Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Remands Agent Orange Ear Injury Case, Say Medical Opinions 'Inadequate'

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on Dec. 15 remanded a veteran's claim for coverage of hearing loss that he contended was connected to his service in Vietnam when he was exposed to Agent Orange, ruling that the Board of Veterans Appeals relied on...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - U.S. High Court Refuses Case Challenging Expert Regarding Tainted Groundwater

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 15 declined to hear arguments in a lawsuit where a federal court had overruled a chemical company's challenge regarding the credibility of a plaintiff's expert in a groundwater contamination case. The company had contended that the federal court's...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - No Coverage Owed For Injuries Caused By Toxic Mold, New Jersey Panel Affirms

TRENTON, N.J. - Insurers owe no coverage for injuries sustained as a result of toxic mold because a fungus exclusion clearly bars coverage for the injuries, the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court said Dec. 11 (William Hurst, et al. v. American Zurich Insurance Co., et al., No. A-5447...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Contractor Says Ecuadorian Plaintiffs Fail To State Claim For Herbicide Injuries

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A private military contractor being sued by residents of Ecuador for allegedly causing personal injuries as a result of spraying herbicides on Dec. 16 moved for summary judgment in District of Columbia federal court, contending that the plaintiffs are unable to substantiate any of...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New York Bans Hydraulic Fracturing Statewide

ALBANY, N.Y. - The commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) on Dec. 17 announced at a meeting of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's cabinet that he will "issue a legally binding findings statement" that will prohibit high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Federal Judge Refuses Insurer's Request To Amend To Include Fraud Claim

ST. LOUIS - After finding that statements allegedly made by a homeowner in relation to mold and water damage to her property were not admissible, a Missouri federal judge on Dec. 16 denied an insurer's request to amend its counterclaim to include a cause of action for fraudulent misrepresentation...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 3rd Circuit: Medical Reports Didn't Meet Asbestos MDL Guidelines

PHILADELPHIA - A medical expert opined that a woman's fatal disease arose from take-home exposures, but he never linked her specific exposures to the disease as required by the asbestos multidistrict litigation guidelines, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held in affirming dismissal of the...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Freedom Industries, 6 Former Officials Indicted For Violating Clean Water Act

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A federal grand jury in the Southern District of West Virginia on Dec. 17 indicted Freedom Industries Inc. and six former officials over a spill that discharged 10,000 gallons of 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol (MCHM) into the Elk River in January 2014, according to a filing in federal...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Turner & Newell Can't Depose Asbestos Trust Official, Rhode Island Judge Says

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Any evidence gleaned from deposing an asbestos trust representative would be cumulative of and more easily obtained through the trust's governing documents, a Rhode Island judge held Dec. 16 (Maureen Gallagher, et al. v. American Insulated Wire Corp., et al., No. PC11-5269, Constance...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: DuPont May Not Exclude Expert Testimony In Chemical Exposure Case

BATON ROUGE, La. - The federal judge presiding over a chemical exposure case in Louisiana on Dec. 17 denied a motion filed by E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. seeking to limit the testimony of plaintiffs' experts, which the company sought to limit on grounds of relevance (Jeffrey M. Simoneaux v...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Creditor May Not Pursue Contaminated Water Case Against Bankrupt Company

WILMINGTON, Del. - A federal judge in Delaware on Dec. 17 ruled that a creditor who contends that a bankrupt company was guilty of contaminating groundwater in California by releasing volatile organic compounds was not entitled to relief from the automatic bankruptcy stay to pursue litigation in California...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Says DuPont's Argument On Causation In C8 Litigation Is 'Unpersuasive'

COLUMBUS, Ohio - One of the federal judges overseeing the class action multidistrict litigation filed by Ohio residents who contend that E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. is liable for wrongful death and other injuries from exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid on Dec. 17 denied the company's motion...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Illinois Court Denies New Trial Despite Violation Of Evidence Order

