COLUMBIA, Tenn. - The wife of a laborer at a Tennessee paper recycling factory who alleges in a complaint filed Aug. 23 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee that her husband's employer failed to provide a safe workplace and to warn about the health risks of exposure to silicone silica failed to state a claim in a personal injury lawsuit because the complaint was filed more than a year after the incident, the presiding judge ruled Jan. 30 (Kimberly Ann Davis, et vir v. TIN Inc., et al., No. 13-92, M.D. Tenn.).
INDIANAPOLIS - An Indiana appeals court on Jan. 31 affirmed a trial court's ruling in favor of the sellers of a home, finding that the evidence supported a finding that the sellers were unaware of mold growth in the house (William E. Boehringer, et al. v. Gregory J. Weber, et al., No. 29A05-1303-PL-154, Ind. App.; 2014 Ind. App. LEXIS 36).
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge dismissed without prejudice a woman's fraud claim stemming from the death of her husband from acute myeloid leukemia (AML) allegedly caused by exposure to benzene-containing products, saying in a Jan. 31 opinion that the specificity required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b) for a fraud action does not allow a plaintiff to group defendants together (Ashly C. Boudreaux, et al, v. Shell Oil Company, et al., No. 13-4762, E.D. La.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in the District of Columbia on Jan. 29 granted the majority of a motion for summary judgment filed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit brought by a group seeking information from a former administrator's second email account, finding that information the agency refused to disclose was properly withheld (Competitive Enterprise Institute v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 12-1617 JEB, D. D.C.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10601).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware federal bankruptcy judge on Jan. 28 ruled that Chapter 11 debtor W.R. Grace & Co. can obtain up to $1.55 billion in financing from a dozen banks and financial institutions to support the company's operating needs as it emerges from bankruptcy (In re: W.R. Grace & Co., et al., No. 01-01139, D. Del. Bkcy.).
ALBANY, N.Y. - A unanimous New York Supreme Court Appellate Division, Third Department, panel affirmed workers' compensation benefits Jan. 30 for a food packaging line worker alleging that exposure to dust and polyethylene fumes caused a temporary occupational respiratory disease (In re Timothy E. Dosztan v Kraft Foods, et al., No. 515222, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 3d Dept.; 2014 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 549).
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - An Illinois jury on Jan. 27 awarded more than $2 million - reduced to $1.7 million by a finding of contributory negligence - in a consolidated trial involving an asbestosis sufferer and an individual who died of lung cancer, sources told Mealey's Publications (Jim Smith v. Illinois Central Railroad Co., Mary Hernandez, as administrator of estate of John Nafziger v. Illinois Central Railroad Co., No. 05L117, 07L91, Ill. Cir., McLean Co.).
SHREVEPORT, La. - A unanimous Second Circuit Louisiana Court of Appeal panel ruled Jan. 29 in an opinion of first impression that an annexing municipality is entitled to royalties from natural gas extracted from the roadbeds of statutorily dedicated public roads on the land annexed because ownership of dedicated public roads transfers to the city as a result of the annexation (Chesapeake Operating Inc. v. City of Shreveport, et al., No. 48,608 $(consolidated$), La. App., 2nd Cir.).
DENVER - Neighbors of the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant in Colorado may not pursue state law tort claims against the contractors who operated the plant because the claims are preempted by the Price-Anderson Act, the federal judge presiding over the litigation ruled Jan. 28 (Merilyn Cook, et al. v. Rockwell International Corp., et al., No. 90-181, D. Colo.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A man's inability to consistently name an automobile parts store as a place he frequented dooms his asbestos action against it, a Delaware judge held Jan. 24 (Carlton L. Smith and Lucille Smith v. Advanced Auto Parts Inc., et al., No. N12C-06-286ASB, Del. Super., New Castle Co.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal jury hearing an asbestos personal injury action found a man's exposure to cigarette smoke 80 percent liable for his lung cancer and returned a verdict for CBS Corp., according to court documents filed Jan. 24 (In re: Asbestos Products Liability Litigation; Larry Kinser v. Anchor Packing Co., et al., No. 94-2282, C.D. Ill.).
