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United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia
October 8, 2015, Decided; October 8, 2015, Filed
Civil Action No.: 2:14-01374
[*280] MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Pending are plaintiffs' motion for class certification, the joint motions by defendants American Water Works Company, Inc., American Water Works Service Company, Inc., West Virginia-American Water Company, and Eastman Chemical Company to exclude the expert testimony of Seward G. Gilbert, Harvey Rosen, Ph.D., and David Scott Simonton, Ph.D., and the motion by defendant Eastman Chemical Company to exclude the expert testimony of Lawrence M. Stanton, each of which were filed July 6, 2015, and plaintiffs' motion to exceed page limitation, filed August 25, 2015.1
The court ORDERS that the motion to exceed be, and hereby is, granted, with plaintiffs given leave to submit a 33-page reply memorandum respecting class certification. [**4]
Additionally, plaintiffs assert as follows in response to the motion to exclude Dr. Simonton: "Plaintiffs did not cite to Dr. Simonton's opinion in support of their motion for class certification. For that reason alone, Defendants' attack is premature and should be summarily rejected without further analysis." (Resp. at 1). Inasmuch as plaintiffs have chosen not to rely upon Dr. Simonton, the court assesses the class certification request in the absence of his proposed opinions. There is thus no need to pass on the admissibility of his methodology and opinions. It is ORDERED that the motion to exclude Dr. Simonton be, and hereby is, denied without prejudice.
A. The Incident
On January 9, 2014, approximately 300,000 residents in the Charleston and surrounding area are alleged to have suffered an interruption in their water supply. The interruption was caused by a spill into the Elk River of a coal processing chemical mixture sold and distributed exclusively by Eastman. The mixture was being stored in a facility owned and operated by Freedom Industries, Inc. ("Freedom Industries").
The chemical, 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, along with other chemicals, is commonly referred to as "Crude [**5] MCHM." Crude MCHM infiltrated WV American's water treatment plant in Charleston. Plaintiffs assert that both Eastman and the water company defendants could have prevented or avoided the incident by taking better precautionary measures, complying with applicable regulations, and using reasonable care.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
310 F.R.D. 274 *; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137497 **; 98 Fed. R. Evid. Serv. (Callaghan) 894
CRYSTAL GOOD, individually and as parent and next friend of minor children M.T.S., N.T.K. and A.M.S. and MELISSA JOHNSON, individually and as parent of her unborn child, MARY LACY and JOAN GREEN and JAMILA AISHA OLIVER, WENDY RENEE RUIZ and KIMBERLY OGIER and ROY J. McNEAL and GEORGIA HAMRA and MADDIE FIELDS and BRENDA BAISDEN, d/b/a FRIENDLY FACES DAYCARE, and ALADDIN RESTAURANT, INC., and R. G. GUNNOE FARMS LLC, and DUNBAR PLAZA, INC., d/b/a DUNBAR PLAZA HOTEL, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. AMERICAN WATER WORKS COMPANY, INC., and AMERICAN WATER WORKS SERVICE COMPANY, INC., and EASTMAN CHEMICAL COMPANY and WEST VIRGINIA-AMERICAN WATER COMPANY, d/b/a WEST VIRGINIA AMERICAN WATER, and GARY SOUTHERN and DENNIS P. FARRELL, Defendants.
Prior History: Good v. Am. Water Works Co., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75299 (S.D. W. Va., June 3, 2014)
damages, class member, estimate, certification, class certification, class action, value added, water company, plaintiffs', residential, interruption, reliable, calculation, class-wide, chemical, factors, court of appeals, district court, questions, measures, issue of liability, lost profits, predominance, aggregate, warn, expert testimony, defendants', losses, merits, economic impact
Evidence, Admissibility, Expert Witnesses, Daubert Standard, Testimony, Qualifications, Types of Evidence, Expert Witnesses, Civil Procedure, Special Proceedings, Class Actions, Prerequisites for Class Action, Certification of Classes, Class Members, Remedies, Damages, Compensatory Damages, Damages, Punitive Damages, Constitutional Law, Fundamental Rights, Procedural Due Process, Scope of Protection, Prerequisites for Class Action, Commonality, Adequacy of Representation, Predominance, Superiority