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - A woman's request for a new trial fails because she made a tactical decision to forgo such relief after a defendant violated an evidence order, an Illinois appeals court held Dec. 16 (Carol Holloway v. Sprinkmann Sons Corp. of Illinois, No. 4-13-1118, Ill. App., 4th Dist.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Finds ExxonMobil Did Not Violate Clean Air Act

HOUSTON - A federal judge in Texas on Dec. 17 awarded judgment to ExxonMobil Corp. after finding that the company did not violate the Clean Air Act (CAA) when emissions from its Baytown, Texas, refinery exceeded permitted levels and that the company properly investigated and remedied the problems (Environment...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - British American Reaches $575 Million Settlement Over Flintkote Asbestos Claims

LONDON - Imperial Tobacco Canada, a subsidiary of British American Tobacco, will pay $575 million to settle asbestos-related litigation involving The Flintkote Co., the company announced Dec. 16 in a news release.

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Dismisses Tainted Well Case; Plaintiffs' Expert Did Not Review Test Results

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on Dec. 17 dismissed a lawsuit brought by residents who contended that their drinking wells were contaminated by the activities of an oil and gas exploration company, ruling that the plaintiffs' expert should be stricken because he did not review isotopic...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Religious Retirement Home Company Challenges ACA Birth Control Mandate

TAMPA, Fla. - The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s contraceptive mandate infringes on religious beliefs, a Christian retirement community argues in a Dec. 18 reply filed in Florida federal court (Christian and Missionary Alliance Foundation Inc., et al. v. Sylvia Mathews Burwell...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Lago Agrio Attorney: Chevron Fraud Case Should Be Dismissed

NEW YORK - The attorney representing 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 filed a reply brief in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 18...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Federal Judge Dismisses Constructive Eviction Claims Against Housing Authority

SEATTLE - After finding that a tenant failed to show that a housing authority did not remedy a mold and water damage issue in his apartment, a Washington federal judge on Dec. 19 dismissed his claims for constructive eviction (Bobby Tucker v. Seattle Housing Authority, et al., No. 13-1566, W.D. Wash...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - MTBE Judge: Dismissal Of Plaintiff Expert 'Premature' At This Stage In The Case

NEW YORK - The federal judge in New York presiding over the methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) products litigation on Dec. 18 ruled that, despite her reservations about a plaintiff expert's plume model, dismissal of the expert at this stage of the case was "premature" (In Re: Methyl Tertiary...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Crown Cork Asbestos Liability Law Constitutional, Pennsylvania Court Says

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A law protecting Crown Cork & Seal Co. from asbestos-related liabilities could in theory apply to other companies and does the legitimate job of protecting the state's jobs, a Pennsylvania court held Dec. 22 in finding the law constitutional (James C. Markovsky, et al. v. Crown...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New York Justice Won't Reconsider Punitive Damages Decision

NEW YORK - A New York justice on Dec. 18 declined defendants' motion to renew, reargue or stay a ruling allowing punitive damages in New York City's asbestos litigation (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, No. 40000/88, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Wyoming Court Reverses Costs Ruling For Landlord In Mold-Related Rental Case

CHEYENNE, Wyo. - The Wyoming Supreme Court on Dec. 22 reversed part of a trial court's decision to award costs to a landlord in relation to a case filed by tenants who alleged that they were exposed to black mold, finding that the court lacked the authority to award costs for depositions (Todd Graus...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Paulsboro Train Derailment Defendants: Voluntary Dismissal Was Improper

CAMDEN, N.J. - The railroad companies being sued by New Jersey residents who contend that they were injured as result of exposure to vinyl chloride that was the result of a train derailment filed a brief on Dec. 22 in New Jersey federal court, arguing that the motions for voluntary dismissal filed by...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge In Asbestos Exposure Case Declines To Permit 'Any Exposure' Expert Testimony

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Dec. 22 ruled that expert testimony under the "any exposure" causation theory for asbestos exposure was unsupported by case law and not sufficiently reliable to establish specific causation related to the plaintiff's injury and his negligence claims...