LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Textron: Plaintiffs Fail To State Claim For Groundwater Contamination

GREENVILLE, Miss. - The company being sued by a group of residents seeking damages for personal injuries and groundwater contamination caused by hexavalent chromium and trichloroethylene (TCE) on July 20 filed its answer in Mississippi federal court contending that the plaintiffs fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted (Joe E. Sledge, et al. v. Meritor Inc., et al., No. 16-CV-053, N.D. Miss.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Lead-Paint Poisoning Plaintiff Says Motion To Compel Documents Should Be Denied

MILWAUKEE - The man who, through his guardian ad litem, sued a group of paint companies alleging injuries from lead-based paint filed a brief in Wisconsin federal court on July 21, contending that the motion to compel responsive documents filed by one of the defendants should be denied because he provided documents in "substantially the same manner that they were produced by co-defendants to the plaintiffs" (Glenn Burton Jr. v. American Cyanamid Company, et al., No. 07-0303, E.D. Wis.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Arizona High Court: OTR Doesn't Preclude Nonparties From Liability For Injuries

PHOENIX - The common-law original tortfeasor rule (OTR) "does not preclude a defendant from alleging and proving, or the trier of fact from considering and finding, fault of a nonparty physician who treated the plaintiff for injuries allegedly sustained from the defendant's tort," the Arizona Supreme Court held July 18 in a personal injury case for which it granted review because it presented "an unsettled legal question that is of statewide interest and likely to recur" (Courtney Rene Cramer v. Hon. Patricia Ann Starr, et al., No. CV-15-0317-PR, Ariz. Sup.; 2016 Ariz. LEXIS 199).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Couple Appeals Paulsboro Train Derailment Vinyl Chloride Case To The 3rd Circuit

CAMDEN, N.J. - A couple that had its lawsuit against a group of railroad companies consolidated with other New Jersey residents filed a notice in New Jersey federal court on July 19 that it was appealing to the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals the district court's rulings that granted the defendants' motions in limine to exclude the couple's experts. The experts had sought to testify on injury causation related to exposure to vinyl chloride caused by the derailment of a train carrying the chemical over a bridge (In Re: Paulsboro Derailment Cases, No. 13-784, D. N.J.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Finds Petroleum Exclusion Bars Woman's CERCLA Claims

SAN FRANCISCO - A woman's Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) lawsuit against Chevron Capital Corp. over petroleum contamination at a site in Oakland she purchased in 2010 that formerly housed a gas station was dismissed by a federal judge in California on July 19, who held that the statute's petroleum exclusion barred the woman's claim (Hong Jacqueline Nguyen Gardner v. Chevron Capital Corporation, No. 15-cv-1514-JD, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94110).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Enbridge Energy To Pay $177M To Resolve Claims Over 2010 Pipeline Spills

DETROIT - Enbridge Energy L.P. and a number of its subsidiaries agreed July 19 to spend $110 million for a series of measures to prevent pipeline spills, pay a $62 million civil penalty for Clean Water Act violations, and reimburse the government for $5 million it spent to cleanup contamination from pipeline spills in Marshall, Mich., and Romeoville, Ill., in 2010, according to a recent docket entry in a Michigan federal court (United States of America v. Enbridge Energy L.P., et al., No. 16-cv-914, W.D. Mich.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Finding State Issues Dominate, Judge Severs, Remands First-Party Asbestos Claims

BALTIMORE - State law issues predominate in an asbestos action where the only federal issues arise from third-party complaints, a federal judge in Maryland held July 18 in severing the original action and remanding it (Wayne Oliver v. Campbell McCormick Inc., No. 16-1057, D. Md.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92756)

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Texas Court Won't Rehear Case Involving 9-Year Delay In Accepting Settlement

