Mealey's Toxic Torts

  • September 20, 2017

    Limitations Period Has Expired On Claim Of Tainted Groundwater, Company Says

    NEW YORK — Northrop Grumman Corp. on Sept. 18 filed a brief in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals arguing that an amicus brief filed by parties interested in a groundwater contamination lawsuit is premised on “a fundamental misconception” regarding the limitations period for tort claims (Bethpage Water District v. Northrop Grumman Corporation, et al., No. 16-2592, 2nd Cir.).

  • September 18, 2017

    Battery Company: Design Changes Caused Chemical Injury Explosion On Fracking Rig

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A company that is the third-party defendant in a lawsuit brought by a man who alleges that he suffered chemical injuries from a lithium battery pack that exploded on a hydraulic fracturing rig filed a brief in Oklahoma federal court on Sept. 13, contending that the fracking company’s motion for summary judgment should be denied because “at the very least” an issue of fact remains regarding whether the fracking company’s design changes to the battery pack were a proximate cause of the explosion at issue (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.).

  • September 18, 2017

    Judge Consolidates Cases Regarding EPA Permits For Alleged Environmental Polluter

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge in the District of Columbia on Sept. 13 consolidated five cases brought by environmental groups against Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt contending that he is in violation of federal law regarding the approval of a permit for ExxonMobil’s petrochemical manufacturing facility in Harris County, Texas (Environmental Integrity Project, et al. v. Scott Pruitt, No. 17-1439, D. D.C.).

  • September 18, 2017

    Former EPA Employee: Motion To Compel Deposition ‘Baseless’ In Roundup MDL

    SAN FRANCISCO — A former employee of the Environmental Protection Agency on Sept. 5 filed a brief in the multidistrict litigation in California federal court related to the herbicide Roundup, arguing that he should be awarded money because he incurred “substantial financial fees” when he responded to a “baseless” motion to compel filed by counsel for the plaintiffs (In re:  Roundup Products Liability Litigation, No. 2741 MDL, N.D. Calif.).

  • September 18, 2017

    Researchers Had Duty Of Care In Lead Abatement Study, Split Maryland Panel Rules

    ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A split panel of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals on Sept. 6 reversed a trial court ruling and concluded that the Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI) and parties affiliated with Johns Hopkins University had a special relationship with the sibling of a girl who was a participant in a lead-paint abatement study in the 1990s and that they owed the sibling a duty of care (Ashley Partlow v. Kennedy Krieger Institute, Nos. 44 and 530, Sept. Term, Md. Spec. App.; 2017 Md. App. LEXIS 906).

  • September 18, 2017

    Judge Denies Injunction In Groundwater Contamination Case Against GE

    CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on Sept. 7 denied a motion for a mandatory permanent injunction sought by a company suing General Electric Co. for contaminating its groundwater (LAJIM LLC, et al. v. General Electric Co., No. 13-50348, N.D. Ill.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144704).

  • September 18, 2017

    Residents: C8 Injury Claims ‘Cognizable’; Case Against Plastics Company Valid

    CONCORD, N.H. — A group of New Hampshire residents who sued a plastics manufacturer alleging that it was liable for contaminating their drinking water with perfluorooctanoic acid (also known as C8), on Aug. 31 filed a brief contending that they “assert cognizable claims for injury”; therefore, the case should not be dismissed (Kevin Brown, et al. v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation, et al., No. 16-242, D. N.H.).

  • September 15, 2017

    Sherwin-Williams: Lead Paint Evidence On Risk-Contribution Theory Lacking

    MILWAUKEE — The Sherwin-Williams Co. on Sept. 13 filed a statement of proposed material facts in Wisconsin federal court supporting its motion for dismissal of a lead-paint poisoning lawsuit against it and other former manufacturers of lead-based paint on grounds that the plaintiffs have not demonstrated a prerequisite need in order for the risk-contribution theory of liability to apply (Glenn Burton v. American Cyanamid, et al., No. 07-0303, E.D. Wis.).

  • September 15, 2017

    Utility Company: Sierra Club’s Costs Should Be Denied In Tainted Groundwater Case

    RICHMOND, Va. — An electric utility company that has been found guilty of violating the Clean Water Act (CWA) by dumping arsenic into the groundwater filed a brief in Virginia federal court on Aug. 21 opposing the plaintiffs’ bill of costs and contending that what is known as the CWA’s fee shifting provision does not apply to the case at hand (Sierra Club v. Virginia Electric and Power Company, d/b/a Dominion Virginia Power, No. 15-112, E.D. Va.).

  • September 14, 2017

    Attorney: Chevron Offers ‘No Credible Argument’ For Cost Tax In Lago Agrio Case

    NEW YORK — The attorney representing a group of Ecuadorian residents who won an $18.5 billion judgment against Chevron Corp. for injuries, only to have it reversed, on Sept. 12 filed a letter with the presiding judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, arguing that the company offers “no credible argument” for its contention that the company is entitled to the taxation of costs in the litigation (Chevron Corporation v. Donziger, et al., Case No. 11 Civ. 691, S.D. N.Y.).

