TRENTON, N.J. - Environmental groups that have sued NL Industries Inc. alleging lead contamination filed a brief in New Jersey federal court on Aug. 9, contending that when the district court granted summary judgment dismissal to some of the defendants, it made "clear legal and factual errors that warrant reconsideration" (Raritan Baykeeper Inc., et al. v. NL Industries Inc., et al., No. 09-4117, D. N.J.).
LOS ANGELES - A California jury on Aug. 9 returned a defense verdict for three companies accused of exposing a woman to asbestos in joint compounds, sources told Mealey Publications (Christine Louise Pass and Joseph David Pass v. Amcord Inc., f/k/a Riverside Cement Co., et al., No. BC587738, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Chevron Mining Inc. (CMI), the federal government and State of New Mexico on Aug. 9 entered into a consent decree filed in New Mexico federal court in which the company agreed to pay $143 million to install a groundwater extraction system and remediate contamination from mine tailings at the Questa Mine Superfund site (United States of America, et al. v. Chevron Mining Inc., No. 16-cv-00904, D. N.M.).
LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on Aug. 8 granted a motion for default judgment in favor of a hookah tobacco company that sued a couple who was using the company's trademarked brands and ordered the couple to pay $575,000 (Starbuzz Tobacco Inc. v. Issa Hilo, et al., No. SACV 16-0303 AG, C.D. Calif.).
OKLAHOMA CITY - A group of Oklahoma residents who are already members of a putative class action against Halliburton Energy Services Inc. (HESI) alleging groundwater contamination on Aug. 9 filed a separate complaint against the company seeking compensation for "complete reckless disregard" that led to the presence of perchlorate in the aquifer that supplies their drinking water (Albin Family Revocable Living Trust, et al. v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 16-910, W.D. Okla.).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Aug. 9 granted the United Parcel Service Inc.'s motion for partial summary judgment on Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) claims brought against it by the State of New York and New York City because the plaintiffs have not presented enough evidence to show that UPS "participated in a RICO enterprise under governing precedent" by shipping untaxed cigarettes (The State of New York, et al. v. United Parcel Service Inc., No. 15-cv-1136, S.D. N.Y.).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio residents who sued E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. alleging injuries from exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8) on Aug. 8 filed a brief in Ohio federal court, arguing that the company's objection to a case management order that calls for the acceleration and selection of trial cases is "meritless" (In re E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio).
DETROIT - Residents who sued Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and state officials alleging liability for the lead-contaminated drinking water in the City of Flint, Mich., on Aug. 8 filed a brief in a Michigan federal court opposing the defendants' motion for summary judgment dismissal. The plaintiffs insist that the defendants are attempting to evade responsibility on the "faulty premise" that the district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, and they contend that they have adequately pleaded claims for violation of their rights under the U.S. Constitution (Melissa Mays, et al. v. Gov. Rick Snyder, et al., No. 15-14002, E.D. Mich.).
NEW YORK - Based on a recent decision by the New York Court of Appeals regarding allocation, a New York federal judge on Aug. 8 granted an insured's motion for reconsideration and said that in light of the Court of Appeals' decision, an all-sums method of allocation, not a pro rata method of allocation, must be applied to policies with noncumulation clauses (Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. v. The Fairbanks Co., Nos. 13-3755, 15-1141, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104250).
LOS ANGELES - A U.S. magistrate judge in California on Aug. 4 dismissed a groundwater contamination lawsuit against a gas and electric company on grounds that the claim was preempted by federal law (Ken Nitao v. Pacific Gas and Electric Company, No. 16-2532, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102766).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 8 ruled that a district court did not commit error when it ruled that an attorney and the Ecuadorian plaintiffs who sued Chevron Corp. committed fraud and violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act when they won an $18.5 billion judgment against the company for alleged injuries related to Chevron's involvement with an oil consortium (Chevron Corporation v. Steven R. Donziger, et al., No. 14-826, 2nd Cir.).
MIAMI - After a "tragedy" came upon a juror in a tobacco product liability suit the morning before the jury was set to continue deliberations, a Florida judge on Aug. 5 declared a mistrial because there were not enough jurors to continue deliberations (Barbara Morales v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 07-16277-CA-04, Fla. Cir., 11th Jud. Cir., Dade Co.).
SPOKANE, Wash. - A tobacco company says in an Aug. 2 response to a motion for summary judgment in Washington federal court that it should not be ordered to pay $6.3 million in statutory assessments and late fees under the Fair and Equitable Tobacco Reform Act of 2004 (FERTA) because it has not been given the opportunity to see how the government arrived at the amount of the assessment (United States of America v. King Mountain Tobacco Co. Inc., No. 1:14-cv-03162-RMP, E.D. Wash.).
