LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New York Village, Company Settle PCE Contamination Lawsuit For $10 Million

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - The Incorporated Village of Garden City, N.Y., and a clothing company on June 22 reached an agreement under which the company agreed to pay the village $10 million for costs associated with remediating groundwater contamination caused by the company's fabric-cutting plant (Incorporated Village of Garden City v. Genesco Inc., No. 07-5244, E.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - California Top Court Rejects Component Parts Doctrine In Materials Suppliers' Case

SAN FRANCISCO - The component parts doctrine does not insulate materials suppliers from liability for injuries arising from the intended use of those materials where the products were not incorporated into a different or finished product, the California Supreme Court affirmed June 23 (Flavio Ramos, et al. v. Brenntag Specialties Inc., et al., No. S218176, Calif. Sup.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 3rd Circuit Won't Rehear Asbestos-Tainted Railway Car Preemption Case

PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 22 declined to rehear a panel ruling that federal regulations governing locomotives did not preempt asbestos claims arising from passenger cars (Peggy R. Hassell, et al. v. Resco Holdings LLC; and ACF Industries LLC, and Thyssenkrupp Budd Co., No. 14-1715, 14-1804, 3rd Cir.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Illinois Court Differentiates Harm From Injury In Asbestos Tape Case

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - A man may suffer harm in the form of pleural plaques without a resulting symptomatic injury on which a suit could be based under the Restatement (Second) of Torts, a divided Illinois appeals court held June 20 in reversing a verdict (Joseph Sondag and Phyllis Sondag v. Pneumo Abex Corp., et al., No. 4-14-0918, Ill. App., 4th Dist.; 2016 Ill. App. LEXIS 380).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Prison Must Provide Drinking Water To Remedy Arsenic Contamination

HOUSTON - A federal judge in Texas on June 21 ordered a prison to provide drinking water to inmates that conforms to the maximum contaminant levels (MCL) set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for arsenic in response to a motion for preliminary judgment filed by inmates who had contended that the water contained as much as 4-1/2 times the levels of arsenic permitted by the EPA Keith Cole v. Brad Livingston, No. 14-1698, S.D. Texas, Houston Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80345).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Jury Finds Smoking Not Cause Of Engle Progeny Plaintiff's Death

MIAMI - A Florida jury on June 21 found that R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Philip Morris USA Inc. were not responsible for the death of a woman whose husband and daughter claimed that she died from smoking cigarettes made by both companies (Leisa Mooney, et al. v. Philip Morris USA Inc., et al., No. 2011-CA-40815, Fla. Cir., 11th Jud. Cir., Dade Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: $110,000 Deal In Tainted Groundwater Case Reached In Good Faith

FRESNO, Calif. - A federal judge in California on June 20 ruled that a settlement agreement in which a water service company will pay $110,000 to the man who sued multiple parties seeking recovery and remediation costs associated with tetrachloroethylene (PCE) contamination had been reached in good faith (Viola Coppola, et al. v. Gregory Smith, et al., No. 11-cv-01257, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80087).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - D.C. Circuit Panel Affirms Dismissal In Cigarette Sales Suit

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 21 affirmed a lower court order dismissing a complaint alleging that Philip Morris USA Inc. violated the terms of a contract by overcharging military exchanges for cigarettes because the transactions "creating an inference of fraud were publicly disclosed" (United States, Ex Rel. Anthony Oliver v. Philip Morris USA Inc., No. 15-7049, D.C. Cir.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Clarifies Scope Of Order Requiring EPA To Supplement Record

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A federal judge in West Virginia on June 17 denied the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's motion to reconsider a May 11 order requiring the agency to supplement the administrative record in a Clean Water Act suit, but clarified the scope of what the agency must produce (Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, et al. v. Gina McCarthy, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 15-0271, S.D. W.Va.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79004).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - DuPont: C8 Injury Plaintiff Has Not Shown Injury; Directed Verdict Sought

COLUMBUS, Ohio - E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co., which is being sued by Ohio residents alleging injuries from exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8), on June 16 filed a brief in Ohio federal court, contending that it should grant the company a directed verdict against plaintiff David Freeman on grounds that he has been fully heard and there is no legally sufficient evidentiary basis for a jury to find in favor of him (In re E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New York Justice Allows Subpoena Into Financial Influence Of Asbestos-Talc Studies

NEW YORK - A couple may subpoena the University of Idaho about how compensation influenced the school's studies into whether Colgate-Palmolive Co.'s talcum body powder contained asbestos, a New York justice held June 20 (Keri LoGiudice and Joseph LoGiudice v. American Talc Co., et al., No. 190253/2014, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Illinois Court Says Exposure Elsewhere Not Sufficient To Transfer Asbestos Case

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - A trial judge did not err in denying a tobacco company's request to transfer an asbestos case to counties where the plaintiff either lived or suffered exposed, an Illinois appeals court panel held June 15 (Bill Baugher and Sharon Baugher v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 4-15-0663, Ill. App., 4th Dist.; 2016 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1214).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Kinder Morgan Agrees To Pay $20M To Settle Contamination Suit

SAN DIEGO - A federal judge in California on June 17 granted Kinder Morgan Energy Partners L.P.'s motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the state of California and city of San Diego over groundwater contamination under QualComm Stadium after the company agreed to pay $20 million to settle the suit (People of the State of California, et al. v. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners L.P., et al., No.07-cv-1883, S.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - High Court Rules For RJR In RICO Case

