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Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Transocean Announces Settlements With BP, Plaintiffs Over Gulf Oil Spill

ZUG, Switzerland - Transocean Ltd. on May 20 announced that it has reached settlements with BP Exploration and Production Inc. and plaintiffs who allegedly suffered economic losses as a result of the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon and ensuing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, which would...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - BP, Halliburton Agree To Settle Claims Against Each Other Over Oil Spill

HOUSTON - Halliburton announced May 20 that it has reached a settlement with BP Exploration and Production Inc. to resolve any remaining claims the companies have against each other stemming from the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and resulting oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 9th Circuit Revives Portions Of California's Suit Over Contamination Near Stadium

PASADENA, Calif. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 21 reinstated the State of California and City of San Diego's claims for damages, nuisance and trespass against Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP over groundwater contamination of a parcel of land near Qualcomm Stadium, after finding...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Defendant In Paulsboro Train Derailment Case Says Punitive Damages Claims Fail

CAMDEN, N.J. - One of the railroad company defendants being sued by New Jersey residents seeking damages related to a chemical spill caused by the derailment of a train crossing the bridge over Mantua Creek on May 22 filed a brief in New Jersey federal court contending that punitive damages should not...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Texas Asbestos Trust Disclosure Bill Heads To Governor For Signing

AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Senate on May 22 overwhelmingly adopted a bill that would force asbestos and silica personal injury claimants to file any claims they have with bankruptcy trusts before a trial could proceed on their tort system claims.

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Federal Judge: Expert Can Testify In Suit Over Lost Railroad Lines

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - An expert can testify about the value of three rail lines that were buried and sold during remediation of a federal Superfund site because he is qualified, his methodology is reliable and his opinions will be helpful to a jury, an Alabama federal judge held May 22 in mostly denying...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Proper Service Allows Later Service On Other Defendants, Utah Top Court Says

SALT LAKE CITY - The plain language of Utah law permits service on a defendant up until the time of trial, as long as a single defendant is properly served within the 120-day limit, the Utah Supreme Court held May 22 (Barbara St. Jeor v. Kerr Corp., No. 20130913, Utah Sup.; 2015 Utah LEXIS 171).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Residents Seek To Exclude Halliburton's Experts In Radioactive Waste Lawsuit

OKLAHOMA CITY - Residents who sued Halliburton Energy Services Inc. (HESI) in Oklahoma federal court alleging that they have been injured as a result of exposure to radioactive waste from a chemical plant operated by the company filed a brief on May 26 arguing that HESI's expert witnesses should...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Federal Judge Sanctions Asbestos Attorney For Expert Testimony Blunder

SAN FRANCISCO - An attorney acted in bad faith when he asked an asbestos expert about the connection between the plaintiff's chemotherapy and his renal failure after telling the court that such questioning was off the table, a federal judge in California held May 26 (Barry Kelly and Molly Kelly v...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Parties Brief Need For Stay During Appeal Of Remand Order In Asbestos Case

NEW ORLEANS - A shipmaker and a woman who alleges asbestos exposure from laundering clothing briefed a federal judge in Louisiana on May 26 on whether he must stay an asbestos case set for trial on June 22 during appeal of his remand order (Mary Jane Wilde v. Huntington Ingalls Inc., et al., No. 15-1486...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Plaintiffs In Gas Rig Fire Oppose Chevron's Motion For Sanctions

SAN FRANCISCO - Plaintiffs who allege that Chevron Corp. is liable for damages caused by the explosion of a natural gas rig on May 26 filed a brief in California federal court opposing the company's motion for sanctions related to alleged failure of some plaintiffs to comply with discovery obligations...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Asbestos Exposure, Not Disease Is Injury; Witnessing It Not Compensable, Judge Says

NEW ORLEANS - Asbestos exposure and not the resulting mesothelioma constitutes injury for the purposes of mental anguish damages, but even assuming plaintiffs witnessed the exposure, the event is not the type of traumatic event for which Louisiana makes such damages available, a federal judge held May...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Couple: Fracking Companies Not Permitted To Dismiss Tainted Water Lawsuit

