Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - West Virginia Court Reinstates Workers' Comp Benefits In Asbestos Lung Cancer Case

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Evidence that a man suffered occupational asbestos exposure and a workers' compensation court's ruling that it led to his lung cancer are sufficient grounds on which to award benefits to his widow, West Virginia's top court held Jan. 20 (Sadie Page, widow of John W. Page...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Pennsylvania Fracking Bills Clear Senate Committee

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania Senate committee on Jan. 21 voted to recommend two bills that would amend the state's oil and gas lease act to allow royalty interest holders, such as landowners, to inspect the records of oil and gas exploration companies engaging in hydraulic fracturing to verify...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New York Court Finds Questions Of Fact Exist About Mold Liability

ALBANY, N.Y. - A New York appeals court on Jan. 22 affirmed a trial court's ruling, finding that questions of fact exist as to an alternative dispute resolution representative's ruling that a subcontractor was liable for the development of mold at a construction site (David Staviski, doing business...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Appeals Court Upholds Ruling Allowing Department To Investigate Contaminated Site

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court panel on Jan. 23 affirmed a trial court's ruling allowing the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PaDEP) to investigate and remediate contamination at a property housing more than 50 275-gallon home heating oil tanks, finding that...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Landlord Did Not Show EPA Subpoena Was 'Overly Burdensome' In Lead Case

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The federal judge in Indiana presiding over a lead-based paint dispute on Jan. 22 ruled that a landlord has not met his burden of showing that the subpoena request of the U.S. government is overly burdensome with regard to the status of lead-paint hazards at properties he manages or...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Massachusetts Oil Company To Pay $14,500 Fine For Oil Spill

BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Jan. 22 announced that Erickson Fuel Co., based in Medford, Mass., agreed to pay a $14,500 civil penalty to resolve allegations that the company failed to prepare an oil spill prevention plan.

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - EPA: Owners, Managers Of Salvage Company Sentenced For Illegal Asbestos Removal

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Jan. 22 announced that the owners and managers of A&E Salvage were sentenced by a federal judge in Tennessee for conspiring to commit Clean Air Act (CAA) violations when illegally removing asbestos and asbestos-containing material from...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Insurers Have No Duty To Pay For Environmental Investigation, Panel Says

CHICAGO - The First District Illinois Appellate Court on Jan. 21 affirmed a trial court's ruling that insurers have no duty to indemnify an insured for environmental investigation costs because environmental investigation costs are not considered damages under Florida law (Premark International LLC...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New York Justice Amends Trial Order, Clears Way For Living Asbestos Plaintiffs

NEW YORK - Living asbestos plaintiffs deserve to have their cases heard ahead of deceased ones despite an existing trial order, a New York justice held over objections on Jan. 22, while also denying a request to consolidate and reverse-bifurcate the cases (Neyra Begim v. CertainTeed Corp., et al., No...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New Jersey Supreme Court Overturns Ruling Finding Contribution Claims Untimely

TRENTON, N.J. - The general six-year statute of limitations contained in New Jersey Statutes Annotated (N.J.S.A.) 2A:14-1 does not apply to private claims for contribution under the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act (Spill Act), the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled Jan. 26 (Morristown Associates...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Wyoming Supreme Court: Family Trustees Were Disloyal In Water Rights Transfer

CHEYENNE, Wyo. - The Wyoming Supreme Court on Jan. 23 affirmed that two siblings breached their duty of loyalty to a family ranch trust by self-dealing when they transferred water rights but said that a trial court erred in removing the two as trustees (William C. Forbes, et al. v. Waldo E. Forbes, No...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Landowner Sufficiently Pleaded Damages Related To Fracking Contract Breach

SAN ANTONIO - A federal judge in Texas on Jan. 26 denied a hydraulic fracturing company's motion to dismiss a breach of contract claim filed by a landowner who had leased his land and mineral rights to the company, determining that the landowner had sufficiently pleaded the damages element of his...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Landowners Did Not Show Fraudulent Inducement In Fracking Contract

