LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Michigan State Employees: Water Case Should Be Stayed Pending Decision On Venue

DETROIT - Employees with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) on Nov. 7 filed a brief in Michigan federal court contending that it should stay all proceedings in the lead-contaminated water case brought by residents of Flint, Mich., against the state pending a final decision on a prior motion for change of venue (Melissa Mays, et al. v. Gov. Rick Snyder, et al., No. 15-14002, E.D. Mich.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Federal Judge Rejects Company's Request For Appeal Of Jurisdiction Ruling

ST. LOUIS - An interlocutory appeal of an order finding that a company's registration in the state created personal jurisdiction would only delay resolution of the litigation, a federal judge in Missouri held Nov. 7 (Berg Hovsepian v. The Adel Wiggins Group, et al., No. 16-414, E.D. Mo.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153999).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 5th Circuit Orders Judge To Provide Basis For Clean Water Act Ruling

NEW ORLEANS - A federal judge in Texas was ordered on Nov. 7 to rewrite a decision awarding summary judgment to defendants accused of violating the Clean Water Act (CWA), after a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel found that the eight-page opinion was "bereft of citations to record evidence" and that it "provides this court with virtually no guidance as to how the court applied the facts to the law" (United States of America v. Thomas E. Lipar, et al., No. 15-20625, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 20095).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New York Justice Denies Discovery Attempts In Asbestos-Talc Case

NEW YORK - A couple's evidence requests in an asbestos-talc case seek duplicate production or evidence more appropriately produced in discovery, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Nov. 4 (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 - Judge: Board Properly Denied Benefits To Veteran Related To Agent Orange Exposure

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on Nov. 4 ruled that a veteran's claim for benefits related to exposure to Agent Orange was not supported by a medical examination and affirmed a decision that denied the veteran benefits (Ray S. Goldston v. Robert A. McDonald, No. 15-3538, U.S. App., Vet. Clms.; 2016 U.S. App., Vet Claims LEXIS 1708).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Plaintiff: Court Should Deny DuPont's Summary Judgment Motion On Punitive Damages

COLUMBUS, Ohio - A man who contends that he was injured as a result of exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8) from a plant operated by E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. on Nov. 7 filed a brief in Ohio federal court in one of the cases included in the multidistrict litigation, arguing that the court should deny the company's motion for summary judgment because the issue of the availability of punitive damages has been determined (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 - Judge Dismisses Suit Over Oil Spill Brought By Chinese Fishermen

HOUSTON - A lawsuit brought by 30 Chinese fishermen over an oil spill in the Bohai Sea in June 2011 was dismissed by a federal judge in Texas on Nov. 8, who ruled that "this is a dispute among three Chinese parties about Chinese waters, it belongs in China" (Peiqing Cong, et al. v. ConocoPhillips Company, No. H-12-cv-1976, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154508).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Denies Veteran Benefits, Says Evidence Of Exposure To Agent Orange Lacking

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on Nov. 4 denied a veteran's claim for damages stemming from exposure to Agent Orange, ruling that he failed to establish that he had been exposed to the chemical during his service in the military (Gerald Brown v. Robert A. McDonald, No. 14-4427, Vet., Clms.; 2016 U.S. App. Vet. Claims LEXIS 1704).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Agency Acted Properly When Fining Company Over Site Remediation, Court Says

TRENTON, N.J. - The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) did not err when ordering a company to pay $40,500 in fines for failing to remediate a site that it previously used for manufacturing wood-working materials, a New Jersey appeals court panel ruled Nov. 3, finding that the evidence shows that the company failed to comply with the Industrial Site Recovery Act (ISRA) (New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection v. Hood Finishing Products Inc., No. A-3955-14T1, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2016 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2407).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - After Show-Cause Brief, More Argument Ordered On Ex Parte Remand Application

OAKLAND, Calif. - A federal magistrate judge in California on Nov. 3 ordered further briefing on plaintiffs' ex parte application for remand after the removing defendant's response to an order to show cause why the case did not belong in state court (John Ballard, et al. v. Ameron International Corp., et al., No. 16-6074, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147810).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Court Denies Petition To Review Ruling Denying Dismissal Of Counties' Suits

AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas appellate panel on Nov. 4 denied a petition for interlocutory appeal filed by the state of Texas of a ruling denying its request to dismiss lawsuits brought by 18 counties accusing Volkswagen of violating the Texas Clean Air Act (TCAA) by installing devices designed to cheat emissions tests, finding that a review of the decision would not materially advance the litigation (In re: Volkswagen Clean Diesel Litigation: Texas Clean Air Enforcement Actions, No. 03-16-00673-CV, Texas App., 3rd Dist.; 2016 Texas App. LEXIS 11978).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New Jersey Appeals Court Finds Settlement With Environmental Agency Was Not Final

TRENTON, N.J. - The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) did not breach the terms of a settlement agreement with Cumberland Farms Inc. when naming the company as a defendant in lawsuits over contamination caused by the gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) in New York federal court, a New Jersey appeals court panel ruled Nov. 2, after finding that the agreement was not final and enforceable (Cumberland Farms Inc. v. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, No. A-4355-14T2, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2016 N.J. Super., LEXIS 139).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Argues Settlement Agreement Barred Claims For Cleanup Costs

