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Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Defendants Tell 5th Circuit Navy Rules, Allegations At Removal Defeat Remand

NEW ORLEANS - Defendants' evidence that the U.S. Navy issued detailed and specific guidance over the design, construction and labeling of products it procured meets the broad standard for removal under the federal officer statute, defendants told the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 18...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - California Court Largely Affirms Application Of Setoffs To $5M Asbestos Verdict

LOS ANGELES - An asbestos defendant's proposal that liability be used to calculate offsets for pre-verdict settlements "is completely at odds" with state precedent, a California appeals panel held Aug. 20 in also affirming 50-50 split of asbestos settlement proceeds between personal injury...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Rejects Daubert Challenges To 'Every Exposure' Asbestos Testimony

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - A medical doctor's familiarity with different fibers qualifies him to testify as an expert in an asbestos case, and Illinois precedent does not bar him even if he plans to testify that every exposure to asbestos leads to disease, a federal judge in Illinois held Aug. 20 (Charles...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Finds Raytheon's Contacts With State Insufficient For Jurisdiction

TRENTON, N.J. - Neither registering to do business in a state nor employing a small amount of people in that state subjects a company to general jurisdiction, a federal judge in New Jersey held Aug. 20 in dismissing asbestos claims (James McCourt and Mabel McCourt v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Louisiana Jury Returns Defense Verdict In Asbestos Drilling-Mud Case

NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana jury on Aug. 20 returned a defense verdict for Union Carbide Corp. and Montello in a case alleging asbestosis caused by asbestos in drilling mud (Dan Freeman v. Phillips 66 Co., et al., No. 2011-7941, La. Dist., Orleans Parish).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Alabama Top Court Rejects Certified Questions In Take-Home Asbestos Case

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Alabama Supreme Court on Aug. 24 rejected certified questions from a federal judge regarding premises owner liability and the proper causation standard in a take-home asbestos exposure case (Melissa Ann Bobo and Sharon Jean Cox, as co-personal representatives of the estate of Barbara...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Court: Immediate Symptoms Of Asbestos Exposure Don't Trigger 'Intentional Tort'

SEATTLE - Allegations of contemporaneous symptoms after asbestos exposure do not trigger the intentional tort exemption to workers' compensation exclusivity because there is no way the employer could have known for certain that the exposure would lead to a man's mesothelioma, a Washington appellate...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Louisiana Court Partially Affirms $2.3M Asbestos Verdict, Upholds Ford's Liability

NEW ORLEANS - A jury properly heard testimony that every asbestos exposure above background can cause disease and found Ford Motor Co. liable for a man's death from mesothelioma, but its verdict against a talc defendant was hopelessly conflicted, a Louisiana appeals court held Aug 20 in partially...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Rejects Expert, Juror Challenges, Affirms Asbestos Defense Verdict

CHICAGO - A judge properly excluded Arthur Frank's trial testimony as a repackaging of his excluded "every exposure" testimony, and an investigation into a juror did not prejudice a jury's finding that tobacco and not asbestos caused a man's lung cancer, a federal judge in Illinois...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Delaware Judge Affirms Ruling Finding State Registration Created Jurisdiction

WILMINGTON, Del. - An asbestos defendant's registration in Delaware is sufficient to create personal jurisdiction, a Delaware judge held in denying reargument on Aug. 25 (In re: Asbestos Litigation, Mary Anne Hudson v. International Paper Co., et al., No. N14C-03-247, Del. Super., New Castle Co.;...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Appellate Panel: Tobacco Store's License Properly Revoked For Code Violations

CHICAGO - An Illinois appellate court on Aug. 24 affirmed a trial court ruling that it was not an abuse of discretion for Chicago agencies to revoke a tobacco store's license for its violations of the city's municipal code regarding proper packaging - and payment of taxes - pertaining to cigarettes...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 3 Gas Exploration Companies Fined A Combined $374,481 For Contaminating Groundwater

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on Aug. 21 announced that it had fined three companies involved in natural gas exploration a combined $374,481 for contaminating private drinking water supplies. The fines have all been paid, the DEP said.

