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Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Auto, Brake Maker Urge Rejection Of Asbestos Experts' 'Every Exposure' Testimony

RALEIGH, N.C. - Regardless of the terms they couch it in, experts offer the incoherent, untestable and scientifically rejected opinion that every asbestos exposure substantially contributes to disease, an automaker and brake manufacturer told a North Carolina federal judge on May 8 (Graham Yates and...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Divided 5th Circuit Affirms In Part $2.7M Settlement Of Gulf Oil Spill Claims

NEW ORLEANS - A federal judge in Louisiana overseeing lawsuits stemming from the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and ensuing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico erred when not holding an evidentiary hearing to determine if a man fraudulently induced BP Exploration & Production Inc. into entering...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: 2 Halliburton Experts Must Produce Materials In Radioactive Waste Lawsuit

OKLAHOMA CITY - The federal judge in Oklahoma presiding over a lawsuit brought by residents who contend that they have been injured as a result of exposure to radioactive waste from a chemical plant operated by Halliburton Energy Services Inc. (HESI) on May 14 ruled that some of HESI's experts needed...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Limits Testimony Of Asbestos Historian, Excludes 'Every Exposure' Theory

MADISON, Wis. - Barry Castleman, though not an official historian, may testify regarding trade journals and government publications based on his knowledge about the history of asbestos, a federal judge in Wisconsin held May 14. The judge excluded "every exposure" testimony from trial, saying...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Justice: Plaintiff Must Retry Damages Award Or Accept Reduction To $6M From $20M

NEW YORK - A $20 million asbestos award exceeds what New York courts consider reasonable, meaning a widow must retry the damages phase of her action or stipulate to a $6 million award, a New York justice held May 15 in otherwise affirming the verdict (Charlene Hillyer, as executrix for the estate of...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New York Plaintiffs Cite 'Extreme Prejudice' In Opposing Asbestos Litigation Stay

NEW YORK - Defendants' request for a stay of asbestos litigation during formulation of a new case management order ignores their own hand in the current order and the "extreme prejudice" and harm plaintiffs and the court system face from a stay, asbestos plaintiffs told a New York justice...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Texas Governor Signs Law Preempting Local Fracking Regulations

AUSTIN, Texas - Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on May 18 signed a bill that preempts regulation of hydraulic fracturing at the city level, overriding the fracking ban that was passed last year in a referendum that was approved in the City of Denton.

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Overrules Government's Argument That NCR's Cleanup Costs Are Divisible

GREEN BAY, Wis. - A federal judge in Wisconsin on May 15 denied a motion filed by the federal government for additional findings of fact to support the idea that cleanup costs for contamination at a portion of the Lower Fox River caused by NCR Corp. are not divisible, ruling that the evidence presented...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 9th Circuit Upholds Man's Conviction For Violating Clean Water Act

SEATTLE - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 18 affirmed the conviction of a man found guilty of violating the Clean Water Act (CWA) when opening a release valve that discharged several thousand gallons of semi-treated wastewater into the Nisqually River within Mount Rainier National...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Seaman, Shipyard Settle Asbestos Case During Trial

SAN FRANCISCO - Parties to a suit alleging a man contracted mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos as a seaman settled May 18 during trial, sources told Mealey Publications. On May 8, the federal judge overseeing the case applied maritime law and found the substantial factor causation standard governed...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Pennsylvania Court Revives Jones Act Claims In Merchant Marine's Asbestos Action

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A trial court focused too intently on a decedent's testimony in finding insufficient evidence of exposure from two shipping companies in an asbestos action and applied the wrong causation standard for a Jones Act case, a Pennsylvania appeals panel held May 18 (Timothy Criswell,...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Finds Military Claims Put Power-Unit Company On Notice Of Removability

ST. LOUIS - Allegations that a woman suffered take-home asbestos exposures arising from her father's work with military equipment put a manufacturer on notice that it could remove the action, regardless of the source of other alleged exposures, a federal judge held May 12 in remanding the case (Shandi...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Marathon Petroleum To Pay $5.7M To Resolve Clean Air Act Violations

