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Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Pa. Top Court Affirms Experts' Cumulative Exposure Testimony In $1M Asbestos Case

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Expert testimony that every dose of asbestos contributes to the cumulative total simply states accepted scientific fact and is not the type of "every exposure" testimony rejected by precedent, a divided Pennsylvania Supreme Court held Nov. 22 in affirming a nearly $1 million...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 3rd Circuit: Judge's Standard Too Strict In Remanding Boeing Asbestos Case

PHILADELPHIA - Federal contractors must only present a colorable federal defense for removal and are not subject to a special standard requiring that they prove their case to prevail against a motion to remand, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Nov. 22 (Steven Papp, et al. v. Fore-Kast...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Genuine Issues Preclude Ruling On Contract Issues, Judge Finds

PHOENIX - A federal judge in Arizona on Nov. 21 denied cross-motions for partial summary judgment on breach of contract claims in a suit over indemnification for cleanup from contamination from underground storage tank (UST) leaks, finding that too many issues of material fact exist as to whether the...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Fertilizer Maker: Tainted Groundwater Case Fails; Jurisdiction Lacking

TAMPA, Fla. - Fertilizer manufacturers who are being sued for groundwater contamination allegedly connected to an incident at their plant moved in federal court in Florida on Nov. 21, contending that the case should be dismissed because the plaintiffs' complaint "does not contain a single allegation...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Flint Water Crisis Plaintiffs: Defense Motion To Change Venue Should Be Denied

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Michigan residents who allege that state employees are liable for the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich., on Nov. 22 filed a brief in Michigan federal court arguing that the court should deny the defendants' motion to stay proceedings pending a final decision on...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Pennsylvania High Court Dismisses Asbestos Appeal Over Dangerous Product Question

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Nov. 22 dismissed as improvidently granted an appeal challenging whether a judge or jury properly decides if the lack of warnings on a product renders the product unreasonably dangerous (Thomas Amato and Jean Amato v. Bell & Gossett, et al., No...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Calif. Court Upholds Evidence, Instructions On Way To Affirming Asbestos Verdict

LOS ANGELES - Asbestos plaintiffs themselves introduced irrelevant contract provisions about which they now complain, and any error arising from improper jury instructions regarding an employer's duty did not prejudice them, a California appeals court held Nov. 22 (Kenneth Evans, et al. v. American...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Monsanto: City Of Spokane's PCB Contamination Case Fails To State A Claim

SPOKANE, Wash. - Monsanto Co. and its affiliates on Nov. 23 filed an answer against the city of Spokane, contending that the city's attempt to collect remediation costs for alleged contamination of its groundwater with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) should be denied because the plaintiff fails...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Illinois Wrongful Death Case Sent To Roundup MDL In Northern California

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on Nov. 28 issued an order transferring another case to the multidistrict litigation for injuries allegedly caused by exposure to the weed killer Roundup, stating that the wrongful death lawsuit brought against Monsanto Co...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - State Employees: Flint Water Crisis Venue Decision Needed Before Dismissal Ruling

DETROIT - Employees of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) on Nov. 28 filed a brief asking a Michigan federal court to rule on their motion to change venue before it rules on pending motions to dismiss a lawsuit brought by residents of Flint, Mich., who allege that the employees are...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Asbestos Attorney Fights Expert Testimony-Based Sanctions Ruling

SAN FRANCISCO - A judge conducted only a perfunctory and conclusory investigation before finding that counsel violated court orders in an effort to elicit expert testimony regarding chemotherapy's impact on kidney disease, yet the jury already knew about the connection and no ruling excluded the...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Federal Judge Partially Grants, Denies Summary Judgment In Tobacco Contract Suit

RENO, Nev. - A federal judge in Nevada on Nov. 28 partially granted and partially denied a motion for summary judgment by a hotel, finding that a cigar wholesaler breached a contract it had with a hotel in Las Vegas (Wynn Las Vegas LLC v. Cigar Row LLC, No. 2:15-CV-01079, D. Nev.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 5th Circuit: Franchisors Cannot Seek Lost Royalties Under BP Settlement

NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 1 affirmed a federal judge in Louisiana's ruling that three franchisors that are not based in the Gulf of Mexico cannot seek to obtain lost franchisee royalties during the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico following the explosion of...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Appellate Panel Vacates $20 Million Tobacco Verdict

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appellate panel on Nov. 30 vacated a $20 million verdict awarded to the estate of a woman following a trial in an Engle progeny suit after finding that the damages awarded by the jury were excessive (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Gwendolyn E. Odom, No. 4D14-3867, Fla...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Plaintiff: Good Cause Exists For Expert Substitution In Oil Rig Explosion Case

SAN FRANCISCO - Nigerian residents who contend that they have been injured as a result of an oil rig explosion on Nov. 30 filed a brief in California federal court, contending that their motion to substitute a fisheries expert in place of the expert they originally scheduled is based on good cause under...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Remands Agent Orange Benefits Case, Says Claim May Be Substantiated

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on Nov. 30 vacated and remanded a ruling that denied benefits to a veteran's widow for his cancer and subsequent death in connection with exposure to Agent Orange, finding that the Board of Veterans Appeals failed...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Dismisses Case, Finds Personal Jurisdiction Lacking In Asbestos Action

NEW ORLEANS - A company's uncontested evidence that it had no contacts in Louisiana overcomes conclusory statements and suffices for a finding that a court lacks personal jurisdiction over it, a federal judge in Louisiana held Nov. 30 (Breck Williams, et al. v. Rust Engineering & Construction...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Federal Judge: Officials Must Deliver Bottled Water To Flint Residents; Stay Denied

DETROIT - A federal judge in Michigan on Dec. 2 denied a motion filed by Michigan state officials and refused to stay a district court ruling that the defendants provide bottled water to every house in Flint, Mich., in response to the lead-contaminated water crisis (Concerned Pastors for Social Action...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Parties Debate MTBE-Tainted Groundwater Case Before 2nd Circuit

NEW YORK - Attorneys for oil and gasoline companies, as well as those representing a California water district, on Dec. 5 presented oral arguments before the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals debating the applicability of a res judicata order in a groundwater contamination case involving methyl tertiary...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Finds Affidavits Filed In Other Cases, Courts Support Removal

BENTON, Ill. - Affidavits filed in other cases and courts are sufficient for removal of an asbestos case, a federal judge in Illinois held Nov. 30 (Sylvia Perez, et al. v. Air And Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 16-842, S.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165279).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Plaintiffs In Suit Over Mercedes-Benz's Emissions Lack Standing, Judge Says

NEWARK, N.J. - Plaintiffs in a class action suit alleging that Mercedes-Benz USA LLC misrepresented the efficiency of its BlueTec Clean Diesel vehicles lack standing to bring their action against the auto maker, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled Dec. 6, finding that the plaintiffs failed to show that...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Federal Judge: Registration, Illinois Contacts Insufficient For Jurisdiction

BENTON, Ill. - Neither a company's registration to do business in a state nor its employment of individuals in the state rise to the levels required for jurisdiction, a federal judge in Illinois held in dismissing an asbestos action on Dec. 2 (Sylvia Perez, et al. v. Air And Liquid Systems Corp....

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Appellate Panel Remands Engle Suit To Disqualify Plaintiff's Attorney

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appellate panel on Dec. 7 found a trial court erred in denying Philip Morris USA Inc.'s motion to dismiss the law firm representing her because one of her attorneys previously represented Philip Morris in similar lawsuits, which prevents him from being the plaintiff's...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Newspaper's Motion To Intervene In CERCLA Suit Untimely, Judge Finds

BUTTE, Mont. - A federal judge in Montana on Dec. 7 denied a motion filed by a newspaper publisher and an environmental group seeking to intervene in a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) lawsuit between the government and Atlantic Richfield Co. (ARCO) to gain...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Asbestos Document Request Overly Broad, But Some Production Warranted

PHILADELPHIA - A company's failure to comply with a state court motion to compel does not warrant sanctions because the request is overly broad, but going forward, the company must produce documents relevant to product identification testimony in an asbestos case, a federal magistrate judge held...