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Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - $8 Million Award Against R.J. Reynolds Upheld By Florida Appeals Court

LAKELAND, Fla. - In a May 18 per curiam ruling, the Second District Florida Court of Appeal left intact an $8 million award rendered by jurors in May 2016 on behalf of the family of a deceased smoker, just over one week after hearing oral arguments in the Engle progeny case (James C. McCabe v. R.J. Reynolds...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - City Says Groundwater Case Against 3M Is Not Barred By Statute Of Limitations

BOSTON - The city of Westfield, Mass., on May 18 filed a brief in Massachusetts federal court contending that a motion to dismiss filed by 3M Co. and other companies related to groundwater contamination from the manufacture and use of aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) should be rejected because the claim...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - U.S. Supreme Court Refuses ToHear Tainted Groundwater Case Against U.S. Army

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on May 21 refused to hear an appeal of a groundwater contamination lawsuit brought by a group of residents who contended that a lower court erred when it held that the U.S. Army's waste disposal and remediation practices at Fort Detrick fall squarely within...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 5th Circuit Panel Upholds Ruling Finding Claimants' Submissions Untimely

NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 21 upheld a federal judge in Louisiana's ruling finding that the failure to submit claim forms along with the required documentation to obtain compensation from the Deepwater Horizon Court Supervised Settlement Program (CSSP) rendered...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Federal Appeals Court Finds EPA Erred When Adding Site To Superfund List

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal appeals court panel in the District of Columbia on May 18 vacated a ruling by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that placed an Indianapolis site on the National Priorities List (NPL) after finding that the agency ignored evidence and erroneously determined that two...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Panel Says Lower Court Misapplied Rules When Barring Contamination Evidence

SALT LAKE CITY - A Utah appeals court panel on May 17 overturned two rulings by a lower court judge that excluded evidence and testimony about what materials are subject to cleanup as part of a city's sale of a parcel of land to a developer, holding that the trial court judge misapplied an earlier...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Contacts In Illinois Don't Create Jurisdiction In Asbestos Case, Court Says

CHICAGO - The absence of evidence of General Electric Co.'s asbestos-containing products in Illinois defeats specific personal jurisdiction, and the company's contacts with the state are not large enough to create general personal jurisdiction, a state appeals court held May 18 while declining...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Injuries From Exploding Vaping Device Lead New Jersey Man To File Suit

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. - Asserting violations of the New Jersey Product Liability Act (NJPLA), negligence and other torts, a New Jersey man who suffered burns when his vaping device exploded in the pockets of his pants filed suit in the Middlesex County Superior Court on May 18 (Jesse Kelly, Jr. v. I South...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - California Federal Jury Rules In Favor Of Chemical Company In Groundwater Case

LOS ANGELES - A federal jury in California on May 17 issued a take-nothing judgment in favor of a chemical company that had been sued by the city of Pomona, Calif., which alleged that the company was liable for contaminating the city's drinking water with perchlorate (Pomona v. SQM North America...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Find Contacts From 1973 Keep Ship Owner In Louisiana Asbestos Litigation

NEW ORLEANS - A company's shell-dredging operations in Louisiana in 1973 keep a company in an asbestos action, a federal judge held May 18 in declining to impose a temporal limitation to the specific jurisdiction analysis (Robert Schindler v. Dravo Basic Materials Company Inc., No. 17-013013, E.D...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Shipyard Appeals Another Remanded Negligence Asbestos Case To 5th Circuit

NEW ORLEANS - A shipyard on May 21 filed a notice of appeal in yet another case in which a judge remanded an asbestos action after finding allegations of negligent failure to warn about the presence of asbestos outside the federal officer removal statute (James A. Latiolais v. Huntington Ingalls Inc...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Some Claims Against Chemical Companies Valid In Groundwater Case

PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on May 21 ruled that a group of Pennsylvania residents had a valid negligence claim against the makers of aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) related to groundwater contamination, but the judge said the plaintiffs did not sufficiently plead property damage...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Widow Wants Ruling That Nonmalignancy Settlement Bars Lung Cancer Case Reviewed

