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.
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).
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).
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).
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).
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.).
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.).
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.).
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).
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.).
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 - 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).