Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Justice Keeps Boiler Maker In Case Involving Potential Third-Party Exposures

NEW YORK - A boiler company is not entitled to summary judgment while questions remain over whether it recommended or supplied asbestos-containing, third-party parts, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Sept. 2 (Richard Fallon v. Fulton Boiler Works Inc., et al., No. 190156/13, N.Y. Sup., New...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Justice: Questions Remain Regarding Asbestos Exposure From Honeywell Valves

NEW YORK - Question remain regarding a man's potential asbestos exposure from Honeywell International Inc. valves, a New York justice held in denying summary judgment in an opinion posted Sept. 2 (Mary Murray, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 190554/12, N.Y. Sup., New York Co...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Oil Spill MDL Judge Finds Halliburton's Destruction Of Evidence Willful

NEW ORLEANS - The federal judge in Louisiana overseeing litigation arising from the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010 imposed sanctions against Halliburton Energy Services Inc. on Sept. 4 after finding that its destruction of 3D computer...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Dismisses Group's Claim That EPA's Deletion Of Text Messages Violates Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in the District of Columbia on Sept. 4 dismissed Competitive Intelligence Enterprise's claim that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency violated the Federal Records Act (FRA) by deleting text messages sent to and from cell phones issued to its administrator and...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Asbestos MDL Judge Grants 1st Of Ship Owners' 1,300 'No-Evidence' Motions

PHILADELPHIA - The judge overseeing the federal maritime asbestos multidistrict litigation on Sept. 4 granted the first of what sources told Mealey Publications are 1,300 pending "no evidence" motions for summary judgment (Willard Bartel, et al. v. A-C Product Liability Trust, et al., No. MDL...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Ohio Court Affirms Disclosure Of Inadvertently Released Litigation Analysis

CLEVELAND - A counsel's inadvertently disclosed analysis of asbestos actions against a company may contain attorney-client privileged information, but it also contains relevant evidence requiring disclosure, an Ohio appeals court affirmed Sept. 4 (Betty Tucker, et al. v. CompuDyne Corp., et al.,...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Government Moves To Approve $5.7M Settlement With ConAgra Over Cleanup

PORTLAND, Maine - The federal government on Sept. 5 in Maine federal court moved for approval of a settlement with ConAgra Grocery Products Co. in which the company would pay $5.7 million to reimburse the government for response costs it incurred in remediating the A.C. Lawrence Leather Company Sludge...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - MTBE MDL Judge Refuses To Declassify MTBE Study Documents

NEW YORK - The federal judge in New York presiding over litigation concerning alleged groundwater contamination caused by the gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) on Sept. 3 refused to declassify documents from two research institutions regarding a study investigating the carcinogenic...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Finds Tenant's Mold-Related And Discrimination Claims Fail

FRESNO, Calif. - A federal magistrate judge on Sept. 3 found that a tenant's claims against her landlord for violation of the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (FHAA) and other claims in relation to mold contamination at her rental property failed and that the action should be dismissed (Carlotta...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Texas Jury Awards $18.6M For Mesothelioma, Including $15M In Punitives

DALLAS - A Texas jury on Sept. 5 awarded $15 million in punitive damages and $3.6 million in other damages to the family of a tire builder who suffered exposure to asbestos during employment with a The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. subsidiary, sources told Mealey Publications (Vicki Lynn Rogers, et...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - BP: Claims Administrator Should Be Removed For Conflict Of Interest

NEW ORLEANS - BP Exploration and Production Inc. on Sept. 8 moved in Louisiana federal court, arguing that claims administrator Patrick Juneau should be removed because he previously worked as an advocate on behalf of the State of Louisiana regarding the handling of claims and payout of funds from the...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Dismisses Clam Digger's Maritime Claims, Stays Oil Pollution Act Claim

BOSTON - A federal judge in Massachusetts on Sept. 5 refused to exercise admiralty jurisdiction over general maritime claims brought by a commercial clam digger over an October 2010 jet fuel spill that reached the Boston Harbor, ruling that the defendants' actions did not have a substantial relationship...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Minnesota Court Finds Landlord Failed To Remedy Mold Issues

