LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Manufacturing Company's Motion For Interlocutory Appeal Is Untimely, Judge Rules

FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Joslyn Manufacturing Co. cannot seek an interlocutory appeal of a ruling barring the company from raising claim preclusion and statute of limitations defenses in a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) lawsuit, a federal judge in Indiana ruled April 21, finding that the defendant company's motion was untimely (Valbruna Slater Steel Corp., et al. v. Joslyn Manufacturing Company, et al., No. 10-CV-0044-JD, N.D. Ind.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53348).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Finds Agency's Reports Documenting Investigation Of Oil Spill Are Admissible

SALT LAKE CITY - Four documents prepared by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) as part of an investigation of a June 2010 oil spill from a pipeline owned by Chevron Pipe Line Co. (CPL) are admissible under Federal Rule of Evidence 803(8) because they are public records, a federal judge in Utah ruled April 22 (Chevron Pipe Line Company v. PacifiCorp, d/b/a Rocky Mountain Power, No. 12-cv-287-TC, D. Utah; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54433).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Salvager Had No Duty To Protect Subcontractors, 6th Circuit Affirms

CINCINNATI - Subcontractors experienced in electrical work knew the dangers presented by asbestos and had no reason to rely on a salvager's representations regarding safety, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held April 22 in affirming summary judgment (Chris Upton and Leslie D. Jones, et al. v. BNFL Inc., et al., No. 15-5751, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7380).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 66 Companies Agree To Spend $78M To Remediate Groundwater At Superfund Site

LOS ANGELES - The U.S. Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency on April 20 announced that a group of 66 companies agreed to reimburse the agency for $8 million it spent on cleaning up the Omega Chemical Superfund site in Whittier, Calif., and agreed to spend $70 million to install a groundwater treatment system (United States of America, et al. v. Abex Aerospace, et al., No. 16-cv-2696, C.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Federal Jurisdiction Lacking For 1 Of The Flint Lead Water Crisis Cases

DETROIT - A federal judge in Michigan on April 19 ruled that one of the lead-contamination lawsuits brought by residents of Flint, Mich., did not belong in federal court because their claims were precluded by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) (Beatrice Boler, et al. v. Darnell Earley, et al., No. 16-10323, E.D. Mich.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Vacates Ruling, Says New Evidence In MTBE Case Validates Jurisdiction

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on April 15 vacated her previous ruling and reinstated defendants in a groundwater contamination lawsuit related to the gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), concluding that new evidence indicates that the District Court has jurisdiction over claims brought by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (In re: Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether [MTBE] Products Liability Litigation, MDL 1358, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico v. Shell Oil Co., et al., Nos. 07-10470, 14-1014, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Appeals Court: Judge Applied Wrong Standard In Improper Joinder Case

NEW ORLEANS - A judge properly pierced the pleadings in a case alleging improper joinder but then erroneously applied the summary judgment standard in dismissing two asbestos defendants and denying remand, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held April 19 (Tina Davidson, et al. v. Georgia Pacific LLC, et al., No. 14-30925, 5th Cir.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Registering In State Doesn't Create General Jurisdiction, Delaware Top Court Says

WILMINGTON, Del. - Due process concerns require that state registration statutes not create general jurisdiction over a business, a divided Delaware Supreme Court held April 18 (Genuine Parts Co. v. Ralph Allan Cepec and Sandra Faye Cepec, No. 528, 2015, Del. Sup.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Michigan Attorney General Indicts 3 Officials In Flint Water Crisis

FLINT, Mich. - At a press conference on April 20, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced that his office has filed criminal charges against two state officials and one city employee in connection with the Flint lead-contaminated water crisis.

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Paulsboro Defendants Seek Preclusion Of Evidence About Exposure To Vinyl Chloride

CAMDEN, N.J. - The defendants being sued for injuries from vinyl chloride contamination that allegedly occurred following a train derailment filed a brief in New Jersey federal court on April 15, contending that the district court should issue an order precluding the plaintiffs from "introducing into evidence, inducing any witness to testify, or from referring in any way, directly or indirectly," about one specific plaintiff's alleged levels of exposure to vinyl chloride or its byproducts (In Re: Paulsboro Derailment Cases, No. 13-784, D. N.J.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - DuPont Argues Damages Phases Of C8 Injury Trial Should Be Bifurcated

COLUMBUS, Ohio - E.I. du Pont De Nemours and Co., which is being sued in Ohio federal court by residents who allege that they have been injured as a result of exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8), on April 13 filed a brief arguing that in the next trial to be held as part of the multidistrict litigation, the district court should bifurcate the damages phases of the trial (In re E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C-8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Federal Judge Will Not Dismiss Consumer Protection Claim In Tobacco Suit

BOSTON - A federal judge in Massachusetts on April 14 denied Philip Morris USA Inc.'s motion to enter final judgment on a class's claim that the tobacco company violated Massachusetts consumer protection laws, ultimately rejecting its argument that she would be violating the U.S. Constitution by deciding the issue herself (Kathleen Donovan, et al. v. Philip Morris USA Inc., No. 1:06-cv-12234, D. Mass.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Flint Water Defendants: Relief Sought By Residents Is 'Inappropriate, Unwarranted'

DETROIT - The Michigan state officials being sued in connection with the lead-contaminated drinking water in Flint, Mich., on April 14 filed a brief in Michigan federal court contending that the injunctive relief requested by the plaintiffs is "inappropriate and unwarranted" (Concerned Pastors for Social Action, et al. v. Nick A. Khouri, et al., No. 16-10277, E.D. Mich.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Montana Supreme Court Upholds Ruling Finding Asarco's State Law Claims Precluded

