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Mealey's Toxic Torts

  • October 18, 2018

    Benzene-Related Cancer Case Removed To Federal Court In Timely Manner, Judge Says

    NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge in Louisiana on Oct. 17 ruled that a lawsuit brought by a man who alleges that his cancer was caused by exposure to benzene while working on a ship was removed to federal court in a timely manner, and the plaintiff’s motion to remand was denied (Kenneth Matte v. Mobil Exploration and Producing North America Inc., et al., No. 18-7446, E.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178388).

  • October 18, 2018

    Flint Co-Liaison Counsel: Data Order Does Not Affect Absent Class Members

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The co-liaison counsel in the litigation pertaining to the Flint water crisis on Oct. 15 filed a brief in Michigan federal court, arguing that a data collection order issued by the special master does not affect absent putative class members but portions of it should be revised regarding how it governs information collected as part of the litigation (In re Flint Water Cases [Luke Waid, et al. v. Richard D. Snyder, et al.], No. 16-10444, E.D. Mich.).

  • October 17, 2018

    10th Circuit Says Air Exclusion Is Ambiguous, Coverage Owed To Insured

    DENVER — The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 16 reversed and remanded a district court’s ruling in favor of an insurer after determining that an indoor air exclusion is ambiguous and should be construed in favor of the insured hotel seeking coverage for underlying carbon monoxide poisoning claims (Siloam Springs Hotel LLC v. Century Surety Company, No. 17-6208, 10th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 29013).

  • October 15, 2018

    Panel: Attorneys Not Entitled To Bonuses For Working On Nuclear Pollution Case

    DENVER — A panel of the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 11 ruled that a group of attorneys who worked on a nuclear pollution lawsuit were not entitled to bonuses because they could not satisfy precedent that requires them to show that they had suffered an injury that would be described as “an invasion of a legally protected interest” (Louise M. Roselle, et al. v. Berger & Montague P.C., No. 17-1328, 10th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 28627).

  • October 15, 2018

    City Of Dayton Sues Makers Of Firefighting Foam Alleging Groundwater Contamination

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — The city of Dayton, Ohio, on Oct. 3 sued the makers of aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), a chemical used in firefighting operations, in Ohio federal court seeking damages pertaining to the contamination of its public drinking water with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and/or perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) (City of Dayton v. 3M Company, et al., No. 18-331, S.D. Ohio).

  • October 15, 2018

    Special Master Calls For 6 Percent Holdback For Some Attorneys

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — A federal judge in Ohio on Oct. 3 approved a recommendation and report in the multidistrict litigation against E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. for alleged injuries connected to exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8), which calls for a 6 percent holdback for all work performed and yet to be performed by the common benefit attorneys in the case (In re:  E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio).

  • October 15, 2018

    City, Mayor Of Flint Seek Rehearing En Banc Of 6th Circuit’s Whistleblower Ruling

    CINCINNATI — The city of Flint, Mich., and its mayor, Karen Weaver, on Oct. 4 filed a petition for rehearing en banc with the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, seeking review of the split decision handed down by a panel, which ruled that a woman who became a whistleblower in the aftermath of the Flint water crisis has a valid claim for retaliation under the Michigan Whistleblowers Protection Act (WPA) (Natasha Henderson v. Flint, Mich., No. 17-2031, 6th Cir.).

  • October 15, 2018

    U.S. Supreme Court Refuses To Hear $1.15B Lead Paint Appeal From Companies

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 15 refused to hear a consolidated appeal filed by two companies that contend that a $1.15 billion award to the state of California in its lawsuit contending that the presence of lead-based paint in buildings constitutes a public nuisance is a violation of due process (ConAgra Grocery Products Company v. California, No. 18-84, Sherwin-Williams v. California, No. 18-86, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 15, 2018

    Monsanto, Cancer Victim File Proposed Orders On Possible New Glyphosate Trial

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Monsanto Co. and the cancer victim who won $289,254,882.32 in damages against it related to exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, on Oct. 12 filed proposed orders in California state court arguing their respective positions regarding whether the judge in the case should order a new trial (DeWayne Johnson v. Monsanto Company, No. CGC 16550128, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).

  • October 15, 2018

    4th Circuit Denies Rehearing En Banc Of Groundwater Case Against Electric Company

    RICHMOND, Va. — The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 10 denied an environmental group’s petition for rehearing en banc in a groundwater contamination case where a Fourth Circuit panel previously determined that an electric utility company had not violated the conditions of its discharge permit (Sierra Club v. Virginia Electric & Power Company f/k/a Dominion Virginia Power, No. 17-1895, 4th Cir.).

