WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on Aug. 13 ruled that a veteran was not entitled to benefits related to his allegation that he was exposed to Agent Orange because the determination was that he was not stationed near an area where the chemical was used (Ivoria Parson v. Robert A. McDonald, No. 15-1221, Vet. Clms.; 2015 U.S. App. Vet. Claims LEXIS 1101).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The federal judge in Ohio who is presiding over a personal and wrongful death lawsuit related to a spill of perfluorooctanoic acid (also called C-8) on Aug. 11 denied a motion filed by E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. to exclude plaintiffs' experts, ruling that DuPont's arguments against the experts were "not well taken" (In re E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C-8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio).
MIAMI - A Florida jury on Aug. 13 awarded $17 million to a man who suffered bystander exposure to asbestos in joint compound while supervising painting work in Saudi Arabia, while finding one of the two remaining defendants 55 percent liable, sources told Mealey Publications (Roy Taylor v. Georgia-Pacific LLC and Union Carbide Corp., No. 2014-CA-022141, Fla. Cir., 11th Jud. Cir.).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A defendant in a lawsuit brought by residents who contend that a water company is responsible for contaminating the water supply when it spilled 4-methylcyclohexane methanol into the Elk River near Charleston filed a brief on Aug. 11, arguing that the plaintiffs should not be granted class certification (Crystal Good, et al. v. American Water Works Co. Inc., No. 14-1347, S.D. W.Va.).
LOS ANGELES - Nothing in the record indicates that a vessel owner controlled the area where a man suffered fatal exposure to asbestos or that it had knowledge of the dangers he did not possess, a California appeals court held Aug. 11 in finding the action preempted (Mary Murat, et al. v. Exxon Mobil Corp., et al., No. B247889, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.; 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5710).
PHILADELPHIA - A divided panel of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 11 affirmed a district court's dismissal of pesticide injury claims asserted by banana plantation workers on grounds the case was brought in a separate jurisdiction concurrent with the case at hand (Tobias Bermudez Chavez v. Dole Food Company Inc., No. 13-4144 [consolidated], 3rd Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on Aug. 7 ruled that the current owner of a contaminated property that has resulted in groundwater tainted with toxins must bear the burden of all costs associated with remediating the site despite the fact that the pollution was caused by the previous owner (Northern California River Watch v. Fluor Corporation, No. 10-05105, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104710).
OKLAHOMA CITY - The federal judge in Oklahoma presiding over a group of consolidated lawsuits brought by residents who contend that Halliburton Energy Services Inc. (HESI) is liable for personal injuries as a result of the company's release of radioactive materials into the environment ruled that HESI's expert testimony was admissible on Aug. 10 (Amanda Alexander v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. CIV-11-1343, [consolidated], W.D. Okla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105304).
NEW ORLEANS - Testimony regarding military asbestos exposures did not revoke a couple's disclaimer of any causes of action arising under a federal officer, a federal judge in Louisiana held in remanding a case on Aug. 10 (Thomas Hayden and Jaqueline Hayden v. 3M Co., et al., No. 15-2275, E.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104534).
BALTIMORE - Although plaintiffs have adequate evidence of exposure to a defendant's Marinite asbestos panels, they lack evidence that resulting exposure was a substantial factor in a man's mesothelioma, a federal judge in Maryland held Aug. 10 (Charles Dean Haney, et al. v. 3M Co., No. 12-1396, D. Md.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104423).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A panel in the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 11 dismissed a petition filed by a group of veterans who had contended that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs decision to make regulations pertaining to Agent Orange exposure effective prospectively, rather than assigning a retroactive effective date, was improper (Michael L. McKinney, et al. v. Robert A. McDonald, No 2014-7093, Fed. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14007).
PHILADELPHIA - A panel of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 11 ruled that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency did not violate the law when it approved a remediation plan for lead contamination at a former battery manufacturing site (Berks County v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, No. 14-2913, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14050).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Arch Coal Inc. and 14 of its subsidiaries agreed Aug. 6 to pay a $2 million civil penalty and conduct numerous system upgrades at their coal mines in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia to resolve allegations from the federal government and states of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia for hundreds of violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA) (United States of America, et al. v. Arch Coal Inc., et al., No. 15-11838, S.D. W.Va.).