NEW ORLEANS - The federal judge in Louisiana overseeing litigation stemming from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in April 2010 on Aug. 2 ruled that only two plaintiffs can pursue claims for injuries they allegedly suffered while attempting to clean up and contain the spill as it was occurring, ruling that the remaining nine plaintiffs failed to sufficiently assert claims for relief (In re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepwater Horizon" in the Gulf of Mexico, on April 20, 2010, MDL 2179, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101175).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 29 affirmed a lower court's decision that it lacked authority to rule on the appeal filed by a group of veterans who contended that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) decision to deny benefits for alleged exposure to Agent Orange violated a federal act, which those veterans had argued guaranteed them medical benefits (Blue Water Vietnam Veterans Association Inc., et al. v. Robert A. McDonald, No. 15-5109, D.C. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13780).
BRUNSWICK, Ga. - Honeywell International Inc. and Georgia Power Co. on July 29 agreed to pay $28.6 million to remove and isolate contaminated sediment at the LCP Chemicals Superfund site in Brunswick, according to a consent decree filed in Georgia federal court (United States of America v. Honeywell International Inc., et al., No. 16-cv-112, S.D. Ga.).
PITTSBURGH - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on July 27 granted in part a plaintiff company's motion to clarify findings of fact and conclusions of law regarding contamination at a site in Greenville, Pa., explaining that the parties did not present evidence as to how the defendant company's painting operations contributed to contamination on the property (Trinity Industries Inc., et al. v. Greenlease Holding Company, No. 08-1498, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97824).
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Cemex Inc. entered into proposed consent decree in Tennessee federal court on July 27 in which it agreed to invest approximately $10 million on technology to cut emissions of nitrogen oxide at five of its cement manufacturing plants to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and pay a $1.6 million civil penalty (United States of America, et al. v. Cemex Inc., et al., No. 16-cv-471, E.D. Tenn.).
SEATTLE - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 27 reversed a Washington federal judge's ruling dismissing Indian tribes' claim under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), finding that a Canadian company's emissions from its smelter cannot be considered a disposal of hazardous waste (Joseph Pakootas, et al. v. Teck Cominco Metals Ltd., No. 15-35228, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13662).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Florida federal jury on July 26 found that Dexter-Hysol Aerospace LLC and Henkel Corp. did not negligently design an adhesive that was a legal cause of loss, injury or damage to an aviation structural mechanic who was allegedly exposed to asbestos-containing products during his career in the U.S. Navy (Marsha K. Dugas, et al. v. 3M Co., et al., No. 14-1096, M.D. Fla.).
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - A Native American cigarette manufacturer was awarded summary judgment July 21 in New York federal court on most federal cigarette tax claims filed against it by the State of New York but lost summary judgment on state law claims for failure to sell unstamped cigarettes to licensed stamping agents and failure to file annual manufacturing compliance certifications (State of New York v. Mountain Tobacco Company, d/b/a King Mountain Tobacco Company, Inc., No. 12-cv-6276, E.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95329).
GREENVILLE, Miss. - The company being sued by a group of residents seeking damages for personal injuries and groundwater contamination caused by hexavalent chromium and trichloroethylene (TCE) on July 20 filed its answer in Mississippi federal court contending that the plaintiffs fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted (Joe E. Sledge, et al. v. Meritor Inc., et al., No. 16-CV-053, N.D. Miss.).
MILWAUKEE - The man who, through his guardian ad litem, sued a group of paint companies alleging injuries from lead-based paint filed a brief in Wisconsin federal court on July 21, contending that the motion to compel responsive documents filed by one of the defendants should be denied because he provided documents in "substantially the same manner that they were produced by co-defendants to the plaintiffs" (Glenn Burton Jr. v. American Cyanamid Company, et al., No. 07-0303, E.D. Wis.).
CAMDEN, N.J. - A couple that had its lawsuit against a group of railroad companies consolidated with other New Jersey residents filed a notice in New Jersey federal court on July 19 that it was appealing to the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals the district court's rulings that granted the defendants' motions in limine to exclude the couple's experts. The experts had sought to testify on injury causation related to exposure to vinyl chloride caused by the derailment of a train carrying the chemical over a bridge (In Re: Paulsboro Derailment Cases, No. 13-784, D. N.J.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A woman's Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) lawsuit against Chevron Capital Corp. over petroleum contamination at a site in Oakland she purchased in 2010 that formerly housed a gas station was dismissed by a federal judge in California on July 19, who held that the statute's petroleum exclusion barred the woman's claim (Hong Jacqueline Nguyen Gardner v. Chevron Capital Corporation, No. 15-cv-1514-JD, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94110).