CLEVELAND - An expert's testimony that asbestos and tobacco use both substantially contributed to a man's lung cancer easily meets Ohio's causation standard and does not require review, a man argues to the Ohio Supreme Court in a Sept. 27 brief (Kevin E. Howell v. Consolidated Rail Corp., et al., No. 2017-1207, Ohio Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Monsanto Co., which is being sued in the multidistrict litigation in California federal court related to the herbicide Roundup, on Sept. 26 filed an answer to one of the individual cases, denying all liability (In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation [Frederick Johnson v. Monsanto Co., No. 17-5160], No. 2741 MDL, N.D. Calif.).
DETROIT - A group of defendants in the consolidated litigation involving the lead-contaminated water crisis in the city of Flint, Mich., on Sept. 28 moved to quash the plaintiffs' requests for production of documents, contending that the plaintiffs' requests are "procedurally deficient" (In re Flint Water Cases [Luke Waid, et al. v. Richard D. Snyder, et al.], No. 16-10444, E.D. Mich.).
LANSING, Mich. - A Michigan Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 26 affirmed a decision by the Michigan Tax Tribunal to grant summary disposition to the Michigan Department of Treasury after finding that a man who purchased a large quantity of cigarettes and later shipped them to a friend to be resold was personally liable for paying taxes on those cigarettes under Michigan's Tobacco Products Tax Act (TPTA) (Davor Vulic v. Department of Treasury, No. 333255, Mich. App., 2017 Mich. App. LEXIS 1513).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio Supreme Court on Sept. 27 declined to review a state appellate court's ruling that a settlement resolving Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) asbestosis claims did not bar a subsequent lung cancer claim (Richard C. Arpin v. Consolidated Rail Corp., et al., No. 2017-0171, Ohio Sup.).
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - A federal judge in Mississippi on Sept. 25 adopted a report from a magistrate judge in a groundwater contamination lawsuit and dismissed 248 plaintiffs who had not complied with a case management order (CMO) despite the deadline being extended multiple times (Dorothy Abner, et al. v. Hercules Inc., et al., No. 14-63, S.D. Miss.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156208).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A federal judge in Connecticut on Sept. 25 denied a tobacco company's motion seeking an order that a plaintiff's claims regarding negligence before 1992 be barred because the plaintiff's claims fall within the "useful safe life" exception of Connecticut's statute of repose (Vincent J. Bifolck v. Philip Morris Inc., No. 3:06-cv-1768, D. Conn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156172).
PORTLAND, Ore. - A federal judge in Oregon on Sept. 22 adopted a magistrate judge's April 18 ruling allowing the city of Portland to pursue a public nuisance claim against Monsanto Co. over polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination, holding that the city is not required to own property to allege that it has suffered a special injury (City of Portland v. Monsanto Company, et al., No. 16-cv-01418-PK, D. Ore., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156370).
ATLANTA - An 11th Circuit Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 25 affirmed a verdict for a tobacco company in an Engle progeny suit after finding that the court did not err in instructing the jury on the company's statute-of-limitations defense (William Hecht v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, No. 16-10447, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 18452).
ASHEVILLE, N.C. - A company sued for allegedly contaminating a North Carolina man's groundwater on Sept. 22 filed a brief in North Carolina federal court arguing that the court should not allow the plaintiff to introduce evidence and witness testimony that has been filed months after deadlines established by the court and procedural rules (Kent Stahle v. CTS Corporation, No. 14-48, W.D. N.C.).
MINNEAPOLIS - Medical evidence suggests that a man knew of his asbestosis diagnosis before 2010, triggering the statute of limitations and barring a subsequent mesothelioma claim filed in 2016, a federal judge in Minnesota held Sept. 21 in granting summary judgment to five defendants (Marlin P. Filipek, et al. v. The Boeing Co., et al., No. 16-1998, D. Minn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154201).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A federal judge in Alabama on Sept. 25 remanded a groundwater contamination lawsuit to state court on grounds that the defendants failed to meet their burden establishing federal jurisdiction and did not establish that a local party was fraudulently joined to the case (Waters Works and Sewer Board of Gadsden v. 3M Company, et al., No. 16-1755, N.D. Ala.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156272).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia on Sept. 21 granted preliminary approval to a $151 million class settlement between a water company and residents who contended that it had contaminated their groundwater with 4-Methylcyclohexanemethanol (MCHM) (Crystal Good, et al. v. American Water Works Co. Inc., No. 14-1374, S.D. W.Va.).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A federal judge in Alabama on Sept. 25 awarded summary judgment to BP Exploration & Production Inc. after finding that a man's failure to produce expert evidence linking his exposure to chemical dispersants used during cleanup activities following the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that occurred after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon was fatal to his suit (Robert James Townsend v. BP Exploration & Production, Inc., et al., No. 16-CV-301, N.D. Ala., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156252).
