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Mealey's Toxic Torts

  • December 17, 2018

    Plaintiffs: Utility Company Has Not Met Burden For Dismissal Of Groundwater Case

    SAN FRANCISCO — Plaintiffs who allege that the Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PGE) has contaminated local groundwater filed a brief in California federal court on Dec. 12 contending that PGE has not met its burden to show that the plaintiffs’ claims are moot and, therefore, the case should not be dismissed (San Francisco Herring Association, et al. v. Pacific Gas & Electric Company, No. 14-04393, N.D. Calif.).

  • December 17, 2018

    Judge: Agent Orange Ruling ‘Appears To Run Afoul’ Of Precedent; Remand Appropriate

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on Dec. 14 remanded a ruling by the Board of Veterans Appeals that denied a veteran’s claim for benefits related to his Agent Orange exposure, concluding that the board’s decision “appears to conflate” some requirements needed to prove the claim is valid and the decision “appears to run afoul” of precedent (John A. Herrera v. Robert L. Wilkie, No. 17-4087, U.S. App., Vet. Clms., 2018 U.S. App. Vet. Claims LEXIS 1659).

  • December 17, 2018

    Class: ‘Abnormally Dangerous Activity’ Of DuPont, Others Tainted Groundwater

    ALBANY, N.Y. — A putative class of residents on Dec. 10 filed an amended master consolidated class action complaint in New York federal court to add E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. to the list of companies the plaintiffs allege have contaminated local groundwater supplies with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) (Michele Baker, et al. v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., et al., No. 16-917, N.D. N.Y.).

  • December 17, 2018

    Donziger’s Tax Accountant Should Be Compelled To Produce Records, Chevron Says

    NEW YORK — Chevron Corp. on Dec. 3 moved in New York federal court to compel the tax accountant for Steven Donziger, the attorney who won an $18.5 billion judgment against Chevron in a court in Ecuador for injuries only to have it reversed, to produce Donziger’s tax records (Chevron Corporation v. Steven Donziger, No. 11-691, S.D. N.Y.).

  • December 14, 2018

    Monsanto: Glyphosate Case Was Properly Transferred To MDL, Should Stay There

    SAN FRANCISCO — Monsanto Co. on Dec. 13 filed a brief in California federal court opposing a motion by plaintiffs who sought to vacate a transfer order that sent a man’s glyphosate cancer case to the multidistrict litigation for Roundup Products Liability, contending that the plaintiffs cannot dispute that the case in question shares common issues of fact with the cases that have already been included in the MDL (In re:  Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2741, N.D. Calif.).

  • December 14, 2018

    Judge Denies Widow’s Benefits Appeal; Veteran Did Not Prove Agent Orange Exposure

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on Dec. 11 affirmed a decision by the Board of Veterans Appeals that denied a claim for benefits made by the widow of a veteran who contended that he was injured by exposure to Agent Orange (Sandra Huffines v. Robert L. Wilkie, No. 17-2848, U.S. App., Vet. Clms., 2018 U.S. App. Vet. Claims LEXIS 1643).

  • December 14, 2018

    Motion To Disqualify Counsel In Groundwater Case Should Be Denied, Companies Say

    GREENVILLE, Miss. — The companies being sued for groundwater contamination as a result of chemicals released from their manufacturing plants on Nov. 28 filed a brief in Mississippi federal court contending that the court should deny the plaintiffs’ motion to disqualify the defendants’ counsel because the plaintiffs make “misleading and irrelevant allegations” (Joe E. Sledge, et al. v. Meritor Inc., et al., No. 16-CV-053, N.D. Miss.).

  • December 14, 2018

    DuPont: Plaintiffs’ Expert’s Opinions ‘Unreliable’ And Should Be Excluded

    MILWAUKEE — E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. on Dec. 4 filed a brief in Wisconsin federal court contending that the expert relied upon by plaintiffs who have sued the former makers of lead-based paint alleging injuries provides opinions that are “unreliable and irrelevant, and should therefore be excluded” (Glenn Burton v. American Cyanamid, et al., No. 07-0303, E.D. Wis.).

  • December 13, 2018

    Judge: Most Of Rhode Island’s MTBE Claims Against Oil Companies Sufficiently Pleaded

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A federal judge in Rhode Island on Dec. 11 partially granted and partially denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the state of Rhode Island against oil and chemical companies it contends are liable for groundwater contamination from methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), ruling that the state had plausibly pleaded the majority of its claims (State of Rhode Island v. Atlantic Richfield Co., No. 17-204, D. R.I., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 208452).

  • December 11, 2018

    JPMDL Sends Some Aqueous Film Foam Cases To MDL In South Carolina; Others Stay Put

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on Dec. 7 issued a transfer order that sends some cases alleging injuries from aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) to the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina but leaves some cases in the federal courts where they were originally filed (In re:  Aqueous Film Forming Foams Products Liability Litigation, No. 2873, JPMDL).