HOUSTON - A Texas appeals court on July 19 declined to rehear an asbestos case in which it found that a nine-year gap in accepting a settlement offer did not doom the claim, turning away Union Carbide Corp.'s warning that the ruling "risks creating a dangerous precedent" (Union Carbide Corp. v. Perry Jones, Rosemary Allegria, et al., No. 01-14-00574-CV, Texas App., 1st Dist.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Widow: Shipyard Contractor's Shifting Position On Evidence Constitutes 'Fraud'

LOS ANGELES - A defendant's "befuddlement" over the conclusion that it destroyed evidence ignores the differing stories the defendant told throughout the litigation, a widow told a federal judge in California July 18 (Victoria Lund, et al. v. Crane Co., et al., No. 13-2776, C.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Flint, Mich., Residents Say Federal Court 'Must' Hear Lead Drinking Water Case

DETROIT - A group of plaintiffs who sued various Michigan authorities, as well as an engineering planning firm that acted as a consultant to the City of Flint, Mich., when it switched its water source to the Flint River, filed a brief in Michigan federal court July 15, contending that their lead-contaminated drinking water lawsuit should not be dismissed because it is not barred by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) (Frances Gilcreast, et al. v. Lockwood, Andrews & Newman, No. 16-11173, E.D. Mich.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Michigan Water Quality Officials Claim Immunity From Flint Lead Water Claims

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Employees of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) on July 18 filed a brief in Michigan federal court contending that the lead-contaminated water lawsuit brought against them by residents of Flint, Mich., should be dismissed because they are entitled to "absolute immunity" on all claims (Tamara Nappier v. Richard Snyder, et al., No. 16-636, W.D. Mich.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Jury Awards $1.5 Million To Widow Of Woman Who Died From Smoking

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Florida jury on July 19 awarded the husband of a woman who died from lung cancer $1.5 million in damages against Philip Morris USA Inc. after finding that the woman was addicted to cigarettes and that her addiction was a legal cause of her death (Joseph Varner v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 2008-CV-026345, 17th Jud. Cir. Broward Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 3 Cigar Rights Groups Sue FDA Over New Tobacco Rules

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A trio of cigar rights groups on July 15 filed suit against the Food and Drug Administration, claiming that its new rules and regulations on tobacco and tobacco products violate the U.S. Food Drug and Cosmetic Act because they subject all tobacco products to stricter regulations than prescribed in the act (Cigar Association of America, et al. v. Food and Drug Administration, No. 1:16-cv-01460, D. D.C.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Asbestos Claims Against Foreign Entity Belong In Federal Court, Judge Says

NEW ORLEANS - Neither a voluntary motion to dismiss pending when a defendant filed third-party claims nor a foreign entity's late removal warrants remand, a federal judge in Louisiana held July 14 in also declining to sever the claims, which he concluded are probably subject to dismissal (Earl T. Lindsay Jr., et al. v. Ports America Gulfport Inc., et al., No. 16-3054, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91649).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Oregon Supreme Court: Groups' Permit Challenge Should Be Heard

SALEM, Ore. - A panel of the Oregon Supreme Court on July 14 reversed and remanded a Court of Appeals' decision finding that a challenge brought by two mining associations regarding a rule requiring them to obtain permits to conduct suction dredge mining was moot, holding that the appellate court should determine if the challenge is justiciable under Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 14.175 (Eastern Oregon Mining Association, et al. v. Department of Environmental Quality, et al., No. SC063549, Ore. Sup.; 2016 Ore. LEXIS 463).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Company Tells 3rd Circuit Dismissal Of Injury Claims Against It Was Proper

PHILADELPHIA - A power company that was sued by a group of Pennsylvania residents who contend that it is liable for their injuries, including cancer, that stem from exposure to radioactive materials filed a brief in the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 15, arguing that it should let stand a lower court's summary judgment ruling in the company's favor because the plaintiffs lack admissible evidence of specific causation (Michelle McMunn, et al. v. Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group Inc., No. 15-3506 [consolidated], 3rd Cir.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Tesoro Corp., Subsidiaries To Pay $425M Over Allegedly Illegal Emissions

