NEW YORK - New York's asbestos case management order requires a top-to-bottom re-evaluation but is not so flawed that litigation must be stayed during the process, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Aug. 31 (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, All Asbestos Cases., No. 40000/88, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey tax judge on Aug. 26 granted a motion for summary judgment filed by a director of the division of taxation, finding that a New Jersey resident was liable for paying taxes on cigarettes he purchased from an Internet vendor (Kenneth Hudacko v. Director, Division of Taxation, No. 015082-2014, N.J. Tax; 2015 N.J. Tax Unpub. LEXIS 70).
SAN FRANCISCO - Plaintiffs inadvertently dropped damages claims against one of the two remaining asbestos talc defendants based on their subsequent behavior, a federal judge in California held in remanding the action on Aug. 28 (Elia B. Uribes, et al. v. BASF Catalysts LLC, et al., No. 15-2131, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114873).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Aug. 28 granted in part plaintiffs' motion for judgment on the pleadings, finding only that Consolidated Edison Company of New York Inc. is a liable party under Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) Section 107 (HLP Properties LLC, et al. v. Consolidated Edison Company of New York Inc., No. 14 Civ. 1383, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114779).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio residents suing E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. in Ohio federal court on Aug. 28 moved to compel the company to respond to requests for admissions or deem them admitted ahead of the bellwether trial regarding personal injuries related to exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8), stating that the company's "obstructionist conduct should not be tolerated by the Court" (In re E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C-8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio).
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - Evidence of work with and the presence of asbestos on two defendants' products and the state-of-the-art knowledge at the time warrants denying summary judgment, a federal judge in Illinois held Aug. 28 (Charles Neureuther v. Atlas Copco Compressors LLC, et al., No. 13-1327, S.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108782l, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114580).
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey appellate panel on Aug. 26 affirmed a trial court, which held that the State of New Jersey must pay NL Industries Inc. cleanup costs associated with the $79 million remediation of lead contamination at the Raritan Bay Slag (RBS) site (NL Industries Inc. v. State of New Jersey, No. A-0869-14T3, N.J. Super, App. Div.).
CLEVELAND - A magistrate judge in Ohio on Aug. 27 affirmed the denial of a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for a girl who contends that she suffered various injuries as a result of exposure to lead (Bernice Hooper v. Commissioner of Social Security, No. 14-1726, N.D. Ohio; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113953).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Some of the defendants 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 joint brief on Aug. 25, arguing that the plaintiffs' expert testimony should be excluded (Crystal Good, et al. v. American Water Works Co. Inc., No. 14-1347, S.D. W.Va.).
FORT MYERS, Fla. - A federal judge in Florida on Aug. 25 denied a series of motions to dismiss the second amended complaint filed by a farm trust that contends that a group of chemical companies contaminated its property with volatile organic compounds on grounds that the motions were rendered moot by the fact that the plaintiffs had filed a third amended complaint (Noel D. Clark Jr., et al. v. Ashland Inc., No. 13-794, M.D. Fla.).
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - Evidence that a man worked with a company's asbestos-insulated product aboard a ship overcomes summary judgment, even where the insulation may have originated with a third party, a federal judge held Aug. 27 in also rejecting a challenge to the timeliness of the action (Charles Neureuther v. Atlas Copco Compressors LLC, et al., No. 13-1327, S.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113887).
CAMDEN, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on Aug. 27 dismissed the lawsuit brought by a some of the plaintiffs against Consolidated Rail Corp. (CONRAIL) and other railroad companies pertaining to a spill of vinyl chloride into Mantua Creek caused by a train derailment (Charles Van Blarcom v. Consolidated Rail Corporation, No. 15-134, D. N.J.).
ROCK HILL, S.C. - South Carolina Supreme Court guidance indicates that the workers' compensation statute acts as a statute of repose, eliminating claims forming the basis of a putative class action over the allegedly improperly handling asbestos bankruptcy trust claims, a federal judge affirmed Aug. 27 (Odell Parker, et al. v. Asbestos Processing LLC, et al., No. 11-1800, D. S.C., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113574).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Three tobacco manufacturers whose cigarettes are labeled as being "additive-free" and/or "natural" are in violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act, the Food and Drug Administration said in warning letters issued Aug. 27 to the three manufacturers.