HELENA, Mont. - A Montana state court judge did not err when granting Atlantic Richfield Co.'s motion for judgment on the pleadings, finding that Asarco LLC's state law claims for breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing and fraud claims could have been added to an earlier federal lawsuit, a Montana Supreme Court panel ruled April 12 (Asarco LLC v. Atlantic Richfield Company, No. DA 15-0464, Mont. Sup.; 2016 Mont. LEXIS 266).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Philip Morris Urges Final Judgment In Medical-Monitoring Suit

BOSTON - Philip Morris USA Inc. on April 11 again asked a federal judge in Massachusetts to enter final judgment in its favor in a medical monitoring suit because the one claim the jury did not rule on is identical to the breach of warranty claim the jury rejected during trial, and the judge coming to a different conclusion than the jury would violate the Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Kathleen Donovan, et al. v. Philip Morris USA Inc., No. 1:06-cv-12234, D. Mass.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Ohio Top Court Rejects Asbestosis Sufferer's Challenge To Workers' Comp Denial

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Industrial Commission of Ohio properly relied on a board-certified pulmonologist's opinion in denying a man's occupational asbestos injury claim, Ohio's top court held April 13 (The State ex rel. Robert Boyd v. The Scotts Miracle-Gro Co., et al., No. 2016-Ohio-1508, Ohio Sup.; 2016 Ohio LEXIS 928).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - JPMDL Creates MDL For Misleading Advertising Suits Against Tobacco Companies

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on April 11 transferred five suits in which the plaintiffs allege that a cigarette manufacturer and its holding company misled consumers through false advertising on cigarette cartons to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico for coordinated pretrial proceedings (In Re: Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, MDL No. 2695, JPMDL; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48157).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Remands 1 Flint Water Crisis Case To State Court

DETROIT - A federal judge in Michigan on April 13 remanded to state court a lawsuit filed by a resident against a group of companies that provided engineering services to the City of Flint, Mich., in connection with the lead water crisis, ruling that the defendants "lacked an objectively reasonable basis for removal" (Sasha Bell, as next friend and mother of M.B., v. Lockwood Andrews & Newman, et al., No. 16-10825, E.D. Mich.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Flint Water Plaintiffs Move To Consolidate Cases; Defendants Seek Dismissal

DETROIT - The Michigan residents who sued state officials for damages related to the lead contamination in the drinking water in Flint, Mich., on April 12 filed a notice that they are moving to consolidate their lawsuit with three other cases involving the Flint water crisis, while at the same time the state defendants moved to dismiss the lawsuit (Beatrice Boler, et al. v. Darnell Earley, et al., No. 16-10323, E.D. Mich.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Some Plaintiffs Suing Over Flint Water Crisis Oppose Consolidating Cases

DETROIT - Plaintiffs in one of several class actions filed against Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder over the lead-contaminated drinking water in Flint, Mich., on April 13 filed a brief in another class action pending in Michigan federal court, contending - as a nonparty - that consolidation of cases would "significantly prejudice" them (Melissa Mays, et al. v. Gov. Rick Snyder, et al., No. 15-14002, E.D. Mich.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Sophisticated User Doctrine Doesn't Stretch To Salesman, California Court Finds

LOS ANGELES - The absence of evidence that a refractory salesman or his peer group knew of the dangers of asbestos prevents application of the sophisticated doctrine, a California appeals court held in reversing a verdict on April 13 (Richard F. Moran III v. Foster Wheeler Energy Corp., No. B261682, Calif. Super., 2nd Dist.; 2016 Cal. App. LEXIS 280).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Group Suing Halliburton For Radioactive Material Injuries Wants To Add Plaintiffs

OKLAHOMA CITY - A group of plaintiffs 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 April 12 filed a brief in Oklahoma federal court, contending that they should be given leave to amend their complaint to add new plaintiffs (Mitchell L. McCormick v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-01272, W.D. Okla.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Monsanto: Woman's Claim That Herbicide Caused Cancer Should Be Dismissed

HONOLULU - Monsanto Co. on April 11 filed a brief in federal court in Hawaii, arguing that the personal injury lawsuit filed against it by a woman who contends that she contracted cancer after using the company's herbicide on her coffee farm should be dismissed because the statute of limitations has run on her claim (Christine Sheppard, et al. v. Monsanto Company, No. 16-43, D. Hawaii).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Appellate Panel Remands Engle Suit For Stay Of Execution On Judgment

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on April 12 found that a trial court erred by not entering a stay of final judgment in a tobacco case because the tobacco company had begun to exercise its right to seek a further review of the case by the U.S. Supreme Court (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Janice L. Sikes, as personal representative for the estate of Jimmie Wayne Sikes, No. 1D13-3183, Fla. App., 1st Dist.; 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 5539).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Ohio Panel Reverses, Remands Lead Paint Case, Says Issues Of Fact Remain

UPPER SANDUSKY, Ohio - An appeals panel in Ohio on April 11 reversed and remanded a trial court ruling in a lead-paint poisoning lawsuit, finding that there was evidence of an issue of fact pertaining to alleged injuries and that the record in the case showed that the "usual indicia of hazard" were present (Shailyn Webster, et al. v. Robert D. Shaw, No. 16-15-08, Ohio App., 3rd Dist., Wyandot Co.; 2016 Ohio App. LEXIS 1391).