Mealey's Toxic Torts

  • July 21, 2017

    Judge: Company’s Counterclaims Fail In Groundwater Dispute

    PHILADELPHIA — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on July 11 ruled that a metal electroplating company’s counterclaims for fraudulent inducement and breach of contract against the holding company that sued it for groundwater contamination failed because the electroplating company failed to state a claim (Atlantic Holdings Ltd. v. Apollo Metals Ltd., No. 16-6247, E.D. Pa.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106679).

  • July 21, 2017

    Groups: EPA Should Be Ordered To Respond To Petition Regarding Permit Opposition

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A collection of environmental advocacy groups on July 20 filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt pursuant to the Clean Air Act (CAA), 42 U.S.C. § 7401 et seq., contending that the agency should be ordered to reply to the groups’ petition concerning Texas refinery permits (Environmental Integrity Project, et al. v. Scott Pruitt, No. 17-1439, D. D.C.).

  • July 20, 2017

    24 Arizona Residents Sue Monsanto, Allege They Got Cancer From Glyphosate

    PHOENIX — An Arizona man filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona on July 19 against Monsanto Co., alleging that its herbicide Roundup, which contains the chemical glyphosate, caused him to develop cancer.  The case is one of 24 cancer cases filed by the same attorney against the company in the District Court (Dean T. Enomoto v. Monsanto Company, 17-2390, D. Ariz.).

  • July 20, 2017

    Decatur, Ala.: Group Lacks Standing To Bring Groundwater Lawsuit

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The city of Decatur, Ala., on July 7 filed an answer in Alabama federal court arguing that the environmental group that has sued it and 3M Co. lacks standing to bring the lawsuit under the citizen suit provision of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), 42 U.S.C. § 6901 et seq. (Tennessee Riverkeeper Inc. v. 3M Company, et al., No. 16-1029, N.D. Ala.).

  • July 20, 2017

    Michigan Governor, Officials: 11th Amendment Immunity Bars Flint Water Claims

    DETROIT —Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and a group of state employees on June 29 file a reply brief in Michigan federal court contending that one of the lawsuits filed against them alleging liability for the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich., should be dismissed because they have immunity (Myia McMillian, et al. v. Governor Richard D. Snyder, et al., No. 16-10796, E.D. Mich.).

  • July 19, 2017

    Flint Water Defendants: Motion To Certify Appeal As ‘Frivolous’ Should Be Stricken

    DETROIT — A group of defendants affiliated with the city of Flint, Mich., on July 18 filed a brief in Michigan federal court contending that a motion to certify their appeal of a district court ruling as “frivolous,” which was filed by city residents in a lead-contaminated drinking water lawsuit, should be stricken because it was improperly filed (Shari Guertin, et al. v. State of Michigan, et al., No. 16-12412, E.D. Mich.).

  • July 19, 2017

    9th Circuit Refuses To Force EPA To Revoke Food Tolerance For Chlorpyifos

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 18 denied a motion for writ of mandamus sought by two environmental groups that want the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to revoke all food tolerances for, and cancel the registration of, a pesticide chlorpyifos (In re:  Pesticide Action Network North America, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 14-72794, 9th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 12871).

  • July 18, 2017

    Railway Company: Residents’ Chemical Injury Case Fails For Lack Of Injury Evidence

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn.  — CSX Transportation Inc. on July 17 filed a brief in Tennessee federal court arguing that a chemical injury lawsuit brought against it by a purported class of residents should be dismissed because the claims are “barred by the economic loss doctrine” and the plaintiffs “have no evidence of physical injury” (Charles Tipton, et al. v. CSX Transportation Inc., et al., No. 15-311, E.D. Tenn.).

  • July 13, 2017

    2nd Circuit Denies Companies’ Motion For Rehearing In MTBE Litigation

    NEW YORK — A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 11 denied a motion filed by oil companies seeking a rehearing regarding a June 12 ruling in which the appeals court reversed a summary judgment ruling in favor of the companies on the ground that a lawsuit brought by the Orange County Water District (OCWD) was not barred by the doctrine of res judicata (In Re:  Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether Products Liability Litigation: Orange County Water District v. Texaco Refining and Marketing Inc. n/k/a TMR Company, No. 15-3934, 2nd Cir.).

  • July 11, 2017

    Judge Dismisses Monsanto’s Amended Counterclaims Seeking Cost Recovery

    SPOKANE, Wash. — A federal judge in Washington on July 10 dismissed amended counterclaims asserted by Monsanto Co., Pharmacia Corp. and Solutia Inc. (collectively, Monsanto) seeking cost recovery from the city of Spokane for polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination in the Spokane River, finding that the new allegations did not remedy the deficiencies in the original counterclaims (City of Spokane v. Monsanto Company, et al., No. 15-CV-00201-SMJ, E.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106136).