INDIANAPOLIS - No coverage is owed for perchlorate contamination caused by an insured's manufacturing of highway safety flares because the policies' pollution exclusions are applicable under Maryland law and bar coverage for the claims, the Indiana Court of Appeals said Jan. 23 (Chubb Custom Insurance Co. et al., v. Standard Fusee Corp., No. 49A02-1301-PL-91, Ind. App.; 2014 Ind. App. LEXIS 15).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A unanimous Sixth District California Court of Appeal panel on Jan. 27 revived strict products liability claims against an employer sued for preconception exposure to ethylene glycol in a semiconductor manufacturing factory but sustained summary judgment for the defendant with respect to alleged negligence because the plaintiffs failed to adequately plead duty of care (Waleed Elsheref, et al. v. Applied Materials Inc., No. H038333, Calif. App., 6th Dist.; 2013 Cal. Ap. LEXIS 68).
ADELAIDE, Australia - An Australian judge on Jan. 24 found that after a company refused a former dock worker's offer to settle his mesothelioma claim, it became liable to pay the costs of his asbestos compensation action (Van Soest v. BHP Billiton Limited, $(No 3$) $(2014$) SADC 6, South Australia Dist.).
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Tennessee federal magistrate judge on Jan. 24 issued a report and recommendation finding that a jail official took necessary steps to remedy a mold problem and that a complaint against her should be dismissed (Joshua Lee Caroll, et al. v. Fentress County Sheriff Department, et al., No. 2:11-0019, M.D. Tenn.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8900).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court on Jan. 27 sustained in part preliminary objections to a declaratory judgment complaint filed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission against an oil and natural gas extraction company for compensation with respect to extraction of natural gas by horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing from a state game land (Pennsylvania Game Commission v. Seneca Resources Corp., No. 89 MD 2013, Pa. Cmwlth.; 2014 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 76).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 27 refused to review a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling reinstating claims brought under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) by trustees against the former owners of a landfill (Norman W. Bernstein, et. al. v. Patricia A. Bankert, et. al., No. 13-568, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK - A judge apportioning cleanup costs at two toxic sites in Niagara Falls, N.Y., should have used newer well data in deciding the contributions of two third-party defendants, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said in a Jan. 24 summary order (State of New York v. Solvent Chemical Company Inc. v. Olin Corporation, et al., No. 13-132(L), 13-148, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 1348).
ADELAIDE, South Australia - An Australian justice on Jan. 21 issued a ruling clarifying the issues in a cost dispute in relation to an asbestos-product maker's appeal of a decision to award a former shipping worker damages for his asbestos-related disease (BHP Billiton Limited v. Parker, $(No 2$) $(2014$) SASC 6, South Australia Sup.).
PHILADELPHIA - A split panel of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 24 affirmed a ruling that the claims of personal injury plaintiffs against a debtor company belonged to the bankruptcy estate (In re: Emoral Inc., No. 13-1467, Chapter 11, 3rd Cir.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California appeals court on Jan. 21 affirmed a trial court's decision to dismiss a tenant's claims in relation to water leaks and mold in her apartment, finding that she failed to comply with discovery and a court order (Carol Lillian Alongi v. Michael N. Pelak, individually and as trustee, etc., No. C069647, Calif. App., 3rd Dist.; 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 380).
CHICAGO - The nation's largest manufacturer of roll-your-own cigarette products obtained an injunction and summary judgment on infringement claims Jan. 22 in Illinois federal court against convenience stores it alleged distributed counterfeit versions of its products (Top Tobacco v. Midwestern Cash and Carry, No. 1:11-cv-04460, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7598).
LANSING, Mich. - A Michigan appeals court on Jan. 22 affirmed a tribunal's decision to reduce the true cash value of a lake property because of mold and other issues, finding that the homeowners failed to support their own estimates of the properties' values (David A. Allemon, et al. v. Rose Township, Nos. 313119, No. 315306, Mich. App.; 2014 Mich. App. LEXIS 110).
HONG KONG - The Hong Kong SAR Government on Jan. 22 announced that it has passed a new environmental law that will ban the importation and use of all asbestos.
MIAMI - A Florida jury on Jan. 17 awarded $5 million to a smoker who blamed his 40-year Marlboro habit for the development of coronary heart disease (Antonio Cuculino v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 2010-62733-CA-01, Fla. Cir., 11th Jud., Miami-Dade Co.).