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Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Finds Company Liable For Violating CERCLA, HSCA; Costs Unclear

PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Aug. 30 granted in part a motion for summary judgment filed by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PaDEP), ruling that the purchaser of a contaminated site can be held liable under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - California High Court Considers Liability In Take-Home Asbestos Cases

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The question of whether California law recognizes liability in take-home asbestos exposure cases or if such a duty is simply "a bridge too far" was before the California Supreme Court in oral arguments on Sept. 7 (Johnny Blaine Kesner v. Superior Court of California for...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Jury Finds For Defense In Tobacco Lawsuit

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida jury on Sept. 6 found in favor of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. in an Engle progeny case in which a man claimed that his chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) was caused by smoking cigarettes made by the tobacco company (John Hackimer, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - State Of Rhode Island Sues Oil Companies For Tainting Groundwater With MTBE

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The State of Rhode Island filed a lawsuit on Sept. 6 against numerous oil refining and gasoline companies in Rhode Island federal court, alleging that they are liable for contaminating the state's groundwater with methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) (State of Rhode Island v. Alon...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Appellate Panel Affirms New Trial For Tobacco Companies

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - An appellate panel in Florida on Sept. 7 affirmed a trial court's decision to grant a new trial to two tobacco companies in an Engle progeny suit because the plaintiff's lawyer made prejudicial statements to the jury in closing arguments (David Cohen v. Philip Morris USA...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Damages Caused By 'Orphaned Anchors' Not Preempted By Clean Water Act

NEW ORLEANS - A federal judge in Louisiana on Sept. 7 ruled that three workers who were onboard an oyster harvesting boat that got caught on anchors left behind following response actions to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig can pursue claims...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Missouri Jury Returns Defense Verdict For 3 In Take-Home Asbestos Case

ST. LOUIS - A Missouri jury hearing a take-home asbestos exposure case returned a defense verdict for the three remaining defendants on Sept. 12, sources told Mealey Publications (Donna Harrison, et al. v. Volkswagen Group of North America Inc., et al., No. 1522-CC09759-01, Mo. Cir., 22nd Jud. Cir.)...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 3rd Circuit Rejects Insulation Claim, Says Switchgear Asbestos Claim Can Proceed

PHILADELPHIA - Evidence that a company would sometimes reuse original asbestos-containing insulation does not save claims based on exposure arising from turbines, but sufficient evidence exists to allow claims based on exposure from switchgears, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Sept....

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Rutgers Organics To Pay $20.2M To Cleanup, Restore Ohio Superfund Site

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Rutgers Organics Corp. on Sept. 9 agreed to pay $18.75 million to clean up contamination at the Nease Superfund site in Salem, Ohio, and spend $500,000 to restore damaged natural resources, according to a lawsuit and consent decree filed in Ohio federal court (United States of America...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Court Reverses $8M Verdict, Orders Retrial For Tobacco Defendant

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - After rejecting an expert's testimony that every exposure to asbestos substantially contributes to developing mesothelioma, a Florida appeals court on Sept. 14 granted a directed verdict to a gasket company and ordered a new trial for a tobacco company (Crane Co., R.J. Reynolds...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New York Federal Judge Denies Motion For Sanctions In Untaxed Tobacco Suit

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Sept. 14 denied New York City and New York state's motion to impose sanctions on the attorneys representing United Parcel Service Inc. in a tobacco trafficking suit because the judge found that the city and state's failure to produce certain pieces of...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Ecuadorian Residents Seek Rehearing En Banc At 2nd Circuit In Lago Agrio Case

NEW YORK - A group of Ecuadorian residents and their attorney on Sept. 16 filed a petition in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals seeking a rehearing en banc with regard to the Second Circuit's prior decision that affirmed a lower court's ruling that a group of Ecuadorian residents and their...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - D.C. Circuit Denies Motion For Rehearing, Rehearing En Banc In Tobacco Sales Suit

