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Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Panel Restores $32 Million Verdict In Tobacco Lawsuit

LAKELAND, Fla. - Recognizing that its ruling created a conflict with other appellate courts in Florida, a panel of the Second District Florida Court of Appeal on April 12 found that a trial court in an Engle progeny suit erred by reducing a compensatory award to a couple because a Florida statute governing...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Justice: Regulatory Evidence, Tyndall Lighting Tests Admissible At Asbestos Trial

NEW YORK - Some post-exposure regulatory material, evidence relating to studies involving animals and videotapes of Tyndall lighting tests demonstrating the dust released during certain work may be used at an asbestos trial, a justice in New York held in an opinion posted April 11 (Jeanne Evans, et al...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Dismisses Coal Ash Case To Allow Plaintiffs To File It In State Court

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A federal judge in Kentucky on April 12 dismissed a lawsuit brought by a class of residents who contended that they were exposed to hazardous chemicals from a coal-fired power plant so that the plaintiffs could file the claims in Kentucky state court. The judge declined to exercise...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Federal Judge Dismisses Counterclaim In Tobacco Contract Suit

RENO, Nev. - A federal judge in Nevada on April 13 found that a cigar company that filed a counterclaim against the owner of several properties in Nevada failed to state a "cognizable" counterclaim in a suit where the property owner claimed that the cigar company failed to collect taxes on...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 6th Circuit: Modification Of Consent Decree For Power Plants Violated Agreement

CINCINNATI - The modification of a consent decree that extended the deadline for upgrades to one of two coal-burning power plants in Rockport, Ind., violated a contract between owners and operators of the facility because it would require the owners to make the improvements and pay for them after expiration...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Residents Seek Damages From State, City For Flint, Mich., Lead Water Crisis

DETROIT - A group of Flint, Mich., residents on April 13 sued state and city officials in Michigan federal court, contending that they are liable for lead contamination in the city's drinking water for their respective roles in making the decision to use the Flint River as the water supply for the...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Ex-Chemistry Teacher's Asbestos Action Belongs In Indonesia, Panel Says

SAN FRANCISCO - Indonesia's interests in preventing, and compensating for, asbestos exposures by residents support a judge's conclusion that Hawaii is not the best forum for a former chemistry teacher's lawsuit, a divided Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held April 14 (James S. Herbert...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Federal Jury Rules Against Residents In Groundwater Contamination Lawsuit

CHICAGO - A jury in Illinois federal court on April 13 issued a verdict against a group of residents who had sued two companies for allegedly contaminating its groundwater with vinyl chloride. The verdict sheet did not elaborate on the jury's decision (Village of Sauk Village v. Roadway Express Inc...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Ohio Top Court Agrees To Hear Asbestos Causation Testimony Challenge

CLEVELAND - Ohio's Supreme Court on April 19 agreed to wade into a dispute over the admissibility of expert causation testimony in an asbestos case, according to its docket (Mark Schwartz, et al. v. Honeywell International Inc., et al., No. 103377, Ohio Sup.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Company: Causation Lacking In Lawsuit Related To Cancer From Benzene Exposure

ASHEVILLE, N.C. - A company being sued by a North Carolina man who contends that he contracted cancer as a result of groundwater contamination for which the man says the company is liable on April 17 filed a brief in North Carolina federal court, arguing that the case should be dismissed because the...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New Jersey Residents: Case Against Smelter Is Valid

TRENTON, N.J. - A group of New Jersey residents on April 16 filed a brief in New Jersey federal court contending that their complaint against a refining company alleging contamination from heavy metals asserts valid claims (Juan Duarte, et al. v. United States Metal Refining Company, No. 17-1624, D....

