SHREVEPORT, La. - A gas-extraction company embroiled in a dispute with a pumping company over lost profits and damages in connection with a hydraulic fracturing operation on Nov. 5 filed a brief in Louisiana federal court, arguing that it does not have "an extraordinary duty of care" (Cudd Pumping Services Inc. v. Coastal Chemical Co. LLC, et al., No. 11-01913, W.D. La.).
DENTON, Texas - The Texas Oil and Gas Association (TOGA) on Nov. 5 sued the City of Denton in Texas state court, contending that the ordinance that the city passed banning hydraulic fracturing within the city limits is unconstitutional because it is preempted by state law (Texas Oil and Gas Association v. City of Denton, No. 14-08933-431, Texas Dist., 16th Jud. Dist., Denton Co.).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California judge on Nov. 3 entered judgment on a $70,861,113 asbestos verdict against John Crane Inc. involving exposure in the U.S. Navy to gaskets and packing (Robert and Linda Whalen v. John Crane Inc., No. RG14711964, Calif. Super., Alameda Co.).
NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 5 denied petitions for en banc review submitted by BP Exploration & Production Inc. and Anadarko Petroleum Corp., finding that alleged factual errors and errors in its legal analysis affirming a finding that the government was entitled to partial summary judgment on its Clean Water Act (CWA) claims against them did not warrant a full panel review (In re Deepwater Horizon, No. 12-30883, 5th Cir.).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 3 ordered the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by a group of New Jersey residents who claimed that they had been injured as a result of Lockheed Martin's release of chlorinated solvents at the company's plant in Burlington, N.J. (Michael Leese, et al. v. Lockheed Martin, et al., No. 11-5091, D. N.J.).
ST. LOUIS - A defendant company's president is properly joined as a party in a woman's lawsuit accusing the company of an ongoing violation of its duty to prevent hazardous waste spills and contamination to soil and groundwater, a federal judge in Missouri ruled Nov. 4 in granting the plaintiff's motion to remand, holding that the allegations in the complaint are not restricted to actions occurring before the company leased the property at issue (Valerie West v. Edward G. Broadfield, et al., No. 14-cv-01296-AGF, E.D. Mo.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155714).
DENTON, Texas - The City of Denton on Nov. 4 became the first city in Texas to ban hydraulic fracturing when residents passed a proposition on the ballot, according to numerous local news outlets.
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on Oct. 31 determined that an insurer must cover an insured's portion of a settlement for the BP oil spill because the insured did not breach any policy provisions and the insured's participation in the settlement did not impair the insurer's subrogation rights (In re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepwater Horizon" in the Gulf of Mexico, on April 20, 2010 applies to: 12-311, Cameron International Corp. v. LIU Insurance Underwriters Inc., MDL No. 2179, E.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155043).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A scientific publication that focuses on seismological issues on Nov. 4 published a study by researchers who contend that they have evidence that hydraulic fracturing was the cause of earthquakes in Ohio.
HARRISBURG, Pa. - An group of environmental advocates on Nov. 3 filed a notice of appeal with the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board (EHB), contending that the state's decision to grant a permit to drill six unconventional wells for hydraulic fracturing was improper because it violated the Pennsylvania Constitution (Delaware Riverkeeper Network, et al. v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, et al., No. 2014-142-B, Pa. EHB).
RICHMOND, Va. - Energy company Dominion Resources Inc. on Nov. 4 submitted a request to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) asking it to begin its environmental review of a proposed $500 million pipeline that would transport natural gas to Virginia and North Carolina.
