SPOKANE, Wash. - A couple could have determined that the trusses installed on their custom-built home were defective in 2007 after receiving the engineer-stamped designs, a Washington appeals court ruled May 8, upholding a trial court's decision that the plaintiffs' breach of warranty and Washington Consumer Protection Act (CPA) claims were barred by the four-year statute of limitations (Terry Schilling, et al. v. ProBuild Co. LLC., et al., No. 34435-5-III, Wash. App., 3rd Div., 2018 Wash. App. LEXIS 1102).
NEW YORK - A judge in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York on May 4 partially granted an injunction sought by debtor General Motors LLC, known as New GM, and concluded that some groundwater contamination claims asserted by Michigan residents could proceed, but only with regard to assumed liability for compliance with statutory based environmental laws for violations that occurred after the bankruptcy asset sale (In re: Motors Liquidation Company, f/k/a General Motors Corp., et al., No. 09-50026, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
RICHMOND, Va. - A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 7 affirmed the convictions of two shipping companies accused of being vicariously liable for the two head crew members' obstruction of justice, failure to accurately maintain a ship's Oil Record Book and making false statements to the U.S. Coast Guard because the employees were acting on behalf of the companies and because the companies were aware that the Oil Record Book was not being maintained accurately (United States of America v. Oceanic Illsabe Ltd., No. 17-4061, United States of America v. Oceanfleet Shipping Ltd., No. 17-4062, 4th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 11877).
RICHMOND, Va. - A federal judge in Maryland did not err when dismissing a man's lawsuit accusing a funeral home of allegedly violating the Clean Water Act (CWA) by not obtaining the required permit, a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 7, finding that the plaintiff's only sufficient allegation was based on a past violation that cannot form the basis of a CWA citizen suit because the defendant obtained a permit before the suit was filed (Alan J. Schneider v. Donaldson Funeral Home P.A., et al., No. 17-1183, 4th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 11884).
CINCINNATI - Attorneys for the city of Flint, Mich., and those for the woman who was formerly the city administrator before she became a whistleblower presented arguments on May 4 before the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals debating the validity of the woman's claim for retaliation under the Michigan Whistleblowers Protection Act (WPA), and the U.S. Constitution (Natasha Henderson v. Flint, Mich., No. 17-2031, 6th Cir.).
AUSTIN, Texas - An appellate court's ruling in an asbestos case blurs the line between negligent conduct and conduct warranting punitive damages and threatens to send employees into the tort system, an amicus curiae group tells the Texas Supreme Court in a May 3 brief (The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Vicki Lynn Rogers, et al., No. 18-0056, Texas Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge did not err in rejecting assertions by an e-cigarette manufacturer that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should have taken a different approach to the premarket review of new e-cigarettes, the agency tells the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a May 2 brief (Nicopure Labs LLC v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, No. 17-5196, D.C. Cir.).
NEW YORK - A woman's notice of asbestos exposure occurring "approximately" in 1972 and 1973 while working at a Port Authority of New York & New Jersey airport cannot be stretched to cover the late-1970s exposures described in deposition testimony, a New York justice held in an opinion posted May 2 (Tatjana Pogacnik, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 190340/2015, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2018 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1522).
DETROIT - A Canadian pipeline company on May 2 agreed to pay $1.9 million for violating the terms of a $177 million agreement entered in 2016 that required the company to allow the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to inspect one of its pipelines to ensure that it complies with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's standards (United States v. Enbridge Energy L.P., et al., No. 16-cv-914, W.D. Mich.).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 1 once again affirmed that claims involving workplace warnings and safety measures fall outside the scope of U.S. Navy contracts requiring the use of asbestos and affirmed remand of an asbestos case (Robert J. Templet Sr. v. Huntington Ingalls Inc., et al., No. 17-30676, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 11214).
ATLANTA - In a May 3 order, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals denied a motion for panel rehearing or rehearing en banc by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Philip Morris USA Inc. of a recent affirmance by the court of a $7.5 million verdict in an Engle progeny suit (Pauline Burkhart v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 14-14708, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 11579).
MILWAUKEE - A plaintiff's "deluge" of nearly 2,000 pages of documents in support of a "second kick at the cat" raises no new evidence warranting reconsideration of a Daubert ruling, but rather seems to be an attempt to overwhelm the court with paper in hopes it simply gives in, a federal judge in Wisconsin held May 2 in excluding an asbestos expert (Beverly Ahnert, et al. v. Brand Insulation Inc., et al., Nos. 10-156, 13-1456, E.D. Wis.).