CINCINNATI - An insurer argues in a Nov. 1 response brief to the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a district court correctly found that a 1994 settlement agreement bars coverage for any future claims arising out of coverage for environmental cleanup costs incurred by the insured at a Superfund site in Texas (Arrowood Indemnity Company v. Lubrizol Corporation, No. 16-3463, 6th Cir.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Parties Reach $151M Settlement In West Virginia Drinking Water Contamination Case

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Parties engaged in a groundwater contamination lawsuit related to the chemical spill of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol (MCHM) have reached a $151 million settlement agreement in which $76 million in payments are guaranteed, one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs told Mealey Publications on Nov. 2 (Crystal Good, et al. v. American Water Works Co. Inc., No. 14-1374, S.D. W.Va.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Jury Unable To Reach Verdict In Tobacco Trial

FORT MYERS, Fla. - A Florida jury in an Engle progeny case was unable to reach an agreement on whether a woman who died from lung cancer was addicted to cigarettes made by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., and the judge declared a mistrial on Nov. 1 (John Maloney v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 07-CA-015578, Fla. 20th Jud. Cir., Lee Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Court Extends Government Contractor Removal Statute To Asbestos Warning Cases

RICHMOND, Va. - The same logic underpinning other aspects of the government contractor removal statute apply to failure-to-warn cases, a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Nov. 1 in reversing a "decades-old practice" in a lower court (Deborah H. Ripley, as administrator of the estate of Bernard W. Ripley v. Foster Wheeler LLC, Foster Wheeler Energy Corp., and J Henry Holland Corp., et al., No 15-1918, 4th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19631).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Remands Case, Finds No Evidence Of Bad Faith Joinder

ST. LOUIS - There is no evidence that a family member of a man allegedly killed by asbestos named, and kept, a defendant in related litigation in a bad faith effort to defeat jurisdiction, a federal judge in Missouri held Oct. 27 in finding that the one-year limit of removals required remand (Nola H. Bristol v. Ford Motor Co, et al., No. 16-1649, E.D. Mo.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148867).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Says ASARCO Can Intervene In CERCLA Suit, But Not Seek Discovery

TULSA, Okla. - A federal judge in Oklahoma on Oct. 27 ruled that ASARCO could intervene in a lawsuit brought by the federal government and state of Oklahoma against two companies accused of contributing to contamination at the Tar Creek Superfund site because a proposed settlement between the parties could affect ASARCO's ability to seek contribution under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) (United States of America, et al. v. Doe Run Resources Corporation, et al., No. 15-CV-0663-CVE-TLW, N.D. Okla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148959).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - EPA: Fiber Products Maker To Pay $150,000 For RCRA Violations

BOSTON - A regional office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Oct. 27 that Lowell, Mass.-based Specialty Materials Inc. agreed to pay $150,000 to resolve allegations that it violated the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Federal Judge Won't Rescind Remand Order, Grant Crane Co. Judgment

NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on Oct. 26 denied Crane Co.'s motion asking her to rescind a 16-month-old remand order and grant it summary judgment, saying the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' order requiring reconsideration of a summary judgment order involving other defendants did not require such an outcome (Linda Hammell, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 14-13, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148139).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Won't Reconsider Third-Party Parts Liability Ruling

ALBANY, N.Y. - Out-of-state rulings on a manufacturers' liability for third-party parts do not require reconsideration of a ruling and a recent ruling by New York's top court moots any concern of prejudice, a federal judge held Oct. 27 (Pearl Osterhout, et al. v. Crane Co.; FMC Corp., et al., No. 14-208, N.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148819).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 2nd Circuit Denies Rehearing In $18.5B Fraud Case Related To Lago Agrio Contamination

NEW YORK - The court clerk for the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 27 issued an order denying a petition for rehearing sought by a group of Ecuadorian residents and their attorney in the fraud case surrounding the $18.5 billion judgment the residents had won against Chevron Corp., which was reversed, pertaining to alleged injuries related to the company's involvement with an oil consortium (Chevron Corporation v. Steven Donziger, No. 14-826 [consolidated with] Chevron Corporation v. Hugo Gerardo Camacho Naranjo, No. 14-832, 2nd Cir.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 3rd Circuit Reinstates Widow's Asbestos Case Involving Switchgears

PHILADELPHIA - Evidence of a lung cancer victim's work in the proximity of switchgears combined with evidence that the products deteriorated from regular use and released asbestos-containing dust as a result keeps a case alive, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Oct. 26 (In re: Asbestos Products Liability Litigation, Carol Zellner v. CBS Corp., No. 14-3270, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19334).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Some Of Flint, Mich., Water Crisis Plaintiffs' Claims Survive Dismissal

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - A judge in Michigan on Oct. 26 partially dismissed and partially upheld causes of action brought by residents of Flint, Mich., against the state's governor and other employees related to the lead-contaminated water crisis, concluding that the plaintiffs' claims for injury to bodily integrity and inverse condemnation were valid (Melissa Mays, et al. v. Gov. Rick Snyder, et al., No. 16-000017, Mich. Clms.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: City Has Valid Claim Against Monsanto For PCB Groundwater Contamination

SPOKANE, Wash. - A judge in Washington state on Oct. 26 ruled that the City of Spokane, Wash., sufficiently alleged claims against Monsanto Co. and its affiliates for contamination of the city's groundwater with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); therefore, it had standing to seek remediation costs from the company (City of Spokane v. Monsanto Company, et al., No. 15-00201, E.D. Wash.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148436).