HARRISBURG, Pa. - An environmental advocacy group on Oct. 29 filed a complaint against Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, seeking declaratory judgment and injunctive relief to prevent the governor from moving forward with his plan to allow hydraulic fracturing on state park lands as part of his plan to raise $75 million to balance the state budget (Delaware Riverkeeper Network, et al. v. Gov. Tom Corbett, et al., No. N/A, Pa. Cmwlth.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 3 appointed A. Gregory Grimsal special master in a water rights lawsuit by Texas against New Mexico and Colorado (State of Texas v. State of New Mexico, et al., No. 141, Orig., U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 3 granted the State of Florida leave to file a bill of complaint alleging that a Georgia's water consumption from the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) Basin is harming Florida's ecosystem and water-dependent industries (Florida v. Georgia, No. 152, Orig., U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. on Nov. 3 agreed to pay $100 million to resolve allegations by the federal government and California Air Resources Board that the companies violated the Clean Air Act (CAA) by selling 1.2 million vehicles that produced emissions of greenhouse gases that exceeded limits the companies certified to the Environmental Protection Agency, according to a complaint and consent decree filed in federal court in the District of Columbia (United States of America, et al. v. Hyundai Motor Company, et al., No. 14-cv-01837, D. D.C.).
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on Oct. 31 granted summary judgment in favor of an insurer, finding that it had no obligation to provide coverage for mold remediation at a condominium resort (Busch Properties Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, No. 4:12CV2318, E.D. Mo.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154656).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 3 denied a man's petition to review a 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling affirming the dismissal of his lawsuit against BP Exploration & Production Inc. claiming that the company wrongfully used his technology to cap the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico (Michael Ed Erikson v. BP Exploration & Production Inc., No. 14-210, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 3 denied certiorari in a personal injury case for what is called "popcorn lung" brought against the makers of artificial butter flavoring used in microwave popcorn (Diacetyl Plaintiffs v. Aaroma Holdings LLC, No. 14-71, U.S. Sup.).
BALTIMORE - A federal judge in Maryland on Oct. 30 ruled that an insurance company did not owe a duty to defend a property management company that was sued by tenants alleging that they had been poisoned by lead paint (CX Reinsurance Company Limited f/k/a CNA Reinsurance Company Limited v. Camden Management Services LLC, No. 14-180, D. Md.; 2014 U.S. Dist. 153924).
PORTLAND, Ore. - An Oregon federal judge on Oct. 28 partially granted summary judgment in an insured's favor after determining that costs related to a portion of environmental contamination are covered under the primary insurer's policy (Siltronic Corp. v. Employers Insurance Company of Wausau et al., No. 11-1493, D. Ore.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153275).
JACKSON, Miss. - A group of defendant attorneys accused of breaches of duty in underlying toxic tort settlements failed to establish that discovery sought in the class certification phase is overly broad, burdensome or irrelevant, a Mississippi federal magistrate ruled Oct. 29, denying their motions to stay and reconsider (Mary Bridges, et al. v. Richard A. Freese, et al., No. 3:13-cv-00457, S.D. Miss.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153163).
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A federal judge in West Virginia on Oct. 29 partially granted and partially denied a motion for an injunction sought by the operator of a landfill that is being sued by the City of Hurricane, W.Va., and a county government for allegedly disposing of hazardous chemicals illegally (City of Hurricane, W.Va., et al. v. Disposal Service Incorporated, et al., No. 14-15850, S.D. W.Va.).
SEATTLE - Two petroleum trade groups on Oct. 29 filed a joint brief in federal court arguing that they should be permitted to file an amicus curiae reply brief in a lawsuit filed by an environmental watchdog group that is challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's listing of waterways that are impaired due to a condition called ocean acidification (OA) (Center for Biological Diversity v. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 1301866, W.D. Wash.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Following an audit, which found that Pennsylvania lacks "effective" monitoring of the disposal of hazardous waste from hydraulic fracturing operations, a U.S. congressman on Oct. 29 sent a letter to the acting secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), seeking information as part of a congressional subcommittee's oversight of the state's policies and practices for the disposal of such waste.
BALTIMORE - After finding that a purchaser's claims related to the allegedly defective construction of her home and mold growth were time-barred under the agreement of sale, a Maryland federal judge on Oct. 30 granted judgment in favor of the property's builder (Tamara P. Daniels v. NVR Inc., t/a Ryan Homes, No. 13-3507, D. Md.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153925).
