Mealey's Toxic Torts

  • July 15, 2020

    Judge Denies Delaware Agency’s Interlocutory Appeal In Tainted Groundwater Case

    GEORGETOWN, Del. — A state court judge in Delaware on July 14 denied a petition filed by the state of Delaware and its Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control (DNREC) that sought to certify an interlocutory appeal to the Delaware Supreme Court regarding the issue of privilege as it pertains to the agency’s investigatory files pursuant to a groundwater contamination lawsuit involving a chicken processing plant (Gary and Anna-Marie Cuppels, et al. v. Mountaire Corporation, et al., No. S18C-06-009 ESB, Del. Super., Sussex Co.).

  • July 14, 2020

    Company’s Attempt To Remove Lead Paint Judge ‘Ignores’ Report, Plaintiffs Say

    MILWAUKEE — The plaintiffs in a lead-paint poisoning lawsuit on July 10 filed a brief in Wisconsin federal court contending that Sherwin-Williams Co.’s attempt to disqualify the presiding judge “omits or ignores” the finding by the Judicial Council of the Seventh Circuit, which issued a report calling for the judge’s admonition but not his removal (Glenn Burton v. American Cyanamid, et al., No. 07-0303, E.D. Wis.).

  • July 14, 2020

    Judge: Company In Contempt For Violating Remediation Deal About Chemical Exposure

    ST. LOUIS — A federal judge in Missouri on July 14 ordered a company to show cause as to why it should not be held in contempt for violating a consent judgment to remediate and vacate a property contaminated with trichloroethylene (TCE), ruling that the company has failed to show that its purported inability to comply with the judgment “is not self-induced or that they have in good faith made all reasonable efforts to comply” (Spectrum Brands Inc. v. Compton’s LLC, No. 16-30, E.D. Mo., 202 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131499).

  • July 13, 2020

    DuPont Agrees To Pay $3.1M For Environmental Law Violations At Closed Facility

    HOUSTON — E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. on July 9 entered into an agreement with the federal government and state of Texas in federal court in Texas that would require it to pay a $3.1 million civil penalty for violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and Clean Water Act (CWA) at a former pesticide manufacturing facility where a leak killed four workers in 2014 and that closed in 2016 (United States v. E.I. Du Pont de Nemours and Co., No. 20-cv-2423, S.D. Texas).

  • July 08, 2020

    Class Counsel Withdraws Motion For Hearing On Roundup Deal In Light Of MDL Order

    SAN FRANCISCO — Attorneys representing a proposed class exposed to the herbicide Roundup, which contains the active ingredient glyphosate, on July 8 announced that they are withdrawing a motion for preliminary approval of a proposed $1.1 billion settlement with Monsanto Co. in light of a ruling issued by the judge presiding over the multidistrict litigation in California federal court (In re Roundup Products Liability Litigation [Ramirez v. Monsanto], MDL 2741, N.D. Calif.).

  • July 06, 2020

    Colorado Judge Approves Tear Gas, Rubber Bullets Rules Drafted By Police, Protesters

    DENVER — Protesters and the Denver police department reached an agreement in a putative class action to limit police use of crowd-control weapons including tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets, which a Colorado federal judge approved June 26.  He noted that the stipulation complies with new state legislation enacted in the wake of protests against police brutality (Agazi Abay, et al. v. Denver, No. 20-1616, D. Colo.).

  • July 06, 2020

    Judge Prohibits California From Requiring Warning On Products With Glyphosate

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal judge in California on June 22 ruled that the state of California is permanently enjoined from placing warning labels on products containing glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, because without an injunction, Monsanto, the maker of glyphosate, was likely to suffer irreparable harm (National Association of Wheat Growers, et al. v. Lauren Zeise, et al., No. 17-2401, E.D. Calif.).

  • July 06, 2020

    2 Attorneys Admit Plan To Extort $200M From Company Related To Roundup Litigation

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on June 19 announced that two attorneys had pleaded guilty to orchestrating a scheme to extort $200 million from a company in connection with a purported “consulting agreement” they offered Monsanto Co. related to litigation involving the herbicide Roundup, which contains the active ingredient glyphosate (United States of America v. Timothy Litzenburg, No. 19-69, W.D. Va.).

  • July 06, 2020

    Judge Dismisses Wrongful Death By Military Widow Alleging Toxic Chemical Exposure

    RALEIGH, N.C. — A federal judge in North Carolina on June 19 dismissed a widow’s wrongful death lawsuit against the U.S. government related to groundwater contamination and other chemical exposures her husband suffered while stationed at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, ruling that the widow’s case failed under the Feres doctrine (Carol V. Clendening v. United States, No. 19-137, E.D. N.C.).

  • July 06, 2020

    Panel Affirms Denial Of Summary Judgment For Lead Paint Plaintiffs

    NEW YORK — A New York appellate panel on June 25 affirmed a trial court ruling that denied lead paint poisoning plaintiffs summary judgment on their claims for liability against their landlord, ruling that the defendants’ medical expert raised an issue of fact as to whether the landlords’ negligence was the proximate cause of the plaintiffs’ injuries (S.T. v 1727-29 LLC, et al., No. 350020/08, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept., 2020 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 3698).