BALTIMORE - A federal judge in Maryland on Aug. 7 refused to dismiss state law claims brought by the owner of a ship yard against the current owner of a steel site for contamination that is allegedly leaching from the property, ruling that while the claims are not subject to collateral estoppel, the plaintiff company can seek damages only dating back to when the defendant company purchased the steel site (SPS Limited Partnership v. Sparrows Point LLC, et al., No. JFM-14-589, D. Md.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103590).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal appeals panel on Aug. 6 affirmed a ruling that a former employee of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) failed to establish that his alleged injuries were caused by exposure to chemicals while he worked as an environmental investigator (Richard J. Malin v. U.S. Department of Justice, No. 2015-8001, Fed. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13711).
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A federal judge in Tennessee on Aug. 8 denied a motion to dismiss or, alternatively, to stay a Clean Water Act (CWA) lawsuit brought by an environmental group against two companies accused of violating the terms of an Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit (ARAP) issued by the Tennessee Department of Conservation (TDEC) after finding that the companies' agreement with the agency to submit monitoring reports does not warrant a stay or the court's abstention from presiding over the suit (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility v. The Gipson Company, et al., No. 15-cv-0020, M.D. Tenn.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103225).
NEW YORK - Sufficient questions exist regarding the power Crane Co. exerted over the use of asbestos-containing parts on its valves, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Aug. 7 (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, Russell Gonzales and Patricia Gonzales v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 190282/12, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
PHILADELPHIA - A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 7 ruled that a federal judge in New Jersey did not err when denying a motion to modify a consent decree filed by nondebtor defendants in a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) lawsuit, finding that the prospectivity requirement of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(5) was not applicable (United States of America v. Alsol Corporation, et al., No. 14-3253, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13821).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A corporate property owner is taking its pursuit of state and federal environmental liability claims against Chapter 11 debtor The Flintkote Co. to the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, according to a notice of appeal the property owner filed Aug. 5 in Delaware federal court (8 E. Frederick Place LLC v. The Flintkote Co., et al., No. 12-1176, D. Del.).
MIAMI - Parties in a Florida asbestos trial on Aug. 4 sparred over whether a company continued to produce asbestos-containing joint compound despite known risks and how well a man could identify the product in question (Roy Taylor v. Georgia-Pacific LLC and Union Carbide Corp., No. 2014-CA-022141, Fla. Cir., 11th Jud. Cir.).
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The interests of justice would be ill-served by first determining whether all 30 defendants are subject to personal jurisdiction in Louisiana before transferring an asbestos action to the state, a Tennessee federal judge held Aug. 4 (Mark D. Cashio, et al. v. 3M Co., et al., No. 15-0489, M.D. Tenn.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101755).
SELMA, Ala. - Under the "bare metal defense," a manufacturer proved that its gaskets did not contain asbestos that led to a former Coast Guard shipman's mesothelioma, an Alabama federal judge ruled Aug. 4, granting summary judgment to the manufacturer (Valerie K. Presley, et al v. Bill Vann Company Inc., et al., No. 11-0444, S.D. Ala.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101408).
NEW ORLEANS - Plaintiffs fail to distinguish how an expert's testimony that every exposure above background can cause disease differs from the type of "every exposure" testimony receiving a "largely negative" reception from courts, a federal judge in Louisiana held Aug. 4 (Sally Gros Vedros, et al. v. Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding Inc., et al., No. 11-1198, E.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98959).
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Though the record currently contains no evidence that six companies were anything more than passive purchasers of ships, summary judgment proceedings should be stayed pending depositions that may produce more evidence, a Rhode Island judge held July 30 (Nancy Santos, et al. v. A.C. McLoon Oil Co., et al., No. PC-09-5475, R.I. Super., Providence Plantation; 2015 R.I. Super. LEXIS 97).
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The Court of Civil Appeals of Alabama on July 31 upheld a trial court judge's rulings awarding $49,960.51 in damages, $17,848.54 in prejudgment interest and $53,052.37 in attorney fees to the owner of a site that houses a boat dealership and repair business, finding that evidence presented at trial showed that a lessee breached the terms of the agreement after petroleum hydrocarbon contamination was discovered and removed from the premises (Tracker Marine Retail LLC v. Oakley Land Company, No. 1240505, Ala. App.; 2015 Ala. Civ. App. LEXIS 180).