Mealey's Toxic Torts

  • January 23, 2020

    Donziger’s Attorney To Seek Disqualification Of Attorney In Criminal Proceeding

    NEW YORK — The attorney for Steven R. Donziger, the attorney who won an $18.5 billion judgment against Chevron Corp. in a court in Ecuador for injuries only to have it reversed, on Jan. 20 sent a letter to the New York federal judge presiding over the government’s criminal case against Donziger stating that he intends to move to disqualify the prosecuting law firm (United States of America v. Donziger, No. 19-561, S.D. N.Y.).

  • January 23, 2020

    Government:  Donziger Poses Flight Risk; Home Detention And Monitoring Are Valid

    NEW YORK — The U.S. government on Jan. 21 filed a brief in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals contending that a district court did not commit clear error by finding that attorney Steven R. Donziger, who won an $18.5 billion judgment against Chevron Corp. in a court in Ecuador for injuries only to have it reversed, poses a flight risk and that home detention and electronic monitoring are warranted (United States of America v. Donziger, No. 19-4155, 2nd Cir.).

  • January 22, 2020

    Panel Denies DuPont Mandamus In C8 Case, Says ‘Irreparable Damage’ Not Alleged

    CINCINNATI — A panel of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 17 denied E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co.’s petition for a writ of mandamus in the multidistrict litigation (MDL) related to injuries from perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8) contamination in groundwater, ruling that DuPont failed to allege “unusual, unreasonable, or irreparable damage” due to the MDL court’s ruling that prevented it from relitigating issues that were dealt with in three prior bellwether trials (In re:  E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C8 Personal Injury Litigation, 19-4226, 6th Cir.).

  • January 22, 2020

    Judge Denies Home Depot Dismissal Of Roundup Case Due To Improper Brief

    LOS ANGELES — A federal judge in California on Jan. 21 denied Home Depot U.S.A. Inc.’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought against the company related to the sale of the herbicide Roundup, which contains the active ingredient glyphosate.  The judge said that when Home Depot filed its brief supporting dismissal, it improperly referenced materials outside the pleadings (James Weeks v. Home Depot U.S.A. Inc., No. 19-6780, C.D. Calif.).

  • January 21, 2020

    Philadelphia School District Demands Jury Trial For Lead Poisoning Claims

    PHILADELPHIA — The School District of Philadelphia on Jan. 17 filed a demand in Pennsylvania federal court for a jury trial in a lawsuit brought by a family that contends that the district is liable for creating a public health crisis by failing to properly inspect an elementary school for toxic lead-based paint (D.P., a minor by his parents and natural guardians v. School District of Philadelphia, No. 19-5799, E.D. Pa.).

  • January 21, 2020

    U.S. High Court Refuses To Hear Immunity Case Dealing With Flint Lead Water Crisis

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 21 denied certiorari in a case brought by current and former employees of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) who contended that a lower court erred when it held that some employees and the city of Flint, Mich., are not entitled to immunity in the litigation pertaining to the lead-contaminated water crisis in that city (Stephen Busch, et al. v. Shari Guertin, et al., No. 19-350, and City of Flint, et al. v. Shari Guertin, et al., No. 19-205, U.S. Sup. [consolidated]).

  • January 17, 2020

    Monsanto Files Brief For Dismissal 2 Days Before Glyphosate Trial Set To Begin

    MARTINEZ, Calif. — Monsanto Co. filed a brief in support of summary judgment dismissal in California state court on Jan. 15, just two days before the trial was slated to begin, arguing that a woman’s glyphosate cancer lawsuit is barred by the express preemption clause in the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) (Kathleen Caballero v. Monsanto Company, et al., No. MSC19-01821, Calif. Super., Contra Costa Co.).

  • January 16, 2020

    Water Case Nixed; Judge Says Perfluorinated Chemicals Are Not Hazardous Substances

    PHILADELPHIA — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Jan. 15 ruled that perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and pefluorooctanic acid (PFOA), which are two types of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), are not hazardous substances under Pennsylvania’s Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act (HSCA); therefore, the U.S. Department of the Navy is not liable for remediation of local residents’ groundwater contamination (Kristen Giovanni, et al. v. U.S. Department of the Navy, No. 16-4873, Dorothy Palmer, et al. v. U.S. Department of the Navy, No. 17-765, E.D. Pa.).

  • January 17, 2020

    Michigan Employees:  High Court Should Review ‘Erroneous’ Flint Water Crisis Ruling

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Current and former employees of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) on Jan. 7 filed a reply brief in the U.S. Supreme Court contending that a lower court’s “erroneous” ruling impacts many cases involving the Flint water crisis and that the residents who opposed certiorari “offer no compelling reason why this case should not be reviewed now” (Stephen Busch, et al. v. Shari Guertin, et al., No. 19-350, U.S. Sup.).

