SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a June 24 reply brief supporting its motion to dismiss negligence and fraud claims against it related to a firm's botched asbestos abatement job, Groupon Inc. tells a California federal court that the homeowner plaintiffs' asserted injuries are actually unrelated to a Groupon voucher that they purchased and for which they subsequently received a full refund (William Mosley, et al. v. Groupon Inc., et al., No. 15-cv-01205, N.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK - An attorney for Chevron Corp. on June 28 sent a letter to a panel of the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals contending that the attorney for the Ecuadorian residents, who initially won an $18.5 billion judgment against it before the plaintiffs' attorney was determined to have committed fraud, has waived any argument about the "purported extraterritorial application of" the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (Chevron Corporation v. Steven R. Donziger, et al., No. 14-826, 2nd Cir.).
NEW YORK - For the second time this month, a New York jury hit boiler maker Burnham LLC with a verdict in an asbestos case, this time awarding a $22 million verdict on June 24 and finding it 25 percent liable for a man's mesothelioma, sources told Mealey Publications (Frank Gondar v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 190079-2015, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Chevron Corp., which is being sued by plaintiffs who allege that the company is liable for damages related to the explosion of one its natural gas rigs in Nigeria, on June 24 filed a brief in a California federal court asking it to compel the plaintiffs to produce litigation funding documents to demonstrate the adequacy of the class representative and his counsel (Foster Ogola, et al. v. Chevron Corporation, No. 14-173, N.D. Calif.).
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court on June 24 agreed to decide whether personal jurisdiction arises from out-of-state plaintiff Pepsi-Cola Metropolitan Bottling Co. Inc.'s allegation that out-of-state defendants attended two in-state meetings involving the resolution of Pneumo Abex LLC asbestos claims (M&F Worldwide Corp., et al. v. Pepsi-Cola Metropolitan Bottling Company Inc., No. 15-0083, Texas Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Volkswagen AG and its related entities have agreed to pay $14.7 billion to resolve allegations that the manufacturer installed emissions software in its 2.0 liter vehicles that was designed to cheat emissions tests, according to a consent decree filed in California federal court on June 28 (In re: Volkswagen "Clean Diesel" Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2672, Case No. 15-md-2672, N.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK - New York's high court on June 28 refused to decide if a trial judge erred in consolidating two asbestos cases for trial, saying the defendant did not adequately preserve the issue for appeal (In the Matter of New York City Asbestos Litigation; Ruby E. Konstantin, individually and as executrix of the estate of Dave John Konstantin v. 630 Third Ave. Associates, et al., No. 85, N.Y. App.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on June 23 vacated and remanded a ruling that denied a veteran benefits for his chloracne that he claimed was the result of exposure to Agent Orange. The judge ruled that there needed to be a "critical examination" of the justification of the decision (David J. Lytle v. Robert A. McDonald, No. 15-2288, U.S. App. Vet. Clms. 2016 U.S. App. Vet. Claims LEXIS 939).
PORTLAND, Ore. - A couple mistakenly argues that the mere presence of a company's product at a jobsite can support an $8 million asbestos verdict, Kaiser Gypsum Corp. argues in a June 22 brief seeking to overturn the verdict (David P. Hoff, et al. v. CertainTeed Corp., et al., No. 15CV23996, Ore. Cir., Multnomah Co.).
WAUSAU, Wis. - Allegations of an insider sale that left the seller insolvent support the conclusion that the transaction was done to avoid asbestos liabilities, a Wisconsin appeals court held in reversing summary judgment on June 23 (Penny L. Springer v. Nohl Electric Products Corp., et al., No. 2010CV622, Wis. App., Dist. IV; 2016 Wisc. App. LEXIS 383).
NEW ORLEANS - A trial judge properly excluded expert testimony, agreeing that the partial deposition testimony he saw provided an insufficient ground on which to opine about the link between a man's asbestos exposure and his fatal lung cancer, and without that testimony, summary judgment was appropriate, a Louisiana appeals court held June 22 (Dwayne Boudreaux, et al. v. Bollinger Shipyard, et al., No. 2015-CA-1345, Gerilyn Cook, et al. v. Bollinger Shipyard, et al., No. 2015-C-0958, La. App., 4th Cir.; 2016 La. App. LEXIS 1229).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - D.G. Yuengling & Son Inc. on June 23 agreed to pay a $2.8 million penalty and invest $7 million to improve environmental measures at its brewery operations to resolve allegations that the brewery violated the Clean Water Act (CWA) at two of its facilities near Pottsville, Pa. (United Sates of America .v D.G. Yuengling and Son Inc., No. 16-cv-1252, M.D. Pa.).
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.).
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.).
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.).
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).
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).
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.).
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).
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.).
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).
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).
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.).
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).
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.).