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Mealey's Toxic Torts

  • August 19, 2019

    Judge Stays Groundwater Case As Company Contests Order To Pay Remediation Costs

    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).

  • August 19, 2019

    Groundwater Defendants: Plaintiffs Fail To Meet Class Certification Requirements

    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.).

  • August 19, 2019

    Sherwin-Williams:  Criteria Not Met In Lead Paint Case; JNOV, New Trial Warranted

    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.).

  • August 16, 2019

    Documents Show Collaborative Effort To Defund Agency Critical Of Roundup

    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.

  • August 15, 2019

    Plaintiffs File Short-Form Complaints In Roundup MDL For Pretrial Proceedings

    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.).

  • August 15, 2019

    California Explores Chlorpyrifos Ban In Response To Trump Administration’s Move

    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.

  • August 15, 2019

    Residents: Gag Order In Groundwater Case Is Unconstitutional

    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.).

  • August 15, 2019

    Cancer Victim: Monsanto Is Liable Due To ‘Wrongful Conduct’ Regarding Glyphosate

    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.).

  • August 13, 2019

    Judge Certifies Class, Issues Injunction For Remediation Of Lead Paint Hazards

    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.).

  • August 13, 2019

    Judge Finds Residents Unable To State CERCLA Claims Over Landfill Contamination

    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).

  • August 9, 2019

    EPA Letter Tells California To Change Glyphosate Warning Labels

    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.

  • August 8, 2019

    Groups Seek Review Of EPA Order That Denied Petition To Ban Insecticide From Food

    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.).

  • August 7, 2019

    13 States, District Of Columbia Support Environmental Groups In Discharge Suit

    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.).

  • August 7, 2019

    Man: Home Depot Is Violating California Laws By Selling Herbicide Roundup

    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.).

  • August 7, 2019

    Judge Orders Criminal Probe Of Steven Donziger For Contempt In Chevron Dispute

    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.).

  • August 5, 2019

    Judge:  Flint Plaintiffs May Amend Complaint, Include Bodily Integrity Claim

    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).

  • August 2, 2019

    Former Professional Football Player Sues Monsanto For Causing His Cancer

    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).

  • August 2, 2019

    Glyphosate Cancer Victim: Appeal Of Award Reduction ‘Ripe’ For 9th Circuit Review

    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.).

  • August 2, 2019

    Companies:  JNOV Proper In Lead Paint Case Due To Remoteness From Causing Injury

    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.).

  • August 2, 2019

    3 Parties: Rulings That Clear Them Of Flint Charges Should Be Added To Record

    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.).