WASHINGTON D.C. - The District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 19 denied a former tobacco seller's motion for rehearing or rehearing en banc of a case where the court determined that the seller was not the original source of information that Philip Morris USA Inc. was price gouging...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Property Owner Not Entitled To $9.7M In Damages For Access

KALAMAZOO, Mich. - A defendant property owner can recover only $72,964 in damages for providing access to its land in order for a plaintiff company to remediate trichloroethylene (TCE) contamination, a federal judge in Michigan ruled Sept. 15, finding that the defendant's request for $9.7 million...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - DuPont: C8 Plaintiff's High Cholesterol Claim Fails For Lack Of Evidence

COLUMBUS, Ohio - E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. on Sept. 16 moved in Ohio federal court for summary judgment on claims made by one of the plaintiffs in the ongoing trials pertaining to alleged injuries from exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8), arguing that the plaintiff has "not even...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Lead Water Crisis Plaintiffs Say Claims Properly Pleaded Against State Of Michigan

DETROIT - A group of residents on Sept. 19 filed a brief in Michigan federal court arguing that they have properly pleaded their claims against employees of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and Gov. Rick Snyder with regard to the lead contamination of the drinking water in Flint...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - DuPont: New Trial, Remittitur Warranted In C8 Case That Resulted In $5.6M Award

COLUMBUS, Ohio - E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. on Sept. 19 filed a brief in Ohio federal court seeking judgment as a matter of law or a new trial and remittitur on the cancer claims of David Freeman, who won a combined $5.6 million in compensatory and punitive damages against the company for cancer...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Glyphosate Case Alleging Fraud And Seeking Punitive Damages Added To MDL

DETROIT - The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on Sept. 21 issued notice that another glyphosate injury case has been added to the list of cases in the Roundup Products Liability Litigation MDL (In Re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, No. 2741, JPMDL).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Arizona Appeals Panel Rejects Duty For Take-Home Asbestos Exposures

PHOENIX - Saying Arizona does not recognize foreseeability in its duty analysis, a panel of the state's appellate court on Sept. 20 declined to impose a duty on a premise owner for a man's take-home asbestos exposures (Mary Quiroz, et al. v. Alcoa Inc., et al., No. 1 CA-CV 15-0083, Ariz. App...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - ExxonMobil Pipeline To Pay $12M Over 2011 Spill Into Yellowstone River

BILLINGS, Mont. - ExxonMobil Pipeline Co. on Sept. 21 agreed to pay $12 million to the federal government and State of Montana to compensate for natural resources damages to the Yellowstone River that occurred following an oil spill in July 2011 (United States of America, et al. v. ExxonMobil Pipeline...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Group: More Than 200 Million People Are Drinking Water Tainted With Chromium-6

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Environmental Working Group (EWG) on Sept. 20 released a report indicating that its analysis of federal data from drinking water tests shows that more than 200 million Americans in all 50 states are drinking water contaminated with hexavalent chromium - also known as chromium-6...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Government's Closure Of Mine Does Not Make It An Operator

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The federal government's enforcement of War Production Board Limitation Order L-208(Rule L-208) during World War II at the Lava Cap Mine does not make it an operator under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), a federal judge in California...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 'Criminal Falsehoods' Warrant Flint, Mich., Lead Case Against State, Residents Say

DETROIT - A group of Michigan residents on Sept. 22 filed an omnibus response in a lawsuit regarding the lead water crisis in Flint, Mich., contending that although employees of the state have yet to be indicted for the lead water crisis in Flint, there are "more than enough questions of fact, internal...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Proposed Bill Would Amend Safe Drinking Water Act In Light Of Flint, Mich., Crisis

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Two federal legislators on Sept. 22 introduced a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives that would amend the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) aimed at improving drinking water standards, specifically with regard to the amount of lead in the water, by increasing compliance among...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 9th Circuit Again Declines To Stay Remand While It Considers Asbestos Challenge

SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 21 again denied a defendant's motion seeking stay remand of an asbestos case now set for trial later this year while it challenges the order returning the case to state court (Velma Searcy v. 3M Co. and Hexcel Corp., No. 16-56034, 9th...