PITTSBURGH - The Pennsylvania federal judge presiding over a dispute between a group of landowners and a gas exploration company that sought to exercise its power of eminent domain under the federal Natural Gas Act (NGA) to take possession of real property issued a verbal order on Oct. 31 closing the case pending a stipulation of dismissal from the parties (Columbia Gas Transmission LLC v. 520.32 Acres, More or Less, in Washington and Greene Counties, et al., No. 14-00206, W.D. Pa.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - An environmental advocacy group on Oct. 29 filed a complaint against Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, seeking declaratory judgment and injunctive relief to prevent the governor from moving forward with his plan to allow hydraulic fracturing on state park lands as part of his plan to raise $75 million to balance the state budget (Delaware Riverkeeper Network, et al. v. Gov. Tom Corbett, et al., No. N/A, Pa. Cmwlth.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 3 appointed A. Gregory Grimsal special master in a water rights lawsuit by Texas against New Mexico and Colorado (State of Texas v. State of New Mexico, et al., No. 141, Orig., U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 3 granted the State of Florida leave to file a bill of complaint alleging that a Georgia's water consumption from the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) Basin is harming Florida's ecosystem and water-dependent industries (Florida v. Georgia, No. 152, Orig., U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. on Nov. 3 agreed to pay $100 million to resolve allegations by the federal government and California Air Resources Board that the companies violated the Clean Air Act (CAA) by selling 1.2 million vehicles that produced emissions of greenhouse gases that exceeded limits the companies certified to the Environmental Protection Agency, according to a complaint and consent decree filed in federal court in the District of Columbia (United States of America, et al. v. Hyundai Motor Company, et al., No. 14-cv-01837, D. D.C.).
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on Oct. 31 granted summary judgment in favor of an insurer, finding that it had no obligation to provide coverage for mold remediation at a condominium resort (Busch Properties Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, No. 4:12CV2318, E.D. Mo.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154656).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 3 denied a man's petition to review a 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling affirming the dismissal of his lawsuit against BP Exploration & Production Inc. claiming that the company wrongfully used his technology to cap the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico (Michael Ed Erikson v. BP Exploration & Production Inc., No. 14-210, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 3 denied certiorari in a personal injury case for what is called "popcorn lung" brought against the makers of artificial butter flavoring used in microwave popcorn (Diacetyl Plaintiffs v. Aaroma Holdings LLC, No. 14-71, U.S. Sup.).
BALTIMORE - A federal judge in Maryland on Oct. 30 ruled that an insurance company did not owe a duty to defend a property management company that was sued by tenants alleging that they had been poisoned by lead paint (CX Reinsurance Company Limited f/k/a CNA Reinsurance Company Limited v. Camden Management Services LLC, No. 14-180, D. Md.; 2014 U.S. Dist. 153924).
PORTLAND, Ore. - An Oregon federal judge on Oct. 28 partially granted summary judgment in an insured's favor after determining that costs related to a portion of environmental contamination are covered under the primary insurer's policy (Siltronic Corp. v. Employers Insurance Company of Wausau et al., No. 11-1493, D. Ore.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153275).
JACKSON, Miss. - A group of defendant attorneys accused of breaches of duty in underlying toxic tort settlements failed to establish that discovery sought in the class certification phase is overly broad, burdensome or irrelevant, a Mississippi federal magistrate ruled Oct. 29, denying their motions to stay and reconsider (Mary Bridges, et al. v. Richard A. Freese, et al., No. 3:13-cv-00457, S.D. Miss.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153163).
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A federal judge in West Virginia on Oct. 29 partially granted and partially denied a motion for an injunction sought by the operator of a landfill that is being sued by the City of Hurricane, W.Va., and a county government for allegedly disposing of hazardous chemicals illegally (City of Hurricane, W.Va., et al. v. Disposal Service Incorporated, et al., No. 14-15850, S.D. W.Va.).
SEATTLE - Two petroleum trade groups on Oct. 29 filed a joint brief in federal court arguing that they should be permitted to file an amicus curiae reply brief in a lawsuit filed by an environmental watchdog group that is challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's listing of waterways that are impaired due to a condition called ocean acidification (OA) (Center for Biological Diversity v. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 1301866, W.D. Wash.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Following an audit, which found that Pennsylvania lacks "effective" monitoring of the disposal of hazardous waste from hydraulic fracturing operations, a U.S. congressman on Oct. 29 sent a letter to the acting secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), seeking information as part of a congressional subcommittee's oversight of the state's policies and practices for the disposal of such waste.