SAN FRANCISCO - Following the conclusion of a long-running tobacco trial, a federal judge in California on March 7 ordered one of the plaintiff's attorneys to pay $1,500 in sanctions for misconduct during the trial (Nikki Pooshs v. Philip Morris USA, Inc., et al., No. 04-cv-1221-PJH, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - The plaintiff in a long-running tobacco case on March 9 gave notice to a federal court in California that she will appeal a Feb. 9 defense verdict to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Nikki Pooshs v. Philip Morris USA, Inc., et al, No. 04-cv-1221-PJH, N.D. Calif.).
NEW ORLEANS - A man's allegations of asbestos exposures from a nondiverse defendant sufficiently support a case against it and warrant remand, but not attorney fees, a federal judge in Louisiana said March 4 (Julius David Bourke v. Exxon Mobil Corp., et al., No. 15-5347, E.D. La.).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., - A Florida on March 8 rejected a woman's claim that her deceased husband's lung cancer and death were caused by his addiction to Paul Mall cigarettes, finding in favor of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. after just over a week of trial (Jessie Gamble v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 2014-CA-003848, Fla. Cir., 4th Jud. Cir., Duval Co.).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - One of the plaintiffs who sued E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. in Ohio federal court alleging that the company is liable for personal injuries from exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8) on March 7 filed a brief contending that DuPont's motion for summary judgment should be denied because the plaintiff has proffered "valid, reliable, and admissible expert opinions" from well-credentialed physicians (In re E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C-8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio).
NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 8 found no error in the BP oil spill multidistrict litigation judge's ruling denying a motion for an extension of time to submit a claim under the $2.3 billion seafood compensation fund filed by a deckhand of a fishing vessel, holding that the judge did not misapply the language of the settlement agreement (In re: Deepwater Horizon, No. 15-30395, 5th Cir.).
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - A Virginia jury on March 4 awarded a man and his wife $6.5 million and found John Crane Inc. liable for exposing the man to asbestos in the U.S. Navy (George and Peggy Parker v. John Crane, No. CL1402913F-15, Va. Cir., Newport News).
DETROIT - A purported class of Flint, Mich., residents on March 7 filed a lawsuit in Michigan federal court against the governor, the state, state officials and city employees, seeking monetary damages and injunctive relief for alleged violations of federal laws pertaining to safe drinking water connected to the lead water crisis in Flint (Myia McMillian, et al. v. Gov. Richard Dale Snyder, et al., No. 16-10796, E.D. Mich.).
DENVER - A 2-1 panel of the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 8 affirmed a federal judge in Oklahoma's ruling that the Sierra Club's claim that Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co. (OG&E) modified a boiler without first obtaining the required permits was untimely, holding that the statute of limitations began to run when the modification was complete in 2008 (Sierra Club v. Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co., No. 14-7065, 10th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 4308).
ST. LOUIS - A panel of the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 4 affirmed a district court's decision and concluded that a new trial is not warranted in a personal injury case brought by a man who contends that his exposure to diacetyl from microwave popcorn resulted in his respiratory illness (David Stults, et al. v. International Flavors, Etc., et al., No. 14-3658, 8th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 4181).
UTICA, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on March 3 denied eight motions to exclude various experts regarding liability and cleanup practices in environmental lawsuits between a town, county, water authority and General Electric Co. (GE) (Town of Halfmoon and County of Saratoga v. General Electric Co., No. 09-228; Saratoga County Water Authority v. General Electric Co., No. 11-6, N.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26888).
LOS ANGELES - Dismissal of the sole subject matter jurisdiction defendant and equitable factors require remand of an asbestos case so a state court can address a second defendant's pending dismissal motion, a federal judge in California held March 3 (Carmen Villanueva v. 3M Co., et al., No. 16-183, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27404).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Complaints about a plaintiff's alleged failure to disclose the existence of additional asbestos exposures involves perjury claims subject to a one-year limitations period, not fraud, a Kentucky court held in affirming dismissal March 4 (Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC v. Delores Ann Robertson, et al., No. 2013-CA-001546-MR, Ky. App.; 2016 Ky. App. Unpub. LEXIS 175).
