SAN FRANCISCO - Two experts' opinion that every asbestos fiber exposure substantially contributes to disease meets neither federal expert reliability standards nor California law on causation, an asbestos defendant told a federal judge in California on April 3 (Barry Kelly and Molly Kelly v. CBS Corp., et al., No. 11-3240, N.D. Calif.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A federal magistrate judge in California on April 3 ruled that a California couple failed to plead facts sufficient show that a landlord of a shopping center was negligent or engaged in some ultrahazardous activity on which potential strict liability could be premised with respect to chemical contamination of the couple's groundwater (Anna Lance, et al. v. Commerce Trust Company, No. 15-0341, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44321).
SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 2 overturned a California federal judge's ruling ordering a defendant in a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) lawsuit to pay half of the future response costs the plaintiff company incurs in remediating dense nonaqueous phase liquid tetrachloroethene (DNAPL PCE) contamination at a former dry cleaning site, holding that the judge erred when calculating how much the defendant company should pay (AmeriPride Services Inc. v. Texas Eastern Overseas Inc., No. 12-17245, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 5308).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - An Ohio court of claims properly dismissed an inmate's asbestos exposure action as involving constitutional claims over which it lacked jurisdiction, an Ohio appeals court held March 31 (Ronald E. Harris II v. Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, No. 14AP-668, Ohio App., 10th Dist.; 2015 Ohio App. LEXIS 1203).
PITTSBURGH - No link exists between a couple's 2014 asbestos action alleging exposure between 1964 and 2000 and defendant US Airways Inc.'s 2002 bankruptcy, a federal judge held March 31 in granting remand (Ronald P. Abbott, Mary L. Abbott v. The Boeing Co., et al., No. 15-331, W.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42347).
HOUSTON - A Texas appeals court on March 31 affirmed a trial court's decision in favor of a contractor, finding that a homeowner who alleged that faulty work on her roof caused mold growth failed to show that she was entitled to damages (Alice M. Jones v. Antonio Murillo, et al., No. 14-13-00928, Texas App., 14th Dist.; 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 3111).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A New York court on April 1 reversed a lower court's decision and held that a landlord failed to establish that she did not have constructive notice that a hazardous lead-based paint condition existed in the apartment she rented to a family whose children tested positive for elevated blood-lead levels (Micah Greene, et al. v. Lula A. Mullen, No. 2013-00930, N.Y. Sup., App Div., 2nd Dept.; 2015 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 2739).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on March 30 ruled that Maryland law governs a dispute between the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Lukoil Americas Corp. (LAC) regarding groundwater contamination stemming from the release of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) (In Re: Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether Products Liability Litigation, No. 00-1898, MDL 1358, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, No. 14-06228, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42579).
CLEVELAND - Parties to an appeal of an $815,723 Ohio asbestos verdict against Honeywell International Inc. on March 31 agreed to stay judgment and supersedeas bond in the case, according to the docket (Barbara Watkins, et al. v. Affinia Group, et al., No. CA-15-102538, Ohio App., 8th Dist.).
BILLINGS, Mont. - The statute of limitations bars the claims of five individuals who allege exposure to asbestos from railcars carrying asbestos from the W.R. Grace mine, a federal judge in Montana held March 27 (Dean Stacy, Norma Stacy, Donald Stacy, Steven Carvey and Anthony Stacy v. BNSF Railway Co., No. 13-87, D. Mont.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40806).
FRANKFORT, Ky. - A federal judge in Kentucky on March 31 partially granted and partially denied a motion to dismiss groundwater contamination and injury claims against a glass-manufacturing company that released toxins into the environment, concluding that some plaintiffs had established that hazardous substances had been released (Modern Holdings LLC, et al. v. Corning Incorporated, et al., No. 13-405, E.D. Ky.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41134).
NEW YORK - In a joint motion filed March 31, New York City asbestos defendants asked for a stay of all litigation while the parties work on a "much needed, new, fair and balanced" case management order (CMO) (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, No. 40000/1988, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
DETROIT - Michigan Consolidated Gas Co. (MichCon) was unable to persuade a federal judge in Michigan to reconsider his Feb. 10 decision dismissing the defendant company's counterclaim for cost recovery under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) because the company set forth the same argument that had already been rejected by the court, the judge held March 31 (Ford Motor Company, et al. v. Michigan Consolidated Gas Company, No. 08-13503, E.D. Mich.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41679).
