Asbestos litigation

March 2007
By Judge John Wittmayer, Multnomah County Circuit Court

For 12 or more years, asbestos exposure litigation in Multnomah County has been handled on a separate asbestos docket and has been subject to certain case management orders or general orders. Over the years these cases have been handled by Judges Robert P. Jones, Anna Brown, John Wittmayer, Henry Kantor and Jerome LaBarre.

Effective January 19, Presiding Judge Dale Koch has ordered that this separate docket will be phased out. All cases filed after October 1, 2006 will be processed by the court like any other civil case. The General Orders governing the management of those cases have been repealed. If the lawyers involved in newly filed asbestos cases agree that it is to their clients' advantage to use the pre-existing and now repealed General Orders, they may stipulate to do so. Absent such a stipulation, those case management procedures will not apply.

Cases filed before October 1, 2006 will continue to be managed by Judge LaBarre and will be subject to the General Orders that have existed for some time.