SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on April 14 found that an administrative law judge erred when he discounted the severity of a woman's mold-related and other ailments, remanding the case for further review (Luba Yesipovich v. Carolyn W. Colvin, acting commissioner of social security, No. 15-00112, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49799).
NEW YORK - A tile company has not satisfied the prima facie standard for summary judgment, the recently appointed New York justice overseeing asbestos litigation in the city held in an opinion posted April 16 (Richard R. Lefrak v. Aerco International Inc., et al., No. 190033/14, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
CLEVELAND - An Ohio appeals court on April 16 affirmed a trial court's ruling to dismiss a property owner's claims, finding that trees on his neighbor's property that allegedly caused issues, including mold growth, did not constitute a nuisance (David Rababy v. Roy C. Metter, No. 101445, Ohio App., 8th Dist.; 2015 Ohio App. LEXIS 1410).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A shipyard's motion to dismiss claims against a subsidiary involves merit issues and should be converted into a motion for summary judgment, a federal magistrate judge in Delaware said April 14 (Charles D. Malone and Elizabeth Malone v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 14-406, D. Del.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48697).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., which is being sued by a class that alleges personal injury and wrongful death in connection with a spill of perfluorooctanoic acid (also called C-8), on April 15 filed multiple answers to individual plaintiffs, contending that they are barred from obtaining relief due to a prior class action settlement (In re E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C-8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio).
BIG STONE GAP, Va. - A federal judge in Virginia on April 13 awarded summary judgment to a coal company accused by environmental groups of violating the Clean Water Act (CWA) by discharging pollutants at levels in excess of those allowed by its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, after the company provided documentation from the Virginia Division of Mined Land Reclamation (DMLR) that the company was not in violation of its permit (Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards, et al. v. Red River Coal Company Inc., No. 14CV00025, W.D. Va.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48483).
NEW YORK - A couple lacks evidence that a defendant purchased the asbestos-containing products in question or that it knew of the dangers of the products in question, a New York justice held in an opinion posted April 13 (John P. Carroll and Mary Carroll v. CBS Corp., et al., No. 190262/12, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.; 2015 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1131).
NEW YORK - Evidence that all Iowa-class ships contained a company's products in 1982 is not sufficient to establish a man's exposure to asbestos in the 1940s, a New York justice held in an opinion posted April 13 (John Pendolino and Nancy Pendolino v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 190320/13, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.; 2015 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1130).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge on April 13 issued an order addressing 16 motions in limine, including denying defendant Crane Co.'s attempt to exclude expert testimony that every exposure to asbestos can be a substantial factor in disease and partially granting motions involving the plaintiffs and U.S. Navy's status as sophisticated users (Barry Kelly and Molly Kelly v. CBS Corp., et al., No. 11-3240, N.D. Calif.).
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A group of Arkansas residents who are suing Exxon Mobile Corp. for injuries related to easements for the company's Pegasus Pipeline on April 13 filed a brief in Arkansas federal court, arguing that the judge presiding over the case should alter or amend his ruling dismissing the case on grounds that new evidence shows that "Exxon's unreasonable interference" with the residents' property was suppressed (Rudy F. Webb, et al. v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al., No. 13CV232 BSM, E.D. Ark.).
MINNEAPOLIS - A Minnesota federal jury on April 10 entered a verdict in favor of a mattress maker for more than $400,000 after determining that coverage is owed for an underlying action filed against the insured in which consumers alleged that mattresses developed mold (Select Comfort Corp. v. Arrowood Indemnity Co., et al., No. 13-2975, D. Minn.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on April 13 denied a widow's claim for benefits related to her husband's alleged exposure to Agent Orange, ruling that she did not establish that his injuries were connected to his service in the military (Rosalind Russell v. Robert A. McDonald, No. 14-0946, U.S. App. Vet. Clms.; 2015 U.S. App. Vet. Claims LEXIS 446).
OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma residents who contend that they were injured from exposure to radioactive waste from a chemical plant operated by Halliburton Energy Services Inc. (HESI) on April 13 filed a brief in Oklahoma federal court contending that the company "loses the forest for the trees" in its opposition to class certification (Mitchell L. McCormick v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-01272, W.D. Okla.).
