CAMDEN, N.J. - The federal judge presiding over a lawsuit brought by residents seeking damages for vinyl chloride contamination allegedly caused by the derailment of a train carrying the chemical in Paulsboro, N.J., on Aug. 20 denied the plaintiffs' motion for class certification and granted the defendants' motion to seal some documents that were submitted in opposition to the motion for class certification (In re: Paulsboro Derailment Cases, No. 13-784, D. N.J.).
SEATTLE - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Aug. 15 filed a brief in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington contending that a lawsuit filed by an environmental watchdog group should be dismissed because the available data does not support a finding that the coastal and estuarine waters in Washington and Oregon should be listed as impaired due to a condition called ocean acidification (OA) (Center for Biological Diversity v. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 1301866, W.D. Wash.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania environmental group that opposes hydraulic fracturing on Aug. 18 filed an appeal with the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board (EHB) opposing the issuance of fracking permits to Anadarko E&P Onshore LLC, contending that the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) "acted contrary to law and abused its discretion" in granting the permits (Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, et al., No. N/A, Pa. EHB).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A motion seeking to amend a judgment tolls the time to file an appeal, making dismissal of an insurer's appeal of an asbestos verdict against it necessary, a panel of the Delaware Supreme Court said Aug. 15 (Travelers Casualty and Surety Co., et al. v. Viking Pump Inc., et al., No 372,2014, Del. Sup.).
NEW ORLEANS - A federal magistrate judge in Louisiana on Aug. 18 ordered the federal government to pay $839,531.87 to the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee (PSC) for lawsuits stemming from the April 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and ensuing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, finding that because the government is also a plaintiff in the proceedings, it should satisfy its obligations to pay expenses related to the preparations of deposition and trial expenses (In re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepwater Horizon" in the Gulf of Mexico, April 20, 2010, MDL No. 2179, E.D. La.).
LOS ANGELES - Asbestos-gasket maker The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. must provide indemnification for damages stemming from a $6,895,000 verdict, Crane Co. alleges in an Aug. 19 complaint (Crane Co. v. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., No. 14-6509, C.D. Calif.).
MONTPELIER, Vt. - A trial court did not err in dismissing an insured's claims for negligence and bad faith against an insured in a dispute over coverage for water and mold damages because the insured failed to present sufficient evidence in support of the claims, the Vermont Supreme Court said Aug. 14 (Helena G. Murphy v. Patriot Insurance Company, No. 2013-235, Vt. Sup.; 2014 Vt. LEXIS 101).
LOS ANGELES - A group of companies that are being held liable for soil and groundwater contamination by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Aug. 15 filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California seeking cost recovery and declaratory judgment against a different group of companies that allegedly operated businesses that were supposed to properly process waste but instead spilled or discharged that waste onto the ground and into the groundwater (Alcoa Inc., et al. v. APC Investment Company, et al., No. N./A, C.D. Calif.).
VERNON, Calif. - Exide Technologies on Aug. 14 filed a report with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in which it indicated that the company has been subpoenaed by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California to appear before a grand jury concerning a criminal investigation of its lead-battery recycling facility. A spokesman with the U.S. Attorney's Office said he could neither confirm nor deny that a grand jury probe was under way.
TRENTON, N.J. - A hotel company on Aug. 14 filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey against Exxon Mobil Corp. seeking $1.2 million for damages allegedly caused by Exxon's failure to remediate an environmental hazard that contaminated the property on which the hotels sits and caused the hotel's deal to sell the property to fall through (Rose Hotels Ltd. Inc. v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, No. 14-05111, D. N.J.).
ST. LOUIS - A panel of the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 15 ruled that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was not "arbitrary and capricious" in denying a challenge to water quality standards filed by a chemical company that had sought less stringent criteria on its disposal of manufacturing waste (El Dorado Chemical Company v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, No. 13-1936, 8th Cir.).
BALTIMORE - A man's post-removal disclaimer of any damages arising from federal jurisdiction warrants remanding his asbestos action, a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Aug. 15 (Kathleen Wood, et al. v. Crane Co., No. 13-1868, 4th Cir.).
