Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 2 Lawsuits Filed Against City Of Denton Contend Fracking Ban Violates Texas Law

DENTON, Texas - The Texas Oil and Gas Association (TOGA) on Nov. 5 sued the City of Denton in Texas state court, contending that the ordinance that the city passed banning hydraulic fracturing within the city limits is unconstitutional because it is preempted by state law (Texas Oil and Gas Association...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Lawyers, Doctor To Pay CSX $7.3M To Resolve Asbestos-Fraud Case

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Two attorneys and a doctor accused of filing fraudulent asbestos actions against CSX Transportation Inc. will pay the railway $7.3 million, ending almost 10 years of litigation alleging racketeering and fraud, the company said in a Nov. 6 press release

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - California Court Rejects Strict Liability Take-Home Asbestos Liability Case

SAN FRANCISCO - The First District California Court of Appeal on Nov. 6 denied writ of mandate to a defendant challenging whether a duty analysis applies in a strict liability case alleging exposure to asbestos, according to its docket (Kaiser Gypsum Company Inc. v. Superior Court of California for the...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Group Has Standing To Bring Clean Water Act Suit, Judge Rules

CONCORD, N.H. - The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) sufficiently established that it has standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution to bring a lawsuit against a sand and gravel company whose discharges of storm water allegedly violates the Clean Water Act (CWA), a federal judge in New Hampshire...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Pennsylvania Court Accepts Review In 'Every Exposure,' Trial Consolidation Case

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Nov. 6 agreed to decide whether an expert's testimony regarding cumulative exposures to asbestos goes beyond "every exposure" testimony and whether consolidated trial prejudices defendants (Richard Rost and Joyce Rost v. Ford Motor Co...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: If Asbestos Plaintiffs Can 'Untangle' Exposures, They May Proceed

MADISON, Wis. - To the extent that plaintiffs can "untangle" community asbestos exposures from those barred by workers' compensation statutes, they may proceed with nuisance claims against an employer, a Wisconsin federal judge held Nov. 4 in partially granting reconsideration (Milton Boyer...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Refuses To Dismiss Sierra Club's Suit Over Clean Air Act Violations

ST. LOUIS - A federal judge in Missouri denied Union Electric Co.'s motion to dismiss Sierra Club's lawsuit claiming that the opacity from emissions generated by the company violated permits it obtained under Title V of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and from Missouri Department of Natural Resources...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Retired Man's Death Benefits Properly Based On Last Year Of Work, Court Says

RALEIGH, N.C. - Where a man develops and dies of an occupationally related asbestos disease after retiring because of an unrelated disease, death benefits may be based on his last year of work, a North Carolina appeals court affirmed Nov. 4 (Shirley Lipe, et al. v. Starr Davis Company Inc., et al., No...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Illinois Board Approves Act That Allows Fracking

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - The Illinois Joint Commission on Administrative Rules (JCAR) on Nov. 6 passed the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act (HFRA), which allows for fracking to proceed in the state. The JCAR passed the act unanimously except for one abstention, according to reports from both fracking supporters...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Wyo. Supreme Court Remands Water Rights Issue In Family Ranch Dispute

CHEYENNE, Wyo. - On a 3-2 vote, the Wyoming Supreme Court on Nov. 6 vacated a lower court's decision on how to supply water to a ranch being partitioned by members of the homesteader family (Alice A. Platt v. Ralph E. Platt, et al., Nos. S-13-0239, S-14-0053, Wyo. Sup.; 2014 Wyo. LEXIS 164).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Justice: Statute Of Limitations Bars Claim By Woman Diagnosed With Meso At 24-Years Old

JOHNSTOWN, N.Y. - A woman's epithelial mesothelioma was the same disease she was diagnosed with in 2002, making her 2012 suit untimely, a New York justice held Nov. 5 (Linda Wells v. Abex Corp., et al., No. 48156/12, N.Y. Sup., Schenectady Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Finds Asbestos Exposure Evidence Lacking; No Liability For Replacement Parts

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Co-worker testimony establishes possible exposure only to two defendants' products, and concluding that such exposure definitively occurred would require impermissible speculation, a North Carolina federal judge held Nov. 7 (Joseph Logan, et al. v. Air Products and Chemicals Inc...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Approves $5.2B Settlement To Remediate Superfund Sites, Uranium Mines

