DETROIT — Consumers of diesel-model Silverado and Sierra trucks made by General Motors LLC from 2011 to 2016 filed a class action May 25 in Michigan federal court against the automaker and the manufacturer of a part that allegedly allows the vehicles to cheat emissions tests, claiming that the car maker misrepresented the vehicles’ fuel economy and emission levels (Andrei Fenner, et al. v. General Motors, LLC, et al., No. 17-cv-11661, E.D. Mich.).
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on May 23 approved a $39 million settlement deal under which ConocoPhillips, a defendant in the multidistrict litigation for groundwater contamination from methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), will be released from the litigation (In Re: Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether Products Liability Litigation, No. 00-1898, MDL 1358, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection v. Atlantic Richfield Company, No. 08-0312, S.D. N.Y.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Flint, Mich., residents who contend that a group of engineering firms share liability for the lead-contaminated water crisis in that city on May 8 filed a response to the firms’ petition for writ of certiorari at the U.S. Supreme Court, contending that the court should refuse to hear the case because “the petition’s principal question presented is not actually posed by this case” (Lockwood Andrews & Newnam P.C. v. Jennifer Mason, No. 16-1092, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK — An appeals panel in New York on May 23 reversed a lower court’s ruling and concluded that tenants who sued their landlord alleging injuries from exposure to lead-based paint had made a valid request to compel discovery pertaining to potential lead violations in the entire building where their apartment was located (Z.D., by her mother and natural guardian Zaimah A. v. MP Management LLC, No. 3436N, 26043/14, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.; 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 3989).
PHILADELPHIA — A group of Pennsylvania residents on May 22 filed a brief in Pennsylvania federal court arguing that their groundwater contamination lawsuit against a group of chemical companies should not be dismissed because their claims are “proper” and are not barred by the doctrine of primary jurisdiction (Hanah Bates, et al. v. 3M Company, et al., No. 16-4961, E.D. Pa.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The engineering firms asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their case against residents of Flint, Mich., regarding liability for the lead-contaminated water crisis in that city on May 22 filed their reply brief contending that the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ decision that a plaintiff may obtain remand under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) without evidence of class members’ citizenship results in a circuit split that is “stark and wide” (Lockwood Andrews & Newnam P.C. v. Jennifer Mason, No. 16-1092, U.S. Sup.).
DETROIT — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and a group of state employees on May 17 filed a brief in Michigan federal court in support of a renewed motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed against them by residents of Flint, Mich., related to the lead-contaminated water crisis, contending that they are immune from suit (Myia McMillian, et al. v. Governor Richard D. Snyder, et al., No. 16-10796, E.D. Mich.).
CENTRE, Ala. — A municipal waterworks and sewer authority on May 15 filed a lawsuit against 3M Co., E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. and assorted other manufacturers in Alabama state court, alleging that they are liable for “negligent, willful, and wanton conduct” for the release of various toxic chemicals into the drinking water for Centre, Ala. (The Waterworks and Sewer Board of the Town of Centre v. 3M Company, et al., No. 13-CV-2017-900049.00, Ala. Cir., Cherokee Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Chevron Corp. on May 15 filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that, with regard to the petition for writ of certiorari filed by a group of Ecuadorian residents and their attorney who challenge a fraud ruling with regard to an $18.5 billion judgment they previously won against the company, there is no legal issue warranting the Supreme Court’s review (Steven Donziger, et al. v. Chevron Corporation, No. 16-1178, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK — A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 11 refused to overturn the ruling in Commander Oil Corp. v. Barlo Equip. Corp., 215 F.3d 321, 329 (2000), which sets out when a lessee can be considered an owner of a property under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) to reverse a federal judge in New York’s decision to award summary judgment to defendant companies accused of contaminating a property with perchloroethylene (PCE) (Next Millenium Realty, LLC, et al. v. Adchem Corp., et al., No. 16-1260-CV, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8476).
ST. LOUIS — Doe Run Resources Corp. on May 5 filed a brief in Missouri federal court arguing that the court should compel the plaintiffs in a lawsuit alleging injuries from exposure to toxic chemicals to respond to requests for discovery on substantive liability (A.O.A, et al. v. Doe Run Resources Corporation, No. 11-00044, E.D. Mo.).
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on April 12 transferred to the multidistrict litigation another lawsuit against E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. for alleged injuries connected to exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8) (In re E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio).
ST. LOUIS — The Missouri residents who contend that they have been injured by exposure to radioactive material and the company that they say is liable on May 11 filed a joint request for a conference with the federal judge in Missouri who presides over the case on grounds that they have reached an impasse regarding the deposition of expert witnesses (Scott D. McClurg, et al. v. MI Holdings Inc., et al., No. 12-361 [consolidated], E.D. Mo.).
PASADENA, Calif. — Attorneys for the City of Pomona, Calif., and a chemical company debated before the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 10 whether the city’s groundwater contamination lawsuit should be reopened due to the city’s allegation that a district court improperly excluded some of the testimony of its expert witness while the court improperly permitted the defendant’s expert to “confuse the jury” (City of Pomona, Calif. v. SQM North America Corp., No. 15-56062, 9th Cir.).
DETROIT — A federal judge in Michigan on May 3 ruled that based on Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals precedent, he had jurisdiction over state law claims in a lawsuit pertaining to the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich., and he amended a previous ruling to dismiss those claims along with federal causes of action (Luke Waid, et al. v. Gov. Richard D. Snyder, et al., No. 16-10444, E.D. Mich.).
BRONX, N.Y. — A New York state court justice on April 12 denied a motion to dismiss a lead-based paint poisoning case against two owner/operators of an apartment, concluding that they breached their duty to care for the plaintiffs by failing to abate lead-based paint hazards on the premises in the appropriate timeframe (Paola Lopez, et al. v. 506-510 Associates LLC, et al., No. 14040/2004, N.Y. Sup., Bronx Co.; 2017 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1688).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The attorneys representing residents of West Virginia who are seeking approval of a $151 million settlement in a groundwater contamination lawsuit on May 8 filed a brief in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, arguing that they are entitled to $42.8 million in attorney fees (Crystal Good, et al. v. American Water Works Co. Inc., No. 14-1374, S.D. W.Va.).
OKLAHOMA CITY — Halliburton Energy Services Inc. (HESI) on May 8 filed a brief in Oklahoma federal court arguing that 10 prior orders issued in a lawsuit brought against it by residents who argue that the company is liable for contaminating their drinking water should be adopted in another lawsuit that asserts the same causes of action (Albin Family Revocable Living Trust, et al. v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 16-910, W.D. Okla.).
OKLAHOMA CITY — A company sued in connection with injuries suffered by two workers when a lithium battery exploded during a hydraulic fracturing operation filed an additional brief in Oklahoma federal court on May 5 contending that the plaintiffs cannot designate the company’s CEO as a specific witness under federal procedural rules (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.).
SAN FRANCISCO — Monsanto Co. on May 5 filed a brief in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California arguing that it should deny the discovery request of a group of plaintiffs who sued the company as part of multidistrict litigation in which they allege that Monsanto is liable for their injuries from exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup. Monsanto argues that the plaintiffs’ attempt to delay discovery is “unjustified” and amounts to “gamesmanship” (In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, No. 2741 MDL, N.D. Calif.).