LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Former Smoker Seeks Reinstatement Of $20 Million Punitive Damages Award

ATLANTA - A former smoker who won a total of $26.5 million in an Engle progeny suit asked the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 2 to reinstate $20 million in punitive damages, saying the trial judge erred by revoking the damages (Judith Berger v. Philip Morris USA Inc., Nos. 15-15633, 16-10021...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - City Didn't Waive Asbestos-Claim Immunity, Colorado High Court Rules

DENVER - The city of Colorado Springs' complete demolition of an office building did not constitute construction or maintenance of the facility and did not waive its sovereign immunity protection against an asbestos claim, the Colorado Supreme Court held Feb. 5 (Smokebrush Foundation, et al. v. City...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Finds Allegations Against Employee Keep Asbestos Case In State Court

GREAT FALLS, Mont. - Allegations against a former railway employee allegedly responsible for safety destroy complete diversity and warrant remanding five asbestos cases, a federal judge in Montana held Feb. 1 (Kenneth Braaten, et al. v. BNSF Railway Co., et al., No. 17-94, D. Mont.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Jury Awards Family Of Smoker $17.5 Million In Engle Progeny Suit

MIAMI - A Florida jury on Feb. 6 awarded the surviving family members of a smoker who died from lung cancer $10 million in punitive damages, bringing the total amount of damages to $17.5 million (Kenneth Gloger v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 2011-CA-23377, Fla. 11th Jud. Cir. Miami-Dade Co...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Government, State Can Seek Future Response Costs For Superfund Site

GREEN BAY, Wis. - The federal government and state of Wisconsin can pursue claims for future response costs from a company that has not settled a lawsuit stemming from the remediation of the Lower Fox River Superfund site, a federal judge in Wisconsin ruled Feb. 5 in granting in part the plaintiffs'...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 2nd Asbestos Disclaimer Can't Void Removal, Judge Finds

PORTLAND, Ore. - A woman who reasserted asbestos exposure allegations giving rise to federal jurisdiction after remand cannot avoid removal a second time by once again rejecting those claims, a federal judge in Oregon held Feb. 2 (Melissa Coury, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 16...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Ohio Supreme Court Finds Cumulative Asbestos Exposure Opinion Lacking

CLEVELAND - Testimony that cumulative asbestos exposures all contribute to mesothelioma does not meet the standard for causation in Ohio, the state's supreme court held Feb. 8 in reversing a ruling that affirmed a more than $1 million judgment against Honeywell International Inc. (Mark Schwartz,...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Appeals Panel Affirms Dismissal Of 73 Engle Progeny Suits

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A panel of the First District Florida Court of Appeal on Feb. 8 affirmed a lower court's decision to dismiss 73 Engle progeny suits filed by two law firms on behalf of deceased plaintiffs because "a dead person cannot file and maintain a lawsuit" (In Re 73 Engle-Related...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Affirms Denial Of Resident's Intervention Request In Contamination Suit

HAMMOND, Ind. - A federal judge in Indiana on Feb. 9 upheld a magistrate judge's ruling denying a motion to intervene filed by nearby residents of a Superfund site, holding that the request, which came two years after a settlement was reached between companies and the U.S. Environmental Protection...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Supreme Court Declines To Review $18 Million Tobacco Verdict

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida Supreme Court on Feb. 9 declined to review an $18 million verdict in an Engle progeny trial in which tobacco companies argued for a new trial because of the trial court's failure to dismiss a juror for prejudice against tobacco companies (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co....

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Affirms Exclusion Of Unchallenged Deposition Testimony In Asbestos Case

WILMINGTON, Del. - Defendants' postponement of a deposition did not waive their right to cross-examine the witness, who died two weeks after he gave truncated testimony, a Delaware judge held Feb. 7 in finding the testimony inadmissible (William Derek Sykes, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Class, Defendants Debate Jurisdiction And Discovery In Flint Lead Water Case

DETROIT - Engineering consultants named as defendants in the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich., and the class of plaintiffs alleging that they have been injured by that water on Feb. 9 filed briefs debating whether the federal district court has jurisdiction to order certain discovery at...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Shell To Pay $10M To Reduce Excessive Emissions From Industrial Flares

