Mealey's Toxic Torts

  • April 24, 2017

    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 and Supply Co., et al., No. 17-6, S.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist., LEXIS 59495).

  • April 21, 2017

    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 wood‐treatment plant in Pennsylvania, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said April 20 (Avoca plaintiffs, et al. v. Kerr‐McGee Corp., et al., No. 16-343, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6949).

  • April 20, 2017

    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 (Avoca Plaintiffs v. Kerr-McGee Corporation; In Re: Tronox Inc., No. 16-343, 2nd Cir.).

  • April 19, 2017

    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 plaintiffs cannot show causation (Kent Stahle v. CTS Corporation, No. 14-48, W.D. N.C.).

  • April 19, 2017

    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. N.J.).

  • April 18, 2017

    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., et al., No. 15-9183, N.D. Ill.).

  • April 18, 2017

    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 city without first ensuring that the pipes were protected against corrosion (Kimberly Gaddy, et al. v. City of Flint, et al., No. 17-11166, E.D. Mich.).

  • April 17, 2017

    Judge: Experts Not Permitted To Testify In Benzene Exposure Lawsuit

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A federal judge in Oklahoma on March 31 ruled that the testimony of experts on which a woman was going to rely in her lawsuit against oil and gas companies for injuries she allegedly suffered from exposure to airborne benzene did not meet the standard requirements for reliability of testimony (Samantha Hall v. ConocoPhillips, et al., No. 14-0670, W.D. Okla; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56458).

  • April 17, 2017

    Company: Groups Lack Evidence For Alleged Injuries From Tainted Groundwater

    TRENTON, N.J. — NL Industries Inc. filed a brief in New Jersey federal court on April 7, contending that environmental advocacy groups that contend that the company is liable for groundwater contamination lack evidence capable of showing that any alleged injuries are “fairly traceable” to any action by the company (Raritan Baykeeper Inc., et al. v. NL Industries Inc., et al., No. 09-4117, D. N.J.).

  • April 17, 2017

    Panel: Man Fails To Offer Sufficient Evidence In Lead Paint Injury Lawsuit

    ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A Maryland appellate panel on April 5 affirmed a trial court’s decision to dismiss a lead-paint poisoning lawsuit against a landlord on grounds that the plaintiffs failed to sufficiently demonstrate that the defendant was liable for his injuries (Davon Usher v. Riggs Realty, et al., No. 1376, Sept. Term 2014; 2017 Md. Spec. App. LEXIS 355).

  • April 14, 2017

    Tenant Entitled To Damages For Renting Home With Lead Hazards, Panel Says

    CANTON, Ohio — An appeals panel in Ohio on March 31 ruled that a tenant who rented a premises that had been deemed uninhabitable due to lead hazards was entitled to damages from the landlord (Ohio Specialized Investments Ltd. v. Briona Campbell, No. 2016CA176, Ohio App., 5th App. Dist., Stark Co.; 2017 Ohio App. LEXIS 1246).

  • April 14, 2017

    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 supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims (Kathy Little, et al. v. Louisville Gas & Electric Company, No. 13-1214, W.D. Ky.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56467).

  • April 13, 2017

    2 Glyphosate Cancer Cases Against Monsanto Sent To California MDL

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on April 13 transferred two more lawsuits filed against Monsanto Co. regarding cancer allegedly caused by exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the company’s herbicide Roundup, to the multidistrict litigation in California (In Re:  Roundup Products Liability Litigation, No. 2741, JPMDL).

  • April 13, 2017

    Judge Appoints Administrator, Special Master For DuPont C8 Injury Settlement Plan

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — A federal judge in Ohio on April 12 issued an order appointing a claims administrator and a special master to oversee the master settlement agreement to resolve the multidistrict litigation against E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. for alleged injuries connected to exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8) (In re E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio).

  • April 12, 2017

    Panel Remands Lead-Paint Case To Amend Judgment Awarded To Landlord

    BROOKLYN, N.Y. — A New York appeals court on April 5 remanded a lead-paint poisoning lawsuit and directed the trial court to amend the judgment on grounds that the judgment was not in the proper form pursuant to New York Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR) (Rhonda John v. Rikud Realty Inc., No. 2015-11194, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 2nd Dept.; 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 2571).

  • April 12, 2017

    Judge Remands PCB Case Against Monsanto, Says Removal Was Improper

    ST. LOUIS — A federal magistrate judge in Missouri on April 10 remanded a lawsuit brought by residents who contend that polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) manufactured by Monsanto Co. are liable for their development of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) on grounds that it was improperly removed to federal court (Kent N. Burford v. Monsanto Co., et al., No. 16-536, E.D. Mo.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54293).

  • April 12, 2017

    San Diego: PCB Claims Against Monsanto Valid; Property Interests At Issue

    SAN DIEGO — The city of San Diego and its port district on April 7 filed a brief in California federal court contending that their second amended complaint against Monsanto Co. regarding alleged contamination of the city’s water system with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) should not be dismissed because the city has multiple property interests that are affected by the company’s PCBs (San Diego Unified Port District, et al v. Monsanto Company, et al., No. 15-578, S.D. Calif.).

  • April 12, 2017

    Pilots Who Sprayed Glyphosate In Ecuador Were Not Its Employees, Contractor Says

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A private military contractor on April 9 filed a brief in District of Columbia federal court contending that it is not liable for the conduct of pilots that sprayed herbicides in Ecuador and allegedly caused injuries to Ecuadorian residents because the pilots were not employed by the contractor (Venancio Aguasanta Arias, et al. v. DynCorp, No. 01-01908, and Nestor Ermogenes Arroyo Quinteros, et al. v. DynCorp, No. 07-01042, D. D.C. [consolidated]).

  • April 11, 2017

    Groups: Monsanto Knowingly Misrepresents Danger Of Glyphosate In Roundup

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two consumer advocacy groups on April 7 filed a lawsuit in the District of Columbia Superior Court against Monsanto Co., alleging that the company is liable for knowingly engaging in “deceptive labeling, marketing, and sale of retail Roundup ‘Garden Weeds’ Weed & Grass Killer products” because glyphosate — the active ingredient in Roundup — targets an enzyme that is found in people and pets (Beyond Pesticides, et al. v. Monsanto Company, No. N/A, D.C. Super.).

  • April 11, 2017

    Town’s PCB Claim Against Monsanto Fails, Judge Says; Expert Exclusions ‘Moot’

    BOSTON — A federal judge in Massachusetts on April 7 granted a motion for summary judgment dismissal of claims for breach of warranty brought by a town against Monsanto and its affiliates related to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in a school building on grounds that the town failed to show that an alternate design was feasible.  As a result of that dismissal, the judge ruled that motions to exclude expert witness testimony were “moot” (Town of Westport v. Monsanto Company, No. 14-12041, D. Mass.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53815).