SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A federal judge in Puerto Rico on July 26 granted a motion to stay a groundwater contamination lawsuit pending an appeal by an industrial development company that was ordered to pay $5.3 million to the government for costs incurred pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) related to remediation of toxins at the Maunabo Area Groundwater Contamination Superfund site (United States v. Puerto Rico Industrial Development Co., No. 15-2328, D. Puerto Rico).
CONCORD, N.H. — Defendants that were sued for allegedly contaminating the drinking water in a New Hampshire community filed a brief in New Hampshire federal court on July 16, contending that it should not grant class certification on grounds that the plaintiffs cannot meet the requirements under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b) (Kevin Brown, et al. v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation, et al., No. 16-242, D. N.H.).
MILWAUKEE — The Sherwin-Williams Co. on Aug. 2 filed a reply brief in Wisconsin federal court contending that in a lead-based paint poisoning case in which the plaintiffs won $6 million, they failed to satisfy the conditions of risk contribution theory and, therefore, the company is entitled to judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) or a new trial (Glenn Burton v. American Cyanamid, et al., No. 07-0303, E.D. Wis.).
LOS ANGELES — A California law firm on Aug. 15 released documents that reveal that a consulting firm working for Monsanto Co. drafted language, in collaboration with counsel for the House Committee for Oversight and Government Reform, for legislators to add to a bill that would defund the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which had issued an unfavorable finding regarding Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup in 2015.
SAN FRANCISCO — Twelve separate short-form complaints against Monsanto Co. were filed Aug. 14 in the Roundup Products Liability Litigation multidistrict litigation pending in California federal court alleging that Monsanto is responsible for the plaintiffs’ cancers as a result of exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup (In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2741, N.D. Calif.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Two California agencies on Aug. 14 announced that they have convened a combined working group to “identify, evaluate and recommend safer, sustainable pest management solutions that can replace the pesticide chlorpyrifos,” as the state of California looks to ban chlorpyrifos in response to the Trump administration’s decision to reverse a ban on the chemical at the federal level.
GEORGETOWN, Del. — A group of Delaware residents on Aug. 13 filed a brief in Delaware state court contending that a gag order sought by a chicken processing company, which the plaintiffs say is liable for groundwater contamination from the wastewater produced at its plant, is unconstitutional (John Albright, et al. v. Mountaire Farms of Delaware Inc., et al., No. S18C-08-033, Del. Super., Sussex Co.).
MINNEAPOLIS — A cancer victim on Aug. 14 sued Monsanto Co. in Minnesota federal court, contending that exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the company’s herbicide Roundup, caused his T-cell lymphoma and that Monsanto is liable for “negligent and wrongful conduct” associated with the manufacture and distribution of the chemical (Clifford McCord v. Monsanto Company, No. 19-2252, D. Minn.).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A state court judge in Connecticut on Aug. 12 certified a class of children with elevated blood-lead levels and issued a temporary injunction that requires the abatement of lead-based paint hazards in the city of New Haven, Conn. (Nichelle Hobby, et al. v. City of New Haven, No. NHH-CV-19-5003875-S, Conn. Super., New Haven Jud. Dist.).
BUFFALO, N.Y. — A federal judge in New York on Aug. 5 dismissed an amended complaint filed by residents who live near a landfill who are seeking cost recovery and contribution under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, finding that the plaintiffs failed to sufficiently state claims under the statute (Alicia Bellafaire, et al. v. Town of Wheatfield, et al., No. 18-cv-00560, W.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134292).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Aug. 7 sent a letter to California telling it that the state’s listing of glyphosate as a substance that is believed to cause cancer under Proposition 65 constitutes a “false and misleading statement,” and the EPA asked California to remove the language from product labels.
SAN FRANCISCO — Environmental advocacy groups on Aug. 7 filed a petition in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals seeking review of an order issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that denied the groups’ previous objection to the EPA’s decision not to ban the insecticide from being used in food (League of United Latin American Citizens, et al. v. Andrew Wheeler, et al., No. 19-71979, 9th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Thirteen states and the District of Columbia filed an amicus curiae brief in the nation’s high court July 19 in support of environmental groups seeking affirmation of a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ ruling that held a Hawaii county was required under the Clean Water Act (CWA) to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for discharges from a point source that reach the Pacific Ocean through soil and groundwater, arguing that the act promotes federalism by empowering states to protect their navigable waterways (County of Maui v. Hawai’i Wildlife Fund, et al., No. 18-260, U.S. Sup.).
LOS ANGELES — A California resident on Aug. 5 sued Home Depot U.S.A. Inc. in California federal court alleging that the company is violating state laws by selling the herbicide Roundup, which contains glyphosate (James Weeks v. Home Depot U.S.A. Inc., No. 19-6780, C.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on Aug. 5 ordered a clerk to open a criminal docket for a contempt proceeding against Steven R. Donziger, the attorney who won an $18.5 billion judgment against Chevron in a court in Ecuador for injuries only to have it reversed. The judge said Donziger is in violation of protocols that govern the surrender of his electronic devices and his passport (Chevron Corporation v. Steven Donziger, No. 11-691, S.D. N.Y.).
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A federal judge in Michigan on Aug. 2 partially granted and partially denied a motion to amend a complaint filed by a plaintiff in the lead-contaminated water crisis litigation in the city of Flint, Mich., ruling that the defendants would not be prejudiced by the plaintiff’s addition of claims for violation of bodily integrity (In re: Flint Water Cases [Walters v. Flint], No. 17-10164, E.D. Mich., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129711).
BOISE, Idaho — A former professional football player on July 8 sued Monsanto Co. in Idaho federal court contending that he developed cancer as a result of exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, which he says the company misrepresented as safe (Merril Hoge v. Monsanto Company, No. 19-252, D. Idaho).
SAN FRANCISCO — A glyphosate cancer victim whose award was reduced from $75 million to $20 million by a federal judge in California filed a brief on July 26 in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals contending that his appeal is ripe for review (Edwin Hardeman v. Monsanto Company, No. 196255, 9th Cir.).
MILWAUKEE — Three companies on July 19 filed separate reply briefs in Wisconsin federal court contending that they are entitled to judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) in a lead-based paint poisoning case in which the plaintiffs won $6 million. The companies contend that the plaintiffs did not properly address the remoteness argument (Glenn Burton v. American Cyanamid, et al., No. 07-0303, E.D. Wis.).
CINCINNATI — Three defendants in the litigation related to the lead-contaminated water crisis in the city of Flint, Mich., on July 30 moved in the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to modify the record on appeal to include orders that they say clear them of criminal charges (Luke Waid, et al. v. Gov. Rick Snyder, et al., No. 19-1425, 6th Cir.).