ALAMEDA, Calif. - A California jury on May 2 awarded $6,811,189 in a former freelance construction worker's asbestos case, finding gun plastic cement manufacturer Amcord Inc. 20 percent liable for a man's mesothelioma (Kenneth Kramer v. 3M Co., No. RG16799603, Calif. Super., Alameda Co.).
RALEIGH, N.C. - The state's workers' compensation commission properly determined the employer with which a man's last injurious exposure occurred, and neither the employee nor the commission had to specifically negate the possibility of subsequent exposures, a North Carolina court held May 1 (Carra Jane Penegar, et al. v. United Parcel Service, et al., No. COA17-404, N.C. App., 2018 N.C. App. LEXIS 435).
NEW ORLEANS - The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act provides the exclusive remedy for a widow and her children's asbestos-related claims and warrants granting summary judgment on their state law tort claims, a federal judge in Louisiana held April 30, while denying their motion to dismiss the implicated claims (Diane Pitre, et al. v. Huntington Ingalls Inc., et al., No. 17-7029, E.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71932).
SAN FRANCISCO - One hundred forty-nine residents who live near a Superfund site in San Francisco sued an environmental remediation company in California state court May 1, claiming that the company falsified soil samples during its alleged cleanup of the property and that its failure to fully complete the work it was paid $1.1 billion to do has led to higher rates of breast and cervical cancer and asthma (Bayview Hunters Point Residents, et al. v. Tetra Tech Inc., et al., No. CGC-18-566188, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - A man's inability to identify an asbestos defendant's turbines or place himself in the boiler room warrants granting summary judgment, a Rhode Island justice held April 30 in granting relief from a previous order denying summary judgment (Mary Suprey, et al. v. CBS Corp., et al., No. 13-3512, R.I. Super., Providence Plantation, 2018 R.I. Super. LEXIS 41).
MILWAUKEE - The Wisconsin Supreme Court on April 30 granted a voluntarily dismissal of a case challenging the sufficiency of asbestos evidence, after the parties notified the court that the matter was resolved (Russell Robertson, et al. v. Cleaver-Brooks Inc., et al., No. 2015AP2486, Wis. Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Two California counties and the city of Imperial Beach told the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 30 that a number of energy companies accused of withholding information about the relationship between fossil fuels and climate change cannot appeal a federal judge's order remanding their suits, explaining that the decision does not involve a controlling question of law and will not lead to the termination of the litigation (San Mateo v. Chevron Corp., et al., No. 18-80049, 9th Cir.).
PASADENA, Calif. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled April 27 that a company that purchased a contaminated site through a tax sale cannot shield itself from third-party liability under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) because it had a contractual relationship with the company that formerly owned the site (California Department of Toxic Substances Control v. Westside Delivery LLC, No. 16-56558, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 10763).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A community group's lawsuit against a solid waste transfer station was remanded by a federal judge in New York on April 27 after the judge found that the group's allegations are not subject to federal jurisdiction because they do not implicate the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) (Cleanup North Brooklyn, et al. v. Brooklyn Transfer LLC, et al., No. 17-cv-05621, E.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71256).
CHRISTIANSTED, Virgin Islands - Environmental Protection Agency documents unrelated to the question of who possessed a facility are not relevant in bellwether asbestos trials, a Virgin Islands judge held April 26. In the same ruling, the judge said he would not limit evidence just to the period between the first and last days of a plaintiff's time at the premises, saying such window is too narrow (In re: Asbestos, Catalyst, and Silica Toxic Dust Exposure Litigation, No. SX-15-CV-096, Virgin Islands Super., St. Croix).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - In a two-page ruling issued April 25, Florida's Fourth District Court of Appeal - acting on remand by the Florida Supreme Court - reversed and remanded to the 17th Judicial Circuit Court for Broward County a decision that drastically reduced the amount of damages due to a lung cancer widower (Stephen Tognoli v. Philip Morris USA Inc., No. 4D16-224, Fla. App. 4th Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 5745).
CHRISTIANSTED, Virgin Islands - A Virgin Island judge on April 24 admitted as evidence a map showing where asbestos products could be found in a refinery during a nearly two-decade-long stretch, but limited its use to trials featuring exposures occurring during that same time period (In re: Asbestos, Catalyst, and Silica Toxic Dust Exposure Litigation, No. SX-15-CV-096, Virgin Islands Super., St. Croix).
DALLAS - State-of-the-art knowledge in the 1960s could not have put an employer on notice that a man supervising work cutting asbestos-containing millboard might be at risk of mesothelioma, a helicopter company seeking to overturn a $9 million verdict told a Texas court April 24 (Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. v. Shirley Dickson, et al., No. 05-17-00979-CV, Texas App., 5th Dist.).