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 20 held that although the presumption against extraterritoriality has been rebutted with respect to certain applications of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act's (RICO) substantive prohibitions in 18 U.S. Code Section 1961, the private right of action under Section 1964(c) does not authorize suit in U.S. courts by the European Community and 26 of its members (collectively, EC) on allegations that RJR Nabisco Inc. engaged in a pattern of racketeering activity, including cigarette smuggling and money laundering (RJR Nabisco, Inc., et al. v. The European Community, et al., No. 15-138, U.S. Sup.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - D.C. Circuit Partially Reinstates Former EPA Manager's Race Bias Claims

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 14 partially reinstated a former Environmental Protection Agency manager's racial bias claims, finding that she produced sufficient evidence to proceed with her claim that she was suspended during her employment due to her race (Susan M. Morris v. Gina McCarthy, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 14-5074, D.C. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 10714).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 9th Circuit Won't Rehear Maritime Asbestos Causation Case

LOS ANGELES - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 15 rejected a petition arguing that the "exceptional importance" of a case establishing the causation standard in maritime asbestos cases necessitated en banc rehearing (Carol McIndoe, et al. v. Huntington Ingalls Inc., et al., Nos. 13-56762, 13-56764, 9th Cir.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Court Nixes Replacement Parts Asbestos Claims, Reinstates Original Parts Claims

SAN FRANCISCO - Under California law, a plaintiff may not pursue asbestos claims involving replacement gaskets and packing, but the man submitted sufficient evidence of exposure to at least some original or spare parts to pursue those claims, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held in partially reversing summary judgment June 16 (John H. Boyd III v. Warren Pumps LLC, No. 13-56975, John H. Boyd III v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., sued individually and as successor-in-interest to Buffalo Pumps Inc., No. 14-57018, 9th Cir.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Finding Venue Proper And No Contacts In State, Federal Judge Grants Transfer

SEATTLE - A woman's complete lack of contacts with a state warrants transfer of her take-home asbestos action, and because removal and, thus, venue were proper, the court has jurisdiction to grant her motion, a federal judge in Washington held June 14 (Sarah Griffin v. CBS Corp., et al., No. 16-584, W.D. Wash.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77478).

Mealey's Insurance - Indiana Federal Judge Says Allegations Against Claims Management Company Fail

FORT WAYNE, Ind. - An Indiana federal judge on June 15 dismissed an insured's third-party claims in an environmental contamination coverage dispute against a claims management company because the insured failed to allege any plausible claims against the company (Valley Forge Insurance Co. v. Hartford Iron & Metal Inc., et al., No. 14-006, N.D. Ind.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Rejects Crane Co.'s Attempt To Nix Asbestos Verdict With Settlement Offsets

PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on June 15 rejected Crane Co.' argument that settlements left it with zero liability for an asbestos verdict, saying precedent permits offsets only for settling parties found liable at trial and that the offsets cannot reduce a verdict below the amount awarded by a jury (Lynn C. Dobrick, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 10-03202, E.D. Pa.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Flint, Mich., Mayor: Case For Defamation, Redirection Of Funds Should Be Dismissed

DETROIT - Flint, Mich., Mayor Karen Weaver on June 14 filed her answer to a lawsuit brought against her by the city's former administrator, arguing that she did not redirect funds earmarked for the Flint water crisis to her political action committee (PAC) and insisting that the lawsuit - which also alleges wrongful termination and violations of federal and state law protecting whistle-blowers - should be dismissed (Natasha Henderson v. City of Flint, Mich., et al., No. 16-11648, E.D. Mich.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Panel: Property Owners Not Liable For Lead-Based Paint Injuries

NEW YORK - A New York appellate court on June 14 affirmed summary judgment dismissal of a lead-based paint lawsuit, concluding that the property owners demonstrated their prima facie entitlement to summary judgment by submitting evidence that they did not own or manage the building until after all the infant plaintiffs were over age 7 (Arelie F., et al. v. Cathedral Properties LLC, No. 1438, 350662/09, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.; 2016 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4505).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Residents: $4.24M Groundwater Verdict Should Stand; New Trial Not Warranted

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania residents who won a $4.24 million verdict against a hydraulic fracturing company for groundwater contamination on June 14 filed a brief in a district court, opposing the company's motion for judgment as a matter of law, new trial or remittitur on grounds that it is "smarting from a humiliating defeat," and it seeks "to wipe out the reasoned decision" that was handed down against it (Nolen Scott Ely v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, No. 09-2284, M.D. Pa.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 5th Circuit Says Expert On Gasoline Benzene Exposure 'Unreliable'; Mandate Issued

NEW ORLEANS - A panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 14 issued a mandate affirming the ruling of a district court, which determined that a plaintiff's expert was unreliable in reaching the conclusion that exposure to gasoline containing benzene can cause acute myeloid leukemia (AML) (Yolande Burst v. Shell Oil Company, et al., No. 15-30592, 5th Cir.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Governor Says He, Others 'Absolutely Immune' From Liability In Flint Lead Case

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Michigan Gov. Richard Snyder on June 14 filed a brief in Michigan federal court, arguing that the case filed against him and other Michigan officials in connection with the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich., should be remanded to state court or dismissed because they are "absolutely immune" from liability claims (Tamara Nappier v. Richard Snyder, et al., No. 16-636, W.D. Mich.).