Asbestos Defense

Since 1979, attorneys at Brownson Norby have successfully represented clients in asbestos related matters throughout the United States. Our attorneys understand these unique claims and how best to defend them.

National Reputation in Asbestos Defense.  Brownson Norby attorneys have a national reputation as a leader in asbestos defense.

We represent defendants, both in the Midwest and throughout the United States, in asbestos personal injury and property damage litigation, as well as insurance coverage matters. We have extensive experience in handling, managing and trying asbestos cases in Minnesota, North Dakota and throughout the country.

Our experience includes work as National Coordinating Counsel for defendants in diverse industries comprising all major aspects of the products and exposures giving rise to asbestos bodily injury claims. As national, regional, and local state counsel, we have handled trials, settlements, and appeals, of numerous cases, including major consolidated cases ranging from dozens, to thousands, of individual claims, and the major class action cases containing hundreds, to tens of thousands, of individual claims.

Brownson Norby attorneys have managed and handled the funding of expense and settlement of asbestos bodily injury cases over a period of many years for a diverse group of defendants and major insurance companies.

We have been at the forefront of developing, analyzing, and presenting, scientific, technical, and medical developments pertaining to asbestos exposure and disease.

Firm members have handled or supervised asbestos personal injury and property damage lawsuits in 37 states, the District of Columbia, and Bermuda.

Members of our firm have served as:

  • Corporate National Counsel for a leading ceiling tile manufacturer in the asbestos personal injury, property damage, and other toxic tort litigation.
  • National Coordinating Counsel for an asbestos-containing gasket manufacturer and distributor in asbestos personal injury litigation, supervising the defense of over 110,000 asbestos personal injury cases, successfully resolving over 70,000 cases.
  • National Coordinating Counsel for a group of former asbestos fireproofing manufacturers in asbestos personal injury and property damage litigation supervising the defense of over 60,000 asbestos personal injury actions and 30 major asbestos property damage cases.
  • National Coordinating Counsel and regional counsel for manufacturers and distributors of asbestos products.
  • Lead counsel for manufacturers and distributors in personal injury and wrongful death asbestos liability claims.
  • Counsel in litigation ancillary to asbestos practice, representing landowners in legal malpractice cases against their former attorneys who mishandled asbestos-related legal matters.

Asbestos Literature Database.  Brownson Norby, PLLC has assembled and maintains a proprietary collection of medical, scientific, and regulatory literature spanning the time period from 1907 to 2001. It is designed to support the state of art defense in asbestos litigation. Unlike other asbestos literature libraries, the firm has assembled a large amount of obscure, and otherwise publicly unavailable, materials which more fully complete the historical story of the state of the art from the perspective of manufacturers and sellers of asbestos-containing products.  This exclusive attorney work product contains over 3,000 publications and reports.

Asbestos Bankruptcy Management and Consulting.  Brownson Norby has substantial experience advising defendants in asbestos litigation about options and multiple strategies to resolve such litigation. For companies facing asbestos liabilities through the creation of Section 524 asbestos settlement trusts, one strategy involves using the specific provision of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code applicable to Chapter 11 cases. Our lawyers consult with companies before, during, and after the bankruptcy process.

  • As part of his duties as Trustee of the API, Inc. Asbestos Settlement Trust, Bob Brownson has supervised, or handled, and resolved, all insurance coverage litigation by the Trust to recover insurance assets for the Trust. In addition, Bob has consulted with defendants in asbestos litigation concerning their options, and the pros and cons, of utilizing the Bankruptcy Code to resolve asbestos liabilities. Bob has also advised insurers with respect to asbestos bankruptcy matters.
  • Kristi Brownson acts as National Litigation Counsel for the API, Inc. Asbestos Settlement Trust. In that capacity, she handles, or supervises all litigation by, and against, the Trust.
  • Tom Norby has advised several asbestos settlement trusts established pursuant to the United States Bankruptcy Code, with respect to claims matters and historical liability. He has created and maintains a unique asbestos bankruptcy database with over 200,000 site records from around the country. With this database, defendants in asbestos litigation nationwide are able to access information with respect to asbestos exposures resulting from bankrupt entities.

Representative Cases:

Asbestos Personal Injury and Property Damage

  • State of Maryland v. Keene, et al., Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County, Maryland, No. 1108600.
  • City of Kansas City v. W. R. Grace, et al., Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri, Case No. VA 86-019615 Civil Docket B.
  • In Re: State of West Virginia Public Building Asbestos Litigation, Circuit Court of Monongalia County, West Virginia, Civil Action No. 86-C-458.
  • City of Wichita, Kansas, a Municipal Corporation v. United States Mineral Products Company, a New Jersey Corporation; and Asbestospray Corporation, a New York Corporation, U.S.D.C., D. Kansas, Case No. 89-1331.
  • Board of Education for the School District of the City of Detroit v. Celotex, et al., Circuit Court of Wayne County, Michigan, No. 84-429634-ND
  • Board of Education of the City of Chicago, et al. v. ACandS, et al.; Evanston Community Consolidated School District No. 65 v. ACandS, et al,; Board of Education of High School District No. 211 v. ACandS, et al., Cook County Illinois, Circuit Court, No. 92 L 9933; No. 92 L 99332; No. 92 L 9927.
  • Mike Moore, Attorney General ex rel, State of Mississippi v. Flintkote, et al., Jackson County, Mississippi, Circuit Court, No. 89-5138 (2).
  • Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Owns-Corning Fiberglas, et al., Suffolk County, Massachusetts, Superior Court, C.A. No. 90-3791-A