PITTSBURGH - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Jan. 26 dismissed a breach of contract action brought against a hydraulic fracturing company by a group of landowners, ruling that the landowners could not show that the company engaged in fraudulent inducement (Darlene R. McWreath, et al. v. Range Resources...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Wyoming To Require More Details On Chemicals Used In Fracking Fluids

CHEYENNE, Wyo. - A Wyoming state court judge on Jan. 23 approved a settlement between the parties involved in a trade secrets dispute related to the components of hydraulic fracturing fluid under which the state will adopt new rules regarding the confidentiality of the chemicals used in fracking fluid...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New York Panel Holds Plaintiffs Failed To Provide Evidence Of Contamination

TRENTON, N.J. - Plaintiffs who claim that they suffered physical injuries and diminution of property value as a result of contamination that migrated from a refinery owned by Sunoco Inc. failed to present evidence of what contaminants they were exposed to and a link between the exposure and their injuries...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Orders Alternative Dispute Resolution In Tainted Groundwater Case

PITTSBURGH - The federal judge presiding over a lawsuit environmental groups brought against a glass manufacturing company alleging that it contaminated groundwater on Jan. 22 ordered the case to alternative dispute resolution (ADR) (PennEnvironment, et al. v. PPG Industries Inc., et al., No. 12-342...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Pollution Exclusion Bars Coverage For Groundwater Contamination, Panel Says

CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 23 affirmed a federal judge's ruling that a pollution exclusion precluded coverage for groundwater contamination caused by trichloroethylene (TCE) and other chemicals (Visteon Corporation, et al. v. National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - London Insurers File Suit, Claim Coverage Barred For Numerous Underlying Suits

NEW YORK - A group of London market insurers filed suit on Jan. 22 in the New York County Supreme Court, seeking a declaration that no coverage is owed for two environmental contamination suits filed against the insured and separate, personal injury suits arising out of chemical exposure to a butter...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Texas Congressman Reintroduces Asbestos Trust Disclosure Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, on Jan. 26 reintroduced a bill that would amend the U.S. Bankruptcy Code to require asbestos trusts to submit quarterly reports containing detailed information on claims made to the trusts.

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 6th Circuit Majority: General Permit Shields Mining Company From Liability

CINCINNATI - A 2-1 panel of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 27 ruled that ICG Hazard LLC's general permit for discharges issued pursuant to the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) shielded the mining company from liability in a suit brought by the Sierra Club accusing...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Montana Court Finds It Lacks Jurisdiction Over Moldy Dairy Products Case

HELENA, Mont. - In a majority ruling, the Montana Supreme Court on Jan. 27 affirmed that a trial court lacked jurisdiction over a food broker's claims related to dairy products that allegedly developed mold while stored in Utah (The Milky Whey Inc. v. Dairy Partners LLC, et al., No. 14-0013, Mont...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Court: Ongoing Insulation Work Not Protected By Statute Of Repose

MILWAUKEE - The state's statute of repose for improvements to real property does not cover ongoing repair and replacement of insulation, a Wisconsin appeals court held Jan. 26 (Pamela Peter, et al. v. Sprinkmann Sons Corp., Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., United Health Care Service, No. 2014AP923, Wis...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 5th Circuit: Oral Contract For Fracking Mineral Rights Is Not Enforceable

NEW ORLEANS - A panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 27 affirmed a lower court's ruling that an oral agreement between landowners and a hydraulic fracturing company related to mineral rights for the production of oil wells was not enforceable because under Louisiana law, those...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Fracking Moratorium Case Belongs In Federal Court, Judge Rules

SHERMAN, Texas - A federal judge in Texas on Jan. 27 denied a motion to remand a hydraulic fracturing ban lawsuit to state court, ruling that the plaintiffs asserted a federal cause of action in their complaint and, therefore, removal to federal jurisdiction is appropriate (In re: Arsenal Minerals &...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Remands Agent Orange Benefits Case, Says Not All Evidence Was Considered

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on Jan. 27 remanded for further proceedings a decision by the Board of Veterans Appeals that denied a veteran's appeal for benefits to cover injuries the veteran contends were caused by his exposure to Agent Orange...