NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on Oct. 26 denied Crane Co.'s motion asking her to rescind a 16-month-old remand order and grant it summary judgment, saying the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' order requiring reconsideration of a summary judgment order involving other defendants did not require such an outcome (Linda Hammell, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 14-13, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148139).
ALBANY, N.Y. - Out-of-state rulings on a manufacturers' liability for third-party parts do not require reconsideration of a ruling and a recent ruling by New York's top court moots any concern of prejudice, a federal judge held Oct. 27 (Pearl Osterhout, et al. v. Crane Co.; FMC Corp., et al., No. 14-208, N.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148819).
NEW YORK - The court clerk for the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 27 issued an order denying a petition for rehearing sought by a group of Ecuadorian residents and their attorney in the fraud case surrounding the $18.5 billion judgment the residents had won against Chevron Corp., which was reversed, pertaining to alleged injuries related to the company's involvement with an oil consortium (Chevron Corporation v. Steven Donziger, No. 14-826 [consolidated with] Chevron Corporation v. Hugo Gerardo Camacho Naranjo, No. 14-832, 2nd Cir.).
PHILADELPHIA - Evidence of a lung cancer victim's work in the proximity of switchgears combined with evidence that the products deteriorated from regular use and released asbestos-containing dust as a result keeps a case alive, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Oct. 26 (In re: Asbestos Products Liability Litigation, Carol Zellner v. CBS Corp., No. 14-3270, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19334).
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - A judge in Michigan on Oct. 26 partially dismissed and partially upheld causes of action brought by residents of Flint, Mich., against the state's governor and other employees related to the lead-contaminated water crisis, concluding that the plaintiffs' claims for injury to bodily integrity and inverse condemnation were valid (Melissa Mays, et al. v. Gov. Rick Snyder, et al., No. 16-000017, Mich. Clms.).
SPOKANE, Wash. - A judge in Washington state on Oct. 26 ruled that the City of Spokane, Wash., sufficiently alleged claims against Monsanto Co. and its affiliates for contamination of the city's groundwater with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); therefore, it had standing to seek remediation costs from the company (City of Spokane v. Monsanto Company, et al., No. 15-00201, E.D. Wash.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148436).
LOS ANGELES - Reasonable explanations exist for every apparent contradiction regarding an asbestos defendant's production of evidence and why that production falls short of what a plaintiff could find through discovery, a federal judge in California held Oct. 24 (Victoria Lund, et al. v. Crane Co., et al., No. 13-2776, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147070).
LOS ANGELES - A California jury on Oct. 24 awarded a man who emigrated from Italy $7,042,333 for mesothelioma arising from asbestos exposure in construction industry products and found a joint compound manufacturer 25 percent liable, sources told Mealey's Publications (Peter LaMonica, et al. v. Colgate-Palmolive Co., et al., No. BC604809, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A federal judge in West Virginia on Oct. 26 ruled that the injunction sought by some businesses that had been contacted by class counsel seeking information on damages in a contaminated groundwater lawsuit was unwarranted (Crystal Good, et al. v. American Water Works Co. Inc., No. 14-1347, S.D. W.Va.).
DETROIT - Employees of the State of Michigan on Oct. 27 filed a brief in Michigan federal court arguing that the lawsuit brought against it by residents of Flint, Mich., in relation to the lead-contaminated water crisis should be moved to a venue in another state because "the adverse publicity pervading the state jeopardizes" their right to a fair trial by an impartial jury (Frances Gilcreast, et al. v. Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, No. 16-11173, E.D. Mich.).
NEW ORLEANS - The approval of a defendant who had not yet been properly served was not necessary to remove an asbestos case, a federal judge in Louisiana held Oct. 24 (Nolan Legeaux, et al. v. Borg-Warner Corp., et al., No. 16-13773, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146719).
CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on Oct. 26 ruled that a prison inmate had sufficiently alleged that the drinking water in the facility where he is incarcerated contains toxins and may be the cause of his health problems (Jerrold Davis v. Tarry Williams, et al., No. 15-8130, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148065).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology wrote a letter to the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Oct. 25 stating that the committee has obtained information that "appears to contradict" the administrator's responses to questions the committee posed regarding the EPA's oversight of the herbicide glyphosate. In the letter, the chairman indicates that in light of the contradictions, the EPA's decision to delay official review of glyphosate does not "instill confidence that EPA will fairly assess glyphosate based on sound science."
