NEW YORK — Environmental groups and individuals who are challenging a rule by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that allows for the continued commercial use of methylene chloride filed a brief in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 16, contending that the chemical is lethal and should be banned (Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 19-1042, 2nd Cir.).
ST. LOUIS — An Indiana cancer victim on Oct. 15 sued Monsanto Co. in a Missouri federal court contending that its deception regarding the danger posed by glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, makes the company liable for his injury (William Campbell v. Monsanto Company, No. 19-2777, E.D. Mo.).
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — A federal judge in New Mexico on Oct. 15 referred a glyphosate lawsuit against Monsanto Co. filed the same day to a magistrate judge to conduct dispositive proceedings in a case in which a woman contends that Monsanto is liable for the wrongful death of her husband, who suffered from cancer. The reference to the magistrate judge was communicated via a note on the docket, not in a separate order (Pamela Hays Davis v. Monsanto Company, No. 19-970, D. N.M.).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Lowe’s Home Centers LLC in an Oct. 4 answer tells a Florida federal court that it has not violated any laws by selling the herbicide Roundup, which contains the ingredient glyphosate, and it denies that glyphosate-containing products cause cancer (Yvette Helen Biddle v. Lowe’s Home Centers LLC, No. 19-81251, S.D. Fla.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Oct. 10 announced a proposal to update the agency’s Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) to protect drinking water supplies by strengthening drinking water treatment by requiring corrosion control measures by water suppliers and replacing lead service lines, among other things.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A group of Flint, Mich., residents on Oct. 2 filed a short-form complaint against numerous state and local officials as part of the ongoing litigation pertaining to the lead-contaminated water crisis in that city. In the new complaint, the plaintiffs argue that the defendants are liable for personal injury and other damages (Tyquan Langston Jr. v. Gov. Rick Snyder, et al. [In re Flint Water Cases], No. 19-12878, No. 16-10444, E.D. Mich.).
SAN FRANCISCO — Monsanto Co. on Sept. 30 filed a brief in California appellate court contending that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has determined that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, is not likely to cause cancer and, therefore, Roundup would be “misbranded” if it included a cancer warning (DeWayne Johnson v. Monsanto Company, Nos. A155940 and A156706, Calif. App, 1st Dist.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A groundskeeper whose $289 million award against Monsanto Co. was ultimately reduced to $78 million in his glyphosate cancer lawsuit filed a brief on Sept. 30 in a California appeals court contending that the court should disregard the attempts of various amici curiae to “inappropriately inject” new arguments and issues into the appeal (DeWayne Johnson v. Monsanto Company, Nos. A155940 and A156706, Calif. App., 1st Dist.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Current and former employees of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) on Sept. 17 filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that it should grant their appeal of a divided appellate court ruling that denied rehearing of a decision that held that the employees were not entitled to immunity in the Flint, Mich., lead-contaminated water crisis litigation (Stephen Busch, et al. v. Shari Guertin, et al., No. 19-350, U.S. Sup.).
CHARLESTON, S.C. — A charity and a water supplier on Oct. 4 moved in South Carolina federal court for permission to amend their complaint against the United States related to groundwater contamination from aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) to add claims against new parties including the 3M Co., Tyco Fire Products LP and others (Security Water District, et al. v. United States of America [In re: Aqueous Film Forming Foam], No. 19-2187, MDL 18-2873, D. S.C.).
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Plaintiffs in the multidistrict litigation related to perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8) on Oct. 8 filed a brief in Ohio federal court contending that the deposition of one particular witness should be stricken because E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. acted in bad faith and violated two district court orders (In re: E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio).
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York presiding over the civil contempt case of Steven R. Donziger, the attorney who won an $18.5 billion judgment against the company in a court in Ecuador for injuries only to have it reversed, on Oct. 8 ordered Donziger’s passports to be delivered to the court clerk pending a determination that he has “purged himself of his civil contempt” outlined in the forensic protocol issued in the case (Chevron Corporation v. Steven Donziger, No. 11-691, S.D. N.Y.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. on Oct. 4 filed a brief in Delaware federal court contending that a complaint filed against it alleging injuries from exposure to perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) should be dismissed because it fails to state claim and Delaware law does not recognize the causes of action asserted by the plaintiffs (Doris Banks, et al. v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Company, et al., No. 19-1672, D. Del.).
SAN FRANCISCO — The circuit mediator for the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 4 released from the mediation program two glyphosate cases against Monsanto Co. in which a cancer victim is appealing a district court judge’s reduction of his original damages award against the company. Monsanto is cross-appealing the district court’s denial of its motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) (Edwin Hardeman v. Monsanto Company, No. 19-16636, 9th Cir.).
ST. LOUIS — A state court judge in Missouri on Oct. 4 postponed indefinitely a cancer victim’s lawsuit against Monsanto Co. related to the herbicide Roundup, which contains the active ingredient glyphosate (Walter Winston v. Monsanto Company, No. 1822-CC00515, Mo. Cir., St. Louis City).
PITTSBURGH — A federal magistrate judge in Pennsylvania on Oct. 2 denied PPG Industries Inc.’s motion to reconsider a May 22 ruling that held that a claim for injunctive relief sought by two environmental groups under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) is not futile, finding that the groups presented sufficient expert evidence to show that the plan will reduce the dangers posed by contamination at a site owned by the company (PennEnvironment, et al. v. PPG Industries Inc., et al., No. 12-342, W.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 183752).
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A federal judge in Ohio on Sept. 30 denied motions to dismiss a complaint filed by a firefighter who claims that he has been injured as a result of exposure to aqueous film forming foams (AFFF) used to fight chemical fires, which contain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The judge said the plaintiffs established jurisdiction (Kevin Hardwick v. 3M Company, et al., No. 18-1185, S.D. Ohio, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169322).
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Some former employees of the city of Flint, Mich., on Sept. 27 filed a joint motion for a protective order in Michigan federal court, contending that it should temporarily postpone a plan to take their depositions in the lead-contaminated water crisis litigation because taking such discovery would adversely affect other litigation pending against them (In re Flint Water Cases, No. 16-10444, E.D. Mich.).
MILWAUKEE — A federal judge in Wisconsin on Sept. 19 denied motions for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) filed by companies that formerly made lead-based paint that sought to overturn lead-based paint injury verdicts against them. The judge said Wisconsin’s risk contribution theory applied (Glenn Burton v. American Cyanamid, et al., No. 07-0303, E.D. Wis.).
BILLINGS, Mont. — A federal judge in Montana on Sept. 13 denied a motion to dismiss a wrongful death chemical exposure case brought by a woman who contends that her son was killed when a hydraulic fracturing company negligently allowed him to work around toxic substances on a fracking well site (Mary L. Devera v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, No. 18-59, D. Mont., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157000).