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A widow on May 18 asked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to review whether her husband's settlement involving Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) nonmalignant pulmonary disease claims can bar her subsequent action alleging he contracted and died of lung cancer, after both...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Jury Can Decide FutureRestoration Costs For MTBE Contamination, Judge Says

TRENTON, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on May 22 bifurcated a trial to determine the amount of restoration costs companies who sold gasoline containing methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) should pay to remediate groundwater, finding that a jury should determine the amount of future costs the companies...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Enhanced Mesothelioma Compensation Law Applies To Post-2014 Claim, Court Says

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A 2014 law providing for enhanced workers' compensation benefits for mesothelioma victims applies in a case where an insurer and employer specifically agreed to cover future claims and does not act retroactively, Missouri's Supreme Court held May 22 (Accident Fund Insurance...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Jury Sides With Widow, Awards $21 Million Following Tobacco Trial

SARASOTA, Fla. - A Florida jury on May 22 returned a verdict against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Philip Morris USA Inc., deeming the tobacco companies primarily responsible for the lung cancer death of Edward "Fred" Theis; one day later, on May 23, the jury awarded his widow $14 million in...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Pennsylvania Federal Judge Dismisses Tobacco Executives From Lawsuit

PHILADELPHIA - Efforts by a Pennsylvania man suffering from emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to sue, personally, the president and chief executives of three tobacco companies were dismissed May 21 by a Pennsylvania federal judge (Ted. A. McCracken v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Governor Vetoes Medical Monitoring Bill, Says Judicial Recourse Currently Exists

MONTPELIER, Vt. - Vermont Gov. Phil Scott on May 22 vetoed a bill that would have held any person who released a toxic substance strictly, jointly and severally liable for any harm resulting from the release and would have established a private right of action for medical monitoring, saying there is...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Johnson & Johnson Loses Second Asbestos Trial; Punitives Push Award To $25.75M

WEST COVINA, Calif. - A California jury on May 24 added $4 million in punitive damages to an asbestos-tainted talc verdict against Johnson & Johnson, bringing the total verdict to $25.75 million, sources told Mealey's Publications. The company has now been hit with more than $142 million in damages...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Jury Hears Arguments, First Salvos From Experts In Asbestos-Talc Case

SPARTANBURG, S.C. - A South Carolina jury on May 24 heard from dueling experts over whether cosmetic talcum powder exposes an individual to asbestos and whether the product's usage could lead to pericardial mesothelioma (Bertila Boyd-Bostic v. Imerys Talc America, et al., No. 17-CP-16-0400, S.C....

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Minnesota Court Affirms $3.7M Award, Rejects Expert, Liability Challenges

ST. PAUL, Minn. - A Minnesota court on May 21 affirmed a $3.7 million asbestos verdict, rejecting a defendant's claim that experts testified that every exposure to asbestos caused disease, that the expert testimony did not support the verdict and that the court should have applied 2003 amendments...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Panel: Lago Agrio Parties May Not Pierce Chevron's Corporate Veil To Collect $9.5B

TORONTO - The Ontario Court of Appeal on May 24 affirmed a lower court's ruling that refused to pierce the corporate veil of Chevron Corp. to enforce a $9.5 billion environmental damages ruling for Ecuadorian claimants who contend that they were injured by the company during its operation in the...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Cleanup Defendant's 11th-Hour Arguments On Entities' Liability Rejected By Judge

INDIANAPOLIS - A federal judge in Indiana on May 22 overruled a defendant company's argument that its preceding entities should be able to escape liability for cleanup costs under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) for remediation of a former steel...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - D.C. Federal Judge Won't Wade Into Dispute Over Correct Advertising Payment

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a May 24 memorandum, a District of Columbia federal judge turned away a publisher's request that the court compel tobacco manufacturers to reimburse The Little Rock Sun Community Newspaper for costs associated with printing court-approved corrective advertising (United States...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Grants Judgment To 3 Pump Makers, Finds Evidence Sufficient Against 2

PHILADELPHIA - Scant evidence of asbestos exposure from three defendants' products exists, but the evidence rises to a high enough level to deny the summary judgment motions of two other pump makers, a federal judge in Pennsylvania held May 22 (Robert Hedrick, et al. v. A.O. Smith Corp., et al.,...