LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Third-Party Defendants Say Lithium Battery Claims Against Them Should Be Dismissed

OKLAHOMA CITY - Two third-party defendants in a lawsuit brought by two men who contend that they were injured when a lithium battery exploded during a hydraulic fracturing operation on July 24 filed a brief in Oklahoma federal court, arguing that the third-party case against them should be dismissed (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.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Excludes Plaintiffs' Expert In Radiation Case Against Halliburton

OKLAHOMA CITY - The federal judge in Oklahoma presiding over a group of consolidated lawsuits brought by residents who contend that Halliburton Energy Services Inc. (HESI) is liable for personal injuries as a result of the company's release of radioactive materials into the environment on July 22 excluded the residents' expert on grounds that his testimony would not help the trier of fact to understand the evidence (Mitchell L. McCormick v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-01272, W.D. Okla.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Split 3rd Circuit: Economic Realities, Not Structure,Determine Work Relationship

PHILADELPHIA - Courts must look to the economic realities, not the structure, of the relationship between a business and its workers to determine whether those workers are employees or independent contractors, a split Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 21 (Mikael M. Safarian v. American DG Energy Inc. v. Multiservice Power, Inc., No. 14-2734, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 12548).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Children Of Meso Victim Seek Legal Representative For Unmanifested EFH Claimants

WILMINGTON, Del. - The son and daughter of a man who died from mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos at a plant operated by an affiliate of Chapter 11 debtor Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH) say a legal representative should be appointed in EFH's bankruptcy case to protect the interests of themselves and thousands of others like them who may one day have asbestos personal injury claims against the debtor, according to a motion filed July 22 in Delaware federal bankruptcy court (In re: Energy Future Holdings Corp., No. 14-10979, D. Del. Bkcy.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Excludes Plaintiffs' Expert In Radiation Case Against Halliburton

OKLAHOMA CITY - The federal judge in Oklahoma presiding over a group of consolidated lawsuits brought by residents who contend that Halliburton Energy Services Inc. (HESI) is liable for personal injuries as a result of the company's release of radioactive materials into the environment on July 22 excluded the residents' expert on grounds that his testimony would not help the trier of fact to understand the evidence (Mitchell L. McCormick v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-01272, W.D. Okla.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Residents In Chemical Injury Case: Halliburton's Discovery Requests 'Not Relevant'

OKLAHOMA CITY - The residents who filed a chemical injury lawsuit against Halliburton Energy Services Inc. (HESI) on July 16 filed a brief in Oklahoma federal court contending that HESI's discovery requests are "not relevant" and "are not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence" (Kraig Bickerstaff v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-1305; Frank D. Eldridge v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-1306; Robin L. Booth v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-1308; Harmen Arlen May v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-1309; Leslie T. Campbell v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-1311; Evelyn Bernice Southerland v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-1312; Stephen G. Jones v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-1322; Bruce Wilmes v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-1323; Amanda Alexander v Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-1343; Terry Cheek v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 13-116, W.D. Okla.).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Bankruptcy Judge Sets Asbestos Bar Date For Energy Future Claimants

WILMINGTON, Del. - Asbestos personal injury claimants of Chapter 11 debtor Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH), including those who have yet to show any signs of asbestos disease, have until Dec. 14 to file proofs of claim in the bankruptcy case, according to an order filed July 15 in Delaware federal bankruptcy court (In re: Energy Future Holdings Corp., No. 14-10979, D. Del. Bkcy.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Power Company To Spend $7.1M To Reduce Pollution From Coal-Fired Plants

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Interstate Power & Light Co., a subsidiary of Alliant Energy, on July 15 agreed to pay a $1.1 million civil penalty for violating the Clean Air Act and spend $6 million to upgrade emissions technologies at seven of its coal-fired power plants in Iowa to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide (United States of America, et al. v. Interstate Power and Light Company, No. 15-0061, N.D. Iowa).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Ohio Federal Judge Tosses 1 Of 2 Defendants In Marketing Calls Suit