MOBILE, Ala. - After finding that a hotel owner should be afforded the chance to remedy widespread water and mold damage in his hotel, an Alabama federal judge on April 13 denied a bank's request to appoint a receiver in the case (Fidelity Bank v. Key Hotels of Bewton LLC, et al., No. 15-0031, S.D. Ala.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48055).
NEW BERN, N.C. - A federal judge in North Carolina on April 13 overruled objections by the owners of a swine farm accused of violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and Clean Water Act (CWA) to a magistrate judge's Jan. 14 recommendation allowing environmental groups to inspect and photograph the property, finding that there was no clear error in the decision (North Carolina Environmental Justice Network, et al. v. Donald Taylor, et al., No. 12-CV-154-D, E.D. N.C.).
TEXARKANA, Ark. - A gas station owner's motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit stemming from contamination that spread from a 2002 petroleum leak from an underground storage tank (UST) was denied April 13 by a federal judge in Arkansas, who ruled that an adjacent land owner did not become aware that the defendant company was potentially responsible for the contamination until the plaintiff purchased the property in 2012 (Tri-State Lodging Inc. v. E-Z Mart Stores Inc., No. 14-cv-4088, W.D Ark.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48219).
NEW YORK - A New York justice on April 13 rejected expert causation testimony and set aside an $11 million friction-products asbestos verdict against Ford Motor Co., finding the "every exposure" theory incompatible with science and state law (Arthur H. Juni Jr. and Mary Juni v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 190315/12, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Allegations that the American Petroleum Institute (API) violated the Lanham Act when adopting "choose energy" as its slogan leading up to the November 2014 general election were rejected April 8 by a California federal magistrate judge (Choose Energy Inc. v. American Petroleum Institute, No. 14-4557, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46714).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Professional rules have equal force of law as statutes enacted by the legislature and bar an attorney from sharing asbestos litigation fees with a non-attorney, West Virginia's top court held April 10 in answering a certified question (Gary W. Rich and the Law Office of Gary W. Rich v. Joseph Simoni, et al., No. 14-0998, W.Va. Sup. App.; 2015 W. Va. LEXIS 257).
SALT LAKE CITY - While "thin," sufficient evidence exists of a man's exposure to asbestos from a defendant's product and his resulting disease's role in his death, a federal judge held April 9 (Karyn F. Maag v. Eaton Corp., et al., No. 10-905, D. Utah; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46623).
NEW YORK - Former New York Speaker Sheldon Silver lost his bid to have the government's fraud and conspiracy case against him dismissed April 10, but the federal judge criticized the prosecutor's "brinkmanship," saying it strayed so close to the edge of ethical rules that it risked falling over the edge into prejudice (United States of America v. Sheldon Silver, No. 15-93, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47194).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware federal bankruptcy judge on April 8 confirmed a reorganization plan for Chapter 11 debtor Yarway Corp. that establishes a $325 million trust to process and pay thousands of asbestos injury and wrongful death claims (In re: Yarway Corporation, No. 13-11025, D. Del. Bkcy.).
LOS ANGELES - A mechanic who operates an aviation museum is not qualified to testify as an expert in an asbestos case alleging exposure as an electrician, and absent that testimony, the case falls short against four defendants, a federal judge in California held in an opinion entered April 7 (Patricia Ann Livingston, et al. v. ABB Inc., et al., No. 12-1220, C.D. Calif.).
NEWARK, N.J. - Though a widow served both an amended asbestos complaint and her expert report late, the missed deadlines do not warrant dismissal or striking the expert, a federal judge in New Jersey held April 9 (Claire Thomasson, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 13-1034, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46386).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A hydraulic fracturing company sued by Pennsylvania residents who contend that the company is liable for contaminating their groundwater on April 8 moved in Pennsylvania federal court for permission to file an amended answer to the complaint, contending that circumstances in the case have "changed greatly" since the company filed its answer to the original complaint more than four years ago (Nolen Scott Ely v. Hon. Martin C. Carlson Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, et al., No. 09-2284, M.D. Pa.).