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Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Finds Waiver Can't Keep Asbestos Case Out Of Federal Court

BENTON, Ill. - A circular waiver of asbestos claims appears to exclude only those the plaintiff believes would result in federal officer removal because otherwise it would appear to leave her with no case, a federal judge in Illinois held June 19 (Janice Reinbold, et al. v. Advanced Auto Parts Inc., et al., No. 18-605, S.D. Ill., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102399).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Plaintiffs' Counsel Loses Bid To Stay Asbestos-Talc Agreement Discovery Order

NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge on June 20 declined to stay discovery into a plaintiff law firm's referral deal in a New Jersey federal court case alleging that BASF Catalysts LLC and its law firm conspired to destroy evidence of asbestos contamination in talc (Kimberlee Williams, et al. v. BASF Catalysts LLC., et al., No. 11-1754, D. N.J.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Flint Water Crisis Judge Refuses To Remove Counsel, May Appoint Special Master

DETROIT - A federal judge in Michigan overseeing Flint contaminated water litigation on June 19 denied motions to replace the co-liaison counsel and the interim co-lead class counsel, which had both sought the other's removal. The co-liaison counsel had contended that the co-lead class counsel had a conflict of interest, while the co-lead class counsel had argued that the co-liaison counsel had engaged in "a smear campaign" (In re Flint Water Cases [Luke Waid, et al. v. Richard D. Snyder, et al.], No. 16-10444, E.D. Mich.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Report: Perfluoroalkyls 'Ubiquitous,' Linked To A Range Of Health Issues Including Cancer

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) on June 20 issued a report that concluded that perfluoroalkyls are "ubiquitous" in the environment and found that they are linked to a range of health issues including cancer.

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New York Justice Casts Away Boiler Maker's Attempt To Stymie Asbestos Action

NEW YORK - Boiler maker Cleaver-Brooks Inc.'s contention that it didn't manufacture cast-iron boilers for residential use is not enough to overcome evidence identifying its boilers and asbestos at worksites and the decedent's inability to state what metal the products he encountered were made of, a New York justice held in an opinion posted June 18 (Paulette Koch Corsentino, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products, et al., No. 190044/2015, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2018 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 2322).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Court: Social Security Records Sufficient Ground To Reject Workers' Comp Claim

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - An industrial commission properly relied on Social Security records showing limited income in concluding that a man had not worked for an employer long enough to satisfy the statutory requirements for a workers' compensation claim and in rejecting expert testimony on causation, a North Carolina appeals court held June 19 (Kathy D. Carroll, et al. v. Johns Manville, et al., No. COA17-1172, N.C. App., 2018 N.C. App. LEXIS 594).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Valve Maker Can't Escape New York Law, Refurbisher's Asbestos Action

NEW YORK - New York procedural law, not Georgia substantive law, applies to a motion for summary judgment, and a valve maker has not met its burden of negating the possibility that its products contributed to a refurbisher's asbestos-related injuries, a New York justice held in an opinion posted June 18 (Deborah Miller, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 190257/2016, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2018 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 2318).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Additional Expert Testimony Doesn't Save Conspiracy Claim, Illinois Court Holds

OTTAWA, Ill. - Expert testimony indicating that companies redacted "significant evidence" of cancer causation from a study on asbestos in the 1940s does not permit a finding of civil conspiracy, an Illinois appeals court held June 19 (James Johnson, et al. v. Pneumo Abex LLC, et al., No. 3-16-0406, Ill App., 3rd Dist., 2018 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1035).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Federal Judge Rejects Sham Defendant Argument, Remands Asbestos-Pipe Case

OAKLAND, Calif. - An asbestos-pipe defendant eliminates potential exposures from an allegedly sham defendant for only a period of the time in question, a federal judge in California held June 19 in remanding a case (Angela D. Espinosa, et al. v. CertainTeed Corp., et al., No. 17-1833, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New York Sues 3M Co., Others For Injuries Caused By Aqueous Film-Forming Foam

ALBANY, N.Y. - The state of New York on June 19 sued the 3M Co. and other companies that designed, manufactured, marketed and sold aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) and related products that the state contends were discharged into the environment and caused injuries to drinking water and threats to public health (New York v. 3M Company, et al., No. N/A, N.Y. Sup., Albany Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - TV, Radio Maker's Asbestos Liabilities Fall On Ford, New York Justice Finds

NEW YORK - Ford Motor Co. may be held liable for asbestos claims arising from exposures caused by a television and radio manufacturer whose liabilities were transferred to several entities during various transactions, a New York justice held June 21 (Angela Gonzalez, et al. v. 3M Co., et al., No. 190113/16, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 4th Circuit Vacates Groups' Summary Judgment Award In Clean Water Act Suit

RICHMOND, Va. - A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 20 vacated a federal judge in West Virginia's ruling awarding summary judgment to four environmental groups who complained that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had failed to perform a nondiscretionary duty to impose total maximum daily load (TMDL) limits for biologically impaired waters in the state, holding that West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) is working on a methodology to create the limits (Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, et al. v. Scott Pruitt, et al., No. 17-1430, 4th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16622).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Shipbuilder Appeals Again, Wants Asbestos Negligence Case In Federal Court

