Mealey's Toxic Torts

  • February 26, 2021

    New York Town:  3M, DuPont Liable For PFAS Pollution Of Drinking Water

    BROOKLYN, N.Y. — The Town of Riverhead, N.Y., on Feb. 25 sued 3M Co., E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co and a DuPont spinoff company in New York federal court to recover the costs it has incurred to restore its drinking water supply, which has been contaminated by per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) (Town of Riverhead v. The 3M Co., et al., No. 21-1034, E.D. N.Y.).

  • February 26, 2021

    Group:  Agency’s Fracking Permit Approvals Often Violate Environmental Law

    OAKLAND, Calif. — An environmental group on Feb. 24 sued a state agency that grants permits for hydraulic fracturing and other oil and gas exploration activities in California state court, contending that it often approves drilling operations without the proper environmental review required under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), which harms groundwater as well as the climate.

  • February 26, 2021

    Whistleblower Protection Group Calls For Probe Of EPA’s Downgrading Of Chemical

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) on Feb. 25 sent a letter to the inspector general of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency calling for an investigation of false and misleading statements, as well as other failures by senior EPA officials in their human health risk assessment of the chemical 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D).

  • February 25, 2021

    Former Michigan Gov. Snyder: Flint Lawsuit For Neglect Filed In The Wrong Venue

    FLINT, Mich. — Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder on Feb. 21 filed a reply brief in Michigan state court in support of his motion to quash the indictment against him for willful neglect of duty related to the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint for lack of jurisdiction, arguing that the case was filed in the wrong venue.

  • February 23, 2021

    Insurers Contend Coverage Is Barred For Underlying Contaminated Water Suit

    CHICAGO — No coverage is owed to an insured city for an underlying suit filed by city residents who allege that the city supplied contaminated water to its residents because the policies’ exclusions for lead and pollution bar coverage, two insurers maintain in a Feb. 18 complaint filed in Illinois state court.

  • February 23, 2021

    EPA Lists 29 PFAS Chemicals For Monitoring In Public Water Supplies

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Feb. 22 released a pre-publication version of its Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 5) for Public Water Systems, which proposes a rule requiring public water systems serving 3,300 or more people to monitor the presence of 29 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and lithium in drinking water supplies.

  • February 22, 2021

    Plaintiffs: Opposition To Medical Expert’s Report Lacks A ‘Rational Basis’

    ALBANY, N.Y. — A putative class of residents on Feb. 18 filed a brief in New York federal court contending that the report of their now-deceased medical expert is valid for deciding whether to certify the class and that the defendants who oppose the report on grounds that they did not get a chance to depose the doctor prior to his death lack a “rational basis” for their opposition.

  • February 22, 2021

    Judge: Biden Administration’s Delay Request Related To NEPA Case Not ‘Appropriate’

    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — A federal judge in Virginia on Feb. 19 denied the Council for Environmental Quality (CEQ) a 60-day delay in a lawsuit brought by groups challenging the implementation of an update to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), ruling that although the Biden administration says it needs time to evaluate the decision to change NEPA made by the Trump administration in 2020, delaying the litigation “would not be appropriate.”

  • February 19, 2021

    Parties Officially Settle Water Pollution Case At Beach Club For $234,000

    BOSTON — A beach club and an environmental group on Cape Cod, Mass., on Feb. 18 officially entered into a consent decree for $234,000 to settle claims of groundwater pollution related to the club’s practice of open dumping in violation of federal law.

  • February 19, 2021

    Couple:  Manufacturers Liable For Injuries, Cancer From Benzene Exposure

    GALVESTON, Texas — A couple on Feb. 12 filed an amended complaint in Texas federal court against multiple companies they say are liable for the husband’s injuries, including cancer, from benzene exposure while he worked as a professional mechanic at a car dealership.

  • February 19, 2021

    Renewed Motion To Preliminarily Approve PCB Settlement Denied

    LOS ANGELES — A federal judge in California on Feb. 18 denied without prejudice a renewed motion for preliminary approval of a class action settlement for municipalities claiming that Monsanto Co. and other makers of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are liable for groundwater contamination and allowed the parties to file another renewed motion by March 19.

  • February 18, 2021

    Judge: Appeal Of Jurisdiction Orders Fails; Company Misinterpreted Law

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — A federal judge in Ohio on Feb. 17 denied a company’s petition to appeal a jurisdictional order to the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a chemical exposure case related to aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), concluding that the company misinterpreted the law upon which it relied with regard to what constitutes a difference of opinion within the circuit.

  • February 18, 2021

    Injury Case For Lithium Burns From Exploding Batteries Valid, Plaintiffs Say

    ATLANTA — Two plaintiffs suing a lithium battery maker for injuries allegedly caused when batteries exploded in their ecigarette devices and burned them on Feb. 17 filed a joint reply brief in the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, contending that Georgia law does not require them to be in privity to the manufacturer to pursue a product liability action against it.

  • February 18, 2021

    Judge Awards More Than $1.17M For Damages From Inhalation Of Hydrogen Sulfide

    PHOENIX — A federal judge in Arizona on Feb. 16 awarded a couple a combined $1,171,188 for injuries from chemical inhalation at an industrial wastewater facility the husband was exposed to hydrogen sulfide (H2S) due to a technician’s error.

  • February 18, 2021

    Home Renovations Companies Settle EPA Lead Paint Violations For $278,037

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Feb. 16 announced that it has reached a $278,037 settlement with two Texas companies that are affiliated with a home remodeling television program over violations of federal law regarding lead paint exposure during renovations.

  • February 17, 2021

    Widow Sues Monsanto For Wrongful Death, Concealment Related To Roundup

    ST. LOUIS — A widow on Feb. 16 sued Monsanto Co. in Missouri federal court contending that her husband’s death from cancer was “a direct and proximate result” of Monsanto’s “negligent and wrongful conduct” related to its manufacturing and selling the herbicide Roundup, which contains the active ingredient glyphosate.

  • February 16, 2021

    Briefly: Sierra Club Dismisses Pipeline Case Voluntarily

    AUSTIN, Texas — The Sierra Club on Feb. 11 filed a stipulation in Texas federal court in which it voluntarily dismissed its lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers related to the construction of a pipeline to carry hydraulically fractured natural gas.  The Sierra Club, which had contended that the pipeline would taint the local aquifer, did not elaborate on its reason for dismissing the case.

  • February 16, 2021

    Company: Many Entities Liable For PFAS Pollution; DuPont Spinoff Fraudulent

    CARLISLE, Pa. — A water company in Pennsylvania on Feb. 11 sued The 3M Co. and other chemical manufacturers in state court contending that they are liable for contaminating the local water supply with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and that the liability transfer between E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. and its spinoff company The Chemours Co. was fraudulent under state law.

  • February 11, 2021

    Study:  Exposure To Glyphosate Appears To Inhibit The Gut Microbiome

    DURHAM, N.C. — In a study published in the journal “Environmental Health Perspectives” on Jan. 27, researchers conclude that exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, and exposure to the European Union herbicide formulation known as Roundup MON 52276, suggests inhibition of the gut microbiome.

  • February 11, 2021

    Putative Class:  Companies Concealed Presence Of Toxins In Baby Foods

    CHICAGO — A putative class of plaintiffs on Feb. 8 sued Gerber Products Co. and another party in Illinois federal court contending that they may have known that their baby food products contained elevated levels of toxic heavy metals yet still promoted the food as safe.