SAN ANTONIO - Tesoro Corp., Par Hawaii Refining and their subsidiaries on July 18 said in a consent decree filed in Texas federal court that they would pay $425 million to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) at six of their refineries in Alaska, California, Hawaii, North Dakota, Utah and Washington (United States of America v. Tesoro Corp., et al., No. 16-cv-722, W.D. Texas).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 1st Circuit: Judge Did Not Err In Dismissing Couple's Suit Over Discharges

BOSTON - A federal judge did not err when entering judgment in favor of defendant landowners accused of violating the Clean Water Act (CWA), a First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 18, finding that a couple's citizen suit was unnecessary because the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) had addressed allegedly illegal discharges of contaminated storm water (Lois Paolino, et al. v. JF Realty LLC, et al., No. 15-1498, 1st Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13117).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Magistrate Judge Cites Bare-Metal Defense In Granting Judgment To 9

WILMINGTON, Del. - A federal magistrate judge in Delaware said July 13 that the bare-metal defense and causation standard in Mississippi requires granting judgment in favor of nine asbestos defendants (Robert Lee Winhauer Jr., et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 15-177, D. Del.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Insurer's Declaratory Judgment Action In Lead Paint Case May Proceed

BALTIMORE - A federal judge in Maryland on July 15 refused to dismiss an insurer's lawsuit against a landlord and the couple that sued the landlord in an underlying lawsuit regarding lead-based paint exposure, ruling that the insurer's declaratory judgment action must continue because the couple had not met the burden of having the case dismissed (Allstate Insurance Co. v. Stanley Rochkind, et al., No. 15-1546, D. Md.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91087).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Kentucky Appeals Court: Mere Possibility Of Exposure Insufficient In Asbestos Case

FRANKFORT, Ky. - The mere possibility that a man encountered asbestos-containing friction parts at his place of employment falls short of Kentucky's standard for causation, a divided appeals panel held July 14 (Linda Mannahan, et al. v. Eaton Corp., et al., No. 2013-CA-002005-MR, Ky. App.; 2016 Ky. App. LEXIS 120).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 5th Circuit Denies EPA's Motion To Dismiss, Transfer Appeal Over Haze Plan

NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 15 denied a motion filed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to dismiss or transfer to the District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals a petition filed by the State of Texas and a number of organizations challenging the agency's implementation of a regional haze plan, finding that it is the proper forum to hear the petitioners' case (State of Texas, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 16-60118, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13058).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Company May Not Recover More Costs In Tainted Groundwater Lawsuit

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A federal judge in California on July 13 ruled that a company that settled with a group of defendants for costs associated with cleaning up groundwater contamination from dense nonaqueous phase liquid tetrachloroethene (DNAPL PCE) is not entitled to relitigate its case to recover more costs from a separate defendant (AmeriPride Services Inc. v. Valley Industrial Service Inc., No. S-00-113, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist LEXIS 91119).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New Trial Not Warranted In Chemical Injury Case, Judge Says; Error Not Committed

JOPLIN, Mo. - A federal judge in Missouri on July 13 denied a motion for new trial in a chemical exposure injury case filed by the companies that were hit with a $20.6 million combined damages award on grounds that the evidence did not warrant a new trial and the compensatory damages award was not "excessive or disproportionate" (Jodelle L. Kirk v. Schaeffler Group USA Inc., et al., No. 13-5032, W.D. Mo.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90541).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Crane Co. Says It Had No Duty To Decedent Under Pennsylvania Asbestos Precedent

PHILADELPHIA - A company cannot be held liable for asbestos-containing products it did not manufacturer, supply or mandate, Crane Co. told a federal judge in Pennsylvania July 13 in looking to upset a more than $1 million verdict against it (Lynn C. Dobrick, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 10-03202, E.D. Pa.).