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Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Federal Judge Finds Insurer Has No Duty To Defend Mold Claims

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - After finding that all mold-related claims asserted against a contractor and others in an underlying state court case were excluded under an insurance policy, an Alabama federal judge on April 21 found that an insurer has no duty to defend the parties in the case (Pennsylvania National...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Railroad Company: Paulsboro Chemical Spill Claims Based On 'Improper' Report

CAMDEN, N.J. - The railroad company defendants sued by a New Jersey school district and borough for $5,865,339 in damages for a chemical spill that was the result of a train derailment on April 20 filed a brief in New Jersey federal court, contending that the plaintiffs' allegations are based on...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Noble Energy To Pay $73M To Resolve Clean Air Act Suit

DENVER - Noble Energy Inc. on April 22 entered into a consent decree with the federal government and State of Colorado in which it agreed to pay $73 million to resolve allegations that volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from its oil and gas exploration and production activities in Denver were...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - ExxonMobil To Pay $4.47M In Fines For Rupture Of Pegasus Pipeline

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The federal government and ExxonMobil Pipeline Co., which have been embroiled in a lawsuit over liability for an oil spill that was the result of a pipeline rupture, on April 22 reached an agreement under which the company will pay a total of $4.47 million in civil penalties (United...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Washington State Jury Awards $3.6 Million In 'Take-Home' Asbestos Case

SEATTLE - A Washington jury on April 21 awarded a woman $3.6 million and held an insulation company liable for her exposure to asbestos while laundering her husband's work clothing (Estate of Barbara Brandes v. Brand Insulation Inc., No. 14-2-21662-9 SEA, Wash. Super., King Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Texas Court Rejects New Trial In Long-Running Asbestos Dispute

BEAUMONT, Texas - A judge improperly found that hotly contested evidence in an asbestos case could not support a jury's finding for a premises owner, a Texas appeals court held April 23 (In re: E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., No. 09-14-00465-CV, Texas App., 9th Dist.; 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 4072...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Panel Partially Affirms, Remands Agent Orange Injury Claims

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A panel in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on April 23 partially affirmed and partially vacated and remanded a ruling that denied a military veteran's claim for benefits based on injuries he alleged were caused by exposure to Agent Orange (Robert H. Gray v. Robert...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 5th Circuit Remands Well Blowout Suit To Allow Parties To Finalize Settlement

NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 21 granted a joint stipulation to remand a coverage dispute involving damages from a well blowout to Texas federal court to allow the parties to finalize a settlement agreement (Eagle Oil & Gas Co. v. Travelers Property Casualty Company...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Veteran Fails To Show Cancer Caused By Alleged Exposure To Agent Orange

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on April 24 affirmed a ruling that denied benefits to a veteran who contended that his throat cancer and other ailments were caused by exposure to Agent Orange. The judge concluded that the veteran did not provide sufficient...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Groups Dismiss Clean Water Act Claim Against New Jersey Transportation Agency

TRENTON, N.J. - Raritan Baykeeper Inc. and Edison Wetlands Association Inc. on April 24 agreed to dismiss their claim accusing the New Jersey Department of Transportation (N.J. DOT) of violating the Clean Water Act (CWA) at a site in Sayreville, N.J., after finding that the agency did not violate the...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Companies: Discovery Request In Radioactive Exposure Case Is 'Unreasonable'

ST. LOUIS - MI Holdings Inc., which was sued by a Missouri resident who contends that he suffered personal injuries as a result of exposure to radioactive material related to the Manhattan Engineering Project near the St. Louis Airport, on April 22 filed a brief in Missouri federal court contending that...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Chemical Discharge Exclusion Precludes Coverage For Environmental Claims

LOS ANGELES - An insurer has no duty to defend its insureds against underlying environmental contamination claims arising out of their operation of a dry cleaning business because the policy's chemical discharge exclusion clearly bars coverage, a California federal judge said April 23 (Hollyway Cleaners...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 9th Circuit Majority Reverses Ruling Remanding Contamination Suit Against Boeing