  • September 13, 2017

    Evidence Would ‘Inflame’ Jury In Cancer Case, Company Says, Should Be Excluded

    ASHEVILLE, N.C. — A company being sued for allegedly contaminating a North Carolina man’s groundwater on Sept. 11 filed a brief in North Carolina federal court contending that the district court should exclude evidence regarding contamination on the east side of the company’s former facility, evidence of the presence of chemicals other than benzene and evidence of alleged negligence because it would “inflame” the jury (Kent Stahle v. CTS Corporation, No. 14-48, W.D. N.C.).

  • September 12, 2017

    Split 6th Circuit Panel: Flint Water Crisis Lawsuit Belongs In State Court

    CINCINNATI — A split panel of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 11 affirmed a district court’s ruling and held that a lawsuit brought by residents of Flint, Mich., against the city and state environmental quality employees relating to the lead-contaminated drinking water crisis in the city belongs in state court (Melissa Mays, et al. v. City of Flint, Mich., et al., No.  16-2484, 6th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17502).

  • September 7, 2017

    Judge Says Chemical Injury Plaintiff Did Not Allege His Water Was Tainted

    ALBANY, N.Y. — A federal judge in New York on Sept. 5 dismissed a chemical injury lawsuit on grounds that the plaintiff failed to allege that his injuries were caused by contamination to his personal water supply (James Donavan v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., No. 16-294, N.D. N.Y.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143198).

  • September 1, 2017

    Release Of Documents By Plaintiffs’ Counsel Is ‘Misconduct,’ Monsanto Says

    SAN FRANCISCO — Monsanto Co. on Aug. 29 filed a brief in a California federal court arguing that plaintiffs’ counsel in a multidistrict litigation regarding the herbicide Roundup improperly released to the public confidential company documents about the carcinogenicity of glyphosate, Roundup’s active ingredient and that plaintiffs’ counsel now wants to expunge the record of documents related to that “misconduct” (In re:  Roundup Products Liability Litigation, No. 2741 MDL, N.D. Calif.).

  • September 1, 2017

    Groups Seek Summary Judgment Ruling That Company Violated Law In Groundwater Case

    PITTSBURGH — Two environmental groups on Aug. 15 filed a brief in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania seeking a summary judgment ruling against PPG Industries Inc., arguing that it is liable under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) for groundwater contamination from  PPG’s glass-manufacturing operation (PennEnvironment, et al. v. PPG Industries Inc., et al., No. 12-342, W.D. Pa.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8683).

  • September 1, 2017

    Release Of Documents By Plaintiffs’ Counsel Is ‘Misconduct,’ Monsanto Says

    SAN FRANCISCO — Monsanto Co. on Aug. 29 filed a brief in a California federal court arguing that plaintiffs’ counsel in a multidistrict litigation regarding the herbicide Roundup improperly released to the public confidential company documents about the carcinogenicity of glyphosate, Roundup’s active ingredient and that plaintiffs’ counsel now wants to expunge the record of documents related to that “misconduct” (In re:  Roundup Products Liability Litigation, No. 2741 MDL, N.D. Calif.).

  • September 1, 2017

    New York Housing Authority Had Notice of Lead Paint Hazards, Panel Says

    NEW YORK — A New York appellate panel on Aug. 30 affirmed a ruling that denied summary judgment dismissal to the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) in a lead-paint poisoning case, concluding that the evidence shows that the housing authority had actual notice of a lead hazard and did not remedy it (Yesenia Matute, an infant by her mother, Juana Bsison v. New York City Housing Authority, No. 2015-09223, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 2nd Dept.; 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 6348).

  • August 31, 2017

    Monsanto: Town, School Failed To Meet Burden Of Proof; PCB Case Properly Dismissed

    BOSTON — Monsanto Co. on Aug. 22 filed a brief in the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals contending that a district court properly ruled that a town and school district failed to meet their burden of proof regarding alleged contamination from polychlorinatedbiphenyls (PCBs) that were manufactured by the company and are present in plasticizers that were used in the construction of a school building (Town of Westport, et al. v. Monsanto Company, No. 17-1461, 1st Cir.).

  • August 31, 2017

    Plaintiff Says His Experts Should Be Permitted To Testify In Groundwater Case

    ASHEVILLE, N.C. — A North Carolina man who sued a company he contends contaminated his groundwater, causing him to develop cancer, on Aug. 25 filed a brief contending that a North Carolina federal court should deny the defendant’s motions in limine seeking to exclude the man’s experts (Kent Stahle v. CTS Corporation, No. 14-48, W.D. N.C.).

  • August 31, 2017

    3rd Circuit: Evidence Lacking In Injury Case Tied To Nuclear Plant Decommissioning

    PHILADELPHIA — A panel of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 23 ruled that a group of plaintiffs failed to provide sufficient evidence to show that a power company was liable for cancer and other injuries in connection with the decommissioning of a nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania (Michelle McMunn, et al. v. Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group Inc., et al., No. 15-3506 [consolidated], 3rd Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 16103).