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 7th Circuit: Groundwater Contamination Case Properly Dismissed Under Daubert

CHICAGO - A panel of the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 26 affirmed summary judgment dismissal of a family's groundwater contamination lawsuit, ruling that the plaintiffs' experts' reports were properly disallowed under rules of evidence established by Daubert v. Merrell Dow...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: BP, Shell Defendants Not Included In Order Sending MTBE Case To California

NEW YORK - The federal judge in New York presiding over the methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) products litigation on Aug. 26 denied a motion filed by the Orange County Water District (OCWD) that sought to include two companies in the remand order sending the case to California federal court (In Re:...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Approves $350,000 Settlement Between Agency, Wood-Preserving Company

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Aug. 25 approved a consent decree in which West Coast Wood Preserving LLC (WCWP) would pay $350,000 to reimburse the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) for cleanup costs the agency incurred in cleaning up arsenic, chromium and...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Finds No Grounds For Removal In Dismissal, Amended Complaint

PORTLAND, Ore. - Amending a complaint after summary judgment for the only nondiverse defendant did not allow removal of an asbestos action, a federal judge held Aug. 25 in adopting a magistrate judge's report (Ronald K. Laux, and Marilee Laux, et al. v. Akebono Brake Industry Co., Ltd., et al., No...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 8th Circuit Affirms Ruling Imposing $2.2M Penalty For Clean Water Act Violations

ST. LOUIS - An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 27 affirmed a federal judge in Nebraska's ruling ordering Stabl Inc. to pay $2.2 million to the federal government and State of Nebraska after finding that any errors the judge committed when entering his decision were harmless (United...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Warning Letters Issued To 3 Companies Claiming Cigarettes Are Natural Or Additive-Free

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Three tobacco manufacturers whose cigarettes are labeled as being "additive-free" and/or "natural" are in violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act, the Food and Drug Administration said in warning letters issued Aug. 27 to the three manufacturers...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Finds Workers' Comp Acts As Statute Of Repose, Bars Malpractice Claims

ROCK HILL, S.C. - South Carolina Supreme Court guidance indicates that the workers' compensation statute acts as a statute of repose, eliminating claims forming the basis of a putative class action over the allegedly improperly handling asbestos bankruptcy trust claims, a federal judge affirmed Aug...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Dismisses Some Claims In Paulsboro Vinyl Chloride Spill Litigation

CAMDEN, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on Aug. 27 dismissed the lawsuit brought by a some of the plaintiffs against Consolidated Rail Corp. (CONRAIL) and other railroad companies pertaining to a spill of vinyl chloride into Mantua Creek caused by a train derailment (Charles Van Blarcom v. Consolidated...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Evidence Of Exposure To Asbestos On Blowers Overcomes Summary Judgment

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - Evidence that a man worked with a company's asbestos-insulated product aboard a ship overcomes summary judgment, even where the insulation may have originated with a third party, a federal judge held Aug. 27 in also rejecting a challenge to the timeliness of the action (Charles...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: 3rd Amended Complaint Renders Motions To Dismiss Moot In VOC Lawsuit

FORT MYERS, Fla. - A federal judge in Florida on Aug. 25 denied a series of motions to dismiss the second amended complaint filed by a farm trust that contends that a group of chemical companies contaminated its property with volatile organic compounds on grounds that the motions were rendered moot by...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Plaintiffs' Experts In Tainted Groundwater Case Should Be Excluded, Companies Say

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Some of the defendants in a lawsuit brought by residents who contend that a water company is responsible for contaminating the water supply when it spilled 4-methylcyclohexane methanol into the Elk River near Charleston filed a joint brief on Aug. 25, arguing that the plaintiffs'...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Magistrate Affirms Denial Of Social Security Benefits For Girl Alleging Lead Exposure

CLEVELAND - A magistrate judge in Ohio on Aug. 27 affirmed the denial of a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for a girl who contends that she suffered various injuries as a result of exposure to lead (Bernice Hooper v. Commissioner of Social Security, No. 14-1726, N.D. Ohio; 2015 U.S. Dist...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Panel: State Of New Jersey Must Pay Cleanup Costs In Raritan Bay Lead Case

TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey appellate panel on Aug. 26 affirmed a trial court, which held that the State of New Jersey must pay NL Industries Inc. cleanup costs associated with the $79 million remediation of lead contamination at the Raritan Bay Slag (RBS) site (NL Industries Inc. v. State of New Jersey...