SEATTLE - A 2-1 panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 27 overturned a federal judge in Washington's ruling remanding a groundwater contamination suit against The Boeing Co. and a company it hired to investigate and remediate contamination at the site, finding that the plaintiffs'...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Train Derailment Plaintiffs: Prima Facie Case Established, Experts Not Needed

CAMDEN, N.J. - The plaintiffs who sued railroad company defendants alleging personal injury from vinyl chloride that was spilled as a result of a train derailment filed a brief on April 23 in federal court in New Jersey, contending that although they have provided expert reports to the defendants, no...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Leaves Case Largely Intact After Rejecting Florida's Pleading Standard

TAMPA, Fla. - Federal pleading standards and not Florida's more strict ones apply to an asbestos action, and plaintiffs largely adequately plead negligence, strict liability and fraudulent concealment claims against safety mask and airplane parts defendants, a federal Florida judge ruled April 27...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Appeals Court Reverses Statute Of Repose Ruling In Wisconsin Asbestos Case

MILWAUKEE - Conflicting evidence about whether a company's asbestos-containing insulation appeared only in new construction or also for maintenance and repair purposes creates issues of fact about whether the state's statute of repose applies, a Wisconsin appeals court held April 28 in reversing...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - California Jury Awards $13M In Couple's Asbestos-Tainted Talc Case

LOS ANGELES - A California jury on April 28 awarded a couple more than $13 million in a mesothelioma case alleging asbestos exposure from tainted talc. It is the first asbestos-tainted talcum powder verdict against Colgate-Palmolive Co., sources told Mealey Publications (Judith and John Winkel v. Calavaras...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Magistrate Judge: Former Atlantic Richfield Officer Can Be Deposed

SALT LAKE CITY - A federal magistrate judge in Utah on April 28 denied a motion to quash a subpoena for a deposition filed by a former senior officer at Atlantic Richfield Co., finding that the woman may have relevant information about operations the company conducted at a site that is subject of a Comprehensive...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: MTBE Evidence Lacking As To Some Defendants In Puerto Rico Litigation

NEW YORK - The federal judge in New York presiding over litigation regarding groundwater allegedly contaminated by the gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) on April 28 partially granted and partially denied a motion for summary judgment filed by the defendants, ruling that some defendants...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Federal Judge Dismisses Ash Spill Claim Against Tennessee Valley Authority

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A federal judge in Tennessee on April 30 dismissed a lawsuit by a resident who contended that he had been exposed to hazardous chemicals as a result of an ash spill at a plant operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) (James Ryan v. Tennessee Valley Authority, No. 14-356, E...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Land Owner Says Failure To Maintain Sewer System Contributed To Contamination

FRESNO, Calif. - A former operator of a commercial laundry business sued a California city on May 5, arguing that the defendant is liable for cost recovery and contribution under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act because its failure to maintain its sewer system...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Issues Ruling On Third-Party Claims Related To Mold At Monastery

LINCOLN, Neb. - A Nebraska federal judge on May 4 issued a ruling partially granting motions for summary judgment filed by a third-party contractor in relation to alleged construction defects in a heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC) that was installed at a monastery, which allegedly...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Justice Consolidates 8 Asbestos Cases Into 3 Trial Groups

NEW YORK - A New York justice divided eight cases into three consolidated trial groups, saying in an opinion posted May 5 that shared attorneys and disease trump differences in places or time periods of exposure (George R. Birrell and Ramona J. Birrell, et al. v. Aerco International Inc., et al., No...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Locomotive Inspection Act Preempts Widow's Claims Involving Asbestos Brakes

RALEIGH, N.C. - The Locomotive Inspection Act (LIA) preempts a widow's claims that her husband developed mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos in a defendant's locomotive brakes, a federal judge in North Carolina held May 1 (Brenda Ricks, et al. v. Armstrong International Inc., et al., No....

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Dismisses Mold Lawsuit Over Untimely Service Of Complaint

OKLAHOMA CITY - A federal judge in Oklahoma on May 5 dismissed without prejudice a couple's lawsuit against CMH Homes Inc., doing business as Oakwood Home Oklahoma City, Clayton Mobile Homes and Karsten Homes, ruling that the plaintiffs were unable to show good cause for serving the defendants with...