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Allegheny County “Backlog” Asbestos Cases

Update April 14, 2010

PART ONE: GROUPS #1 THROUGH #32

1,759 cases were placed on Backlog lists between March of 2005 and January of 2009.
Each case was at least three years old when it was placed on a list; all of the cases had General
Docket numbers from GD 95 to GD 04. Backlog lists were designated Group #1 – Group #32.
The breakdown of statistics by plaintiffs’ law firms is as follows:

Caroselli Beachler:
258 cases were placed on lists
• 229 cases were closed by plaintiffs at some point in the process, often right after a pre-
trial conciliation or right before a trial
• 18 cases were closed when all of the Product-ID MSJs were granted by the Court
• 6 cases are still waiting to be closed but no longer require the Court’s attention; most will
be closed when the final settlement monies are collected
• 2 cases were placed on lists but should not have been for various reasons
• 1 case was closed by defendants
• 1 case was closed by Order of Court
• 1 case remains in limbo as plaintiff awaits a medical diagnosis

Goldberg Persky:
1,494 cases were placed on lists
• 1,041 cases were closed by plaintiffs at some point in the process, often right after a pre-
trial conciliation or right before a trial
• 285 cases were closed by defendants, often after plaintiffs failed to file required
information sheets
• 5 cases were closed when all of the Product-ID MSJs were granted by the Court
• 37 cases were closed when Lack of Impairment motions were granted by the Court
• 92 cases are still waiting to be closed but no longer require the Court’s attention; most
will be closed when the final settlement monies are collected
• 10 cases were placed on lists but should not have been for various reasons, including
already being removed to Federal Court or being miscoded as asbestos cases in the
Department of Court Records’s system
• 3 cases were closed when Statute of Limitations motions were granted by the Court
• 13 cases were moved from the Backlog Docket to the Expedited Docket and were
tried/resolved there
• 1 case became pro se in the middle of proceedings and was never closed
• 2 cases remain stayed pending the resolution of a Superior Court case
• 2 cases were continued to Backlog Group #33
• 3 cases were dismissed by the Court for various reasons

Savinis D’Amico & Kane:


7 cases were placed on lists
• 1 case was closed by the plaintiff shortly after the information sheet was filed
• 5 cases are still waiting to be closed and should be when the final settlement monies are
collected
• 1 case was closed when a Lack of Impairment motion was granted by the Court

PART TWO: GROUP #33

The court published Backlog Group #33 on January 1, 2009. He conciliated them in July of
2009 and scheduled remaining Summary Judgment motions in February of 2010.

Caroselli Beachler
2 cases were placed on the list. Both were settled during July conciliations but need to be
closed.

Goldberg Persky
22 cases were placed on the list original list, including one from Group #32. Later, a second
Group #32 case was added for an initial total of 23. Since the publication of that list:
• 3 cases were closed by either plaintiff or defendant when no information sheet was filed
• 2 cases were consolidated into one
• 1 case remains stayed pending the outcome of a Superior Court case
• 1 case should not have been listed because it was previously removed to Federal Court
• 17 cases remaind active and were conciliated in July of 2009
o 4 were completely settled in July of 2009
o 3 were completely settled and closed in October of 2009
o 10 went through the Summary Judgment process and eventually settled
o All 14 that were settled but not closed still need to be closed

Savinis D’Amico & Kane


2 cases were placed on the list.
• 1 case was settled during July conciliations but needs to be closed
• 1 case went through conciliations and Summary Judgment and is listed for trial in
September 2010

PART THREE: GROUP #34

The court published Backlog Group #34 on February 1, 2010. Judge Della Vecchia modified the
governing case management order so that these cases could be conciliated in October of 2010.
As of April 14, the following information holds true:

Caroselli Beachler
2 cases were placed on the list.
• 1 case was closed by plaintiff
• 1 case remains active

Goldberg Persky
11 cases were placed on the list.
• 1 case was stayed pending the outcome of a Superior Court case
• 1 case was closed by plaintiff
• 1 case was closed by defendant for failure of the plaintiff to file an information sheet
• 8 cases remain active

Savinis D’Amico & Kane


6 cases were placed on the list.
• 2 cases were consolidated into 1
• All remain active

**** Note: A case being “closed” means that the plaintiff filed a Praecipe to Settle and
Discontinue As to All Except Bankrupt Defendants, or that a defendant filed a Praecipe to
Dismiss in accordance with the Case Management Order. ****

The Court has not addressed cases that fall under the following categories. Statistics have not
been collected on these cases:
• Cases whose plaintiffs are represented by counsel other than the three firms listed above
• Cases whose plaintiffs are not represented by counsel at this time
• Asbestos/FELA cases from before 2003 (lists from the Department of Court Records did
not originally include them)