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Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Texas Top Court Rejects Jurisdiction In Asbestos Claims Collusion Case

AUSTIN, Texas - Settlement negotiations in Texas involving asbestos liabilities do not support the conclusion that the parties sought to avail themselves of the state's laws, even if the company eventually selected to manage a resulting trust is based there, the Texas Supreme Court held March 3 in...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Affirms Exclusion Of Asbestos Experts' Specific Causation Opinions

NEW ORLEANS - Experts' failure to tether the opinion that small asbestos doses cause mesothelioma to the specific exposures in question renders their opinions too similar to the type of "every exposure" theory rejected by courts, a federal judge in Louisiana held March 6 (William C. Bell...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Issues 'Third-Way' Opinion Addressing Bare-Metal Parts Liability

NEW ORLEANS - Manufacturers of bare metal products can be liable for asbestos in component parts if they assisted in integrating the asbestos part with their own product, knew the hazards involved in the part, or recommended the asbestos-containing part, a federal judge in Louisiana held March 6 in explaining...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: MDL Court Can Rule On Jurisdictional Issues In Volkswagen Emissions Suit

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A federal judge in California on March 7 stayed a consumer's lawsuit over the installation of defeat devices in some of Volkswagen Group of America Inc.'s diesel vehicles pending transfer to a multidistrict litigation court, finding that the MDL court can determine if jurisdictional...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Expert's Report Satisfactory, But Must Limit Opinion To General Causation

NEW ORLEANS - An expert's conclusion that six defendants' products couldn't have caused a man's mesothelioma impermissibly leaps to specific causation from his general causation opinion regarding chrysotile asbestos' role in the disease, a federal judge in Louisiana held March 6 ...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Volkswagen Pleads Guilty To Violating Clean Air Act, Conspiracy To Commit Fraud

DETROIT - Volkswagen AG on March 10 pleaded guilty in Michigan federal court to charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, violating the Clean Air Act (CAA) and wire fraud as a result of defeat devices the company installed in its diesel vehicles that were designed to cheat emissions tests,...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Applies Differing State Laws To Survivorship, Punitive Damages Claims

NEW ORLEANS - Louisiana law will govern a survivorship claim as its application does not substantially affect Idaho, while the latter state's policy against punitive damages precludes allowing that claim to proceed in an asbestos action, a federal judge in Louisiana held March 6 (William C. Bell...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Firms Petition Supreme Court, Say Class Action Ruling In Flint Water Case 'Wrong'

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A group of engineering firms that were sued by residents who contended that they shared liability for the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich., on March 9 filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals'...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Gives EPA 3 Years To Create Standards For 20 Pollutants

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in the District of Columbia on March 13 gave the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency three years to create rules governing emissions standards for 20 hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) after the agency conceded that it violated the Clean Air Act (CAA) by failing to undertake...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Court: Causation Opinion Admissible, Punitives OK In $6.5M Asbestos Verdict

FRESNO, Calif. - A judge properly admitted expert testimony that every identifiable exposure to asbestos contributes to mesothelioma, a California appeals court held March 17, while also rejecting challenges involving tobacco use and an award of punitive damages (Charity Faith Phillips, et al. v. Honeywell...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Woman: Monsanto's 'Fraud' Caused Her To Develop Cancer From Exposure To Glyphosate

ST. LOUIS - A Missouri woman on March 17 filed a lawsuit against Monsanto Co. in Missouri federal court, alleging that the company committed scientific fraud and is liable for her development of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), which was the result of exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - EPA Approves $100M For Flint, Mich., Water Upgrades

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced March 17 that it has awarded a $100 million grant to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to fund drinking water infrastructure upgrades in Flint, Mich.

