EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - The tenuous connection between an asbestos action and a defendant's bankruptcy cannot provide a basis for federal jurisdiction, an Illinois federal judge held in remanding the case on April 24 (Jason Bode, et al. v. Aerco International Inc., et al., No. 13-1310, S.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57598).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - To the extent that a man may be able to allege injury from throat nodules allegedly caused by occupational asbestos exposure, he may amend his action, a California federal judge held April 24 (John Parise Jr. v. Union Pacific Railroad, No. 14-36, E.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57507).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A man's evidence of asbestos exposure to two defendants' products falls short of the frequency, regularity, proximity standard, dooming his take-home exposure case, a Pennsylvania Superior Court panel held April 24 (Allen Groover, et al. v. CBS Corp., et al., No. 680 EDA 2013, Pa. Super.).
NEW ORLEANS - Claims that a woman developed fatal mesothelioma from the asbestos in Kent "Micronite" filters and take-home exposure from her father's workplace were remanded by a Louisiana federal judge, who said in an opinion filed April 25 that defendant Lorillard Tobacco Co.'s removal from the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans a month before trial was scheduled was untimely (Rosemary Radosta v. Lorillard Tobacco Co., et al., No. 2:14-cv-00500, E.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57943).
FARGO, N.D. - A decision granting Native American prison inmates the right to smoke a mixture containing 1 percent tobacco in religious ceremonies was affirmed April 25 by the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which cited the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) (Native American Council of Tribes, et al. v. Douglas Weber, Warden of the South Dakota State Penitentiary, et al. Nos. 13-1401 and 13-2745, 8th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 7766).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in Washington, D.C., on April 24 denied a motion to approve a proposed consent decree between environmental groups and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over the regulation of coal ash under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), after finding that though the terms of the settlement were reasonable, the parties' agreement on the extension of the deadline for the agency to take final action was against the public interest (Appalachian Voices, et al. v. Gina McCarthy, et al., No. 12-0523, Consolidated with Nos. 12-0585, 12-0629, D. D.C.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57118).
HONOLULU - Affidavits from retired officers to the effect that the Navy issued precise specifications and evidence that Crane Co.'s products met those specifications create a colorable federal defense in an asbestos case, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held April 25 (Douglas P. Leite and Mary Ann K. Leite v. Crane Co., et al., David Thompson v. Crane Co., Nos. 12-16864, 12-16982, 9th Cir.).
BECKLEY, W.Va. - A federal judge in West Virginia on April 24 ruled that samples taken by an environmental group in October and December 2012 prove that selenium discharges from a defendant company's mining operations violated the Clean Water Act (CWA) because levels of the substance were in excess of limits allowed by the company's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (NPDES) permit (Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, et al. v. Marfork Coal Company, et al., No. 12-1464, S.D. W.Va.).
JACKSON, Miss. - Because no good cause existed for the failure to prosecute a widow's asbestos action, her children cannot rely upon the action to toll the statute of limitations, the Mississippi Supreme Court held April 24 (James Allen Burch, et al. v. Illinois Central Railroad Co., No. 2013-CA-414-SCT, Miss. Sup.; 2014 Miss. LEXIS 218).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on April 23 dismissed claims asserted by a prisoner who alleged that he was exposed to toxic mold, finding that he failed to establish that officials showed a deliberate indifference to his medical needs (Craig Arnold Thomas v. Jay Skrenek, et al., No. 13-9494, C.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56809).
NEW YORK - Co-worker testimony establishes presence in New York, but not exposure to asbestos and fails to justify forum in the state, a New York justice held in an opinion posted April 23 (Bruce McKim, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 190225/12, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
NEW YORK - The European Community (EC) is an agency or instrumentality of its member states for the purpose of diversity jurisdiction in U.S. federal courts, and allegations of cigarette smuggling, racketeering and money laundering brought by the EC against the corporate parent of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (RJR) and others contained sufficient domestic contacts to invoke the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 23 (The European Community, et al. v. RJR Nabisco Inc., et al., No. 11-2475, 2nd Cir.).
NEWARK, N.J. - After finding that purchasers of allegedly defective washing machines failed to plead their claims with the required particularity, a New Jersey federal judge on April 23 dismissed a class action complaint against the maker of the machines (Stanley Fishman, et al. v. General Electric, No. 2:12-cv-00585, D. N.J.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56144).
