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Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Applies Differing State Laws To Survivorship, Punitive Damages Claims

NEW ORLEANS - Louisiana law will govern a survivorship claim as its application does not substantially affect Idaho, while the latter state's policy against punitive damages precludes allowing that claim to proceed in an asbestos action, a federal judge in Louisiana held March 6 (William C. Bell...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 9th Circuit Rejects 'Game Over, Man' Reading Of Party Substitution Rule

LOS ANGELES - A rule requiring dismissal when asbestos plaintiffs failed to substitute a party within the allotted time frame is not the fatal weapon defendants wish it was, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held March 9 (Richard Zanowick, an individual and Joan Clark-Zanowick v. Baxter Healthcare...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Pennsylvania Department Of Revenue Removes Vaping Tax Suit To Federal Court

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue on March 9 removed a suit in which it is accused of creating an overly broad list of e-cigarette and tobacco products under the Tobacco Products Act of Pennsylvania that are taxed to federal court in Pennsylvania because many of the claims are...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Engle Progeny Plaintiff Moves For Extension To File For Rehearing

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A plaintiff in an Engle progeny suit on March 8 moved for an extension of time to file a motion for a rehearing, certification, or a written opinion following an order from the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal that affirmed a defense verdict in a tobacco trial, according...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Firms Petition Supreme Court, Say Class Action Ruling In Flint Water Case 'Wrong'

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A group of engineering firms that were sued by residents who contended that they shared liability for the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich., on March 9 filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals'...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Gives EPA 3 Years To Create Standards For 20 Pollutants

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in the District of Columbia on March 13 gave the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency three years to create rules governing emissions standards for 20 hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) after the agency conceded that it violated the Clean Air Act (CAA) by failing to undertake...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Vacates, Remands Agent Orange Benefits Case To Consider Medical Report

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on March 9 vacated and remanded a case involving a veteran's claims for benefits due to exposure to Agent Orange while in Vietnam, concluding that the Board of Veterans Appeals erred when it failed to return a medical...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Texas MDL Panel: Drinking Water Contamination Cases Should Be Consolidated

AUSTIN, Texas - The Multidistrict Litigation Panel of Texas on March 10 ruled that 10 separate lawsuits that allege drinking water contamination against a group of refining company defendants should be transferred to a single court for pretrial proceedings (In re: Corpus Christi Tap Water Litigation...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Tobacco Company Seeks New Trial Following $6 Million Engle Progeny Verdict

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. on March 10 moved for a new trial in an Engle progeny suit that resulted in a $6 million verdict, saying that the plaintiff introduced surprising and previously undisclosed testimony that her deceased husband suffered a heart attack before Nov. 21, 1996...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Finds Grocery Properly Joined In Asbestos-Talc Case

MIAMI - A retail grocery was not fraudulently joined in an asbestos case because allegations regarding what it should have known sufficiently support a negligence action, a federal judge in Florida held in remanding the case on March 10 (Andrienne Fransas v. Brenntag North America Inc., et al., No. 17...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Maryland Federal Judge Says Insured's Claims On Policy Exhaustion Not Timely Filed

BALTIMORE - A Maryland federal judge on March 10 granted motions for partial summary judgment filed by a number of insurers involved in an asbestos coverage dispute after determining that the insured's claims regarding the exhaustion of the insurers' policies were not timely filed (General Insurance...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Approves Settlement Requiring Company To Obtain Discharge Permit, Pay Fees

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A federal judge in West Virginia on March 14 approved a consent decree that would require Pocahontas Land Corp. to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit to resolve allegations brought by three environmental groups that the company was violating the...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Court: Causation Opinion Admissible, Punitives OK In $6.5M Asbestos Verdict

FRESNO, Calif. - A judge properly admitted expert testimony that every identifiable exposure to asbestos contributes to mesothelioma, a California appeals court held March 17, while also rejecting challenges involving tobacco use and an award of punitive damages (Charity Faith Phillips, et al. v. Honeywell...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Finds Asbestos Claims Against English Insurer Related To Arbitration Clause

NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on March 16 found that an English insurer's removal of a former machinist's asbestos-related claims from a state court was appropriate, finding that the dispute could relate to an underlying arbitration agreement contained in an insurance policy (James...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Woman: Monsanto's 'Fraud' Caused Her To Develop Cancer From Exposure To Glyphosate

ST. LOUIS - A Missouri woman on March 17 filed a lawsuit against Monsanto Co. in Missouri federal court, alleging that the company committed scientific fraud and is liable for her development of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), which was the result of exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - EPA Approves $100M For Flint, Mich., Water Upgrades

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced March 17 that it has awarded a $100 million grant to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to fund drinking water infrastructure upgrades in Flint, Mich.

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Heeding Presumption Rejected In Tobacco User's New York Asbestos Lung Cancer Trial

NEW YORK - A New York justice refused to impose a heeding presumption in an asbestos trial in an opinion posted March 20, saying that absent evidence that a cigarette user who ignored tobacco warnings would have acted differently in the asbestos context, she would not impose such a standard (Donna Castorina...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Dismisses Claims Against State Agencies Related To Tainted Drinking Water

SIOUX CITY, Iowa - A federal judge in Iowa on March 17 dismissed a groundwater contamination lawsuit brought by a local agency that supplies drinking water, concluding that its claims against local government agencies regarding liability for the costs of complying with clean water laws "have no...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - N.Y. Justice: Wisconsin Dissolution Law Bars Suit Against Special Electric

NEW YORK - An asbestos action filed outside Wisconsin's two-year window for suing Special Electric Co. Inc. after its dissolution is untimely, and an earlier motion to reopen and enforce its bankruptcy plan does not save the case, a New York justice held in an opinion posted March 21 (In re: New...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Gulf Oil Spill MDL Judge: Moratoria Hold Claimants Can Opt Out

NEW ORLEANS - The federal judge in Louisiana who is overseeing litigation stemming from damages caused by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that followed the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in April 2010 ruled March 17 that individuals whose claims arise from federal moratoria on drilling...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Lack Of Causation Evidence Fatal To Man's Suit Against BP, Judge Rules

NEW ORLEANS - BP Exploration and Production Inc. and BP America Production Co. (collectively, BP) were awarded summary judgment by a federal judge in Louisiana on March 20 after she found that a man was unable to produce evidence that his exposure to dispersants during cleanup activities following the...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Some Flint Water Defendants: Local Controversy Exception Applies To Class Action

DETROIT - Some of the defendants sued by residents of Flint, Mich., in connection with the lead-contaminated drinking water in that city filed a brief in Michigan federal court on March 21, arguing that the lawsuit meets the local controversy exception to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) and, therefore...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New York Justice Consolidates 11 Asbestos Cases Into 4 Trial Groups

NEW YORK - Rejecting both plaintiffs' larger proposed trial groups and concern of prejudice by defendants, a New York justice in an opinion posted March 21 found that 11 cases' similarities warranted four trial groups and two separate trials (Walter Cunningham, et al. v. Aerco Intl., et al.,...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Iowa Enacts Law Codifying Bare-Metal Defense, Bankruptcy Transparency

DES MOINES, Iowa - Iowa became the first state to legislatively bar asbestos claims arising from third-party parts on March 23 after its governor signed legislation codifying the bare-metal and component parts doctrine. The law also requires additional transparency in asbestos-related trust filings,...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Maryland Federal Judge Says Temporary Restraining Order Is Not Warranted

BALTIMORE - A Maryland federal judge on March 22 denied an underlying plaintiff's motion for a temporary restraining order seeking to ban an insurer and its insured from reaching a settlement for an underlying judgment awarded for personal injuries in a lead paint exposure suit (CX Reinsurance Co...