HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A federal judge in West Virginia on June 17 denied the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's motion to reconsider a May 11 order requiring the agency to supplement the administrative record in a Clean Water Act suit, but clarified the scope of what the agency must produce (Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, et al. v. Gina McCarthy, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 15-0271, S.D. W.Va.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79004).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co., which is being sued by Ohio residents alleging injuries from exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8), on June 16 filed a brief in Ohio federal court, contending that it should grant the company a directed verdict against plaintiff David Freeman on grounds that he has been fully heard and there is no legally sufficient evidentiary basis for a jury to find in favor of him (In re E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio).
NEW YORK - A couple may subpoena the University of Idaho about how compensation influenced the school's studies into whether Colgate-Palmolive Co.'s talcum body powder contained asbestos, a New York justice held June 20 (Keri LoGiudice and Joseph LoGiudice v. American Talc Co., et al., No. 190253/2014, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - A trial judge did not err in denying a tobacco company's request to transfer an asbestos case to counties where the plaintiff either lived or suffered exposed, an Illinois appeals court panel held June 15 (Bill Baugher and Sharon Baugher v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 4-15-0663, Ill. App., 4th Dist.; 2016 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1214).
SAN DIEGO - A federal judge in California on June 17 granted Kinder Morgan Energy Partners L.P.'s motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the state of California and city of San Diego over groundwater contamination under QualComm Stadium after the company agreed to pay $20 million to settle the suit (People of the State of California, et al. v. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners L.P., et al., No.07-cv-1883, S.D. Calif.).
LOS ANGELES - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 15 rejected a petition arguing that the "exceptional importance" of a case establishing the causation standard in maritime asbestos cases necessitated en banc rehearing (Carol McIndoe, et al. v. Huntington Ingalls Inc., et al., Nos. 13-56762, 13-56764, 9th Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Under California law, a plaintiff may not pursue asbestos claims involving replacement gaskets and packing, but the man submitted sufficient evidence of exposure to at least some original or spare parts to pursue those claims, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held in partially reversing summary judgment June 16 (John H. Boyd III v. Warren Pumps LLC, No. 13-56975, John H. Boyd III v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., sued individually and as successor-in-interest to Buffalo Pumps Inc., No. 14-57018, 9th Cir.).
SEATTLE - A woman's complete lack of contacts with a state warrants transfer of her take-home asbestos action, and because removal and, thus, venue were proper, the court has jurisdiction to grant her motion, a federal judge in Washington held June 14 (Sarah Griffin v. CBS Corp., et al., No. 16-584, W.D. Wash.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77478).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on June 15 rejected Crane Co.' argument that settlements left it with zero liability for an asbestos verdict, saying precedent permits offsets only for settling parties found liable at trial and that the offsets cannot reduce a verdict below the amount awarded by a jury (Lynn C. Dobrick, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 10-03202, E.D. Pa.).
DETROIT - Flint, Mich., Mayor Karen Weaver on June 14 filed her answer to a lawsuit brought against her by the city's former administrator, arguing that she did not redirect funds earmarked for the Flint water crisis to her political action committee (PAC) and insisting that the lawsuit - which also alleges wrongful termination and violations of federal and state law protecting whistle-blowers - should be dismissed (Natasha Henderson v. City of Flint, Mich., et al., No. 16-11648, E.D. Mich.).
NEW YORK - A New York appellate court on June 14 affirmed summary judgment dismissal of a lead-based paint lawsuit, concluding that the property owners demonstrated their prima facie entitlement to summary judgment by submitting evidence that they did not own or manage the building until after all the infant plaintiffs were over age 7 (Arelie F., et al. v. Cathedral Properties LLC, No. 1438, 350662/09, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.; 2016 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4505).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania residents who won a $4.24 million verdict against a hydraulic fracturing company for groundwater contamination on June 14 filed a brief in a district court, opposing the company's motion for judgment as a matter of law, new trial or remittitur on grounds that it is "smarting from a humiliating defeat," and it seeks "to wipe out the reasoned decision" that was handed down against it (Nolen Scott Ely v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, No. 09-2284, M.D. Pa.).
NEW ORLEANS - A panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 14 issued a mandate affirming the ruling of a district court, which determined that a plaintiff's expert was unreliable in reaching the conclusion that exposure to gasoline containing benzene can cause acute myeloid leukemia (AML) (Yolande Burst v. Shell Oil Company, et al., No. 15-30592, 5th Cir.).