TRENTON, N.J. - A pump manufacturer can be held liable for failing to warn about the potential dangers of asbestos in frequently replaced component parts such as gaskets and packing, but the plaintiffs must demonstrate exposure to asbestos from those replacement parts to demonstrate causation, a New Jersey appellate court held April 23 (Elbert Hughes v. A.W. Chesterton Co., et al., No. A-0778-11T2, Michael Greever v. A.W. Chesterton Co., et al., No. A-0779-11T2, Gregory Fayer, et al. v. A.W. Chesterton Co., et al., No. A-4912-11T2, Angelo Mystrena and Kathleen Mystrena v. A.W. Chesterton Co., et al., No. A-4913-11T2, N.J. Super., App. Div.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Attorneys for CTS Corp. and the U.S. Department of Justice told the U.S. Supreme Court April 23 that a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling reinstating a lawsuit brought by landowners asserting claims under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) should be reversed because the claims are untimely (CTS Corp. v. Peter Waldburger, et al., No. 13-339, U.S. Sup.).
CINCINNATI - A widow knew of any alleged injury from malpractice involving asbestos claims and settlements when she terminated her relationship with the law firms representing her, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held April 21 (Donna Frazier, et al. v. Sidney Jackson, et al., No. 13-6045, 6th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 7466).
ST. LOUIS - Union Pacific Railroad Co. can have a second deposition of an Asarco LLC corporate representative but only regarding the company's evaluation and assessment of Union Pacific's potential liability on contamination at a site in Missouri, a federal judge ruled April 22 (Asarco LLC v. NL Industries Inc., et al., No. 11-CV-00864-JAR, E.D. Mo.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55524).
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal magistrate judge on April 17 granted preliminary approval to a $6,886,500 settlement to be paid by the owners of the Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill to a class of nearby residents for lost property value and public nuisance caused by odors released from an underground fire in the landfill (Marsha Buck, et al. v. Republic Services, Inc., et al., No. 13-801, E.D. Mo.).
LONDON - A member of the United Kingdom Parliament on April 22 announced that a recently revised report was released showing the amount of asbestos in Britain's schools and recommendations for dealing with the issue.
NEW ORLEANS - A former operator of construction cranes and other equipment who says his exposure to benzene on the job caused him to develop myelodysplastic syndrome has settled with all defendants, a judge said in an order filed April 21 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana (Thomas C. Dykes and Johnnie Dykes v. Shell Oil Company, et al., No. 13-4934, E.D. La.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on April 21 denied a petition to review the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' July 26 ruling in which it affirmed a $104.6 million methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) contamination verdict for New York City against Exxon Mobil Corp. (In Re: Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether [MTBE] Products Liability Litigation, No. 13-842, U.S. Sup.).
TROY, Mich. - In a majority ruling, a Michigan appeals court on April 17 affirmed a judgment in favor of commercial property owners in relation to a tenant's breach of contract claims and reversed a decision that refused to award them fees (Stanwood Motor Sports Acquisition LLC. V. Joseph F. Arnold, et al., No. 313994, Mich. App.; 2014 Mich. App. LEXIS 707).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency did not abuse its discretion when implementing emission standards for cement companies in 2013, but exceeded its authority when implementing a rule that allowed for the use of an affirmative defense against private lawsuits over excessive emissions caused by an "unavoidable malfunction," a District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled April 18 (Natural Resource Defense Council v. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 10-1371 Consolidated with Nos. 10-1378, 10-13-1112, D.C. Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 7281).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A natural gas operating company sued by a drilling company with which it contracted to spud wells in West Virginia is liable under the drilling contract to reimburse settlement and litigation costs for a related well-water contamination lawsuit naming both companies as defendants, the presiding U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio judge ruled April 16 (Warren Drilling Inc. v. Equitable Production Co., No. 12-425, S.D. Ohio; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52064).
NEW YORK - New Jersey law allowing dissolved corporations to "sue and be sued" clearly permits asbestos actions naming Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. as the insurer of the dissolved Jenkins Brothers, a New York appeals court held April 17 (In re New York City Asbestos Litigation; Robert Germain Sr. v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., Daniel E. Valensi, etc. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., as successor by merger to Buffalo Pumps, Inc., et al., Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., Vashtee Antle, etc. v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., Janeed Khan v. 3M Co., individually and as successor to Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co., et al., Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., Laurence Cunningham, et al. v. 3M Co., etc., et al., Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., No. 12249, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.; 2014 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 2623).