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October 2018 Archives

Mass Torts v. Class Actions

One thing attorneys are educated on in law school is that the language of the law is something unique unto itself. consider the terms "mass tort" and "class action."

Part II: Unraveling a sky-high construction defect dispute

Regular readers of our blog know that we recently discussed some of the ongoing problems with San Francisco's Millennium Tower. Two of the biggest problems: the 58-story residential scraper has sunk 17 inches in the past decade and the building is leaning 14 inches to the northwest.

Part I: Unraveling a sky-high construction defect dispute

There is no doubt that the Millennium Tower is sinking and tilting. What is in doubt is who is responsible for the construction defect plaguing San Francisco's blue-gray skyscraper. Since the primarily residential 58-story Millennium opened nearly a decade ago, it has sunk 17 inches and is leaning 14 inches to the northwest.

Quisenberry v. Huntington Ingalls Incorporated - Virginia Supreme Court Recognizes a Duty for an Employer to Family Members of Employees in Take Home Asbestos Exposure Cases

In Quisenberry v. Huntington Ingalls Inc., the Virginia Supreme Court answered certified questions of law from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, and, in doing so, found that there is a legal duty in Virginia, imposed upon employers, owed to family members of its employees in take-home asbestos exposure cases.  The decision was a split decision with four Justices voting with the majority, and three Justices dissenting.  The majority found the existence of a duty despite acknowledging that the employer and the family member of the employee were, "generally speaking, strangers under the law."

Air & Liquid Systems v. DeVries: U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument on Bare Metal Defense Under Maritime Law

As the ultimate authority on general maritime law, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument today on a matter involving basic tort principles most often evaluated at the state court level. In Air & Liquid Systems v. DeVries, the parties presented argument on whether a manufacturer may be liable for injuries caused by a product manufactured by a third-party. The petitioners are comprised of pump, turbine, and boiler manufacturers whose equipment was installed for use on Navy ships. The respondents are the widows of Navy sailors who are alleged to have developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos onboard Navy ships. Given the injuries occurred at sea and outside any specific state, maritime law was applied. 

Virginia Supreme Court Imposes Only Limited Duties on Owners for Short-Term Premises Rentals; Holds No Duty to Maintain a Safe Condition Applies to Areas Within the Renters' Control

In an era of homeowners more frequently renting out their homes for short-term vacationers, the question of how to categorize the relationship between the homeowner and the renter has arisen. The Virginia Supreme Court recently evaluated that issue in Haynes-Garrett v. Dunn, No. 171055, 2018 Va. LEXIS 131 (Oct. 4, 2018), and held that, based on the facts it was presented, the homeowners only owed a duty of care that a landlord owes a tenant, thus finding that the homeowners had "no duty to maintain in a safe condition any part of the leased premises" under the renters' "exclusive control."  Had the Court found that the homeowners owed an innkeeper-guest duty of care, the "responsibility for the premises is primarily on the innkeeper, and the guests may generally assume they are safe."  

"Special Inactive Bankruptcy Docket" Established In Baltimore for Asbestos Cases in Which Only Bankrupt Defendants Remain

Litigation over personal injuries and wrongful death claims alleged to have been attributable to asbestos exposure has endured over the past forty years. Millions of dollars have been paid out to plaintiffs, leading many companies with significant liabilities to file for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy trusts have thus been established for claimants to seek recovery from these entities. The question of how to handle lawsuits in which all remaining defendants are bankrupt has been recently addressed in Maryland. 

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MacDonald Law Group, LLC

MacDonald Law Group, LLC
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