  • July 06, 2020

    2nd Circuit Denies Donziger’s Mandamus Petition To Stay Contempt Hearing

    NEW YORK — A panel of the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 24 denied a petition for mandamus to stay a civil contempt hearing against Steven R. Donziger, the attorney who won an $18.5 billion judgment against Chevron Corp. in a court in Ecuador for injuries only to have it reversed, ruling that Donziger failed to demonstrate that exceptional circumstances warrant the requested relief (In re:  Steven Robert Donziger [Steven Robert Donziger] v. Chevron Corporation, No. 20-464, 2nd Cir.).

  • July 06, 2020

    Residents:  Sugar Cane Growers Liable For Exposure To Toxins From Burning Practices

    MIAMI — Residents filed an amended complaint in Florida federal court on June 22, contending that sugar cane growers are liable for releasing toxins into the air as a result of an agricultural practice known as sugar cane burning, which makes residents and field workers sick (William Armstrong, et al. v. United States Sugar Corporation, et al., No. 19-80730, S.D. Fla.).

  • July 02, 2020

    Monsanto Asks 9th Circuit To Consider Recent Glyphosate Ruling In Verdict Appeal

    SAN FRANCISCO — Monsanto Co. on June 26 filed a notice of supplemental authority in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals pertaining to the appeal of a glyphosate cancer verdict, asking the court to consider a recent ruling in California federal court that permanently enjoined the state of California from requiring cancer warnings on products containing glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup (Edwin Hardeman v. Monsanto Company, Nos. 19-16636 and 19-16708, 9th Cir.).

  • July 02, 2020

    9th Circuit Denies Rehearing Of Radiation Case Related To Nuclear Plant Melt Down

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 1 denied a petition for rehearing, and the full court also denied a petition for rehearing en banc, sought by U.S. Navy sailors who wanted the court to reconsider its dismissal of a radiation exposure lawsuit related to the sailors’ involvement with relief efforts when the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP) melted down in Japan. The panel did not elaborate on its reason for denying the petition (Lindsay R. Cooper, et al. v. Tokyo Electric Power Company, et al., No. 19-55295, 9th Cir.).

  • July 01, 2020

    Flint Emergency Manager Says Water Crisis Claims Barred

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Gerald Ambrose, a former emergency manager for the city of Flint, Mich., on July 1 filed an answer in Michigan federal court denying that he created an emergency that resulted in the lead-contaminated water crisis in the city and arguing that any claims are barred by qualified immunity (In re Flint Water Cases, No. 16-10444, E.D. Mich.).

  • July 01, 2020

    3M, DuPont And Other Makers Of PFAS Chemicals Liable For Cancer, Man Says

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — A Texas man on June 30 sued 3M Co. and other makers of the firefighting agent known as aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) in South Carolina federal court contending that he has been injured by per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which are toxic chemicals in AFFF. He also says the companies knew the danger that PFAS pose to human health (Patrick Kelly McDaniel v. 3M Company, et al., No. 20-2489, MDL 2873, D. S.C.).

  • July 01, 2020

    New York Court:  Eminent Domain Allowed For Pipeline Despite Water Quality Issues

    ALBANY, N.Y. — A divided New York Court of Appeals on June 25 reversed a lower court and ruled that a company right to seize property by eminent domain to build a pipeline was not conditioned on obtaining a certificate ensuring water quality pursuant to federal law protecting groundwater (In the Matter of National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation v. Joseph A. Schueckler, et al., No. 29, N.Y. App.).

  • July 01, 2020

    Judge Remands Agent Orange Benefits Case, Says Basis For Denial ‘Inadequate’

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on June 30 remanded a decision by the Board of Veterans Appeals and said it had provided an inadequate basis for denying a veteran’s requests for benefits due to chemical exposure that involved Agent Orange, radioactive materials and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) (Paul Chisholm v. Robert L. Wilkie, No. 19-498, Vet. Clms.; 2020 U.S. App. Vet. Claims LEXIS 1249).

  • June 30, 2020

    Delaware Environmental Agency: State High Court Review Of Privileged Files Needed

    GEORGETOWN, Del. — The state of Delaware and its Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control (DNREC) on June 29 filed a notice of appeal in the Delaware Supreme Court contending that it should grant interlocutory review on whether DNREC’s investigatory files are privileged in a groundwater contamination lawsuit brought by residents against a chicken processing plant (Delaware, et al. v. Gary Cuppels, et al. v. Mountaire Corporation, et al., No. N/A, Del. Sup.).

  • June 30, 2020

    Judge Sanctions Attorneys More Than $28,000 For Discovery Violations In Water Case

    GEORGETOWN, Del. — A Delaware state court judge on June 29 sanctioned attorneys representing a chicken processing plant $28,320.25 for “inappropriate conduct” regarding violations of discovery protocol in a groundwater contamination case brought by a class of residents who allege that the plant’s disposal of wastewater has damaged their health (Gary and Anna-Marie Cuppels, et al. v. Mountaire Corporation, et al., No. S18C-06-009 ESB, Del. Super., Sussex Co.).