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.).
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.
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.).
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.).
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).
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.).
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.).
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).
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.).
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).
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.
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.).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A request for a mistrial by two tobacco companies was denied June 2 when a Florida judge instead found that an initial, inconsistent verdict by jurors in an Engle progeny case and $8 million award for wrongful death could stand; nearly one week later, on the evening of June 8, the jury rendered a punitive damage award of $12 million (Herbert Landi v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. CACE08025814, Fla. Cir., 17th Jud., Broward Co.).
ALBANY, N.Y. - In a June 7 ruling, the New York Court of Appeals found that enforcement of a law that requires retailers on reservation land to prepay taxes on cigarette sales to patrons who are not members of the Seneca Nation of Indians does not run afoul of Indian Law Section 6 or the Buffalo Creek Treaty of 1842 (Eric White, et al. v. Eric Schneiderman, et al., No. 59, N.Y. App., 2018 N.Y. LEXIS 1353).
MIAMI - A Florida jury on June 6 sided with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. when, after brief deliberations, it found that a plaintiff's husband - who died in 1994 of lung cancer - was not a member of the Engle class (Eulalia Lopez v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 2008-076453-CA-01., Fla. Cir., 11th Jud., Miami-Dade Co.).
BUFFALO, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on June 7 denied a company's request to vacate a judgment for it to add a claim under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) to a suit it is bringing against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, holding that the plaintiff had years to amend its complaint (FMC Corp. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 14-CV-487, W.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96073).
SCRANTON, Pa. - A law firm on June 4 removed to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania a putative class action brought against it by a man who contends that the firm breached its professional obligations that were part of a contingent fee agreement in an underlying toxic tort lawsuit to which he was party (Stanley Waleski v. Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads, No. 18-1144, M.D. Pa.).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - In oral arguments on June 6 in a dispute over a vacated $20 million compensatory and punitive damage award, Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara J. Pariente told an attorney for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. that the relationship between a plaintiff and her late mother, who died of lung cancer, was so exceptionally close that "every factor" points to "a substantial verdict for her pain and suffering, and loss of companionship" (Gwendolyn E. Odom v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. SC17-563, Fla. Sup.).
NEW YORK - A telephone company's missive telling workers they should not cut asbestos-containing plates does not evidence compliance with the directive and is not enough alone to overcome evidence suggesting exposure from electrical work, a New York justice held in an opinion posted June 4 (Anne Marie Fahey, et al. v. ABB Inc., et al., No. 190231/2015, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
MIAMI - In a per curiam opinion issued June 6, the Third District Florida Court of Appeal rejected a challenge by the widow of a smoker of a July 2017 transfer of her wrongful death claims against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. from Miami-Dade to Martin County (Phyllis Muro v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 3D17-1765, Fla. App., 3rd Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 7820).
DALLAS - In a June 4 order, a federal judge in Texas agreed to send a lawsuit that questions the constitutionality of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's "deeming rule" to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for further adjudication (Rave Salon Inc., et al., v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, et al., No. 18-237, N.D. Texas).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida judge erred in refusing to stay execution of a judgment where R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. complied with Florida's bond-cap statute by posting a $15 million bond, the Fourth District Florida Court of Appeal ruled June 6 (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Jan Grossman, No. 4D18-627, Fla. App., 4th Dist.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Environmental Protection Agency announced June 5 that it has reached a settlement agreement with Magnolia Waco Properties LLC, which does business as Magnolia Homes, to resolve alleged violations of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) related to home renovations conducted without adequate lead paint protection on the home renovation television show "Fixer Upper."
SEATTLE - A federal judge in Washington on June 4 declined to re-evaluate a jury's damage award in a retrial of an asbestos case while also denying the defendant's challenges to experts, exposure, and causation (Geraldine Barabin v. Scapa Dryer Fabrics Inc., No. 07-1454, W.D. Wash.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California school district and a water company on June 4 filed two separate complaints against The Dow Chemical Co. in California state court, contending that it and other chemical companies are liable for contaminating the local groundwater with 1,2,3-trichloropropane (TCP) (Superior Mutual Water Company v. The Dow Chemical Company, et al., No. CGC-18-566968, Rio Bravo-Greeley Union School District v. The Dow Chemical Company, et al., No. CGC-18-566967, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).