NEW YORK - An employer's operations in New York make jurisdiction there proper, and an amended complaint naming it as a defendant was timely filed, a federal judge held Sept. 20 (Kelan Unterberg v. ExxonMobil Oil Corp., et al., No. 14-10025, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118586).
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. - A Missouri man and two companies that make artificial butter flavoring for microwave popcorn reached a $5 million settlement in a lawsuit the man brought alleging that he suffered from a bronchial disease commonly referred to as "popcorn lung," a source told Mealey Publications on Sept. 21 (George W. Giles v Carmi Flavor & Fragrance Corp., et al., No. 13-BU-CV05632-01, Mo. Cir., Buchanan Co.).
NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on Sept. 21 cast aside defendants' concerns regarding a special master's ability to objectively oversee discovery in a case alleging that a company and its attorneys hid evidence of asbestos contamination of talc products from asbestos plaintiffs (Kimberlee Williams, et al. v. BASF Catalysts LLC., et al., No. 11-1754, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154772).
NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 22 found that a film tax credit company is ineligible to receive funds from the Deepwater Horizon Economic and Property Damages Class Action Settlement because it qualifies as a financial services business that is not included in the settlement agreement (Claimant ID 100153748 v. BP Exploration & Production Inc., et al., No. 16-31079, 5th Cir.).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida Supreme Court should use an asbestos case to adopt the superior standard for reviewing evidence espoused in Daubert regardless of the constitutionality of the Legislature's attempt to do so and reject the opinion that any exposure to asbestos contributes to disease, an advocacy group told the court on Sept. 20 (Richard DeLisle v. Crane Co., et al., No. SC16-2182, Fla. Sup.).
WOBURN, Mass. - A Massachusetts jury on Sept. 20 found a company liable under negligence and breach of warranty claims for its installation of asbestos-containing insulation and awarded a couple $7.55 million for a man's resulting mesothelioma (Gerald and Marjorie Sylvestre v. New England Insulation Co., et al., No.15-7031, Mass. Super., Middlesex Co.).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - In a reinsurance dispute over coverage for underlying asbestos injury claims, an insurer writes in a letter filed in a New York federal court on Sept. 19 that it rejects a reinsurer's suggestion that it dismiss the case without prejudice because the case presents a justiciable controversy (Utica Mutual Insurance Co. v. R&Q Reinsurance Co., No. 15-270, N.D. N.Y.).
SALT LAKE CITY - A federal judge in Utah on Sept. 15 awarded summary judgment to a uranium mining company after refusing to challenge the validity of a state agency's findings that the company's radon emissions were excessive and in violation of the Clean Air Act (CAA) (Grand Canyon Trust v. Energy Fuel Resources [U.S.A.] Inc., et al., No. 14-cv-243, D. Utah, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150279).
NEW YORK - Northrop Grumman Corp. on Sept. 18 filed a brief in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals arguing that an amicus brief filed by parties interested in a groundwater contamination lawsuit is premised on "a fundamental misconception" regarding the limitations period for tort claims (Bethpage Water District v. Northrop Grumman Corporation, et al., No. 16-2592, 2nd Cir.).
NEW ORLEANS - Family members mistakenly signed away asbestos wrongful death claims based on their father's attorney's misrepresentations, and the failure to hire their own counsel should not be considered inexcusable neglect, plaintiffs told the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Sept. 18 (Essie Lemieux, et al. v. American Optical Corp., No. 17-30346, 5th Cir.).
NEW YORK - A New York appellate court on Sept. 19 vacated the stay it issued in July that halted implementation of the hotly contested case management order (CMO) governing asbestos cases in New York City (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, All Asbestos Cases., No. 40000/1988 782000/2017, N.Y. Sup. App. Div., 1st Dept.)