DETROIT — A federal judge in Michigan overseeing Flint contaminated water litigation on June 19 denied motions to replace the co-liaison counsel and the interim co-lead class counsel, which had both sought the other’s removal. The co-liaison counsel had contended that the co-lead class counsel had a conflict of interest, while the co-lead class counsel had argued that the co-liaison counsel had engaged in “a smear campaign” (In re Flint Water Cases [Luke Waid, et al. v. Richard D. Snyder, et al.], No. 16-10444, E.D. Mich.).
ALBANY, N.Y. — A federal judge in New York on June 21 denied a motion for summary judgment sought by 3M Co., E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. and other manufacturers of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in a lawsuit brought by a couple that contends that the companies are liable for cancer and other injuries due to groundwater contamination (Kenneth Wickenden, et al. v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., et al., No. 17-1056, N.D. N.Y.; 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103591).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) on June 20 issued a report that concluded that perfluoroalkyls are “ubiquitous” in the environment and found that they are linked to a range of health issues including cancer.
ALBANY, N.Y. — The state of New York on June 19 sued the 3M Co. and other companies that designed, manufactured, marketed and sold aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) and related products that the state contends were discharged into the environment and caused injuries to drinking water and threats to public health (New York v. 3M Company, et al., No. N/A, N.Y. Sup., Albany Co.).
FORT MYERS, Fla. — A group of Florida residents on June 6 filed a brief in Florida federal court contending that the district court should deny the city of Fort Myers’ motion to dismiss the group’s putative class action for the contamination of local groundwater with arsenic because they have stated a claim for relief, among other things, for violation of federal laws that prohibit open dumps (Deretha Miller, et al. v. Fort Myers, et al., No. 18-195, M.D. Fla.).
NEW YORK — Chevron Corp. filed a brief in a New York federal court on June 14 contending that the district court should deny a motion for declaratory relief filed by Steven Donziger, the attorney who represented a group of Ecuadorian residents who won an $18.5 billion judgment against the company for injuries only to have it reversed (Chevron Corporation v. Donziger, et al., No. 11 Civ. 691, S.D. N.Y.).
HONOLULU — The governor of Hawaii on June 13 signed into law a bill that completely bans the use of pesticides containing chlorpyrifos starting in 2023, making it the first state to prohibit use of the chemical.
SAN FRANCISCO — Monsanto Co. filed a notice of supplemental authority in California federal court on June 12 that it contends supports its motion for summary judgment based on a failure of general causation proof in the multidistrict litigation for Roundup (In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2741, N.D. Calif.).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Navajo Nation and the states of New Mexico and Utah on June 7 filed a brief in a New Mexico federal court arguing that their lawsuit should not be consolidated with others against the companies that spilled 3 million gallons of acid mine drainage and heavy metals into the Animas and San Juan rivers. The Navajo Nation and the states argue that the spill has tainted the groundwater supply (In re: Gold King Mine Release in San Juan County, Colorado on August 5, 2015, No. 18-2824, D. N.M.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal judge in California on June 12 denied a motion by the California attorney general that sought to amend a ruling issued by the court in February that enjoined the state of California from requiring companies to issue a warning regarding glyphosate (National Association of Wheat Growers, et al. v. Lauren Zeise, et al., No. 17-2401, E.D. Calif.).
LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. — A mother in New Jersey on June 8 sued a property owner and management company in state court, arguing that they are liable for injuries she and her child suffered as a result of exposure to lead-based paint (Trenice Audain v. Clifridge Associates LLC, et al., No. ESX-L-004043-18, N.J. Super., Essex Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on June 11 issued a standard to limit the exposure of workers to respirable crystalline silica in general industry and maritime occupations.
NEW YORK — The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York on June 11 announced that he has reached a lead hazard settlement with the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) that imposes a federal monitor, requires the city to provide $1.2 billion of additional capital funding to NYCHA over the next five years and requires the city to provide $200 million every year thereafter until the problems are fixed and the consent decree is no longer necessary (United States v. New York City Housing Authority, No. 18-5213, S.D. N.Y.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Environmental Protection Agency announced June 5 that it has reached a settlement agreement with Magnolia Waco Properties LLC, which does business as Magnolia Homes, to resolve alleged violations of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) related to home renovations conducted without adequate lead paint protection on the home renovation television show “Fixer Upper.”
SCRANTON, Pa. — A law firm on June 4 removed to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania a putative class action brought against it by a man who contends that the firm breached its professional obligations that were part of a contingent fee agreement in an underlying toxic tort lawsuit to which he was party (Stanley Waleski v. Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads, No. 18-1144, M.D. Pa.).
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — A federal judge in Alabama on June 4 awarded summary judgment to a pipeline company on plaintiffs’ claims for violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), finding that a 2014 spill was not an ongoing violation and that the plaintiffs were unable to produce reliable expert evidence to show that any remaining gasoline vapors presented an imminent threat to human health (Day LLC, et al. v. Plantation Pipe Line Co., et al., No. 16-cv-00429-LSC, N.D. Ala., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93749).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California school district and a water company on June 4 filed two separate complaints against The Dow Chemical Co. in California state court, contending that it and other chemical companies are liable for contaminating the local groundwater with 1,2,3-trichloropropane (TCP) (Superior Mutual Water Company v. The Dow Chemical Company, et al., No. CGC-18-566968, Rio Bravo-Greeley Union School District v. The Dow Chemical Company, et al., No. CGC-18-566967, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. — A municipal water district on May 31 filed a brief in a New York federal court contending that Northrop Grumman’s bill of costs in the litigation between the parties concerning contaminated groundwater should be denied in its entirety (Bethpage Water District v. Northrop Grumman Corporation, et al., No. 13-6362, E.D. N.Y.).
FORT MYERS, Fla. — The city of Fort Myers and two of its employees on May 23 moved to dismiss a putative class action lawsuit that alleges they are liable for the contamination of local groundwater with arsenic on grounds that the statute of limitation has expired and medical monitoring cannot be certified as a class claim (Deretha Miller, et al. v. Fort Myers, et al., No. 18-195, M.D. Fla.).
MILWAUKEE — A federal judge in Wisconsin on May 16 ordered several affirmative defenses asserted by the former makers of lead-based paint withdrawn in a lawsuit brought by Wisconsin residents who argue that the companies are liable for injuries they sustained from exposure to leaded paint (Glenn Burton v. American Cyanamid, et al., No. 07-0303, E.D. Wis.).