Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Asbestos Fraud Defendants Want N.J. Court To Weigh In On Litigation Privilege

NEWARK, N.J. - A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel should grant rehearing in a case alleging fraud in asbestos-tainted talc litigation so that the New Jersey Supreme Court can weigh in on the scope of the state's litigation privilege, two defendants argue in a pair of Oct. 1 briefs (Kimberlee...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Allows Site Remediation Group To Voluntarily Dismiss CERCLA Claims

ATLANTA - A federal judge in Georgia on Oct. 1 granted a plaintiff group's motion to voluntarily dismiss its claims for cost recovery and contribution under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act because it was previously awarded partial summary judgment on its...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Refuses To Alter Findings On Defendant's Nonparty Defense

INDIANAPOLIS - A federal judge in Indiana on Sept. 30 denied a defendant company's motion to amend his July 16 findings of fact regarding the company's liability for soil and groundwater contamination caused by the use of perchloroethylene (PCE), holding that the defendant did not provide sufficient...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 8th Circuit: Fracking Verdict For Vibration Damages Stands; Jury Not 'Tainted'

ST. LOUIS - A panel of the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 3 affirmed a district court's decision denying a hydraulic fracturing company a new trial, finding that the verdict was not tainted by juror misconduct with regard to its discussion about the relationship of fracking and earthquakes...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Dismisses Nebraska's Suit Over Proposed Greenhouse Gas Standards

LINCOLN, Neb. - A federal judge in Nebraska on Oct. 6 dismissed a lawsuit filed by the state challenging a proposed standard by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that would limit greenhouse gas emissions from newly built fossil-fuel-fired energy-generating stations, ruling that the lawsuit runs...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Supreme Court Rejects Expert-Witness Asbestos Case

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 6 declined a petition seeking review of a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling, finding that a judge failed to perform his expert-witness gatekeeping function in an asbestos case that resulted in a $10.2 million verdict (Henry and Geraldine Barabin...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 11th Circuit Reverses And Remands, Finds Homeowners' Water Contamination Case Valid

ATLANTA - A panel of the 11th Circuit U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Oct. 6 reversed and remanded a lawsuit brought by homeowners who contended that their drinking water was contaminated by a corporation that operated an aircraft and rocket engine manufacturing facility, concluding that under Florida...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Maryland Appeals Court Finds No Liability For Replacement Parts

BALTIMORE - Three pump manufacturers cannot be held liable under either strict liability or negligence theories for asbestos-containing replacement gaskets they did not manufacture or supply, a Maryland appeals court held Oct. 3 (Philip Royce May, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., etc., et al...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - California Court: Asbestos MDL Judge Misapplied Sophisticated User Doctrine

SAN FRANCISCO - A 2011 opinion by the federal asbestos multidistrict judge does not bar a similar action against Crane Co. in state court because the judge improperly considered the Navy's knowledge in applying the sophisticated user doctrine, a California appeals court held Oct. 8 (Kimbra Gottschall...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Business Group: 2nd Circuit 'Must Punish' Fraud On Court In Lago Agrio Litigation

NEW YORK - The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 8 filed an amicus brief in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals contending that it "must punish" the "massive fraud" committed by the attorney who won a $18.5 billion judgment for Ecuadorian nationals against Chevron Corp. related...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Federal Judge Finds No Evidence Of Government's Control Over Asbestos Warnings

NEWARK, N.J. - While the evidence suggests that the government maintained tight control over the design and manufacturing of an aircraft, it does not suggest control over asbestos-related warnings, a New Jersey federal judge held Oct. 9 (Mary Sue Papp, et al. v. Fore-Kast Sales Company Inc., et al.,...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Top Court Rejects Petition Warning Of 'Unlimited' Federal Officer Removal

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 14 declined to review an asbestos case challenging denial of a remand order, leaving in place a ruling plaintiffs warned could result in "unlimited" federal officer removal (Douglas P. Leite and Mary Ann K. Leite v. Crane Co., et al., No. 14...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 11th Circuit Rules Federal Law Does Not Preempt State Statutes Of Repose

