***FOR PRINT*** Philly court boots asbestos claim from Texas

By John O'Brien | Mar 7, 2012


PHILADELPHIA (Legal Newsline) - A Texas couple won't be allowed to file its asbestos lawsuit in Philadelphia.

Deborah Gibson and her current husband Lark filed suit over her mesothelioma in September in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas. The lawsuit was dismissed two months later.

The Gibsons appealed, alleging the court did not take into consideration that several defendants marketed asbestos in Philadelphia and failed to follow case law favoring their choice of forum.

"(T)he (Pennsylania) Supreme Court (has) held the most compelling public interest factor faving dismissal is the enormous burden we already face in mass tort litigation," Judge Sandra Mazer Moss wrote Feb. 10.

"This burden is largely the result, it explained, of out-of-state plaintiffs who chose to file in Philadelphia."

Moss is the coordinating judge of the court's Complex Litigation Center, which groups mass tort claims and puts them on trial schedule. Philadelphia has been named the No. 1 Judicial Hellhole by the American Tort Reform Foundation two years in a row.

ATRF says Moss and another judge wanted to make the city attractive to plaintiffs attorneys for the purpose of boosting revenue.

Moss noted that the plaintiffs can still file their claim in their home state. Gibson says she was exposed to asbestos from washing her father's, ex-husband's and current husband's clothing.

All alleged exposure took place in Texas. All witnesses who would testify at trial are located in Texas.

B.F. Goodrich's motion to dismiss was granted on Nov. 16.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at jobrienwv@gmail.com.

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