ST. PAUL, Minn. - A Minnesota appeals court on Sept. 8 affirmed a trial court's decision ordering that rent payments be returned to tenants, finding that their landlord failed to remedy mold and other problems at the property (Sharon Lee Brendalen, et al. v. Laxman Sundae, No. 14-0219, Minn. App...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - DOJ: Property Owner, Manager Sentenced To 21 Months Over Illegal Asbestos Removal

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Sept. 8 that a New York property owner and property manager were sentenced by a federal judge in the Northern District of New York to 21 months in federal prison for conspiring to violate the Clean Air Act (CAA) and the Comprehensive Environmental...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Dismisses Anti-Fracking Group's Cases Seeking To Prevent Sale Of Oil Leases

RENO, Nev. - A federal judge in Nevada on Sept. 8 ruled that a citizens group that opposes a plan by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to issue leases allowing fracking in the Reese River Basin of Nevada had failed to provide evidence that the agency had made a "definitive statement"...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Texas Official: Vladimir Putin Funding Anti-Fracking Groups, Hiring Lobbyists

AUSTIN, Texas - A member of the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) on Sept. 8 sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, seeking answers regarding what the U.S. State Department is doing in response to what the commissioner calls "disturbing information" that Russian President Vladimir...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Plaintiff Company's Settlements With Government Bar Response Cost Claims

CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on Sept. 8 dismissed Peoples Gas Light & Coke Co.'s claims to recover response costs under Section 107(a) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, ruling that its previous settlement agreements with the federal government...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Environmental Group: Agency Withheld Documents About Impact Of Pipeline

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) on Sept. 9 filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia alleging that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has improperly withheld records pertaining to the analysis of the impact that the proposed Keystone XL...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New York Justice Creates Lung Cancer, Mesothelioma, Take-Home Exposure Trial Groups

NEW YORK - Lung cancer claims differ sufficiently from mesothelioma claims to divide a proposed asbestos trial group into two groups, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Sept. 9 (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, No. 116852-2006, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Delaware Federal Judge Finds Federal Claim Disclaimer Warrants Remand

WILMINGTON, Del. - A couple's post-removal disclaimer of asbestos claims arising from federal worksites warrants remanding the action, a Delaware federal judge held Sept. 8 (Francis J. Dougherty and Elizabeth F. Dougherty v. A.O. Smith Corp., et al., No. 13-1972, D. Del.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125302...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Orders Mediation Of Case Alleging Injuries From Nuclear Substances Release

PITTSBURGH - A U.S. magistrate judge in Pennsylvania on Sept. 10 ordered the parties in a nuclear waste contamination case to enter alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to settle claims that residents were injured as a result of toxic and radioactive substances released by companies operating two nuclear...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Partially Grants Motions Seeking Exclusion Of Catalogs, Insurance From Trial

SALT LAKE CITY - Product catalogs, evidence of trade association knowledge and defendants' insurance coverages are admissible in an asbestos trial only to the extent that they address the products and knowledge at issue, questions that can be answered as they arise at trial, a Utah federal judge...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - California Groundwater Contamination Trial Set To Begin Sept. 15

SANTA ANA, Calif. - A jury trial in a lawsuit brought by the Orange County Water District (OCWD) against more than 30 current and former property owners that allegedly contributed to "moving plumes" of contaminated groundwater is scheduled to begin Sept. 15 in the California Superior Court...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Court: Stipulated Exposure Doesn't Shift Employee's Causation Burden

INDIANAPOLIS - Even where an employer concedes exposure in an asbestos-related workers' compensation case, an employee still carries the burden of demonstrating that the exposure gave rise to his disease, an Indiana appeals court held Sept. 10 (Mary Ragon as personal representative of the estate...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 11th Circuit: Benlate Defense Ruling Stands Despite Judge's Disqualification

ATLANTA - A panel of the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 9 vacated and then affirmed its prior ruling upholding a lower court's decision in favor of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. in a Benlate exposure case. The panel said the disqualification of a circuit judge on the original panel...