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Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Federal Judge Affirms Contested Appointment Of Asbestos Discovery Master

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 ...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Lack Of Expert Evidence Dooms Man's Injury Suit Over Oil Dispersant Exposure

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...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Preliminary Approval Of $151M Groundwater Contamination Settlement Granted By Judge

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...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Adopts Ruling Allowing Portland's Public Nuisance Claim Against Monsanto

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...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Flint Defendants: Discovery Request 'Procedurally Deficient'; Should Be Quashed

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"...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Monsanto Denies More Claims In Roundup MDL, Says Glyphosate Injury Lawsuit Fails

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...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Man Tells Ohio High Court Expert Testimony Meets Causation Standard

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....

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - U.S. Supreme Court Declines To Review Tobacco Lawsuit

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 2 declined to hear arguments on an Engle progeny suit in which a Florida appellate panel vacated $54 million in punitive damages (Marvine Calloway v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 16-1507, U.S. Sup.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge OKs Defendant's Pre-Service Removal Of Asbestos Action

NEW ORLEANS - A defendant's quick removal of an asbestos action precludes consideration of the forum of any unserved defendants, but is not the type of "snap removal" that is objectionable and absurd, a federal judge in Louisiana held Sept. 29 in denying remand (Margaret Leech, et la. V...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Putative Class Of 100,000 Files Flint Water Complaint In Michigan Federal Court

DETROIT - A putative class of residents and other individuals affected by the lead-contaminated water crisis in the city of Flint, Mich., on Sept. 29 filed a consolidated class action in Michigan federal court, contending that multiple state and local authorities caused a public health crisis by exposing...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Finds Allegations Don't Put Asbestos Case Outside Workers' Comp Laws

ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Merely knowing of the presence of asbestos and its hazards is not enough to escape the state's workers' compensation exclusivity provision, a federal judge in North Carolina held Sept. 29 (Howard Milton Moore Jr., et al. v. Alcatel-Lucent USA Inc., et al., No. 16-157, W.D. N...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 9th Circuit Reverses Ruling Finding Government Owes Nothing For Cleanup Costs

PASADENA, Calif. - A federal judge in California erred when finding that the federal government does not have to contribute toward the cleanup of a 44-acre site used by a military contractor hired to manufacture aircraft and aircraft parts, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 4, holding...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New York Court Affirms Brake-Grinding Maker's Liability, $9M Asbestos Award

NEW YORK - A manufacturer of brake-grinding machines had a duty to warn about the dangers the use of its machines with asbestos-containing brakes posed, a New York appellate court held Oct. 5 while also affirming a stipulated $9 million award (Walter Miller v. BMW of North America LLC, et al., No. 190087...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Jury Hears Opening Arguments In 1st Asbestos-Talc Trial Against Johnson & Johnson

LOS ANGELES - Attorneys representing parties to the first asbestos-tainted talc case against Johnson & Johnson presented opening arguments Oct. 5 in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, arguing over what the testing says about the source of the talc used in the company's products and alternative...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Parties In Flint Water Case Debate Jurisdiction Before 6th Circuit

CINCINNATI - An attorney representing employees of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) on Oct. 6 argued before a panel of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a lawsuit pertaining to the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich., brought against the employees belongs...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - EPA Files Proposed Rule To Repeal Clean Power Plan

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Oct. 10 announced that Administrator Scott Pruitt has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that would repeal the Clean Power Plan (CPP), which was unveiled by President Barack Obama in 2015 to reduce carbon emissions and greenhouse gas...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Monsanto: Roundup MDL Cases Fail For Lack Of Causation Between Cancer, Glyphosate

SAN FRANCISCO - Monsanto Co. on Oct. 6 moved in California federal court for dismissal of the multidistrict litigation related to the herbicide Roundup on grounds that the plaintiffs have not satisfied their burden to present expert testimony that is "scientifically reliable and relevant" and...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Asbestos-Talc Trial Against Johnson & Johnson Ends In Mistrial

LOS ANGELES - A California judge overseeing the first asbestos-tainted consumer talc case against Johnson & Johnson declared a mistrial Oct. 10 after the plaintiff made reference to the potential link between asbestos-free talc and ovarian cancer, sources told Mealey Publications (Tina Herford, et...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Top Court Asked To Review Cumulative Asbestos Exposure Opinion

MIAMI - The Florida Supreme Court should resolve a conflict in the state's appellate courts and firmly reject the discredited "cumulative exposure" asbestos causation theory, a shipyard argues in an Oct. 9 petition (Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., et al. v. Rosa-Maria Britt, et al., No...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - N.Y. Court Told To Nix Asbestos Punitive Damages, Safeguard Trust Transparency

NEW YORK - An appeals court should vacate a provision of the new case management order allowing for punitive damages in asbestos cases and vacate or amend a provision governing how asbestos bankruptcy trust claims are handled, an amicus curiae group told the court on Oct. 10 (In re: New York City Asbestos...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - BASF, Citing Its Employment Of Judge's Sister, Seeks Recusal Of Asbestos Judge

NEWARK, N.J. - A judge's sister's access and control over company documents while employed by a defendant require that the judge recuse herself from a case alleging asbestos contamination of talc and spoliation of evidence, the company claims in an Oct. 10 memorandum (Audrey Sampson, et al. v...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Asbestos Plaintiff Rejects 'Designed For Delay' Transcript Removal Trigger

BATON ROUGE, La. - Two companies cannot even agree on what their "plain meaning" interpretations of federal law would require, so their interpretations should be rejected in favor of a clear rule that deposition testimony triggers the period for removing an asbestos case, an asbestos plaintiff...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Asbestosis Settlement Contemplates, Bars, Mesothelioma Claim, Judge Says

WASHINGTON, D.C. - An agreement resolving a couple's asbestosis claim specifically envisions future mesothelioma claims as among the universe of potential claims and bars a subsequent suit, a federal judge in Louisiana held Oct. 13 (Lorita M. Savoie, et al. v. Huntington Ingalls Inc., et al., No...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Injunction, Civil Penalty For Illicit Cigarette Sales On Indian Land Upheld

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California court correctly imposed a $765,000 civil penalty against a man for illegal cigarette sales at two smoke shops on Indian land because neither federal law nor tribal sovereignty preempts the state's regulation and enforcement of its laws regarding cigarette sales,...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 2 Law Firms Ordered To Pay $9.1 Million For Frivolous Engle Progeny Suits

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A panel of judges in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida on Oct. 18 ordered two law firms pay $9.1 million in sanctions for filing 1,250 frivolous Engle progeny complaints (In Re: Engle Cases, No. 3:09-cv-10000, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172678).