  • January 17, 2020

    Donziger:  Home Confinement Is ‘Oppressive And Abusive’; No Flight Risk Posed

    NEW YORK — Steven R. Donziger, the attorney who won an $18.5 billion judgment against Chevron Corp. in a court in Ecuador for injuries only to have it reversed, on Jan. 9 filed an application in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals seeking the elimination of his home confinement and an expedited hearing, contending that he presents “absolutely no risk of flight” (United States of America v. Donziger, No. 19-4155, 2nd Cir.).

  • January 17, 2020

    Cancer Victim Says Monsanto Fraudulently Marketed Its Herbicide Roundup

    BROOKLYN, N.Y. — A cancer victim on Dec. 30 sued Monsanto Co. in New York federal court contending that its fraudulent marketing of the herbicide Roundup, which contains the active ingredient glyphosate, is responsible for his injury (Brian Short v. Monsanto Co., No. 19-7286, E.D. N.Y.).

  • January 16, 2020

    Groups:  Plastics Facility Will Contaminate Groundwater; Permits Approved Wrongly

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and other environmental groups sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in District of Columbia District Court on Jan. 15 seeking declaratory and injunctive relief related to the Corps’ decision to issue federal permits for the construction of a plastics facility in Louisiana, contending that it will damage groundwater and have other detrimental effects on the environment (Center for Biological Diversity, et al v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, et al., No. 20-103, D. D.C.).

  • January 15, 2020

    Michigan Seeks Damages From 3M, DuPont And Others For PFAS Chemical Contamination

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The Michigan attorney general on Jan. 14 sued 3M Co., E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. and others in state court, seeking punitive damages to “hold some of the largest chemical companies in the world accountable for their culpable conduct” related to contamination from perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) substances throughout the state (Attorney General Dana Nessel v. 3M Company, et al., No. N/A, Mich. Cir., 22nd Cir., Washtenaw Co.).

  • January 15, 2020

    C8 Plaintiffs: Evidence Of DuPont’s Prior Settlement Payments Should Be Precluded

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Two plaintiffs in the multidistrict litigation against E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. for injuries related to perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8) on Jan. 13 moved in Ohio federal court to preclude the admission of evidence related to DuPont’s settlement payments to other plaintiffs (In re: E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio).

  • January 14, 2020

    Couple: Class Certification Required In Groundwater Case Tied To Chicken Plant

    GEORGETOWN, Del. — A Delaware couple on Jan. 13 filed a brief in state court contending that it should certify a class of plaintiffs who have sued a chicken processing plant that the couple says has contaminated the local groundwater with wastewater (Gary and Anna-Marie Cuppels, et al. v. Mountaire Corporation, et al., No. S18C-06-009 ESB, Del. Super., Sussex Co.).

  • January 14, 2020

    Cancer Victim Sues Monsanto, Seeks Damages For Roundup Exposure

    SAN FRANCISCO — A Minnesota man sued Monsanto Co. on Jan. 13 in the Roundup Products Liability multidistrict litigation in California federal court, seeking damages for negligent and wrongful conduct related to the company’s promotion and marketing of the herbicide Roundup, which contains the active ingredient glyphosate (In re:  Roundup Products Liability Litigation [David Bayerl v. Monsanto Co.], MDL No. 2741, No. 20-270, N.D. Calif.).

  • January 14, 2020

    House Of Representatives Passes Bill Setting Standards For PFAS Chemicals

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. House of Representatives on Jan. 10 voted 247-159 in favor of a measure that would require perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) substances to be listed as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA).

  • January 13, 2020

    Parties In Lead Paint Case Move Jointly For Extension; Possible Settlement Pending

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A lead-paint poisoning plaintiff on Jan. 9 moved jointly with the city of New Haven in Connecticut state court seeking an extension of time for the plaintiff to reply to the city’s motion to dismiss in order to review the case and explore the possibility of a settlement (Nichelle Hobby, et al. v. City of New Haven, No. NHH-CV-19-5003875-S, Conn. Super., New Haven Jud. Dist.).

  • January 12, 2020

    Insurer Owes Coverage For Lead Paint Dust Contamination, Illinois Panel Says

    CHICAGO — A trial court erred in granting judgment in favor of a commercial general liability insurer because an underlying complaint filed against the insured seeking damages for lead paint dust contamination alleges an occurrence and constitutes property damage for which coverage is afforded, the an Illinois appellate panel said Dec. 31 (Owners Insurance Co. v. Precision Painting & Decorating Corp., No. 1-19-0926,  Ill. App., 1st Dist., Div. 3, 2019 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2425).

  • January 06, 2020

    Judge Orders Jurisdictional Discovery In Groundwater Contamination Case

    ALBANY, N.Y. — A federal judge in New York on Jan. 2 ordered jurisdictional discovery in a consolidated groundwater lawsuit related to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) contamination, ruling that although the district court lacked general or alter-ego jurisdiction, Saint-Gobain Corp. may be subject to personal jurisdiction (In re:  Hoosick Falls PFOA Cases, No. 19-220, N.D. N.Y.).