NEW ORLEANS - Shell Chemical LP on Feb. 12 entered into a consent decree in Louisiana federal court with the government and Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) in which the company agreed to spend $10 million to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the use of four...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - DuPont C8 Trial Judge Approves Payment Of More Than $1.78M To Claims Administrator

COLUMBUS, Ohio - A federal judge in Ohio on Feb. 9 granted a motion by plaintiffs in the multidistrict litigation brought against E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. for alleged injuries connected to exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8), approving the interim disbursement of $1,787,500 to the...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Agency Seeks To Rescind Most Of 2016 Methane Waste Prevention Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on Feb. 13 announced its proposed changes to the 2016 Waste Prevention Rule, calling for the rescission of the majority of regulations on oil and gas operators who had been required to control the venting and flaring of methane produced by drilling...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Groups: Review Of EPA Permit For Dumping Fracking Waste In Gulf Of Mexico Needed

NEW ORLEANS - The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and two other environmental advocacy groups on Feb. 13 filed a petition in the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals contending that the Circuit Court should review an Environmental Protection Agency permit that allows oil companies to discharge toxins...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 5th Circuit Finds No Merit In Challenges To $81M CITGO Penalty

NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 14 overruled arguments by the federal government and CITGO Petroleum Corp. to a federal judge in Louisiana's ruling that the company should pay an $81 million civil penalty for violating the Clean Water Act following a 2006 oil spill...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Whistleblower: Issues Remain About Protected Speech In Flint Water Crisis Case

CINCINNATI - A woman who was formerly the administrator for the city of Flint, Mich., and then became a whistleblower after the lead-contaminated water crisis in that city on Feb. 14 filed a brief in the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals contending that a district court erred when it granted the city's...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Federal Judge Won't Extend Witness, Discovery Deadlines In Asbestos Case

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A rail car company provided no justification for why it could not have identified an expert asbestos state-of-the-art witness prior to the passage of an already extended deadline, a federal judge in Kansas held Feb. 13 in denying a motion to extend discovery and disclosure periods...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Appeals Panel Reverses Dismissal Of Engle Progeny Suit

MIAMI - A panel of the Third District Florida Court of Appeal on Feb. 14 found that a trial court erred in dismissing an Engle progeny suit because the 90-day period to substitute a plaintiff had been extinguished when the plaintiff's family filed a motion before an executor of the estate was named...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - California High Court Denies Review Of $1.15B Award In Lead Paint Lawsuit

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The California Supreme Court on Feb. 14 denied a petition for review filed by the former makers of lead-based paint who contended that the high court should hear their appeal because an appellate court "misstated and omitted material facts" when it found that there was...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Appeals Panel Reinstates $2 Million Tobacco Verdict

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A panel of Florida's Fourth District Court of Appeal on Feb. 14 affirmed a trial court's decision to allow a plaintiff's expert to testify and reinstated the full $2 million verdict in an Engle progeny suit after finding that the court erred by reducing the award based...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Navajo Nation, New Mexico Claims Against EPA Contractor Survive Dismissal Bid

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A federal judge on Feb. 12 mostly declined to dismiss claims leveled by the Navajo Nation and state of New Mexico against a company that worked on the Gold King Mine, where a 3-million-gallon spill in 2015 turned rivers yellow with acid mine drainage and 800,000 pounds of heavy metals...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Grants Directed Verdict For Defense In Tobacco Lawsuit

MIAMI - Following the closing arguments in an Engle progeny suit on Feb. 15, a judge in Florida state court granted a tobacco company's oral motion for directed verdict in a punitive damages-only trial (Joyce Hardin v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 07-46973-CA-22, Fla. 11th Jud. Cir. Miami-Dade...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Crane Co. Says Judgment Warranted Even After 3rd Circuit Bare-Metal Ruling

WILMINGTON, Del. - Recent Third Circuit precedent muddies the bare-metal defense, but ultimately does not save a man's case alleging exposure to third-party asbestos parts added to Crane Co. valves, the company argues in a supplemental brief filed with a judge in the U.S. District Court for the District...