Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Lago Agrio Plaintiffs: Ruling Should Be Reversed, Chevron Cannot Show Misconduct

NEW YORK - The attorney and the law firm representing Ecuadorian plaintiffs who sued Chevron Corp. alleging environmental contamination filed a brief in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 2, contending that the judgment of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York that...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Appeals Court Upholds EPA's Decision To Add Site To Superfund List

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 8 denied CTS Corp.'s petition challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's decision in 2011 to add a site in Asheville, N.C. that was formerly owned by a subsidiary of the company to the National Priorities...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - California Court Reinstates Case Featuring Belated Admission Of Work At Site

LOS ANGELES - A plaintiff responded with more than mere "boilerplate" allegations of asbestos exposure after a company's belated concession that it performed work at a job site, a California appeals court held July 8 in reinstating the claims (Rose Marie Ganoe, etc., et al. v. Metalclad...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - N.Y. Justice Criticizes Defendant's Discovery Efforts But Denies Sanctions

NEW YORK - An asbestos defendant's request for more time to review discovery is moot and baseless in light of its own failures, while plaintiffs' request for sanctions is unwarranted as both parties violated discovery orders, a New York justice held in an opinion posted July 8 (In re: New York...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - California Top Court Rejects Case Involving Michigan Punitive Damages Ban

SAN FRANCISCO - The California Supreme Court on July 9 declined a petition challenging an appeals court's conclusion that Michigan's ban on punitive damages did not apply in a California asbestos action, according to its docket (Patrick Scott, et al. v. Ford Motor Co., No. S218322, Calif. Sup...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Federal Judge Vacates Pollution Board's Denial Of Limited Liability Request

CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on July 9 vacated the National Pollution Funds Center's (NPFC) ruling denying a request submitted by two insurance companies, its subrogees and assignees for limited liability stemming from an oil spill that occurred in Chicago Ship and Sanitary Canal in 2005...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 2nd Circuit: 211 World Trade Center Plaintiffs' Claims Wrongly Dismissed

NEW YORK - A panel of the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 10 partially vacated and partially affirmed a District Court ruling, concluding that the lower court erred when it dismissed the claims of 211 plaintiffs who alleged that they had been injured as a result of exposure to chemicals...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - MDL Judge Allows Punitives In Maritime Asbestos Cases Alleging Unseaworthiness

PHILADELPHIA - Punitive damages are available under maritime asbestos law to seaman alleging injury from a vessel's unseaworthiness but not for survival actions, the federal judge overseeing the maritime asbestos multidistrict litigation held July 9 (In re: Asbestos Products Liability Litigation...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 4th Circuit: Coal Company Cannot Use 'Permit Shield' Defense In Pollution Suit

RICHMOND, Va. - A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 11 affirmed a ruling awarding summary judgment to three environmental groups accusing a coal company of violating the Clean Water Act (CWA) for its discharges of selenium, ruling that the company could not invoke the permit shield because...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Texas' Top Court Extends Its Causation Standard To Mesothelioma Cases

DALLAS - A divided Texas Supreme Court on July 11 rejected the "any exposure" standard in mesothelioma, saying such cases also require evidence that exposure to defendant's product was a substantial factor in his disease. However, the court said plaintiffs alleging multiple exposures to...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Excludes Expert's 'Every Exposure' Testimony Under Daubert

NEW ORLEANS - Plaintiffs' "every exposure" testimony does not satisfy Daubert standards or comply with Louisiana's substantial factor test, a federal judge held July 14 (Tina Davidson, et al. v. Georgia Pacific LLC, et al., No. 12-1463, W.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1107).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Terms Of Agreement Among Responsible Parties For Are Not Indefinite

ATLANTA - A federal judge in Georgia on July 10 awarded summary judgment to an unincorporated coalition of potentially responsible parties for contamination at a Superfund site in Atlanta on its breach of contract claim against a former member of the association, finding that an agreement between the...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Appeals Court Upholds Verdict In Wrongful Death Case

