Litigation

December 5, 2017

Forman Watkins Wins Summary Judgment in Pennsylvania State Court

On November 27, 2017 Judge New granted summary judgment for two Forman Watkins clients in an asbestos exposure case filed in the Court of Common Pleas for Philadelphia County.  Our clients were two of the three remaining defendants when summary judgment was granted one week prior to the start of trial. Despite a seven-figure demand against each of our clients in a jurisdiction where summary judgment is seldom granted, the court dismissed all claims against our clients, with prejudice.  The court denied the motion for summary judgment of the third remaining defendant. Alison McMinn, Ruth Maron, Sam Kapoor and our Pennsylvania counsel successfully argued that the plaintiff provided no evidence of asbestos exposure from our clients’ products, highlighting the speculative nature of plaintiff’s testimony.

November 8, 2017

Abbott & Kitchens Win Early Defense Victory for National Power Tools Manufacturer

Charles Abbott and Byron Kitchens undertook representation of a national power tools manufacturer in July 2017 in claims arising out of a residential fire in Orleans Parish, Louisiana in which the homeowner’s insurer claimed losses of nearly $700,000.00, casting allegations of sole fault for the loss upon the power tool manufacturer, claiming its product was defective under the Louisiana Products Liability Act. Partnering with attorneys from Lightfoot, Franklin & White, our team quickly removed the lawsuit from the Civil District Court of Orleans Parish to the United States Eastern District of Louisiana.  Within two weeks of removal, the Plaintiff-Insurer transmitted a settlement offer. Assessing the evidence, or more particularly lack thereof, the defense counter-offer was simply an opportunity for the Plaintiff-Insurer to dismiss its case with prejudice.  A week later, the Plaintiff-Insurer accepted the “offer” and agreed to dismiss its case with prejudice.

October 23, 2017

Watkins & Arthur Win Contested Motion in Eastern District of Louisiana

Forman Watkins’ O-I Louisiana team recently won a contested motion in the Eastern District of Louisiana in the Joseph Savoie case. In 1991, Joseph Savoie filed an asbestosis lawsuit against O-I and other defendants. O-I settled his claim as part of group settlement, and Mr. Savoie and his wife executed an agreement releasing O-I from any cause of action arising out of Mr. Savoie’s asbestos-related injury, including mesothelioma, cancer, wrongful death, and survival claims. Seventeen years later, Mr. Savoie contracted mesothelioma. His wife and children sued O-I again, seeking survival and wrongful death damages. In response, O-I filed an Exception of Res Judicata, arguing for dismissal of the plaintiffs’ claims because the prior release explicitly compromised any prospective mesothelioma claims. A co-defendant removed the case to federal court, where O-I re-urged its state court exception. The plaintiffs opposed O-I’s motion, arguing that Mr. and Mrs. Savoie never intended to release any mesothelioma claims as evidenced by the small settlement sum they received. After reviewing the briefing, Judge Barbier found the prior release was valid and that Mr. Savoie’s mesothelioma claim existed when he executed the release because the prior settlement agreement expressly included mesothelioma and wrongful death claims. Further, Louisiana law provides that the actual settlement value a party receives is inconsequential if the settlement agreement includes a specific reference to the claim released. The Court granted O-I’s exception and dismissed all Mr. Savoie’s survival claims and Mrs. Savoie’s wrongful death claims. Forman Watkins attorneys Trey Watkins and Mimi Arthur […]

October 6, 2017

Forman Watkins Wins Summary Judgment in Louisiana Take-Home Asbestos Case

On October 4, 2017, Forman Watkins won summary judgment on behalf of a premises defendant in the 23rd Judicial Circuit Court for the Parish of St. James, Louisiana.  Plaintiffs in the case alleged that their decedent was exposed to asbestos on the clothing of her late husband, who worked at numerous industrial worksites, including the premises defendant represented by Forman Watkins.  Plaintiffs’ counsel issued a $650,000 settlement demand to our client. Our team completely defended the action for our client; taking all fact and expert witness depositions and preparing the motion for summary judgment.  Forman Watkins successfully persuaded the Court to grant its client’s motion during oral argument. The summary judgment briefing was prepared by Michael Abraham, and the motion was argued by Daniel Roberts.

August 21, 2017

Forman Watkins Attorneys Recognized in 2018 Edition of Best Lawyers

Forman Watkins & Krutz LLP is pleased to announce attorneys named to the 2018 Edition of Best Lawyers, the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. Best Lawyers has published their list for over three decades, earning the respect of the profession, the media, and the public as the most reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals. Lawyers on the Best Lawyers in America list are divided by geographic region and practice areas. They are reviewed by their peers on the basis of professional expertise, and undergo an authentication process to make sure they are in current practice and in good standing.

August 11, 2017

Gault and Banks Win Product Defect Case

On August 9, 2017, Forman Watkins’ Win Gault and Jake Banks obtained summary judgment in the matter of Charles Sly v. Road Systems, Inc. before the Honorable Henry T. Wingate of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi.  Plaintiff claimed that he suffered catastrophic injuries due to a design defect in a guard rail.

August 2, 2017

Malissa Wilson Joins the Firm as Partner

Forman Watkins & Krutz LLP is pleased to announce that Malissa Wilson joins the firm as a Partner in our Jackson, Mississippi office. Malissa is a proven litigator bringing over 15 years of diverse litigation experience. Prior to joining Forman Watkins, Malissa served as a Senior Assistant City Attorney for the City of Houston (Texas) followed by her role as in-house counsel for a national insurance company overseeing cases in Texas, Oklahoma and Mississippi. Malissa was also a senior associate with an area defense firm and a Special Assistant Attorney General for the Office of the Mississippi Attorney General. Malissa’s long litigation experience has given her an extensive trial resume including numerous cases involving labor and employment, premises liability, civil rights and personal injury matters.

July 17, 2017

Seventh Circuit Affirms Dismissal

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of one of the firm’s clients, ruling that the district court properly dismissed plaintiffs’ public and private nuisance claims. This ruling is a tremendous win for defendants who face claims by plaintiffs attempting to avoid a state’s workers’ compensation exclusivity provisions by pleading them as environmental claims.