NEW YORK - Although the U.S. Supreme Court recently narrowed rules governing general jurisdiction, New York can still exercise personal jurisdiction over corporations registered to do business in the state, a justice held in an opinion posted Aug. 12 (Eddie Howard Bailen and Rena Norene Ash Bailen v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp. et al., No. 190318/12, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
HOUSTON - After finding that a homeowner failed to take any steps to prevent further water damage at his home and that he waived his right to argue that an insurer acted in bad faith, a Texas appeals court on Aug. 12 affirmed a trial court's dismissal of the case (Mohammed Khan v. Safeco Surplus Lines, et al., No. 14-13-00024, Texas App.; 14th Dist.; 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 8776).
PHILADELPHIA - On remand, a Philadelphia judge must weigh additional factors before allowing a Kentucky couple to continue their asbestos action against a railroad, a Pennsylvania Superior Court panel held Aug. 12 (Paul R. Black v. CSX Transportation Inc., No. 3058 EDA 2012, Pa. Super.).
NEW YORK - Hundreds of pages of certified records detailing more than 300 boilers installed at a correctional facility still leave open the question of whether a defendant's asbestos-containing boiler was present, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Aug. 11 (Angel Lamberty and Carmen Lamberty v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 100988/04, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
LENEXA, Kan. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Aug. 11 announced that Cargill Inc. has agreed to pay $187,500 to resolve claims that it violated the Clean Water Act at oil storage facilities in Iowa and Nebraska.
PHILADELPHIA - A regional office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Aug. 11 announced that GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) had agreed to pay $317,500 to resolve claims stemming from the company's handling of hazardous waste at its King of Prussia, Pa., facility.
PHILADELPHIA - No evidence exists of asbestos exposure preceding the 1975 inclusion of mesothelioma in the Louisiana's workers' compensation law and an estate's wrongful death claim against a second defendant is untimely, the Pennsylvania judge overseeing the federal asbestos multidistrict litigation held in a pair of rulings released Aug. 8 (Frank Williams Jr., et al. v. Lockheed Martin Corp., et al., No. MDL 875, 09-70101, E.D. Pa.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A couple's failure to comply with Florida's Asbestos and Silica Compensation Fairness Act requirements despite being given at least two chances to do so requires dismissal of their action, a Delaware federal judge held Aug. 11 (Harry A. Davis and Madonna S. Davis v. Ace Hardware Corp., et al., No. 12-1185, D. Del.).
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A federal judge in Arkansas on Aug. 12 certified a class for people seeking to have portions of Exxon Mobil Corp.'s Pegasus Pipeline removed from easements on their properties but only after redefining the class's definition and finding new class representatives (Rudy F. Webb, et al. v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al., No. 13CV232 BSM, E.D. Ark.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 12 ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider its decision to approve a permit that allowed a power company in California to build a 600-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant in the state, finding that the agency applied the wrong standard under the Clean Air Act (CAA) (Sierra Club v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Nos. 11-73342, 11-73356, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 15469).
MOUNT VERNON, Ill. - A trial court judge in Illinois did not err when denying a disposal company's motion for summary judgment in a declaratory judgment action against the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) because the dismissal of the agency's separate enforcement action did not include an explanation, a state court of appeals panel ruled Aug. 11 (Illini Environmental Inc. v. Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, No. 5-13-0244, Ill. App., 5th Dist.; 2014 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1734).
BOSTON - An asbestos bankruptcy trust asserting a widow's claims told a Massachusetts federal judge on Aug. 8 that its bankruptcy plan explicitly permitted a $9.3 million verdict against a subsidiary (Katherine Lydon, et al. v. T&N Limited, et al., No. 12-10013, D. Mass.).
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A federal judge in West Virginia on Aug. 6 refused to dismiss a West Virginia city's lawsuit against the owners of a landfill in Hurricane, W.Va., for alleged violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), ruling that the chemicals at issue render the claim exempt from the statute's 90-day notice requirement (City of Hurricane, West Virginia, et al. v. Disposal Service Management Inc., et al., No. 14-15850, S.D. W.Va.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107897).