The involvement of attorneys at DanaherLagnese, PC in asbestos litigation dates back to 1976, when Connecticut was one of the first jurisdictions in the country in which asbestos cases were filed. While the initial representation related to the defense of a manufacturer of thermal insulation containing asbestos, the firm has been retained over the succeeding years to represent a variety of defendants confronted with this litigation problem.
Since its initial engagement, the Firm has assumed varied roles, each of which has been dictated by the litigation strategy of its individual clients. The firm has:
- Served in both local and national capacities. In addition to representing clients in the State of Connecticut, the firm represents clients on a regional basis throughout New England. Historically, the firm has been national counsel to several former manufacturers of asbestos containing products and, in that capacity, has not only tried cases in other states but also managed litigation on behalf of these clients for the entire nation.
- Held the position of medical counsel for the Connecticut defense group with the responsibility for the medical work-up of all the cases for each defendant.
- Established a medical counsel program for the efficient management of common medical issues, developing a bank of medical experts to review cases and testify at trial.
- Been appointed National Coordinating Counsel for two major defendants in asbestos litigation managing a network of more than fifty firms, eventually reducing that number to five regional firms with five supporting firms. This approach reduced the defense budget by approximately 50% and reduced the indemnity dollars at the same time.
- Served as defense liaison counsel for all Connecticut state and federal court cases acting as the representative of the defense group. In that capacity, the firm was instrumental in the development of practices and procedures for the efficient and orderly handling of the litigation resulting in the creation and implementation of the Master Pretrial Order still used in Connecticut today.
The attorneys at DanaherLagnese, PC have tried many asbestos cases in numerous states and earned a reputation for trying complex, high profile cases of national importance. Examples of major case consolidations in which the firm's attorneys have either tried or managed include the Brooklyn Navy Yard consolidated asbestos trial [See In re Brooklyn Navy Yard Asbestos Litigation, 772 F. Supp. 1389 (E.D.N.Y. 1991 affirmed in part, reversed in part, 971 F. 2d831 (2d Cir., 1992)], several major case consolidations in Baltimore [See e.g. AC&S v. Godwin, 340 Md. 334 (Md. 1994)] and a major case consolidation in Texas [See Cimino v. Raymark, 151 F.3d297(5th Cir. 1998)]. The firm successfully tried the first building exposure personal injury case in the country. The firm has also tried three of the largest property damage cases in the litigation to date - each of these cases resulting in a favorable outcome for our clients. In addition, through aggresive pre-suit activities, the firm was able to successfully prevent a client from being named as a defendant in national property damage cases.
Building on its extensive experience in the handling of asbestos litigation, the firm has expanded into other areas of toxic tort litigation including lead paint, latex, formaldehyde, and tobacco. This work has included not only the traditional trial related issues of state of the art and medical causation but also the emergent concepts of the management of mass tort litigation , multi-district litigation proceedings, and new approaches to the problems presented by the multiple imposition of punitive damages for the same course of conduct. An area of toxic tort litigation in which the firm has had considerable experience is indoor air quality or "sick building syndrome" litigation involving such contaminants as mold, PCB’s, and asbestos fireproofing material. The firm has managed several multi-million dollar cases involving claims of this nature including cases involving the World Trade Center in New York, the Ruggles Center in Boston, and the State Transportation Department Building in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.