  • December 11, 2018

    Man Sues Kellogg Co., Says 2 Of Its Cereal Products Contain Glyphosate

    SAN DIEGO — A man who contends that two of Kellogg Co.’s cereal products are contaminated with glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, on Dec. 7 filed a putative class action complaint against the company in California federal court, arguing that the company engages in “false, deceptive, or, at a minimum, misleading half-truths” when it promotes the health benefits of these products (Mason Kein v. Kellogg Co., No. 18-2759, S.D. Calif.).

  • December 3, 2018

    U.S. High Court Invites Solicitor General To File Brief In Groundwater Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 3 invited the U.S. solicitor general to file a brief in a groundwater contamination lawsuit in which a pipeline company argues that a lower court wrongly ruled that the Clean Water Act (CWA) applies not only to the discharge of pollutants into navigable water but also to the discharge of pollutants into soil and groundwater. The court has not yet granted certiorari (Kinder Morgan Energy, et al. v. Upstate Forever, et al., No. 18-268, U.S. Sup.).

  • December 3, 2018

    Cancer Victim Not Entitled To Expedited Glyphosate Trial, Monsanto Says

    SAN FRANCISCO — Monsanto Co. on Nov. 30 filed a brief in California federal court, contending that a man who claims that his cancer prognosis gives him only six months to live should not be granted an expedited trial in his lawsuit claiming that Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, which contains the active ingredient glyphosate, caused his illness (In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2741, N.D. Calif.).

  • December 3, 2018

    Judge Orders Conference To Deal With Discovery Disputes In Lago Agrio Litigation

    NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on Nov. 29 ordered Chevron Corp. and Steven Donziger, the attorney who won an $18.5 billion judgment against Chevron in a court in Ecuador for injuries only to have it reversed, to appear in district court for conference on what is called a forensic protocol in an effort to resolve discovery disputes between the parties (Chevron Corporation v. Steven Donziger, No. 11-691, S.D. N.Y.).

  • November 30, 2018

    Panel: Statute Of Limitations Bars MTBE Groundwater Contamination Claim

    LANSING, Mich. — A panel of the Michigan Court of Appeals on Nov. 29 affirmed a trial court’s dismissal of a groundwater contamination lawsuit filed by a woman who contended that her well had been tainted with methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), ruling that the statute of limitations had run on her claim (Christine Robinson v. MT Clark Inc., et al., No. 339926, Mich. App., 2018 Mich. App. LEXIS 3586).

  • November 30, 2018

    Some Flint Plaintiffs Seek Remand Of Civil Rights Claims In Water Crisis Case

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Some of the residents that sued the state of Michigan, its governor, state employees and officials in the city of Flint for the lead-contaminated water crisis in that city filed a brief on Nov. 14, arguing that their civil rights claims should be remanded to state court because those claims were severed from the other issues raised in the lawsuit that has been consolidated with other cases pertaining to the water crisis (In re Flint Water Cases [Luke Waid, et al. v. Richard D. Snyder, et al.], No. 16-10444, E.D. Mich.).

  • November 30, 2018

    Panel Ponders MDL For Aqueous Film Forming Foam Cases; State Of New York Opposes

    NEW YORK — The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on Nov. 29 held a hearing to determine whether to create a multidistrict litigation for groundwater and injury claims pertaining to a firefighting chemical called aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), with the state of New York arguing that while it opposes an MDL, if one is created the venue should be one of the New York federal courts (In re: Aqueous Film Forming Foams Product Liability Litigation, No. 2873, JPMDL).

  • November 30, 2018

    Utility Company Seeks Costs Following Circuit Court’s Refusal To Rehear Case

    NORFOLK, Va. — An electric utility company on Nov. 13 filed a brief in Virginia federal court arguing that it is entitled to an award of costs following a decision by a federal appellate court that denied an environmental group’s petition for rehearing en banc in a groundwater contamination case that was based on an allegation that the company had violated the conditions of its discharge permit (Sierra Club v. Virginia Electric & Power Company f/k/a Dominion Virginia Power, No. 15-112, E.D. Va.).

  • November 29, 2018

    Plaintiffs Allege Exposure To Monsanto’s Chemical Glyphosate Caused Their Cancers

    ST. LOUIS — A California man sued Monsanto Co. in Missouri federal court on Nov. 28, contending that his exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the company’s herbicide Roundup, caused him to develop cancer.  Five other lawsuits asserting similar causes of action were filed in the same court (Arthur Capo v. Monsanto Company., No. 18-1990, E.D. Mo.).

  • November 29, 2018

    Judge Dismisses Federal Claims In Lead Action Brought By Housing Complex Residents

    HAMMOND, Ind. — A federal judge in Indiana on Nov. 27 dismissed federal due process claims brought by residents of a housing complex who contended that a city and paint companies were liable for lead hazards, but the judge declined to rule on state law causes of action (Lashawnda Walker v. East Chicago, Ind., et al., No. 16-367, N.D. Ind., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 201180).