LOS ANGELES - An asbestos defendant's delay in producing a corporate witness despite court orders to do so warrants imposing sanctions and awarding attorney fees, but not dismissal of the case, a federal judge in California held Oct. 24 (Victoria Lund, et al. v. Crane Co., et al., No. 13-2776, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147072).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Five Michigan Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives on Oct. 26 sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking her to investigate a series of concerns pertaining to lawsuits involving the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich., including the way in which the State of Michigan is applying its emergency manager law (EML) to block the City of Flint from suing the state.
COLUMBUS, Ohio - E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. on Oct. 24 filed a brief in Ohio federal court, arguing that one of the cases included in the multidistrict litigation regarding alleged injuries from exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8) should be dismissed because the plaintiff cannot establish that C8 from DuPont's Washington Works facility was the proximate and specific cause of his testicular cancer (In re E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Florida jury on Oct. 25 awarded $20 million in punitive damages to the husband of a woman who died after developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) from smoking cigarettes made by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. in an Engle progeny trial (Alan Konzelman v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 2008-CV-019620, Fla. Cir., 17th Jud. Cir., Broward Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on Oct. 25 granted plaintiffs' request for final approval of a $14.7 billion settlement to resolve allegations over Volkswagen AG's installation of a defeat device designed to cheat emissions tests and deceive state and federal regulators, ruling that the settlement is fair and reasonable (In re: Volkswagen "Clean Diesel" Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2672, Case No. 15-md-2672, N.D. Calif.).
CAMDEN, N.J. - The federal judge in New Jersey presiding over claims brought by residents who say they were injured as a result of a vinyl chloride spill into Mantua Creek on Oct. 17 ruled that the majority of a transcript pertaining to settlement transactions could not be sealed (In re: Paulsboro Derailment Cases [Karen Armistead v. Consolidated Rail Corp., et al., No. 13-2358], Master Docket No. 13-784, D. N.J.).
NEW ORLEANS - Saying she is "highly suspicious" of the motive behind adding a diversity-defeating asbestos defendant after removal and just before a motion for remand, a federal magistrate judge in Lousiana declined a motion to file a supplemental and amended complaint on Oct. 17 (Nolan Legeaux, et al. v. Borg-Warner Corp., et al., No. 16-13773, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143241).
MIAMI - A Florida appeals court on Oct. 19 affirmed a judge's ruling setting aside a $10.3 million Jones Act asbestos verdict against a cruise line (Giovanna Settimi Caraffa, et al. v. Carnival Cruise Lines, No. 3D 15-356, Fla. App., 3rd Dist.).
DETROIT - A class of Michigan residents on Oct. 18 filed a putative class action lawsuit against the Michigan Department of Education (MDE), seeking declaratory and injunctive relief "to vindicate the rights" of school-age children residing in Flint, Mich., who currently have disabilities, or who are at risk of developing them, due to elevated levels of lead in the drinking water (D.R., as a minor through parent and next friend Dawn Richardson, et al. v. Michigan Department of Education, et al., No. 16-cv-13694, E.D. Mich.).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Having found that American Chemistry Council's Responsible Care initiative is not an industry standard and does not impose an independent duty of care on a chemical distributor, a West Virginia federal judge on Oct. 13 excluded expert testimony on the initiative from both the distributor and plaintiffs accusing it of contaminating their water supply (Crystal Good, et al. v. American Water Works Company Inc., et al., No. 14-01374, S.D. W.Va.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141865).
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A group of residents on Oct. 14 filed a brief in a Tennessee federal court arguing that it should certify a class action against CSX Transportation Inc. and another railroad company related to a spill of toxic chemicals that resulted from a train derailment based on the need to evacuate the residential area surrounding the site (Charles Tipton, et al. v. CSX Transportation Inc., et al., No. 15-311, E.D. Tenn.).
OKLAHOMA CITY - One of the defendants being sued in connection with injuries suffered by two workers when a lithium battery exploded during a hydraulic fracturing operation filed an answer and counterclaim in Oklahoma federal court on Oct. 14, contending that the plaintiffs fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and that it is entitled to immunity under the Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Act (Jacob McGehee, et al. v. Southwest Electronic Energy Corporation, et al., and Southwest Electronic Energy Corporation v. Engineered Power LP, et al., No. 15-145, W.D. Okla.).