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania landowners who sued hydraulic fracturing companies alleging chemical contamination of their drinking water as a result of fracking operations on May 26 filed a brief in Pennsylvania federal court opposing the company's motion to dismiss, arguing that it has not provided...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Declines To Strike Challenge To 'Every Exposure' Asbestos Expert

RALEIGH, N.C. - While the defendants' briefs focused primarily on "every exposure" testimony from one expert, this was sufficient to put asbestos plaintiffs on notice that the defendants intended to challenge similar testimony from a second expert, a federal judge in North Carolina held...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Pennsylvania Negligence Law Permits Component-Part Liability, Federal Judge Says

PHILADELPHIA - While Pennsylvania does not impose strict liability for third-party parts, a product manufacturer who knows the hazards posed by asbestos-containing parts originally supplied with its product always has a duty to warn about replacement parts under Pennsylvania negligence law, the judge...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Counsel: Chevron Cannot Collaterally Attack Lago Agrio Judgment

NEW YORK - The attorneys representing Steven Donziger, the attorney for a group of Ecuadorian residents who won an $18.5 billion judgment against Chevron Corp. for personal injuries caused by the company's oil operations in the Lago Agrio region of Ecuador, on May 22 filed a brief in the Second Circuit...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Pennsylvania Tort Exemption Applies To Employee's Case, New York Justice Says

NEW YORK - Pennsylvania law allowing employee tort actions where a disease arises outside the window for a workers' compensation action applies to an asbestos action filed in New York and alleging exposure in Pennsylvania, a New York justice held in an opinion posted May 27 (Venetia Kontogouris,...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Appeals Panel Reverses; Trial Court 'Abused' Discretion In Lead-Poisoning Case

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Maryland Court of Special Appeals on May 29 reversed and remanded a lead-poisoning injury case, ruling that when the trial court denied the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment on his discovery requests and then dismissed his complaint, the Baltimore City Circuit Court "abused...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - D.C. Circuit Court Denies PVC Makers' Challenge To EPA's Rule On Emissions

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The majority of a District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 29 denied petitions filed by makers of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) challenging the limits contained in a 2012 rule implemented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over emissions resulting from the...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Finds Failure To Disclose Previous Diagnosis, Action, Dismisses Case

CHICAGO - Failure to disclose a medical diagnosis the previously dismissed case in which it was filed warrants dismissing a subsequent case, a federal judge held in an opinion filed June 1. The judge gave the plaintiff's law firm 10 days to cause why they should not bear costs (Georgia Arendt, et...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Delaware Federal Judge Says No Coverage Owed For 2 Time Periods At Issue

WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware federal judge on May 29 partially granted motions for summary judgment filed by two insurers after determining that one of the underlying excess policies was not exhausted and that another barred coverage because the primary policy clearly excluded coverage for asbestos...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Federal Judge Largely Allows Nuisance Claims In Community Asbestos Exposure Case

MADISON, Wis. - Plaintiffs alleging asbestos exposure from a nearby plant may not establish the standard of care by referencing Clean Air Act (CAA) regulations, but otherwise may pursue nuisance claims under Wisconsin law, a federal judge held June 2 (Milton Boyer and Kathy Boyer v. Weyerhaeuser Co....

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Man Files Class Action Lawsuit Over May 15 California Pipeline Spill

LOS ANGELES - A California man filed a class action lawsuit in federal court on June 1, seeking economic losses for commercial fishermen and coastal businesses that suffered damages as the result of the May 15 rupture of a pipeline owned by Plains All American Pipeline L.P. that resulted in the discharge...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Alleged Childhood Exposures Save Asbestos Door-Core Claims, Judge Says

MADISON, Wis. - Plaintiffs' claims of childhood exposure to asbestos from door cores on their parents' clothing push the "plausibility boundary" but may proceed, a federal judge in Wisconsin held in granting reconsideration on June 2 (Milton Boyer and Kathy Boyer v. Weyerhaeuser Co...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Finds Case Reports Admissible, But Excludes Other Evidence

RALEIGH, N.C. - Case reports constitute part of the universe of evidence in an asbestos case, a federal judge said in finding the reports admissible while excluding other evidence in May 29 and May 30 rulings (Graham Yates and Becky Yates v. Ford Motor Co. and Honeywell International Inc., No. 12-752...