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Michigan Gov. Richard Snyder on June 14 filed a brief in Michigan federal court, arguing that the case filed against him and other Michigan officials in connection with the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich., should be remanded to state court or dismissed because they are "absolutely immune" from liability claims (Tamara Nappier v. Richard Snyder, et al., No. 16-636, W.D. Mich.).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on June 10 denied United Parcel Service Inc.'s motion for partial summary judgment on claims brought by the State of New York and New York City under the U.S. Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act (PACT Act) and the New York Public Health Law (PHL) because the plaintiffs have presented "sufficient factual matter to raise triable issue as to whether UPS is entitled to exemption under the PACT Act" (The State of New York, et al. v. United Parcel Service Inc., No. 15-cv-1136, S.D. N.Y.).
PITTSBURGH - A federal magistrate judge in Pennsylvania on June 9 ruled that PPG Industries Inc. can pursue claims for contribution under state law and under the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act (HSCA) from a third party but that it could not pursue claims for cost recovery and indemnification (PennEnvironment, et al. v. PPG Industries Inc., et al., No. 12-342, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75402).
SAN FRANCISCO - A panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 13 reversed and remanded a lower court ruling and held that a company was permitted to bring an action for recovery of costs for perchlorate contamination of groundwater because it was an action to recover expenses that are separate from those involved in a previous lawsuit pertaining to the same incident (Whittaker Corporation v. United States of America, No. 14-55385, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 10660).
DETROIT - Marathon Petroleum Co. on June 9 agreed to reduce air pollution at refineries in Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan and Ohio by spending $319 million to install a Flare Gas Recovery System (FGRS) that will capture and recycle gases that would otherwise be sent to combustion devices, according to an amended consent decree filed in Michigan federal court (United States of America v. Marathon Petroleum Company LP, et al., No. 12-cv-11544, E.D. Mich.).
PHILADELPHIA - The judge overseeing the federal asbestos multidistrict litigation on June 9 declined to reconsider his ruling applying the bare-metal defense (Leroy J. Mortimer and Cheryl Mortimer v. A.O. Smith Corp., et al., No. MDL 875, 13-4169, E.D. Pa.).
PORTLAND, Maine - Even under the less burdensome standard applied by the trial court a widow cannot sufficiently link her husband's asbestos-related death to the negligence of four companies, Maine's top court held June 7 (Patricia Grant, et al. v. Foster Wheeler LLC, et al., No. BCD-15-404, Maine Sup. Jud.).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida Supreme Court on June 9 ruled 5-2 that a tobacco company owes nearly $770,000 in post-judgment interest to an Engle progeny plaintiff because a statute that changed the interest rate was not in place when judgment in the plaintiffs case was originally entered (Lyantie Townsend v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No SC15-722, Fla. Sup.; 2016 Fla. Sup. LEXIS 1195).
ATLANTA - R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Philip Morris USA Inc. say in a June 7 brief to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the product defect and negligence verdicts against them in an Engle progeny suit cannot stand because the Engle findings are "useless" for establishing defect and negligence and allowing the plaintiff to rely on those findings would violate due process (Earl E. Graham, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Faye Dale Graham v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 13-14590, 11th Cir.).
GREENSBORO, N.C. - A federal judge denied two motions for summary judgment June 6 and ordered limited jurisdictional discovery into the asbestos-tainted talc defendants' connections with North Carolina and a third defendant (Merton Eric Branson v. American International Industries, et al., No. 15-73, M.D. N.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73855).
BALTIMORE - The evidence completely contradicts an expert's conclusion that a man worked with asbestos-containing Micarta, a federal judge in Maryland held June 6, also granting partial summary judgment (Charles Lemuel Arbogast Jr., et al. v. A.W. Chesterton Co., et al., No. 14-4049, D. Md.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73425).
ST. LOUIS - An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 8 ruled that a federal judge in Arkansas did not err when dismissing for lack of jurisdiction a lawsuit brought by two steel companies claiming that a competitor violated the Clean Air Act (CAA) when it obtained permits to build a steel recycling plant, holding that the plaintiff companies' suit constituted a collateral attack on the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality's (ADEQ) decision to issue the permit (Nucor Steel-Arkansas, et al. v. Big River Steel LLC, No. 15-1615, 8th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 10342).