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Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Federal Judge Reverses Decision Dismissing Mold- Related Disability Claims

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on April 14 found that an administrative law judge erred when he discounted the severity of a woman's mold-related and other ailments, remanding the case for further review (Luba Yesipovich v. Carolyn W. Colvin, acting commissioner of social security, No...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Denies Company's Motion To Exclude City's Experts, Supplemental Reports

MADISON, Wis. - A federal judge in Wisconsin on April 15 denied motions filed by a plaintiff company in a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act case, seeking to exclude expert testimony and supplemental reports filed by the City of Ashland, Wis., finding that the experts'...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Government Repository Records Admissible, Overcome Judgment, Judge Says

EAST ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Fifty-year-old military records stored in a government repository fall within the public records exemption to hearsay and help overcome a pump maker's summary judgment effort, a federal judge held April 16 (Richard Spells Jr., et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Pa. Court Rejects Offsets For Nonparty Settlements, Affirms $4.8M Asbestos Verdict

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania appeals court on April 17 affirmed a $4.8 million asbestos verdict, finding no need to offset the awards with settlements reached with nonparty defendants, rejecting the sophisticated user doctrine and finding that the judge properly excluded Crane Co.'s memory expert...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Company's Experts Can Rely On Depositions From Deceased Residents

MADISON, Wis. - A federal judge in Wisconsin presiding over a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act lawsuit on April 16 ruled that expert witnesses for Northern States Power Co. can rely on deposition testimony from four deceased Ashland, Wis., residents to support their...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Contractor: Ecuadorian Plaintiffs Cannot Establish Chemical Injury Claims

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A private military contractor sued by residents of Ecuador for allegedly causing personal injuries as a result of spraying herbicides on April 17 filed a brief contending that the plaintiffs' nuisance claim is contrary to the law of the District of Columbia and that they cannot...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Collective Bargaining Agreement Doesn't Preempt Employee's Asbestos Case, Judge Says

PHILADELPHIA - Negligence and strict liability claims involve an employer's duty to provide a safe workspace under Pennsylvania law and would not require interpretation of a collective bargaining agreement, the federal judge overseeing the federal asbestos multidistrict litigation held April 15 in...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Pennsylvania Court Publishes Opinion Freeing Crane Maker From Asbestos-Brake Case

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania appeals court on April 17 reissued and published an opinion affirming that a couple lacks evidence of exposure to asbestos from brakes on a manufacturer's cranes (Norman J. Sterling and Laura M. Sterling v. P&H Mining Equipment Inc., a/k/a Joy Global Surface Mining...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Court Finds Demurrers Put Case In Judge's Hands, Precluded Nonsuit

NORFOLK, Va. - Once parties in an asbestos action completed briefing on demurrers, the case was in the hands of the trial judge for disposition and could not be nonsuited, Virginia's top court held April 16 (Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc., et al. v. Garland Cantrell, No. 140748, Newport News Shipbuilding...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Reasons For Denying Benefits For Agent Orange Exposure 'Inadequate'

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in the U.S. Court of Veterans Appeals on April 20 ruled that a decision by the Board of Veterans Appeals did not provide a sufficient basis for denying a military serviceman's claim for benefits related to injuries he alleges that he suffered as a result of exposure...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Insureds Failed To State Claim For Relief In Bad Faith Suit, Judge Rules

PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on April 17 dismissed a number of claims in an insurance bad faith lawsuit, ruling that insureds have failed to state a claim for relief (Joan Groth, et al. v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., et al., No. 14-7033, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51031...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - La. Federal Judge Enters Final Judgment For Excess Insurers In BP Oil Spill Suit

NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on April 16 dismissed two interpleader actions in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill multidistrict litigation after determining that the excess insurers satisfied their coverage obligations pursuant to a settlement agreement (In re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepwater...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Denial Of Class Status In Halliburton Radioactive Waste Lawsuit Stands