TOLEDO, Ohio - Marathon Petroleum Corp. on May 19 entered into a settlement agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency in which the company agreed to pay $5.7 million to resolve Clean Air Act (CAA) violations that included excessive emissions of air pollutants and failure to perform required...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Transocean Announces Settlements With BP, Plaintiffs Over Gulf Oil Spill

ZUG, Switzerland - Transocean Ltd. on May 20 announced that it has reached settlements with BP Exploration and Production Inc. and plaintiffs who allegedly suffered economic losses as a result of the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon and ensuing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, which would...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - BP, Halliburton Agree To Settle Claims Against Each Other Over Oil Spill

HOUSTON - Halliburton announced May 20 that it has reached a settlement with BP Exploration and Production Inc. to resolve any remaining claims the companies have against each other stemming from the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and resulting oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 9th Circuit Revives Portions Of California's Suit Over Contamination Near Stadium

PASADENA, Calif. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 21 reinstated the State of California and City of San Diego's claims for damages, nuisance and trespass against Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP over groundwater contamination of a parcel of land near Qualcomm Stadium, after finding...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Proper Service Allows Later Service On Other Defendants, Utah Top Court Says

SALT LAKE CITY - The plain language of Utah law permits service on a defendant up until the time of trial, as long as a single defendant is properly served within the 120-day limit, the Utah Supreme Court held May 22 (Barbara St. Jeor v. Kerr Corp., No. 20130913, Utah Sup.; 2015 Utah LEXIS 171).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Federal Judge Sanctions Asbestos Attorney For Expert Testimony Blunder

SAN FRANCISCO - An attorney acted in bad faith when he asked an asbestos expert about the connection between the plaintiff's chemotherapy and his renal failure after telling the court that such questioning was off the table, a federal judge in California held May 26 (Barry Kelly and Molly Kelly v...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Parties Brief Need For Stay During Appeal Of Remand Order In Asbestos Case

NEW ORLEANS - A shipmaker and a woman who alleges asbestos exposure from laundering clothing briefed a federal judge in Louisiana on May 26 on whether he must stay an asbestos case set for trial on June 22 during appeal of his remand order (Mary Jane Wilde v. Huntington Ingalls Inc., et al., No. 15-1486...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Asbestos Exposure, Not Disease Is Injury; Witnessing It Not Compensable, Judge Says

NEW ORLEANS - Asbestos exposure and not the resulting mesothelioma constitutes injury for the purposes of mental anguish damages, but even assuming plaintiffs witnessed the exposure, the event is not the type of traumatic event for which Louisiana makes such damages available, a federal judge held May...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Declines To Strike Challenge To 'Every Exposure' Asbestos Expert

RALEIGH, N.C. - While the defendants' briefs focused primarily on "every exposure" testimony from one expert, this was sufficient to put asbestos plaintiffs on notice that the defendants intended to challenge similar testimony from a second expert, a federal judge in North Carolina held...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Pennsylvania Negligence Law Permits Component-Part Liability, Federal Judge Says

PHILADELPHIA - While Pennsylvania does not impose strict liability for third-party parts, a product manufacturer who knows the hazards posed by asbestos-containing parts originally supplied with its product always has a duty to warn about replacement parts under Pennsylvania negligence law, the judge...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Counsel: Chevron Cannot Collaterally Attack Lago Agrio Judgment

NEW YORK - The attorneys representing Steven Donziger, the attorney for a group of Ecuadorian residents who won an $18.5 billion judgment against Chevron Corp. for personal injuries caused by the company's oil operations in the Lago Agrio region of Ecuador, on May 22 filed a brief in the Second Circuit...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Pennsylvania Tort Exemption Applies To Employee's Case, New York Justice Says

NEW YORK - Pennsylvania law allowing employee tort actions where a disease arises outside the window for a workers' compensation action applies to an asbestos action filed in New York and alleging exposure in Pennsylvania, a New York justice held in an opinion posted May 27 (Venetia Kontogouris,...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - D.C. Circuit Court Denies PVC Makers' Challenge To EPA's Rule On Emissions

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The majority of a District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 29 denied petitions filed by makers of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) challenging the limits contained in a 2012 rule implemented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over emissions resulting from the...