  • June 30, 2017

    3rd Circuit Approves Class Settlement In Chrome 6 Contamination Case

    PHILADELPHIA — A panel of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 29 affirmed a lower court’s approval of a $10,017,000 class action settlement involving property contamination by hexavalent chromium from two industrial sites in New Jersey, but it remanded the case for a reconsideration of litigation costs pursuant to federal rules of procedure (Mattie Halley, et al. v. Honeywell International Inc., et al., No. 16-2712, 3rd Cir.; 2017 U.S. App LEXIS 11594).

  • June 30, 2017

    Expert ‘Unreliable,’ Should Be Excluded From Groundwater Case, NL Industries Says

    TRENTON, N.J. — NL Industries Inc. on June 20 filed a brief in New Jersey federal court seeking to exclude an expert for the plaintiffs who sued the company for allegedly contaminating the local groundwater, contending that the expert’s opinion is “unreliable” (Raritan Baykeeper Inc., et al. v. NL Industries Inc., et al., No. 09-4117, D. N.J.).

  • June 30, 2017

    Company Says It Should Be Permitted To Amend Motion To Dismiss Flint Water Case

    DETROIT — A company that was sued by Michigan residents who contend that it shares liability for the lead-contaminated drinking water crisis in Flint, Mich., on June 15 filed a brief in Michigan federal court, contending that it should be permitted leave to file an amended motion to dismiss the residents’ class action (Frances Gilcreast, et al. v. Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, No. 16-11173, E.D. Mich.).

  • June 29, 2017

    Man Sues Fracking Companies Alleging Fraud, Liability For Chemical Injuries

    DENVER — A Colorado man on May 25 filed an amended complaint in Colorado federal court alleging that Halliburton Energy Services Inc. (HESI) is liable for chemical injuries he sustained while working on a hydraulic fracturing site (Jeylan Abdulkadir v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., et al., No. 16-281, D. Colo.).

  • June 29, 2017

    Companies Say They Owe No Duty To Workers In Lithium Battery Injury Lawsuit

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A hydraulic fracturing company and a drilling company sued in connection with injuries suffered by two workers when a lithium battery exploded during a fracking operation filed a brief on June 5 in which they argue that the case against them should be dismissed because they owe no duty to the plaintiffs for the failure of the fracking tool that allegedly caused their injuries (Jacob McGehee, et al. v. Southwest Electronic Energy Corporation, et al. and Southwest Electronic Energy Corporation v. Engineered Power LP, et al., No. 15-145, W.D. Okla.).

  • June 28, 2017

    Federal, State Agencies Sue Company For Emissions Of Volatile Organic Compounds

    DENVER — The U.S. government and the state of Colorado filed a lawsuit in Colorado federal court on June 26, alleging that a power company is in violation the Clean Air Act (CAA), 42 U.S.C. § 7401, and other statutes with regard to the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) (United States of America, et al. v. PDC Energy, Inc., No. 17-1552, D. Colo.).

  • June 28, 2017

    Companies Seek Rehearing Of MTBE Ruling In 2nd Circuit, Say Reversal Was Incorrect

    NEW YORK — A group of oil and gasoline companies on June 26 filed a petition in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals seeking rehearing of a case in the multidistrict litigation for methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), arguing that a lower court’s res judicata ruling was appropriate and that privity had been established between two California state agencies (In Re:  Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether Products Liability Litigation: Orange County Water District v. Texaco Refining and Marketing Inc. n/ka TMR Company, No. 15-3934, 2nd Cir.).

  • June 28, 2017

    Groups: Trump Executive Order Rescinding Federal Regulations Violates Constitution

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Organizations that oppose President Donald J. Trump’s executive order that a government agency may issue a new regulation only if it rescinds at least two existing regulations on June 26 filed a brief in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia arguing that the order — which would affect rules governing exposure to toxic substances — “offends the separation of powers by usurping the constitutional lawmaking power assigned to Congress and violates the president’s unambiguous duty to ‘take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,’” pursuant to the Constitution (Public Citizen, Inc. v. Donald Trump, No. 17-253, D. D.C.).

  • June 27, 2017

    California High Court Refuses Review; State May List Glyphosate As A Carcinogen

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Supreme Court on June 22 denied review of a case in which Monsanto Co. sought to prevent the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) from adding glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, to the state’s list of chemicals that cause cancer (Monsanto Company v. Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, No. S242595, Calif. Sup.; 2017 Cal. LEXIS 4696).

  • June 23, 2017

    9th Circuit: Japanese Nuclear Reactor Radiation Case May Proceed In U.S. Court

    SAN FRANCISCO — A panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 22 ruled that a radiation exposure lawsuit brought by U.S. Navy sailors who assisted in relief efforts when the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP) melted down in Japan could proceed in a U.S. court, despite the company’s argument to the contrary (Lindsay R. Cooper, et al. v. Tokyo Electric Power Company, et al., No. 15-56424, 9th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 11075).