LOS ANGELES - A California appeals court panel on March 3 found nothing "speculative or illogical" about "every exposure" testimony on which a $2 million asbestos verdict was built (Nickole Davis, as personal representative etc. v. Honeywell International Inc., No. B256793, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 4; 2016 Cal. App. LEXIS 169).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A panel of the District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on March 4 dismissed as untimely a petition filed by three environmental groups over the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 1980 rule that regulates emissions in nonattainment areas under the Clean Air Act (CAA), after finding that the petition was untimely (Sierra Club de Puerto Rico, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 14-1138, U.S. App., D.C. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 4092).
INDIANAPOLIS - A 3-2 majority of the Indiana Supreme Court on March 2 struck down the state's 10-year statute of repose in asbestos products liability cases, finding that the statute unconstitutionally created disparate treatment of those injured by asbestos (Larry Myers and Loa Myers v. Crouse-Hinds, Division of Cooper Industries Inc.; and Lorillard Tobacco Co. and Hollingsworth & Vose, No. 49S00-1502-MI-119, General Electric Co. v. Mary R. Geyman, et al., No. 49S00-1501-MI-35, Owens-Illinois Inc. v. Mary R. Geyman, et al., No. 49SS00-1501-MI-36, Ind. Sup.).
NEW YORK - Evidence that former New York State Assemblyman Sheldon Silver received millions of dollars in fees from mesothelioma leads in exchange for funding research and helping the researcher's family supports a jury's verdict finding him guilty, the United States told a federal judge in New York on March 3 (United States of America v. Sheldon Silver, No. 15-93, S.D. N.Y.).
SALT LAKE CITY - Utah legislators on March 2 held hearings on legislation requiring plaintiffs to submit sworn statements that they investigated and filed all available asbestos bankruptcy trust claims.
DAYTON, Ohio - A federal judge in Ohio on March 1 dismissed without prejudice claims from a property owner seeking cost recovery and contribution under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) for remediation of a former paper mill, ruling that the plaintiff failed to sufficiently allege that hazardous substances were disposed of on the property (Garrett Day LLC v. International Paper Inc., et al., No. 15-cv-36, S.D. Ohio; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25494).
LANSING, Mich. - The Democratic Leader of the Michigan House of Representatives on March 2 called on Gov. Rick Snyder to resign in light of developments related to the water crisis in Flint, and a new email released by the Michigan Democratic Party indicates that the governor had knowledge of the Flint water crisis as early as February 2015.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Florida jury on March 1 awarded the widow of a man who developed lung cancer after years of smoking $350,000 after finding that lung cancer was not the cause of his death (Bernice McCall v. Philip Morris USA, Inc. No. 2007-CV-036888, Fla. Cir., 17th Jud. Cir., Broward Co.).
PHILADELPHIA - Courts at every stop found jurisdiction over plaintiffs' asbestos actions lacking, and the law-of-the-case doctrine supports applying that conclusion now, ship owners embroiled in three long-running cases told the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 1 (Lionel C. Wilson, Joseph F. Braun, and Thomas Guiden v. Matson Navigation Co. Inc., American President Lines Ltd., Nos. 15-1387, 15-1388, 15-1389, 3rd Cir.).
NEW CASTLE, Del. - In a lawsuit against power plant operators for their alleged unlawful dumping of toxic coal ash waste, an expert may not testify as to concentrations and dispersion of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), a Delaware judge ruled Feb. 26, granting in part a motion to exclude (Anajai Calcano Pallano, et al., v. The AES Corp., et al., No. N09C-11-021 JRJ, Del. Super., New Castle Co.; 2016 Del. Super. LEXIS 101).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - An insurer is liable for an insured's defense and indemnification costs incurred as a result of underlying asbestos personal injury lawsuits filed against the insured, a Pennsylvania federal judge said Feb. 29 (York International Corp. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., No. 10-0692, M.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24294).
NEW ORLEANS - The difficulties inherent in identifying exposures in an asbestos case warranted allowing the addition of defendants two months after the deadline for amended pleadings, a federal judge in Louisiana held Feb. 26 (Patsy S. Boyd, et al. v. Boeing Co., et al., No. 15-25, E.D. La.).