FRANKFORT, Ky. - A federal judge in Kentucky on March 31 partially dismissed a chemical exposure injury case filed by a group of former employees of a glass manufacturing plant, concluding that the claim for fraud failed but that their allegations of fraudulent concealment were not barred by state workers' compensation laws (Elbert Cox Jr., et al. v. Koninklijke Philips NV, et al., No. 13-406, E.D. Ky.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41120).
TRENTON, N.J. - A federal magistrate judge's rulings denying a motion to compel discovery filed by two environmental groups on companies accused of violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and Clean Water Act (CWA) and granting the defendants' motion for a protective order were affirmed March 31 by a federal judge in New Jersey after the judge found that the magistrate judge did not make any clear errors in his decisions (Raritan Baykeeper v. NL Industries Inc., et al., No. 09-4117, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41166).
ATLANTA - An expert's testimony regarding causation from "any exposure" to asbestos is "not controversial" in a case alleging more than de minimis exposure, a divided Georgia appeals court held March 30 (Scapa Dryer Fabrics Inc. v. Knight, et al., No. A14A1587, Ga. App.; 2015 Ga. App. LEXIS 237).
LOS ANGELES - A couple asked a federal judge in California on March 30 to exclude a bankruptcy trust estimation order critical of asbestos litigation, while three defendants sought to exclude expert testimony that "each and every exposure" contributes to a disease (Howard Utech, an individual, Joann Utech, an individual v. Asbestos Corporation Limited, et al., No. 14-4977, C.D. Calif.).
ATLANTA - A policy's pollution exclusion does not bar coverage for underlying personal injury claims related to the ingestion of lead-based paint because lead-based paint is not specifically listed as a pollutant in the policy, the majority of the First Division Georgia Court of Appeals said March 30 (Amy Smith v. Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co., No. A14A1824, and Bobby Chupp v. Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co., No. A14A1825, Ga. App., 1st Div.; 2015 Ga. App. LEXIS 247).
CAMDEN, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on March 30 awarded default judgment to Cyprus Mines Corp. after finding that the plaintiff company was entitled to recover under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act costs the company incurred in remediating a site in Winslow Township, N.J. (Cyprus Mines Corporation v. M&R Industries Inc., et al., No. 14-04590, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40180).
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. - A judge properly admitted evidence of asbestos contamination and testimony regarding exposure in a talc case resulting in a $1.6 million award, a New Jersey appeals court held March 27 (Steven Kaenzig v. Charles B. Chrystal Inc., et al., No. A-2512-13T3, N.J. Super., App. Div.).
OKLAHOMA CITY - A federal judge in Oklahoma on March 30 ruled that a group of residents had established their case that a zinc smelter that ceased operation in 1972 was still contaminating local groundwater with numerous toxins (Helen Briggs, et al. v. Freeport McMoran Copper & Gold Inc., No. 13-1157, W.D. Okla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40212).
LOS ANGELES - Even a railway's admittedly continuous and substantial contacts with the state fall short of the standard for forum, a California appeals court held in granting a petition to vacate a forum ruling in a Kansas woman's asbestos action (BNSF Railway Co. v. Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles, Vicki L. Kralovetz, et al., No. B260798, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 4; 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 265).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Lack of an asbestosis diagnosis dooms a widow's workers' compensation lung cancer claim, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals held March 27 (Stella Watkins, widow of Clay Watkins Jr. v. Century Aluminum of West Virginia Inc., No. 14-0390, W.Va. App.; 2015 W.Va. LEXIS 225).
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on March 27 refused a property management company's request to add new allegations related to an alleged breach of a lease agreement, finding that its request was untimely (Bayou Liberty Property LLC v. Best Buy Stores, LP, et al., No. 14-1112, E.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39383).
TUCSON, Ariz. - An Arizona appeals court on March 27 affirmed a trial court's ruling to grant judgment for a restoration company, finding that property owners failed to show that it was negligent in allowing hazardous materials, including lead and mold, to contaminate their house (Albert Watson, et. al. v. Stratton Restoration, No. 2014-0063, Ariz. App.; 2015 Ariz. App. Unpub. LEXIS 393).