LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Insurer's Failure To Exclude Parties Was A Mistake, 3rd Circuit Says In Affirming

PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 14 affirmed a New Jersey federal judge's ruling in favor of an insurer in an environmental contamination dispute after determining that the insurer's failure to exclude coverage to certain parties involved in the contamination dispute clearly was a mistake or scrivener's error (Indian Harbor Insurance Co. v. NL Environmental Management Services Inc., et al., Nos. 16-3262, 16-3293, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 25277).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - EPA Seeks Input On Revisions To Drinking Water Rule Regarding Lead And Copper

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Environmental Protection Agency on Dec. 14 sent a letter to local and state officials seeking input as the agency looks to make revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR)m which applies to all community public water systems.

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Ohio Federal Judge: Testimony On Auto Shop Visits Keeps Asbestos Action Alive

CLEVELAND - A woman's testimony regarding her regular visits to a mechanic's garage to visit her fiance and the work she witnessed while there satisfies Ohio's standard of proof for asbestos cases, a federal judge held Dec. 13 (Julia C. Alexander, et al. v. Honeywell International Inc., et al., No. 17-504, N.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 205053).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 5th Circuit Affirms Gas Retailer's $58.4M Award From Settlement Agreement

NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 14 affirmed a federal judge in Louisiana's decision to award a gasoline retailer $58.4 million under the Deepwater Horizon Economic and Property Damages Settlement Agreement, finding that the judge did not err when finding that the company was not excluded from the settlement agreement (BP Exploration & Production Inc., et al. v. Claimant ID 100211268, No. 16-31118, 5th Cir.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Proximity To Fracking Sites Linked To Damage To Fetuses, Researchers Find

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A study published in the journal "Science Advances" on Dec. 13 concludes that there is evidence that there are negative effects of in utero exposure to hydraulic fracturing sites when they are located within 1.86 miles of a mother's residence based on the detection of nonmethane hydrocarbons, which cause personal injury - especially to fetuses.

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Court Seeks Response To Claim That Asbestos Appeal Came 4 Days Too Late

MINNEAPOLIS - Asbestos plaintiffs appealing a summary judgment ruling must respond to defendants' claim that the time to appeal began with the original judgment, not an amended one, making the appeal four days too late, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Dec. 11 (Marlin P. Filipek, et al. v. The Boeing Co., et al., No. 17-3363, 8th Cir.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - California Jury Adds $4.6M In Punitive Damages To $17.5M Asbestos-Talc Verdict

OAKLAND, Calif. - A California jury on Dec. 11 added $4.6 million in punitive damages after finding two talc companies liable for $17.5 million in compensatory damages for a man's asbestos-related mesothelioma (Booker v. Vanderbilt Minerals, No. RG15796166, Calif. Super., Alameda Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Lawyer Wants Action Seeking Asbestos Witness Coaching Deposition Reinstated

DALLAS - A judge stepped outside the bounds of a motion challenging jurisdiction and resolved merit questions, a woman told a Texas appeals court on Dec. 8 in asking it to reinstate her case seeking to obtain a copy of a deposition she claims will show an asbestos law firm coaching witnesses (Christine Cole Biederman v. Beverly Jean Brown, et al., No. 01-07-00263-CV, Texas App., 1st Dist.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Magistrate Judge Finds Evidence Of Exposure To Original Vehicle Parts Sufficient

WILMINGTON, Del. - A man's testimony that he worked on his wife's new Ford Motor Co. Mustang is sufficient evidence on which to allege exposure to asbestos in originally installed parts, products the company had a duty to warn about, a federal magistrate judge in Delaware said Dec. 12 while granting judgment on other alleged exposures (Gerald L. Hickman v. A.W. Chesterton Co., et al., No. 16-308, D. Del., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 203692).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Texas Court Won't Reconsider $18.6M Verdict, Radiation-Asbestos Causation Issue

DALLAS - A Texas appeals court on Dec. 12 declined to once again wade into a dispute over whether a company preserved the right to appeal a ruling on the role radiation may have played in a man's lung cancer and the resulting $18.6 million asbestos verdict (The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Vicki Lynn Rogers, et al., No. 05-15-00001-CV, Texas App., 5th Dist.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Group's Presuit Notification Was Sufficient In Suit Over Discharges, Judge Rules

SAN DIEGO - A federal judge in California on Dec. 8 refused to dismiss an environmental group's Clean Water Act lawsuit against the operator of a salvage yard, finding that the group's presuit notification was sufficient and that it adequately alleged that the defendant is failing to comply with its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for storm water discharges (Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation v. American Recycling International Inc., No. 17-cv-00425-BAS-JMA, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 202649).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Defendant In Flint Water Case: Safe Drinking Water Is Not A Right, Claims Fail

DETROIT - One of the defendants in the lawsuit brought by residents of Flint, Mich., alleging injuries from exposure to lead-contaminated drinking water on Dec. 8 filed a brief opposing the plaintiffs' amended complaint on grounds that there is no constitutional right to safe drinking water and she is entitled to immunity (In re Flint Water Cases [Luke Waid, et al. v. Richard D. Snyder, et al.], No. 16-10444, E.D. Mich.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Flint Water Crisis Defendants: 'Preservation Subpoenas' Should Be Denied