NEW ORLEANS - Shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Inc. on June 18 appealed yet another case in which it was denied federal jurisdiction over negligence claims involving its alleged mishandling of, and failure to warn about the dangers of, asbestos the U.S. Navy required for use in its ships (Gregory Brown v. Albert Bossier Jr., et al., No. 18-30730, 5th Cir.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Man: Asbestos Packaging Evidence Required Sending Failure-To-Warn Claim To Jury

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A man's ability to recall an asbestos-containing brake box's design clearly indicates that he looked at the packaging and required sending failure-to-warn claims to a jury, a man tells a Florida appeals court in a June 14 reply brief (James W. Coates, et al. v. Honeywell International Inc., No. 4D17-1533, Fla. App., 4th Dist.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Hawaii Governor Signs Law Prohibiting Use Of Pesticide Chlorpyrifos

HONOLULU - The governor of Hawaii on June 13 signed into law a bill that completely bans the use of pesticides containing chlorpyrifos starting in 2023, making it the first state to prohibit use of the chemical.

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - At Retrial, Florida Tobacco Plaintiff Wins $500,000 Punitive Damage Award

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The widow of a smoker who was awarded $4 million in compensatory damages in November 2014 won an additional $500,000 on June 15 following a new trial on her entitlement to seek punitive damages against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (Debra Perrotto, as personal representative of the estate of Nicholas Perrotto v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 502007CA023841XXXXMB, Fla. 15th Jud Cir., Palm Beach Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Chevron: Court Should Deny Relief, Hold Lago Agrio Attorney In Contempt

NEW YORK - Chevron Corp. filed a brief in a New York federal court on June 14 contending that the district court should deny a motion for declaratory relief filed by Steven Donziger, the attorney who represented a group of Ecuadorian residents who won an $18.5 billion judgment against the company for injuries only to have it reversed (Chevron Corporation v. Donziger, et al., No. 11 Civ. 691, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Tobacco Plaintiff's $18.7 Million Award Upheld By Appeals Court

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - In a June 13 per curium decision, the First District Florida Court of Appeal let stand a jury's award of $18.7 million on behalf of the widow of a smoker in an Engle progeny wrongful death case (Philip Morris USA Inc. v. Mary Faricy Pardue on behalf of the estate of John H. Faricy, No. 1D17-959, Fla. App., 1st Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 8282).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Monsanto: Supplemental Ruling Supports Summary Judgment In Roundup MDL

SAN FRANCISCO - Monsanto Co. filed a notice of supplemental authority in California federal court on June 12 that it contends supports its motion for summary judgment based on a failure of general causation proof in the multidistrict litigation for Roundup (In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2741, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - California Attorney General's Motion To Alter Glyphosate Warning Fails, Judge Says

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A federal judge in California on June 12 denied a motion by the California attorney general that sought to amend a ruling issued by the court in February that enjoined the state of California from requiring companies to issue a warning regarding glyphosate (National Association of Wheat Growers, et al. v. Lauren Zeise, et al., No. 17-2401, E.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Pennsylvania Court Affirms Asbestos Testimony, Evidence Insufficiency Rulings

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A man cannot challenge exclusion of testimony after failing to properly complain of the issue on appeal and has not demonstrated error in a trial court's conclusion that evidence of exposure to asbestos was insufficient, a Pennsylvania appeals court held June 12 (Robert E. Eorio, et al. v. General Electric Co., et al., No. 1247 EDA 2017, Pa. Super., 2018 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2036).

Mealey's Insurance - Ruling In Favor Of Insured In Environmental Suit Is Not Appealable, Judge Says

NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on June 7 clarified that a prior ruling that an excess insurer owes its insured more than $55 million for environmental contamination costs incurred by the insured is not a final and appealable judgment (Olin Corp. v. Lamorak Insurance Co., et al., No. 84-1968, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Printing Press Company Can't Escape Man's Asbestos Suit

NEW YORK - An affidavit largely details the period after a man's alleged asbestos exposure and cannot free a printing press company from the lawsuit, a New York justice held in an opinion posted June 12 (Christine Capilets, et al. v. Aerco International, et al., No. 190060/2016, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2018 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 2207).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Government Agency Issues New Standard For Workplace Exposure To Silica

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) on June 11 issued a standard to limit the exposure of workers to respirable crystalline silica in general industry and maritime occupations.

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Government, New York City Authority Reach Lead Hazard Deal Worth At Least $1.4B

NEW YORK - The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York on June 11 announced that he has reached a lead hazard settlement with the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) that imposes a federal monitor, requires the city to provide $1.2 billion of additional capital funding to NYCHA over the next five years and requires the city to provide $200 million every year thereafter until the problems are fixed and the consent decree is no longer necessary (United States v. New York City Housing Authority, No. 18-5213, S.D. N.Y.).