ATLANTA - A panel of the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 14 remanded a case to North Carolina federal court, concluding that federal law does not preempt statutes of repose and determining that North Carolina's statute does not contain an exception for latent diseases (Erica Y. Bryant...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - High Court Denies Parishes' Request To Review Ruling Finding Claims Preempted

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 20 denied a petition filed by numerous parishes in Louisiana seeking review of a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling affirming the denial of their motion to remand and holding that their claims stemming from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Pneumo Abex Urges California Top Court To Reject Take-Home Liability

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - For legal and public policy reasons, California should side with the majority of other states and reject liability for take-home asbestos exposures, Pneumo Abex LLC told the California Supreme Court on Oct. 17 (Johnny Blaine Kesner v. Superior Court of California for the County of...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - California Court Affirms Reduced Compensatory Award, $18 Million In Punitives

LOS ANGELES - A divided California appeals court on Oct. 22 affirmed $18 million in punitive damages against Union Carbide Corp. in an asbestos case and said the plaintiffs' expert testimony went beyond the "every exposure" theory (Bobbie Izell and Helen Izell v Union Carbide Corp., et...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Federal Appeals Court: Groups Lack Standing To Challenge New Ethanol Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A panel of the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 21 ruled that two industry groups lack standing to challenge a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule concerning the sale of gasoline containing between 10 and 15 percent ethanol (E15) (Alliance of Automobile...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Lago Agrio Plaintiffs Seek International Criminal Court Investigation Of Chevron

THE HAGUE, Netherlands - The Ecuadorian residents who contend that Chevron Corp. is avoiding paying them the $18.5 billion judgment they are owed for personal injuries caused by the company's oil operations in the Lago Agrio region of Ecuador on Oct. 23 sent an official letter to the International...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Reissued Permits For Discharges Do Not Bar Groups' Claims, Judge Says

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection's (WVDEP) decision to reissue two permits to a coal company that include water quality standards for selenium discharges does not prevent three environmental groups from seeking declaratory relief, injunctive relief and...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - MARDOC Judge Finds General Jurisdiction Lacking In Virgin Islands Cases

PHILADELPHIA - The judge overseeing the federal maritime asbestos docket declined to exercise general jurisdiction over 18 ship owner asbestos defendants sued in the Virgin Islands, finding insufficient contacts with the forum and granting 32 motions to dismiss on Oct. 23 (Edward Cowart, et al. v. Various...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Dismisses Valve Claims, But Crane Co. Gasket Claims Survive

MIAMI - The bare metal defense bars liability for replacement parts used on valve makers' products, but a man has demonstrated sufficient evidence of potential asbestos exposure from Crane Co.'s Cranite gaskets, a federal judge in Florida held Oct. 19 (James A. Oneal and Linda Oneal v. Alfa Laval...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Rhode Island Judge Finds Turner & Newell Must Face Asbestos Actions

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Turner & Newell must face two asbestos suits because Federal-Mogul's bankruptcy discharges it only upon exhaustion of a U.K. insurance policy, a Rhode Island judge held Oct. 24 (Maureen Gallagher, et al. v. American Insulated Wire Corp., et al., No. PC11-5269, Constance Podedworny...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Justice: Valve Maker Can Be Liable For Salvager's Exposure To Third-Party Parts

NEW YORK - Testimony establishes that a company knew its valves would eventually be removed and scrapped, and it can held liable for third-party asbestos-containing parts based on its sale of such parts, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Oct. 28 (Bryan Hockler v. 3M Co., et al. [William Powell...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Jury Returns Defense Verdict For Whirlpool In Washer Class Action

CLEVELAND - Jurors in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio on Oct. 30 returned a defense verdict in favor of Whirlpool Corp., refusing claims by a class of purchasers of front-loading washing machines that allegedly develop mold (In re: Whirlpool Corp. Front-Loading Washer Products...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Allows Asbestos Expert Castleman, Limits Testimony To State Of The Art

CHICAGO - Expert Barry Castleman may testify regarding asbestos state of the art, but he may not opine about specific asbestos defendants' knowledge, a federal judge in Illinois judge affirmed Oct. 28. A judge previously rejected William Longo's testimony and videotaped demonstrations as an insufficient...