CINCINNATI - Only the company that placed allegedly unwanted marketing calls, not the related company on whose behalf the calls were placed, may be named as a defendant in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class complaint, an Ohio federal judge ruled July 10 (Terry Murray, et al. v. Choice Energy, LLC, et al., No. 15-60, S.D. Ohio; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89913).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - D.C. Circuit Denies Biofuel Makers' Challenge Over EPA's Test Fuel Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulation requiring that testing for new motor vehicles use "commercially available" fuel is not arbitrary and capricious, the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 14, overruling a petition by manufacturers of biofuel, arguing that the rule creates a catch-22 (Energy Future Coalition, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 14-1123, D.C. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 12078).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Energy Future Says Asbestos Bar Date Notice Satisfies Due Process

WILMINGTON, Del. - Chapter 11 debtor Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH) on July 13 said it has incorporated most suggestions made by a creditors' committee for the debtor's proposal to notify current and possible future asbestos claimants of a deadline to file proofs of claim but urges the Delaware federal bankruptcy court not to require EFH to publicize the bar date on television (In re: Energy Future Holdings Corp., No. 14-10979, D. Del. Bkcy.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Perchlorate Contamination Claims Against Halliburton Ripe, Federal Judge Says

OKLAHOMA CITY - The federal judge in Oklahoma presiding over a chemical injury lawsuit against Halliburton Energy Services Inc. (HESI) brought by residents who contend that their groundwater was contaminated with perchlorate on July 10 ruled that the plaintiffs' claims were ripe, and she ruled that the company was not entitled to summary judgment on its affirmative defenses that any alleged injuries were caused by contributory negligence (Kraig Bickerstaff v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-1305; Frank D. Eldridge v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-1306; Robin L. Booth v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-1308; Harmen Arlen May v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-1309; Leslie T. Campbell v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-1311; Evelyn Bernice Southerland v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-1312; Stephen G. Jones v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-1322; Bruce Wilmes v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-1323; Amanda Alexander v Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-1343; Terry Cheek v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 13-116, W.D. Okla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74774).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Energy Future Holdings Gets More Time To Remove Civil Actions

WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware federal bankruptcy judge on July 7 gave Chapter 11 debtor Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH) more time to remove any of the more than 400 civil lawsuits filed against the debtor, including asbestos personal injury actions, to the bankruptcy court or a federal district court (In re: Energy Future Holdings Corp., No. 14-10979, D. Del. Bkcy.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Environmental Groups Must Prove Standing During Trial Over Oil Spill

NEW ORLEANS - A federal judge in Louisiana on July 7 denied Taylor Energy Co. LLC's second attempt to dismiss a Clean Water Act (CWA) and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) lawsuit brought by three environmental groups over an alleged underwater oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, ruling that there are enough genuine issues of fact as to whether the groups have standing to pursue their claims (Apalachicola Riverkeeper v. Taylor Energy Company LLC, No. 12-337, E.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87857).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 3rd Party Defendant Says Its Product Not Responsible For Lithium Battery Injuries

OKLAHOMA CITY - A third-party defendant in a lawsuit brought by two men who contend that they were injured when a lithium battery exploded during a hydraulic fracturing operation filed an answer June 30 denying the allegations and contending that its product either was not the product at issue in the lawsuit, or the product was misused after it was manufactured (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.)

