NEW ORLEANS - Causation experts designated by a seaman to offer testimony supporting his occupational ammonia exposure lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana survived a motion in limine on June 2; the presiding judge also denied the defendant a no-evidence summary judgment (Anthony Arnold Jr. v. Canal Barge Co. Inc., No. 13-4966, E.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74744).
LOS ANGELES - A California court on June 2 dismissed an appeal of a decision that confirmed an arbitration award issued in favor of the purchasers of a home, which contained mold and water problems, finding no error that would permit it to vacate the award (Norman Wong, et al. v. Galina Kopelev, et al., No. B241069, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 2; 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3923).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A 3-2 panel of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals on May 30 ruled that a circuit court did not err when overturning a decision by the state's Environmental Quality Board (EQB) that would have required the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) to conduct an analysis as to a mining company's discharge of sulfate and total dissolved solids (TDS) as part of its modification of the company's National Pollution Discharge Elimination Systems (NPDES) permit (Sierra Club v. Patriot Mining Company Inc., et al., No. 13-0256, W.Va. Sup.; 2014 W. Va. LEXIS 591).
SYDNEY, Australia - An Australian appeals court on May 30 dismissed an application to appeal a decision that denied an application to stay a judgment that deemed a property safe and ordered a tenant to return to it, finding no issue of public importance in the proposed appeal (El-Saeidy v NSW Land & Housing Corporation, $(No. 2014$) NSWCA 172, New South Wales Sup.).
WHEELING, W.Va. - A natural gas operator's motion to compel arbitration was granted May 30 in a lawsuit removed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia; the plaintiffs seek damages and a declaratory judgment that an oil and natural gas lease is void because of alleged fraudulent inducement in the negotiation of the contract (Brian Dytko, et al. v. Chesapeake Appalachia, No. 13-150, N.D. W.Va.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73706).
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - A federal judge in Indiana on May 30 allowed a defendant company to amend its third-party complaint against the City of South Bend, seeking contribution under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act for contamination at the South Bend Lathe Site, after finding that the city must prove that it meets the statutory requirements of a bona fide prospective purchaser, which is shielded from liability under the act (United States of America v. ARG Corp., et al., No. 10-CV-311, N.D. Ind.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73716).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - More than seven years after she issued a final judgment and remedial order requiring tobacco companies to issue statements correcting decades of "false and deceptive advertising" with regard to the risks of tobacco use, a District of Columbia federal judge on June 2 filed an opinion and a consent order to begin placement of the statements (U.S.A. v. Philip Morris USA Inc., et al., No. 1:99-cv-2496, D. D.C.).
WAUSAU, Wis. - The Third District Wisconsin Court of Appeals on May 29 affirmed that a trial court properly dismissed an insured's complaint because a justiciable controversy did not exist when the insured filed the suit (Soo Line Railroad Co. d/b/a Canadian Pacific Railway v. Admiral Insurance Co., No. 2012-1422, Wisc. App., Dist. 3; 2014 Wisc. App. LEXIS 429).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 2 denied a power company's petition to review a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' ruling finding that the Clean Air Act does not preempt a putative class's state law nuisance claims over the defendant company's emissions from its Cheswick Generating Station in Springdale, Pa. (GenOn Power Midwest LP v. Kristie Bell, No. 13-1013, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A unanimous District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel issued an opinion May 30 affirming in part judgment for U.S. contractors accused of exposing thousands of Ecuadorans to the herbicide glyphosate during coca and heroin poppy eradication spraying in Colombia (Venancio Aguasanta Arias, et al. v. DynCorp, et al., No. 13-7044 [consolidated], D.C. Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10049).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 30 granted an association's petition to review the Environmental Protection Agency's directive that established different permitting criteria under the Clean Air Act for companies located outside the Sixth Circuit, finding that the rule would result in an unfair competitive advantage for businesses in that region (National Environmental Development Association's Clean Air Project v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 13-1035, D.C. Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10047).
ST. LOUIS - No obligation requires a defendant to investigate whether alleged asbestos exposures at a vaguely referenced facility might have permitted removal of the action, a Missouri federal judge held May 27 (John Patrico, et al. v. A.W. Chesterton Co., et al., No. 14-338, E.D. Mo.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71765).