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A trial court did not abuse its discretion in limiting cross-examination by two tobacco companies in a wrongful death action that resulted in a $5.5 million award, the First District Florida Court of Appeal ruled July 14 (Philip Morris USA Inc., et al. v. Nan Kathryn Buchanan, et...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New York Justice Orders In Camera Review Of Trust Subpoena Results

NEW YORK - Evidence produced through a subpoena served on the Johns-Manville Trust seeking additional information in an asbestos case where the record contains no evidence of exposure from the company will be reviewed in camera, a New York justice held an opinion released July 15 (In re: New York City...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Coverage Properly Denied In Oil Well Blowout Contamination Case

WICHITA FALLS, Texas - A federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas on July 14 ruled that an insurer properly denied coverage for damages and contamination related to an oil well blowout that occurred when a wellhead ruptured during a hydraulic fracturing operation (Eagle...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Wash. Appeals Court Upholds $1.5M Judgment Against Coin Maker Over Contamination

SEATTLE - A Washington appeals panel on July 14 upheld a trial court judge's decision that a commemorative coin maker should pay $1.5 million in costs and attorney fees to its former landlord because it breached the terms of its lease by handling and storing hazardous chemicals that required the...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Wisconsin Court Orders Judge To Admit, Consider Over-Length Briefs

MILWAUKEE - Asbestos plaintiffs' filing of briefs exceeding local length guidelines was an apparent attempt at helping a judge and do not demonstrate the type of "egregious" or "bad faith" conduct required to disregard them, a Wisconsin appeals court held July 15 (Estate of George...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Jury Awards Smoker's Family $16.8M In Engle Case

PENSACOLA, Fla. - A Florida state court jury July 17 awarded $16.8 million to the family of a man who alleged that his death from lung cancer was caused by smoking (Cynthia Robinson, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 2008-CA-98, Fla. 1st Cir. Court, Escambia Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Dismisses Contamination Claims Against Baltimore, Casino Developer

BALTIMORE - A federal judge in Maryland on July 16 dismissed claims brought by a group of residents claiming that the city and mayor of Baltimore and the developers of the Horseshoe Casino violated the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), finding that the plaintiffs failed to sate claims under...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Bare-Metal Defense Bars Insulation, Gasket, Packing Claims, Georgia Judge Says

SAVANNAH, Ga. - The bare-metal defense bars liability for claims of asbestos exposure arising from insulation, gaskets or packing used on Crane Co. valves, a Georgia judge held July 21 (Betty Jo Reed, et al. v. American Steel and Wire Corp., et al., No. CV10-1540-KA, Ga. Super., Chatham Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Indiana Court Affirms Damages Award For Failure To Disclose Mold

INDIANAPOLIS - After finding that a landlord's failure to disclose mold problems was fraudulent and malicious, an Indiana appeals court on July 21 affirmed an award of punitive damages for tenants but reversed a decision to award them certain compensatory damages (Hi-Tec Properties LLC v. Brittany...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Finds Coal Company's Discharges Violated Clean Water Act

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A federal judge in West Virginia on July 22 found that Alex Energy Inc. was liable for violating the Clean Water Act (CWA) and Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA), ruling that three environmental groups provided sufficient evidence to show that discharges from the company's...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Washington Court Finds Testimony Sufficiently Establishes Asbestos Exposure

TACOMA, Wash. - Plaintiff and co-worker testimony regarding work with asbestos-containing insulation and other testimony establishing a defendant as an "extensive" supplier of those products to the jobsite creates genuine issues overcoming summary judgment, a Washington appeals court held July...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Maryland High Court Rejects Apportionment In Asbestos Lung Cancer Death Case

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - An asbestos-related lung cancer death is an indivisible injury not subject to apportionment, Maryland's top court held July 21 in a divided opinion affirming more than $4 million in verdicts (The Wallace & Gale Asbestos Settlement Trust v. Sonia Carter, et al., No. 84, September...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Finds New Jersey Adopted 'Bare Metal' Defense In Recent Ruling

NEWARK, N.J. - New Jersey does not impose liability for third-party asbestos-containing gaskets, packing or insulation applied to a manufacturers' pump, a New Jersey federal judge held July 23 in citing a state appeals court's April decision (William J. Robinson and Gail A. Robinson v. Air &...