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Nov. 10 adopted a bankruptcy judge's report and recommendation suggesting the final approval of a proposed $5.2 billion settlement that would resolve claims brought by the federal government against Kerr-McGee Corp. and its parent company Anadarko Petroleum...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Divided Louisiana Court Affirms $3.8 Million Asbestos Verdict

BATON ROUGE, La. - A judge's "kind statements" from the bench do not indicate that her $3.8 million asbestos verdict includes damages unavailable in a survival action, a divided Louisiana appeals court held Nov. 10 (Dorothy Carter White, et al. v. Entergy Gulf States Louisiana LLC, et al...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Court: Navy's Specifications Satisfy Federal Officer Removal Standard

NEW YORK - The U.S. Navy's "detailed and comprehensive specifications" raise a colorable federal officer defense, even in the absence of evidence that the Navy ever actually rejected asbestos-related warnings, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Nov. 13 (Susan Cuomo, et al...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Asbestos MDL Judge Issues Order To Show Cause On Severance Of Punitive Damages

PHILADELPHIA - The federal asbestos multidistrict litigation judge on Nov. 12 issued an order to show cause, asking plaintiffs in six cases involving 17 defendants whether the court should discontinue severance of punitive damages claims (In re: Asbestos Products Liability Litigation [No. VI], MDL 875...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Kentucky Appeals Court Reverses Ruling Finding Whiskey Fungus Claims Preempted

FRANKFORT, Ky. - A panel of the Kentucky Court of Appeals on Nov. 14 reversed a trial judge's ruling finding that trespass and nuisance claims brought by residents who claim that they have suffered damages as a result of whiskey fungus caused by ethanol emissions from nearby distilleries are preempted...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New Jersey Panel Vacates Order Allowing Agency To Seize Control Of Landfill

NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey appellate panel on Nov. 13 vacated an emergency order entered by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) allowing it to seize operations of a landfill due to its emissions of hydrogen sulfide, after finding that the agency first needed to obtain judicial...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - DOJ: Environmental Remediation Firm To Pay $2.7M For Alleged Kickbacks

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Nov. 17 that Sevenson Environmental Services Inc. has agreed to pay $2.72 million to resolve allegations that the environmental remediation firm violated the False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Act in connection with work performed at the...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - California Federal Jury Finds For John Crane Inc. In Asbestos Gasket Case

LOS ANGELES - A California jury on Nov. 17 returned a defense verdict for John Crane Inc. in a case alleging exposure to asbestos from its gaskets (Susan Hill, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 12-8713, C.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - U.S. Forestry Service Plan OKs Some Fracking In George Washington National Forest

ROANOKE, Va. - The U.S. Forestry Service (USFS) on Nov. 18 announced its revised plan for management of the 1.1 million-acre George Washington National Forest that will allow oil and gas exploration using hydraulic fracturing on a total of 177,200 acres.

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Man's Fatal Asbestosis Nets Widow $5,635,080 From Florida Jury

MIAMI - A Florida jury on Nov. 18 awarded a widow $5,635,080 for fatal asbestosis a husband contracted during work as a boilermaker at power plants owned by the lone remaining defendant (Magaly Fernandez, et al. v. Florida Power & Light Co., et al., No. 11-17044, Fla. Cir., Miami-Dade Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Finds Plaintiffs' Clean Water Act Claims Lack Merit

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - A federal judge in Rhode Island on Nov. 19 found in favor of defendants accused of violating the Clean Water Act (CWA), holding that plaintiffs' citizen suit lacked merit because they were unable to show that the defendants discharged pollutants into navigable waterways of the...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Asbestos Plaintiffs Tell MDL Judge Litigation Changes Warrant Punitive Damages

PHILADELPHIA - Plaintiffs in two federal asbestos multidistrict cases told the judge on Nov. 19 that changes in the litigation over the last 14 years warrant allowing the imposition of punitive damages (Kenneth McAfee and Shirley McAfee v. 20th Century Glove Corporation of Texas, et al., No. 13-6856...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New York Top Court Finds Notice Sufficient For Suit Against Port Authority

NEW YORK - An asbestos widow sufficiently fulfilled the statutory requirements necessary to sue the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, even though she labeled the notice of claim as one for "personal injury" rather than "wrongful death," the New York Court of Appeals held...