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Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Applies Maritime Law To Asbestos Case, Finds Bare Metal Defense Bars Claims

NEWARK, N.J. - Maritime law governs cases arising from dry dock work, and the bare metal defense bars the negligence and strict liability claims, a federal judge in New Jersey held June 24 (Kenneth T. Shearer and Barbara Shearer v. A.W. Chesterton Co., et al., No. 13-5887, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Denies Sanctions; Asbestos Case Settles After 5 Days Of Trial

WILMINGTON, Del. - Ford Motor Co. and a woman who claims that it fatally exposed her husband to asbestos settled the action after five days of trial, according to a June 24 docket entry. The federal judge overseeing the case previously declined to sanction Ford for failing to produce certain documents...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Group Can Pursue Clean Water Act Claim Over Facility's Connection

COLUMBIA, S.C. - A federal judge in South Carolina on June 25 denied Carolina Water Service Inc.'s motion to dismiss a Clean Water Act (CWA) lawsuit brought by Congaree Riverkeeper Inc., finding that the group has standing to pursue a claim that the company is violating the act by failing to connect...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Admits Deposition, But Motions To Exclude Experts Net Mixed Results

NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on June 25 allowed an industrial hygienist's asbestos-exposure testimony, over defense complaints that he lacked sufficient experience with mastics or adhesives. The judge previously admitted deposition testimony finding that an insurer's interests were...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Court Affirms Judgment For Employer In Asbestos Case

LOS ANGELES - A trial court properly concluded that an employer shifted the burden of summary judgment and that plaintiffs failed to create triable issues, a California appeals court held June 24 (Teresa Quiroz, et al. v. BNSF Railway Co., No. B250165, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.; 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Bare Metal Defense Frees 3 From Asbestos Action; Judge Remands Case

NEWARK, N.J. - The bare metal defense entitles three product manufacturers to summary judgment, a judge said before remanding the remainder of the asbestos action on June 26 (Linda Hammell, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 14-13, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83154, 2015 U.S. Dist...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Reinsurers Say Reinsureds' Claims Are Not A Single Occurrence

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A group of reinsurers told a federal court in Connecticut on June 26 that their reinsured's claim regarding certain environmental damage losses should not be counted as a single occurrence (Travelers Casualty and Surety Company v. ACE Property & Casualty Insurance Company,...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - U.S. Supreme Court Denies BP, Anadarko's Requests To Review Liability Ruling

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 29 denied petitions asking the high court to review a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' ruling affirming a federal judge in Louisiana's finding concerning BP Exploration & Production Inc. and Anadarko Petroleum Corp.'s liability under...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 9th Circuit Orders EPA To Consider Effects Of Discharges Into Beaufort Sea

ANCHORAGE, Ala. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 29 remanded a case to the Environmental Protection Agency to make a determination regarding whether the discharge of noncontact cooling water into the Beaufort Sea will cause unreasonable degradation of the marine environment, after the...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Excludes 'Every Exposure' Testimony From Asbestos Trial

RALEIGH, N.C. - A judge overseeing an asbestos case nearing trial on June 29 barred an expert from testifying that "every exposure" leads to disease and excluded another expert's testimony regarding causation, finding it insufficiently specific (Graham Yates and Becky Yates v. Ford Motor...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Railroad Company Denies Liability For Vinyl Chloride Spill From Train Derailment

CAMDEN, N.J. - Consolidated Rail Corp. (CONRAIL), one of the railroad defendants being sued in New Jersey federal court by residents who seek damages related to a chemical spill caused by the derailment of a train crossing the bridge over Mantua Creek filed an answer on June 29 in which it admits only...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Group: 'Reckless' Operation Of Nuclear Facility Caused Injuries, Tainted Water

PITTSBURGH - A group of residents on June 26 filed a purported class action in Pennsylvania federal court against a power company and its affiliates, contending that they have been injured as a result of the defendant's "reckless" operation of two nuclear materials processing facilities...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Court: California Sales Don't Get Asbestos Fiber Broker Out Of Washington Courts