  • October 12, 2018

    Companies: Stay Of Aqueous Film Cases Needed Pending Ruling By JPMDL

    BOSTON — The 3M Co. and other companies that are facing a putative class action for more than $5 million in personal injuries allegedly caused by aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) on Oct. 10 filed a brief in Massachusetts federal court contending that the consolidated proceeding against them should be stayed pending a decision by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) regarding the transfer of the cases to a multidistrict litigation court (Christine Civitarese, et al. v. The 3M Company, et al., No. 18-10747; Town of Barnstable v. The 3M Company, et al., No. 16-cv-12351; County of Barnstable, Massachusetts v. The 3M Company, et al., No. 17-cv-40002; City of Westfield, Massachusetts v. The 3M Company, et al., No. 18-cv-30027, D. Mass.).

  • October 12, 2018

    Judge Dismisses Inmate’s Lead Exposure Case, Says No Evidence Was Presented

    GREENBELT, Md. — A federal judge in Maryland on Oct. 1 dismissed a lead-contamination lawsuit filed by an inmate against the correctional facility where he is incarcerated, ruling that the man provided no legitimate evidence to support his claim that the water there was tainted (Morteames James v. Thomas Wolfe, et al., No. GJH-17-3627, D. Md., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168949).

  • October 11, 2018

    Source: Judge Has Not Ordered A New Trial In $289.25M Monsanto Glyphosate Case

    SAN FRANCISCO —  A spokeswoman for the California state court judge presiding over the case of a cancer victim who won $289,254,882.32 in damages against Monsanto Co. related to exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, on Oct. 11 said that contrary to published reports, the judge has not granted the company’s motion for a new trial (DeWayne Johnson v. Monsanto Company, No. CGC 16550128, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).

  • October 11, 2018

    Parties Debate Expedited Trial In Couple’s Glyphosate Cancer Case Against Monsanto

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A California state court judge, following arguments on Oct. 9, has set a hearing for November to consider more testimony regarding whether a couple who contends that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto Co.’s herbicide Roundup, has caused them both to develop cancer should be granted an expedited trial due to their deteriorating health, the couple’s attorney said (Alva Pilliod v. Monsanto Company, No. RG17862702, Calif. Super., Alameda Co.).

  • October 11, 2018

    Judge: Lago Agrio Attorney Has Until Oct. 31 To Refute Sanctions Motion Against Him

    NEW YORK — A federal judge on Oct. 9 ordered the attorney who won an $18.5 billion judgment against Chevron Corp. in a court in Ecuador for injuries, only to have it reversed, to respond by the end of the month with regard to a motion for sanctions and possible imprisonment that was filed against him by Chevron.  The attorney, who says he is responding to the motion pro se, had requested an extension to Nov. 21 (Chevron Corporation v. Steven Donziger, No. 11-691, S.D. N.Y.).

  • October 10, 2018

    Judge: White Lead Carbonate Is Fungible; Plaintiffs’ Parental Immunity Claim Fails

    MILWAUKEE — A federal judge in Wisconsin on Oct. 9 denied plaintiffs’ motions for summary judgment on parental immunity and dismissal of the defendants’ affirmative defenses in their consolidated lawsuits against the former makers of lead-based paint but ruled that white lead carbonate (WLC) is fungible (Glenn Burton v. American Cyanamid, et al., No. 07-0303, E.D. Wis.).

  • October 9, 2018

    Carbon Monoxide Victims Say Wrongful Death, Injury Case Belongs In Delaware

    WILMINGTON, Del. — Tenants of an apartment complex who have filed lawsuits against the owner of their building in relation to deaths and injuries from exposure to carbon monoxide filed a brief in Delaware state court Oct. 5 contending that they have sufficiently stated their claims and established jurisdiction in Delaware (Samantha A. Dunfee, et al. v. KGL Holdings Riverfront LLC, No. N16C-04-108, Del. Super.).

  • October 9, 2018

    Flint Water Case Should Be Amended To Include Bodily Integrity Claim, Class Says

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The class of Flint, Mich., residents who sued numerous city and state agencies along with an engineering firm on Oct. 5 filed a brief in Michigan federal court, contending that it should be allowed to amend its complaint in light of a district court order that partially granted and partially denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss the case, so that the class can assert a bodily integrity claim against the governor (In re Flint Water Cases [Luke Waid, et al. v. Richard D. Snyder, et al.], No. 16-10444, E.D. Mich.).

  • October 8, 2018

    Parties Debate Duty And Foreseeability Of Fracking Injury Before 10th Circuit

    DENVER — The attorney for two men who were injured by the explosion of a lithium battery related to a hydraulic fracturing operation and the attorney representing the companies that operated the well debated the issue of duty and foreseeability of the risk of harm before a panel of the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 24 (Jacob McGehee, et al. v. Forest Oil Corp., et al., No. 17-6238, 10th Cir.).

  • October 4, 2018

    Monsanto Not Entitled To New Trial, Says Man Who Won $289.25M Glyphosate Award

    SAN FRANCISCO — The man who won a $289,254,882.32 jury award against Monsanto Co. for damages from repeated exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, on Oct. 1 filed two briefs in California state court, arguing that there was sufficient evidence to support the verdict and that the trial court has already rejected Monsanto’s arguments for a new trial with regard to causation (DeWayne Johnson v. Monsanto Company, No. CGC 16550128, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).