ST. LOUIS - An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 27 affirmed a federal judge in Nebraska's ruling ordering Stabl Inc. to pay $2.2 million to the federal government and State of Nebraska after finding that any errors the judge committed when entering his decision were harmless (United States of America, et al. v. Stabl Inc., No. 14-2050, 8th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 15121).
PORTLAND, Ore. - Amending a complaint after summary judgment for the only nondiverse defendant did not allow removal of an asbestos action, a federal judge held Aug. 25 in adopting a magistrate judge's report (Ronald K. Laux, and Marilee Laux, et al. v. Akebono Brake Industry Co., Ltd., et al., No. 15-585, D. Ore.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Aug. 25 approved a consent decree in which West Coast Wood Preserving LLC (WCWP) would pay $350,000 to reimburse the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) for cleanup costs the agency incurred in cleaning up arsenic, chromium and copper contamination at a former wood-preserving site in Elmira, Calif., finding that the agreement was fair and reasonable (California Department of Toxic Substances Control, et al. v. Jim Dobbas Inc., et al., No. 14-595 WBS EFB, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112973).
NEW YORK - The federal judge in New York presiding over the methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) products litigation on Aug. 26 denied a motion filed by the Orange County Water District (OCWD) that sought to include two companies in the remand order sending the case to California federal court (In Re: Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether Products Liability Litigation, No. 00-1898, MDL 1358, Orange County Water District v. Unocal Corporation, No. 04-4968, S.D. N.Y.).
CHICAGO - A panel of the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 26 affirmed summary judgment dismissal of a family's groundwater contamination lawsuit, ruling that the plaintiffs' experts' reports were properly disallowed under rules of evidence established by Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals., Inc. (509 U.S. 579 ) (C.W., et al. v. Textron Inc., No. 14-3448, 7th Cir.; 20125 U.S. App. LEXIS 15076).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on Aug. 21 announced that it had fined three companies involved in natural gas exploration a combined $374,481 for contaminating private drinking water supplies. The fines have all been paid, the DEP said.
CHICAGO - An Illinois appellate court on Aug. 24 affirmed a trial court ruling that it was not an abuse of discretion for Chicago agencies to revoke a tobacco store's license for its violations of the city's municipal code regarding proper packaging - and payment of taxes - pertaining to cigarettes (Smoke N Stuff v. City of Chicago, et al., No. 1-14-0936, Ill. App., 1st Dist., Div. 1; 2015 Ill. App. LEXIS 646).
WILMINGTON, Del. - An asbestos defendant's registration in Delaware is sufficient to create personal jurisdiction, a Delaware judge held in denying reargument on Aug. 25 (In re: Asbestos Litigation, Mary Anne Hudson v. International Paper Co., et al., No. N14C-03-247, Del. Super., New Castle Co.; 2015 Del. Super. LEXIS 423).
CHICAGO - A judge properly excluded Arthur Frank's trial testimony as a repackaging of his excluded "every exposure" testimony, and an investigation into a juror did not prejudice a jury's finding that tobacco and not asbestos caused a man's lung cancer, a federal judge in Illinois held Aug. 25 (Charles Krik v. Crane Co.; ExxonMobil Oil Corp.; Owens-Illinois Inc.; and The Marley-Wylain Co., No. 1:10-cv-70435, N.D. Ill.).
NEW ORLEANS - A jury properly heard testimony that every asbestos exposure above background can cause disease and found Ford Motor Co. liable for a man's death from mesothelioma, but its verdict against a talc defendant was hopelessly conflicted, a Louisiana appeals court held Aug 20 in partially affirming a $2.3 million verdict (William Oddo Jr. v. Asbestos Corp. Ltd., et al., No. 2014-CA-0004, La. App., 4th Cir.; 2015 La. App. LEXIS 1584).
SEATTLE - Allegations of contemporaneous symptoms after asbestos exposure do not trigger the intentional tort exemption to workers' compensation exclusivity because there is no way the employer could have known for certain that the exposure would lead to a man's mesothelioma, a Washington appellate panel held Aug. 24 (John M. Kalahar and Peggy L. Kalahar v. Alcoa Inc., No. 72635-8-I, Wash. App., Div. 1).