Major Class Actions, Federal Court Multidistrict Litigation and Consolidated Personal Injury Trials in Asbestos Litigation

  • In Re: Asbestos Products Liability Litigation (No. VI), Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, MDL Docket No. 875.
  • In Re: Asbestos School Litigation, U.S.D.C., E.D. Pa., Master File No: 83-0268, (National class action for removal of asbestos from public and private school buildings).
  • Central Wesleyan College, on behalf of itself and all others similarly situated v. Asbestospray Corporation, et al., U.S.D.C., D. South Carolina, Civ. No. 2: 87-1860-B, (National class action for removal of asbestos from public and private college and university buildings).
  • Prince George Center, Inc., et al. v. United States Gypsum Company, et al., Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, Court of Common Pleas, First Judicial District, Civil Trial Division, May Term, 1986, No. 5388. (National class action for asbestos removal from all buildings owned by private owners leased to the federal government.)
  • Carol Fletcher, et al., on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated v. Brooke Group, Ltd., et al., Mobile County, Alabama, Circuit Court, Civil Action No. CV97-913. (Employers’ asbestos-related recoupment subclass co-counsel, national class action for all claimants for damages from smoking Liggett cigarettes).
  • Consolidated New York Powerhouse Asbestos Personal Injury Litigation, New York County, New York, Supreme Court.
  • Abate II Consolidated Asbestos Personal Injury Cases, Baltimore City , Maryland, Circuit Court (approx. 1500 plaintiff consolidated trial).
  • Monongalia Mass II, Monongalia Mass III Consolidated Asbestos Personal Injury Cases, Monongalia County, West Virginia, Circuit Court (two separate consolidated cases each involving several hundred plaintiffs).
  • In Re: Asbestos Cases III Consolidated Asbestos Personal Injury Cases, Kanawha County, West Virginia, Circuit Court (consolidated trial involving several hundred plaintiffs).
  • Conwed Corp. v. Union Carbide Corp., U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota Civ. No. 92-0088 (DDA/RLE)(subrogation case involving several hundred former workers occupationally exposed to asbestos at a northern Minnesota mill manufacturing ceiling tile).
  • Wood Conversion Company v. Allstate Insurance Company, St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Company, First State Insurance Company, United States Fire Insurance Company, and Westchester Insurance Company, Ramsey County, Minnesota, District Court, No. 62-CV-09-2420.



Presentations and Publications


Brownson Norby Launches Insight Reports, a Free, Searchable Database of Asbestos Trusts

Recently, the issue of transparency of Court-approved Asbestos Bankruptcy Trusts, and their payments, has reached new heights. Scrutiny has come from the United States Department of Justice, numerous state legislatures, and Judges handling active asbestos litigation dockets around the country. In response, Brownson Norby, PLLC is pleased to announce the launch of its new InSight Reports® Database. The database allows Continue Reading

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Brownson • Norby, PLLC Attorneys Present on Personal Jurisdiction

On Thursday, February 22, 2018, attorneys Kristi Brownson and Lindsey Streicher presented a CLE on personal jurisdiction issues following the recent Supreme Court decision in Bristol-Myers. (See MDLA Presentation Overview.) The discussion ranged from addressing the fundamentals of personal jurisdiction analysis to identifying areas of concern for attorneys (e.g. misapplication of the analysis, courts ignoring the Supreme Court decision, etc.) While personal Continue Reading

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Brownson Norby, PLLC is pleased to announce that attorneys Kristi K. Brownson and Robert D. Brownson, along with co-counsel, won an important ruling from the United States District Court in Minnesota when Brownson Norby client Conwed Corporation was dismissed from an asbestos lawsuit for lack of personal jurisdiction in Minnesota. Relying upon recent United States Supreme Court decisions restricting where corporations may Continue Reading

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Malignant Mesothelioma Mortality on the Rise in U.S. 1999-2015

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now reports that the number of annual malignant mesothelioma deaths increased in the United States between 1999 and 2015 (find the CDC report here). The past projection indicated that the number of mesothelioma deaths was expected to increase to 3,060 annually by 2001 to 2005. Following 2005, the number of mortalities was Continue Reading

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Kristi K. Brownson Obtains Summary Judgment in North Dakota Asbestos Cases

Brownson Norby, PLLC is pleased to announce that Kristi K. Brownson has obtained Orders from the Cass County, North Dakota, District Court granting summary judgment dismissing Brownson Norby, PLLC clients as Defendants in a series of asbestos personal injury cases. Separate Orders were entered on June 4, 2014 by Judge Steven L. Marquart dismissing claims on the following bases; Market Share, Continue Reading

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