Accordingly, U.S. companies that do not understand and comply with the GDPR may be vulnerable to civil penalties or legal action.

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Minnesota Asbestos Court’s Rulings on Reallocation, Expert Reliability Affirmed

John Wells

On May 21, 2018, the Minnesota Court of Appeals, in an unpublished decision, affirmed the rulings of the district court judge overseeing all asbestos litigation in Minnesota on various grounds.  The decision, Conda v. Honeywell International, Inc., arose out of a three-week trial in 2016 regarding the death of Ronald Conda, who passed away because of mesothelioma.  Plaintiff had argued that Mr. Conda was exposed to various asbestos-containing products through his work at Northern States Power (“NSP”) facilities and through non-occupational exposures to joint compound and automotive products.

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The Supreme Court Continues to Shrink States' Personal Jurisdiction Authority Over Non-Resident Defendants

In a pair of recent rulings, the Supreme Court continues to narrow a state's authority to hale non-resident defendants, such as foreign corporations, into their courts. One decision, BNSF Railway Co. v. Tyrrell et al., narrowed a state's general jurisdiction authority; the other, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California, San Francisco County et al., narrowed specific jurisdiction authority.

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