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Heeding Presumption Rejected In Tobacco User's New York Asbestos Lung Cancer Trial

NEW YORK - A New York justice refused to impose a heeding presumption in an asbestos trial in an opinion posted March 20, saying that absent evidence that a cigarette user who ignored tobacco warnings would have acted differently in the asbestos context, she would not impose such a standard (Donna Castorina...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - N.Y. Justice: Wisconsin Dissolution Law Bars Suit Against Special Electric

NEW YORK - An asbestos action filed outside Wisconsin's two-year window for suing Special Electric Co. Inc. after its dissolution is untimely, and an earlier motion to reopen and enforce its bankruptcy plan does not save the case, a New York justice held in an opinion posted March 21 (In re: New...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Some Flint Water Defendants: Local Controversy Exception Applies To Class Action

DETROIT - Some of the defendants sued by residents of Flint, Mich., in connection with the lead-contaminated drinking water in that city filed a brief in Michigan federal court on March 21, arguing that the lawsuit meets the local controversy exception to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) and, therefore...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Iowa Enacts Law Codifying Bare-Metal Defense, Bankruptcy Transparency

DES MOINES, Iowa - Iowa became the first state to legislatively bar asbestos claims arising from third-party parts on March 23 after its governor signed legislation codifying the bare-metal and component parts doctrine. The law also requires additional transparency in asbestos-related trust filings,...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Panel: Lead-Poisoning Case Against Kennedy Krieger Researchers Properly Dismissed

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - A Maryland appeals panel on March 22 affirmed a trial court ruling that dismissed a lawsuit against the Kennedy Krieger Institute Inc. (KKI) brought by the estate of a deceased man who contended that he had suffered from lead-paint poisoning as a result of participating in a lead abatement...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New York Federal Judge Finds For New York City, State In Untaxed Cigarette Suit

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on March 24 found that United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) is liable and will owe damages to New York City and New York state for shipping untaxed cigarettes to unauthorized sellers (The State of New York, et al. v. United Parcel Service Inc., No. 15-cv-1136, S.D....

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Utility Tainted Drinking Water But Plaintiff Seeks 'Draconian' Penalty, Judge Says

RICHMOND, Va. - A federal judge in Virginia on March 23 ruled that an electric utility company violated the Clean Water Act (CWA) by dumping arsenic into the groundwater but said that the remedy sought by an environmental group was "draconian." The judge also refused to find that the utility...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New York Court Finds Reasonable Delay In Officer's Asbestos Tort

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Any delay in a retired police officer's notice of intent to file an asbestos tort action against the City of Buffalo was reasonable given the facts of the case, and no evidence suggests the municipality will suffer prejudice from the late notice, a New York appeals court held March...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - U.S. High Court Must Intervene In $18.5B Fraud Ruling, Residents, Attorney Say

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A group of Ecuadorian residents and their attorney who challenge a fraud ruling with regard to an $18.5 billion judgment they previously won against Chevron Corp. filed a petition for writ of certiorari March 27 in the U.S. Supreme Court contending that "the Second Circuit's...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - N.J. High Court Finds State Shielded From Liability For Pre-Spill Act Incident

TRENTON, N.J. - The New Jersey Supreme Court on March 27 voted 6-1 in favor of vacating a ruling denying the state of New Jersey's motion to dismiss a contribution lawsuit brought by NL Industries Inc. under the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act (Spill Act), finding that the state could...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Texas Appeals Panel: Tobacco Tax Does Not Violate U.S. Constitution

AUSTIN, Texas - On remand from the Texas Supreme Court, a state appellate panel on March 24 found that a tax enacted on nonparticipating manufacturers in a statewide tobacco settlement does not violate the equal protection and due process clauses of the U.S. Constitution and reversed summary judgment...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Michigan Will Spend $87M To Replace Water Lines In Flint, Mich., Settlement Deal

DETROIT - A federal judge in Michigan on March 28 issued an order approving a settlement between residents of the city of Flint, Mich., and the state of Michigan, its officials and the city of Flint that calls for - among other things - an allocation of $87 million to fund continued water service-line...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 5th Circuit: Evidence Lacking In Chemical Injury Case Against Iraq War Contractor

NEW ORLEANS - A panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 27 affirmed a lower court's dismissal of a chemical injury lawsuit against Iraq War contractors, concluding that the plaintiffs failed to present epidemiological evidence that meets the reliability threshold for evidence (Mark...