OKLAHOMA CITY - The federal judge presiding over a lawsuit brought by Oklahoma residents who contend that they were injured from exposure to radioactive waste from a chemical plant operated by Halliburton Energy Services Inc. (HESI) on April 21 denied the residents' motion to reconsider her denial...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Federal Judge Finds Insurer Has No Duty To Defend Mold Claims

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - After finding that all mold-related claims asserted against a contractor and others in an underlying state court case were excluded under an insurance policy, an Alabama federal judge on April 21 found that an insurer has no duty to defend the parties in the case (Pennsylvania National...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Railroad Company: Paulsboro Chemical Spill Claims Based On 'Improper' Report

CAMDEN, N.J. - The railroad company defendants sued by a New Jersey school district and borough for $5,865,339 in damages for a chemical spill that was the result of a train derailment on April 20 filed a brief in New Jersey federal court, contending that the plaintiffs' allegations are based on...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Noble Energy To Pay $73M To Resolve Clean Air Act Suit

DENVER - Noble Energy Inc. on April 22 entered into a consent decree with the federal government and State of Colorado in which it agreed to pay $73 million to resolve allegations that volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from its oil and gas exploration and production activities in Denver were...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - ExxonMobil To Pay $4.47M In Fines For Rupture Of Pegasus Pipeline

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The federal government and ExxonMobil Pipeline Co., which have been embroiled in a lawsuit over liability for an oil spill that was the result of a pipeline rupture, on April 22 reached an agreement under which the company will pay a total of $4.47 million in civil penalties (United...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Washington State Jury Awards $3.6 Million In 'Take-Home' Asbestos Case

SEATTLE - A Washington jury on April 21 awarded a woman $3.6 million and held an insulation company liable for her exposure to asbestos while laundering her husband's work clothing (Estate of Barbara Brandes v. Brand Insulation Inc., No. 14-2-21662-9 SEA, Wash. Super., King Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Texas Court Rejects New Trial In Long-Running Asbestos Dispute

BEAUMONT, Texas - A judge improperly found that hotly contested evidence in an asbestos case could not support a jury's finding for a premises owner, a Texas appeals court held April 23 (In re: E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., No. 09-14-00465-CV, Texas App., 9th Dist.; 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 4072...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Panel Partially Affirms, Remands Agent Orange Injury Claims

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A panel in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on April 23 partially affirmed and partially vacated and remanded a ruling that denied a military veteran's claim for benefits based on injuries he alleged were caused by exposure to Agent Orange (Robert H. Gray v. Robert...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 5th Circuit Remands Well Blowout Suit To Allow Parties To Finalize Settlement

NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 21 granted a joint stipulation to remand a coverage dispute involving damages from a well blowout to Texas federal court to allow the parties to finalize a settlement agreement (Eagle Oil & Gas Co. v. Travelers Property Casualty Company...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Veteran Fails To Show Cancer Caused By Alleged Exposure To Agent Orange

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on April 24 affirmed a ruling that denied benefits to a veteran who contended that his throat cancer and other ailments were caused by exposure to Agent Orange. The judge concluded that the veteran did not provide sufficient...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Groups Dismiss Clean Water Act Claim Against New Jersey Transportation Agency

TRENTON, N.J. - Raritan Baykeeper Inc. and Edison Wetlands Association Inc. on April 24 agreed to dismiss their claim accusing the New Jersey Department of Transportation (N.J. DOT) of violating the Clean Water Act (CWA) at a site in Sayreville, N.J., after finding that the agency did not violate the...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Companies: Discovery Request In Radioactive Exposure Case Is 'Unreasonable'

ST. LOUIS - MI Holdings Inc., which was sued by a Missouri resident who contends that he suffered personal injuries as a result of exposure to radioactive material related to the Manhattan Engineering Project near the St. Louis Airport, on April 22 filed a brief in Missouri federal court contending that...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Chemical Discharge Exclusion Precludes Coverage For Environmental Claims

LOS ANGELES - An insurer has no duty to defend its insureds against underlying environmental contamination claims arising out of their operation of a dry cleaning business because the policy's chemical discharge exclusion clearly bars coverage, a California federal judge said April 23 (Hollyway Cleaners...