Carolyn F. O'Connor Partner





  • Glyphosate Update

    DAC Beachcroft | Legalign Global

    June 5, 2019

  • Maryland Court Reconsiders a Company’s Duty to Warn of Asbestos-containing Replacement Parts It Did Not Manufacture or Otherwise Introduce into the Stream of Commerce

    Duty to Warn on Replacement Parts Containing Asbestos

    October 22, 2014

    A recent holding by Maryland’s Court of Special Appeals reaffirms the principle previously set forth by the same court that, despite the alleged foreseeability of harm from defective replacement parts that are made or manufactured by others, an entity generally is liable only for harm caused by products that it manufactured or otherwise introduced into the stream of commerce.

  • Pennsylvania Supreme Court Declares Portions of Marcellus Shale Act Unconstitutional, Upholds Local Regulation of Oil and Gas Operations

    Pennsylvania Restores Ability of Municipalities to Limit Drilling

    January 15, 2014

    In a recent decision, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court confirmed municipalities’ constitutional right to limit gas drilling activities through local zoning rules and imposed a more structured state decision-making process to grant waivers from setbacks required for certain bodies of water.

  • California Court of Appeal Holds Intermediary’s Sophistication Not Sufficient, as a Matter of Law, to Avoid Supplier’s Liability for Injury to Product User

    “Intermediary’s Sophistication” versus Supplier’s Liability

    November 7, 2013

    While a recent decision by the California Court of Appeal is unfavorable to defendants, it does not completely close the door to the viability of the “sophisticated intermediary” defense. The Court says it is not enough for a supplier defendant to simply show the plaintiff was an employee of a sophisticated intermediary to avoid liability. The supplier must also show it had sufficient reason to believe the ultimate user knew or should have known of the hazards.

  • Maryland Court of Appeals Upholds the Frye-Reed “General Acceptance” Test for Admissibility of Expert Testimony

    MD Court Upholds Frye-Reed Test for Admissibility

    October 23, 2013

    Maryland Court of Appeals Upholds the Frye-Reed “General Acceptance” Test for Admissibility of Expert Testimony

    Trial courts could view the recent decision by the Maryland Court of Appeals as a convincing directive to deny admission of an expert’s testimony based on the mere existence of scientific or medical literature stating an opposing proposition, especially when the expert is the author of that literature. This finding will be particularly relevant in cases where parties seek to introduce expert opinions regarding novel or experimental procedures and techniques.

  • Six-Year Statute of Limitations Applies to Spill Act Contribution Claim

    Statute of Limitations on Spill Act Contribution Claim

    September 23, 2013

    In a recent decision, the New Jersey Appellate Division held that the general six-year statute of limitations for property damage applies to a private claim for contribution under the Spill Compensation and Control Act.

  • Supreme Court Rejects Case from First Circuit on Junk Science

    February 9, 2012

    The U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a First Circuit Court of Appeals decision that seems at odds with the high court’s decision in Daubert, which required trial courts to serve as the gatekeepers of scientific expert testimony by assessing the reliability of such testimony before admitting it.
  • $7.5 million verdict upheld in 'dual persona' asbestos exposure suit

    September 2010

    On August 20, 2010, the New Jersey Appellate Division affirmed a multimillion-dollar take-home asbestos verdict against Exxon Mobil in its role as a premises owner in the case Anderson v. A.J. Friedman, 2010 N.J. Super. LEXIS 173 (App Div). The plaintiff, who worked at one of Exxon's facilities in New Jersey, had sued the company, claiming she developed the lung disease mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos. There was evidence available that the plaintiff experienced dual, but separate, exposures to asbestos – as an employee of Exxon and/or as a spouse who laundered the work clothes of her husband, who also worked at Exxon.

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