DETROIT - Engineering consultants who have been named as defendants in the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich., on Dec. 12 filed a brief in Michigan federal court, arguing that the plaintiffs' request for "preservation subpoenas" to preserve evidence should be denied (In re Flint Water Cases [Luke Waid, et al. v. Richard D. Snyder, et al.], No. 16-10444, E.D. Mich.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Gives Group Limited Access To EPA Documents About PCB Contamination

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A nonprofit group on Dec. 11 was given full access to four U.S. Environmental Protection Agency documents and limited information in two agency documents regarding suspected polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination at the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) by a federal judge in the District of Columbia who found that the records did not contain information that was subject to the deliberative process privilege (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 14-2056, D. D.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 203068).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Sierra Club, Company Briefs Dispute Liability For Groundwater Contamination

RICHMOND, Va. - The Sierra Club and a Virginia power company filed competing briefs on Dec. 7 in the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, arguing that a lower court erred in its ruling on the environmental group's groundwater contamination claim. The Sierra Club contends that the company should pay penalties and is liable for violations of federal law, while the company says it is not liable for any pollution (Sierra Club v. Virginia Electric & Power Company f/k/a Dominion Virginia Power, No. 17-1895, 4th Cir.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Deleting Asbestos Claim Doesn't Eliminate Federal Jurisdiction

NEW ORLEANS - The presence of a second defendant entitled to federal jurisdiction means that despite proper elimination of claims against a shipyard, an asbestos case will stay in federal court, a federal judge in Louisiana held Dec. 6 (Diane Pitre, et al. v. Huntington Ingalls Inc., et al., No. 17-7029, E.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 200355).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - U.S. Top Court Asks Man To Defend Asbestos Verdict From Jurisdiction Challenge

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 8 asked a man awarded $6 million for his mesothelioma to respond to a drywall materials company's petition asking the court to find jurisdiction lacking and vacate the verdict (Murco Wall Products Inc. v. Michael D. Galier, No. 17-733, U.S. Sup.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Jury Awards $806,000 To Plaintiff In Tobacco Suit

PENSACOLA, Fla. - A Florida jury on Dec. 7 awarded $225,000 in punitive damages to an Engle progeny plaintiff, bringing the total award to a widow whose husband died from coronary artery disease to $806,000 (Veda Bryant v. Philip Morris USA Inc., No. 2015-CA-001691, Fla. Cir., 1st Jud., Escambia Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 1st Circuit: Company Could Not Foresee Risk Of PCB-Containing Caulk

BOSTON - Pharmacia Corp. could not have foreseen that an additive it manufactured containing polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) that was used in caulk would have posed a risk to human health at the time the product was used in a Massachusetts middle school in 1969, a First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 8 in affirming a federal judge's dismissal of a town's claims for breach of warranty and negligent marketing (Town of Westport, et al. v. Monsanto Co., et al., No. 17-1461, 1st Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 24827).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Finds Evidence Lacking In Laborer's Asbestos Case Against Union Carbide

DURHAM, N.C. - Two co-workers' inability to recall how a man could have been exposed to a defendant's product is the extent of a man's asbestos case and falls short of the regular, frequent, proximate standard for causation, a federal judge in North Carolina said Dec. 7 (Jonathan A. Queen, et al. v. CBS Corp., et al., No. 16-330, M.D. N.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 201299).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Halliburton Must Provide Information In Groundwater Case, Plaintiffs Say

OKLAHOMA CITY - Residents who argue that Halliburton Energy Services Inc. (HESI) is liable for contaminating their drinking water supply with perchlorate on Dec. 6 filed a brief in an Oklahoma federal court contending that HESI should be compelled to produce documents and other information (Albin Family Revocable Living Trust, et al. v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 16-910, W.D. Okla.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Engle Progeny Plaintiff Files Notice Of Appeal Following Defense Verdict

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Following a defense verdict in an Engle progeny trial, a woman who sued on behalf of her deceased husband filed a notice of appeal with Florida's Fourth Appellate District Court on Dec. 4, saying the trial court erred in denying her motion for a new trial (Doris E. Shadd v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 4D17-3735, Fla. App., 4th Dist.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Court: Company Must Produce Evidence It Proffered For Asbestos Plaintiff's Review

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - A judge properly ordered a boiler company to produce more than 5,000 index cards after the company voluntarily permitted inspection by an asbestos plaintiff, an Illinois appeals court held Dec. 5 (Larry Salvatore Sr., et al. v. Cleaver-Brooks, et al., No. 4-17-0173, Ill. App., 4th Dist.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Man Says Asbestos Law Doesn't Require Medical Opinion On 'Smoker' Status

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Requiring every asbestos lung cancer plaintiff who ever smoked tobacco to provide a medical expert opinion that the person doesn't qualify as a "smoker" would produce absurd results, burden nonsmokers and is at odds with a decade of precedent and the law's intent, a man told the Ohio Supreme Court Dec. 6 (Bobby Turner, et al. v. Union Carbide Corp., et al., No. 17-0004, Ohio Sup.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Talc Plaintiff: Asbestos Case Survives Exclusion Of Experts

PHILADELPHIA - The exclusion of two experts did little to change the state of a case as two other experts hold the same opinions regarding asbestos-contaminated talc's role in causing mesothelioma, a woman told a Pennsylvania judge on Dec. 4 (Sally Brandt, et al. v. The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., et al., No. 151202987, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).