SEATTLE - A broker need not know asbestos would end up in pipe used in Washington because the volume of sales suggested the fibers would enter the stream of commerce, a state appeals court held June 29 in reversing dismissal (Candance Noll, et al. v. American Biltrite Inc., et al., No. 71345-1-I, Wash...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Group: Amended Complaint Proper Under Federal Rules; Chevron Not Prejudiced

SAN FRANCISCO - A group of plaintiffs suing Chevron Corp. alleging that the company is liable for damages caused by the explosion of a natural gas rig filed a brief in California federal court on June 29, opposing the company's motion to strike or dismiss the plaintiffs' third amended complaint...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Denies Fracking Companies' Tainted Groundwater Dismissal Motions As 'Moot'

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on June 30 denied as moot a hydraulic fracturing company's motion to partially dismiss a complaint filed by residents who contend that the company contaminated their groundwater (Tammy Manning v. WPX Energy Appalachia LLC, No. 12-0646, M.D. Pa.; 2015...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 5th Circuit Orders New Trial For Convicted BP Engineer Over Juror's Conduct

NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 30 ruled that a former BP Exploration & Production Inc. engineer who was convicted of one count of obstruction of justice for deleting text messages and emails related to the calculations of the amount of oil spilling out of the Macondo...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Inmate's Tainted Drinking Water Case Dismissed; Claim Not Stated

DETROIT - A federal judge in Michigan on June 30 dismissed a former inmate's civil rights action which claimed a prison's drinking water was contaminated. The judge said that the plaintiff failed to state a claim (Rhea Michelle Walker v. Camp Brighton Prison, No. 15-12153, E.D. Mich.; 2015 U...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 3rd Party Defendant Says Its Product Not Responsible For Lithium Battery Injuries

OKLAHOMA CITY - A third-party defendant in a lawsuit brought by two men who contend that they were injured when a lithium battery exploded during a hydraulic fracturing operation filed an answer June 30 denying the allegations and contending that its product either was not the product at issue in the...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Remands Veteran's Asbestos-Related Throat Cancer Case For Reconsideration

WASHINGTON, D.C. - An appeals board provided inadequate support for denying a veteran's claim that asbestos exposure led him to contract throat cancer, an appeals court judge held June 30 (James R. Kowalew v. Robert A. McDonald, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, No. 14-0869, U.S. App., Vet. Clms.; 2015...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Board Must Explain Reasoning For Denying Laundryman's Claim, Judge Says

WASHINGTON, D.C. - On remand, a veterans appeals board must explain how it reconciled conflicting evidence in denying a former laundryman's asbestos exposure claim, an appeals court judge held June 29 (Carolyn Morrison v. Robert A. McDonald, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, No. 13-3474, U.S. App.,...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - BP Agrees To Pay $18.7B To Resolve Claims Over Gulf Oil Spill

NEW ORLEANS - BP Exploration & Production Inc. will pay $18.7 billion over the course of 18 years to resolve Clean Water Act (CWA) and natural resource damages claims from the federal government and states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas stemming from the oil spill in the Gulf...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Tennessee Court: Judge's Post-Verdict Instructions Require New Damages Trial

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A judge's post-verdict jury instruction regarding the Federal Employer Liability Act (FELA)'s bar on contributory negligence requires a new trial on the issue of damages in an asbestos case, Tennessee's top court held July 1 in largely upholding the verdict (Anne Payne...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Puerto Rico: Reconsideration Of MTBE Ruling Needed; Evidence 'Overlooked'

NEW YORK - The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico on June 30 moved in New York federal court for reconsideration of the court's opinion that dismissed some of the commonwealth's claims, arguing that the ruling constitutes "manifest injustice" and that evidence was "overlooked" (In...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 4th Circuit Revives Contamination Suit Against Horseshoe Casino Developers

RICHMOND, Va. - A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 1 revived a lawsuit brought by a number of Maryland residents against the city of Baltimore and the developers of the Horseshoe Casino, ruling that a federal judge erred when dismissing their claims under the Resource Conservation and...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Defendants: Plaintiffs Fail To State Claim in VOC Litigation

FORT MYERS, Fla. - A group of chemical companies being sued by a farm trust that alleges that the companies have contaminated the trust's property with volatile organic compounds on July 1 filed a brief in Florida federal court arguing that the plaintiffs' second amended complaint should be dismissed...