CHICAGO - Expert Barry Castleman may testify regarding asbestos state of the art, but he may not opine about specific asbestos defendants' knowledge, a federal judge in Illinois judge affirmed Oct. 28. A judge previously rejected William Longo's testimony and videotaped demonstrations as an insufficient fit for the case (Charles Krik v. Crane Co.; ExxonMobil Oil Corp.; Owens-Illinois Inc.; and The Marley-Wylain Co., No. 10-7435, N.D. Ill.).
CLEVELAND - Jurors in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio on Oct. 30 returned a defense verdict in favor of Whirlpool Corp., refusing claims by a class of purchasers of front-loading washing machines that allegedly develop mold (In re: Whirlpool Corp. Front-Loading Washer Products Liability Litigation, No. 1:08-WP-65000, N.D. Ohio).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Oct. 30 affirmed the ruling of an administrative law judge (ALJ) that denied a mother Social Security benefits for her child who allegedly suffered cognitive deficits as a result of lead poisoning (Candice M. Tusing v. Carolyn W. Colvin, No. 14-435, M.D. Pa.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153503).
LINCOLN, Neb. - After finding that a complaint did not contain sufficient detail to determine jurisdiction, a Nebraska federal judge on Oct. 28 ordered a tenant who alleges that he was evicted after making complaints about mold to amend his complaint to include more information (Samar Akins v. Michael Wilson, et al., No. 4:14CV3153, D. Neb.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153336).
NEW YORK - Because an insured did not have a contractual relationship with the reinsurer of its insurer, the insured's claims against the reinsurer and its claims adjuster must be dismissed, the First Department New York Supreme Court Appellate Division said Oct. 28 (OneBeacon America Insurance Co. v. Colgate-Palmolive Co., et al., No. 651193/2011, 12637, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.; 2014 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 7255).
ST. LOUIS - After finding that a family failed to show that exposure to toxic mold caused them to suffer a disability that would constitute an undue hardship, the Eighth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel on Oct. 28 affirmed a bankruptcy court's decision refusing to discharge their debt (In re Erik Nielsen, et al. v. ACS Inc., et al., No. 13-6035, 8th Cir.; 2014 Bankr. LEXIS 4505).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A judge on the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board (EHB) on Oct. 28 denied a hydraulic fracturing company's motion seeking a stay in the case brought against it by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) that seeks $4.53 million for alleged contamination of groundwater as a result of a chemical spill at a fracking site (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection v. EQT Production Company, No. 2014-14-CP-L, Pa. EHB).
CAMDEN, N.J. - The attorney for a group of plaintiffs in the lawsuit brought by New Jersey residents seeking $10 million in punitive damages for vinyl chloride contamination allegedly caused by the derailment of a train carrying the chemical in Paulsboro, N.J., on Oct. 28 sent a letter to the judge presiding over the case saying the railroad defendants' attempt to impose a "gag" order on all plaintiffs' attorneys, as well as sanctions on him for releasing publicly a document obtained in discovery, is "baseless and hypocritical" (In re: Paulsboro Derailment Cases, No. 13-784, D. N.J.).
CHICAGO - An insured's claim against its insurer for unreasonably delaying payments for underlying asbestos personal injury claims must be submitted to arbitration pursuant to a cost-sharing agreement between the insured and the insurer, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Oct. 28 (Hennessy Industries Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., No. 14-1277, 7th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 20670).
NEW YORK - Testimony establishes that a company knew its valves would eventually be removed and scrapped, and it can held liable for third-party asbestos-containing parts based on its sale of such parts, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Oct. 28 (Bryan Hockler v. 3M Co., et al. [William Powell Co.], No. 190235/13, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.; 2014 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 4642).
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Turner & Newell must face two asbestos suits because Federal-Mogul's bankruptcy discharges it only upon exhaustion of a U.K. insurance policy, a Rhode Island judge held Oct. 24 (Maureen Gallagher, et al. v. American Insulated Wire Corp., et al., No. PC11-5269, Constance Podedworny, et al. v. American Insulated Wire Corp., et al., No. PC11-5268, R.I. Super., Providence Plantation).