PHOENIX - After finding that material issues of fact exist as to whether a homeowner suffered damages after having to purchase an additional insurance policy and suffered emotional stress caused by a company's failure to help her obtain insurance coverage, an Arizona federal judge on May 29 refused to grant summary judgment in the case (Maria Veloz v. Green Tree Servicing LLC, No. 13-00915, D. Ariz.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73242).
BATON ROUGE, La. - An interstate railway's safety obligations extend only as far as the exterior of its railcars and bars liability for a man's exposure to asbestos in cargo, a Louisiana judge held May 27 (Royce Leonard, et al. v. Board of Supervisors of Louisiana State University and Agriculture and Mechanical College, et al., No. 13-565, M.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72078).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A panel of the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 27 denied a petition to review the Environmental Protection Agency's decision to refuse to make a new rule regarding the regulation of oxides of sulfur and nitrogen, two components of acid rain, ruling that the agency properly found that there is not enough scientific evidence to support a new regulation (Center for Biological Diversity v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 12-1238, D.C. Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 9691).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A federal judge supervising consolidated tobacco death and injury litigation in Florida pursuant to Engle v. Liggett Group Inc. (945 So. 2d 1246 [Fla. 2006]) has denied a defense motion to circumscribe alleged disruptive behavior by plaintiffs' counsel during depositions but, in an endorsed order filed May 28 in the court's docket, warned both sides that unreasonable behavior would be sanctioned (In re: Engle Cases, No. 3:09-cv-10000-J-32JBT, M.D. Fla., Jacksonville Div.).
FRESNO, Calif. - A California jury on May 27 awarded the family of a man felled by an asbestos-related disease $7,438,500 plus $3.5 in punitive damages and held sole remaining defendant Honeywell International Inc. 30 percent liable, sources told Mealey Publications (James Phillips v. Amcord Inc., et al., No. 12CECG04055, Calif. Super., Fresno Co.).
NEW YORK - A New York jury on May 27 awarded a widow $11 million and held Ford Motor Co. 49 percent liable for her husband's death from mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos in automotive products, sources told Mealey Publications (Arthur H. Juni Jr. and Mary Juni v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 190315/12, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
LONDON - The United Kingdom Health and Safety Executive on May 27 announced that a company was fined by an English magistrates' court for exposing workers to asbestos during a school building demolition.
SEATTLE - A Washington appeals court on May 27 partially reversed a decision that dismissed a former employee of an accounting firm's mold-related claims for lack of medical causation, finding that her medical expert's conclusions fell within the scope of his expertise (Bonny M. Bolson v. Hayden G. Williams, et al., No. 71365-5-I, Wash. App., Div. I; 2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1321).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Dibromochloropropane (DBCP) exposure personal injury claims pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware were dismissed May 27 as untimely filed (Luis Antonio Anguilar Marquinez, et al. v. Dole Food Co., et al., No. 12-695 [consolidated], D. Del.).
FORT MYERS, Fla. - A Florida federal judge has overturned a jury's ruling that the parties in a tobacco defense verdict should bear their respective costs and awarded $53,100 in attorney fees to each of two tobacco companies, saying May 28 that the plaintiffs rejected a settlement (Lawrence Chamberlain v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, et al., No. 3:09-CV-10809, M.D. Fla., Fort Myers Div.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72527).
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - A son lacks sufficient evidence of his father's asbestos exposure at a defendant's facility and his argument that his father's testimony allows for the possibility of asbestos exposure at the site reverses the burden at summary judgment, a Rhode Island judge held May 23 (David M. Reera, executor for the estate of James M. Reera v. A.O. Smith Corp., et al., No. PC 12-0379, R.I. Super., Providence Plantation; 2014 R.I. Super. LEXIS 76).
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A unanimous Arkansas Division IV Court of Appeals panel ruled May 28 that a farmer who contracted for the aerial application of a herbicide is not liable under the theory of negligence for spray drift that damages trees and livestock on a neighboring farm because the aerial application of herbicide is not an ultrahazardous activity as a matter of law (Jerry Wilson, et al. v. Greg Williams Farm Inc., et al., No. 13-998, Ark. App., Div. IV).
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - A Rhode Island judge on May 23 permitted excess interrogatories targeting evidence of two premises owners' knowledge regarding the presence of asbestos critical to a widow's case against them (Leonard L. Lepore and Carol A. Lepore v. A.O. Smith Corp., et al., No. 12-1469, R.I. Super., Providence Plantation).