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 2nd Circuit Dismisses Creosote Injury Case Brought Against Chemical Company

NEW YORK - A panel of the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 20 ruled that it lacked jurisdiction to decide a case in which a group of residents sued Tronox Inc. contending that they had been harmed as a result of exposure to wood treated with creosote at the company's plant in Pennsylvania...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Magistrate Judge Finds Port's Product Liability Claims Against Monsanto Are Timely

PORTLAND, Ore. - A federal magistrate judge in Oregon on April 18 recommending denying Monsanto Co.'s motion to dismiss product liability claims brought by the Port of Portland, over polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination, finding that the plaintiff does not clearly state when it discovered...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Jury Awards $81.5M After Asbestos Friction-Parts Trial In Washington State

TACOMA, Wash. - A Washington jury awarded $81.5 million April 17 to a widow and her two daughters in their case alleging that their decedent suffered exposure to asbestos in automobile friction products, sources told Mealey's Publications (Gerri Coogan, et al. v. Genuine Parts Co. et al., No. 15...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Iowa Court Reverses, Orders Retrial Of $4 Million Asbestos Verdict

DES MOINES, Iowa - Counsel's "continuous disregard" for rulings excluding evidence of how much a defendant spent defending asbestos actions and the application of the statute of repose requires a new trial, an Iowa appeals court held April 19 (Shari Kinseth and Ricky Kinseth, et al. v....

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Man's Last Injurious Asbestos Exposure Occurred In Self-Employment, Court Finds

RALEIGH, N.C. - Substantial evidence supports an industrial commission's conclusion that a mechanic's last injurious exposure to asbestos occurred during his work at his own business, a North Carolina appeals panel held April 18 (Melissa Lovelace, et al. v B&R Auto Service Inc., et al., No...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Federal Judge Orders Volkswagen To Pay $2.8B Fine

DETROIT - A federal judge in Michigan on April 21 ordered Volkswagen AG to pay a $2.8 billion fine for equipping its diesel vehicles with software designed to cheat emissions tests after the company pleaded guilty to counts of conspiracy to defraud the United States, wire fraud and violations of the...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Volkswagen Buyers Cannot Seek Restitution In Criminal Proceeding

DETROIT - Consumers who purchased Volkswagen vehicles with software designed to cheat emissions tests cannot seek restitution from the auto manufacturer as part of criminal proceedings brought by the federal government against the company because it would unduly prolong the sentencing process, a federal...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Remands Groundwater Class Action, Says Local Controversy Exception Applies

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A federal judge in Texas on April 19 remanded a class action lawsuit alleging groundwater contamination by a group of defendant chemical companies, ruling that the local exception to federal class action law applied (MD Haynes Inc. d/b/a Cici's Pizza, et al. v. Valero Marketing...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 2nd Circuit Dismisses Appeal Of Toxic Tort Plaintiffs' Tronox 'Derivative' Claims

NEW YORK - Because a federal court's ruling enforcing a permanent anti-suit injunction issued as part of a $5.5 billion settlement in the Chapter 11 case of Tronox Inc. is not a final order, it cannot be appealed by 4,300 individuals who say they were injured from the company's operation of a...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 3rd Circuit Says Asbestos Exclusion Is Enforceable, Insurer Owes No Coverage

PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 21 reversed a $36 million judgment entered against an insurer in an asbestos coverage dispute after determining that an asbestos exclusion is not ambiguous and bars coverage for underlying asbestos-related claims filed against the insured...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Jury Awards $15 Million To Widow Of Smoker In Engle Progeny Suit

TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida jury on April 21 awarded the widow of a smoker in a tobacco suit a total of $12 million in punitive damages, bringing the total award against a tobacco company to $15 million (Mary Lima v. R.J. Reynolds, et al., No. 2015CA007140, Fla. Cir., 13th Jud. Cir. Hillsborough Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Rejects Challenge To Causation Testimony In Asbestos Case

NEW YORK - Requiring experts to actually sample and test the release of asbestos fibers from products would be fatal to almost all cases, given the lack of existing products to test and their inherent hazards, a New York justice held in allowing the testimony of three experts in an opinion posted April...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Recent Missouri Precedent Secures Asbestos Defendant Jurisdictional Dismissal

ST. LOUIS - Recent Missouri Supreme Court precedent finding that registration in the state does not constitute consent to jurisdiction warrants reconsideration of an earlier ruling in an asbestos case and granting the company's motion to dismiss, a federal judge in Missouri said April 21 (Diane MacCormack...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Jury's Duty Finding Nixes Third-Party Parts Liability Question, Court Finds

WILMINGTON, Del. - A jury's finding that Ford Motor Co. did not fail to warn about the dangers of asbestos-containing replacement brakes makes the question of liability for third-party parts irrelevant, Delaware's top court held April 21 (In re: Asbestos Litigation Donna F. Walls, et al. v. Ford...