In 2012, Philadelphia was listed first on the list of Judicial Hellholes published by the American Tort Reform Foundation. In 2013, Philadelphia fell off the list of Top Five, but was included as a jurisdiction to watch. However, recent verdicts in Philadelphia may cause the ATRF to reconsider whether Philadelphia is such a hostile jurisdiction for defendants in asbestos cases.
In November 2013, two asbestos cases were tried to verdict in the Common Pleas Court of Philadelphia. Both involved claimants who were diagnosed with mesothelioma, and both involved claimants who alleged firsthand exposure to asbestos. The juries in both cases found for the defense. Both verdicts were returned on November 22, 2013.
In Bancroft v. Dana Companies, LLC, the claimant was deceased and claimed exposure to asbestos when he worked as an automotive mechanic. There were seven entities listed on the verdict sheet and the jury found that none was responsible for causing the claimant’s mesothelioma. The trial was presided over by the Honorable Ramy I. Djerassi.
In Charles Lutz v. Cooper Industries LLC, the claimant was living and testified in court that he was exposed to asbestos when he worked as an electrician. There were ten entities listed on the verdict sheet and the jury found that none was responsible for causing the claimant’s mesothelioma. The trial was presided over by the Honorable William J. Manfredi.