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Denies Fracking Companies' Tainted Groundwater Dismissal Motions As 'Moot'

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on June 30 denied as moot a hydraulic fracturing company's motion to partially dismiss a complaint filed by residents who contend that the company contaminated their groundwater (Tammy Manning v. WPX Energy Appalachia LLC, No. 12-0646, M.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84473).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Energy Future Holdings Refuses To Give Asbestos Data To Law Firms

WILMINGTON, Del. - Chapter 11 debtor Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH) on June 26 denied a request by nine law firms representing tens of thousands of asbestos claimants to provide information on EFH and affiliates about their asbestos use and products and to delay a hearing on setting an asbestos claims bar date, saying the debtor is already working with a creditors' committee on proposed forms of notice and a noticing plan for the bar date that will satisfy due process for current and future asbestos claimants (In re: Energy Future Holdings Corp., No. 14-10979, D. Del. Bkcy.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - ICSID Refuses Claimants' Request To Stay Litigation Currently Pending In Peru

WASHINGTON, D.C. - After finding that litigation pending before Peruvian courts is outside the scope of its jurisdiction, a tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on June 23 released its decision refusing to stay litigation filed by the Peru Ministry of Energy and Mines (Bear Creek Mining Corp. v. Republic of Peru, No. ARB/14/21, ICSID).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Halliburton: Oklahoma Groundwater Contamination Claims Fail

OKLAHOMA CITY - Halliburton Energy Services Inc. (HESI), which was sued by a couple in Oklahoma federal court for allegedly contaminating their groundwater, on June 11 filed a brief contending that the couple has not shown that they face "imminent" injury (Frank Eldridge, et al. v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-1306, W.D. Okla.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Expert Testimony May Be Needed In Consolidated Chemical Injury Cases

OKLAHOMA CITY - A federal judge in Oklahoma on June 10 partially granted and partially denied a motion to dismiss a chemical injury lawsuit against Halliburton Energy Services Inc. (HESI), concluding that the determination as to whether expert testimony is needed to prove injury must be made on a plaintiff-by-plaintiff basis (Kraig Bickerstaff v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-1305; Frank D. Eldridge v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-1306; Robin L. Booth v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-1308; Harmen Arlen May v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-1309; Leslie T. Campbell v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-1311; Evelyn Bernice Southerland v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-1312; Stephen G. Jones v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-1322; Bruce Wilmes v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-1323; Amanda Alexander v Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-1343; Terry Cheek v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 13-116, W.D. Okla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74774).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Enbridge Energy Agrees To Pay Additional $4M For Damages From Pipeline Spill

DETROIT - Enbridge Energy LP and a number of its subsidiaries on June 8 agreed to pay an additional $4 million to repair natural resource damages along the Kalamazoo River in Michigan and support ongoing restoration planning that has occurred in the wake of a rupture of the company's Line 6B pipeline in July 2010, according to a proposed consent decree filed in Michigan federal court (United States of America, et al. v. Enbridge Energy, L.P., et al., No. 15-cv-590, W.D. Mich.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Stans Appeals Russian Court Decision To Set Aside $118 Million Award

MOSCOW - A Canadian energy company on June 2 announced that it will appeal a Russian court's decision to set aside a $118 million arbitration award issued in its favor and against the Kyrgyz Republic.

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Residents Seek To Exclude Halliburton's Experts In Radioactive Waste Lawsuit

OKLAHOMA CITY - Residents who sued Halliburton Energy Services Inc. (HESI) in Oklahoma federal court alleging that they have been injured as a result of exposure to radioactive waste from a chemical plant operated by the company filed a brief on May 26 arguing that HESI's expert witnesses should be precluded (Mitchell L. McCormick v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-01272, W.D. Okla.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - ICC Awards Avobone 13 Million Pounds; San Leon To Appeal

DUBLIN, Ireland - An Irish energy company on May 26 announced that it will appeal to an English high court an international arbitration award in which a tribunal ordered it to pay 13 million pounds in damages.

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 9th Circuit Revives Portions Of California's Suit Over Contamination Near Stadium

PASADENA, Calif. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 21 reinstated the State of California and City of San Diego's claims for damages, nuisance and trespass against Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP over groundwater contamination of a parcel of land near Qualcomm Stadium, after finding that a federal judge erred when finding that a portion of an expert's opinion should be excluded under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc. (509 U.S. 579 [U.S. Sup. 1993]) (People of the State of California, et al. v. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP, et al., No. 13-55297, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8418).