NEW ORLEANS — BP Exploration and Production Inc. and BP America Production Co. (collectively, BP) were awarded summary judgment by a federal judge in Louisiana on March 20 after she found that a man was unable to produce evidence that his exposure to dispersants during cleanup activities following the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused him to develop lung cancer (Pero Cibilic, et al. v. BP Exploration & Production, Inc., et al., No. 15-995, E.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40056).
RICHMOND, Va. — A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled March 9 that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act does not preempt Virginia’s statutes of limitation on property owners’ claims for unjust enrichment, trespass, nuisance and injunctive relief because the plaintiffs could not state claims for cost recovery or contribution under CERCLA (Neal Blankenship, et al. v. Consolidation Coal Company, et al., No. 15-2480, Ira Gordon Ratliff, et al. v. Consolidation Coal Company, et al., No. 15-2482, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4168).
SIOUX CITY, Iowa — A federal judge in Iowa on March 17 dismissed a groundwater contamination lawsuit brought by a local agency that supplies drinking water, concluding that its claims against local government agencies regarding liability for the costs of complying with clean water laws “have no merit” (Board of Water Works Trustees of the City of Des Moines, Iowa v. SAC County Board of Supervisors as Trustees of Drainage Districts 32, 42, 65, 79, 81, 83, 86, et al., 15-4020, N.D. Iowa; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39025).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced March 17 that it has awarded a $100 million grant to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to fund drinking water infrastructure upgrades in Flint, Mich.
ST. LOUIS — A Missouri woman on March 17 filed a lawsuit against Monsanto Co. in Missouri federal court, alleging that the company committed scientific fraud and is liable for her development of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), which was the result of exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup (Linda Crane v. Monsanto Co., No. 17-982, E.D. Mo.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on March 14 dismissed without prejudice a wrongful death lawsuit brought against Monsanto Co. for the case to be refiled and transferred to the multidistrict litigation that pertains to injuries allegedly caused by exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup (Karen Wooten, et al. v. Monsanto Co., No. 16-6706, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on March 13 issued an order denying Monsanto Co.’s motion to seal documents that it submitted in connection with a motion to compel the testimony of a former official at a federal environmental agency pertaining to the harmful effects of glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup (In Re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2741, N.D. Calif.).
AUSTIN, Texas — The Multidistrict Litigation Panel of Texas on March 10 ruled that 10 separate lawsuits that allege drinking water contamination against a group of refining company defendants should be transferred to a single court for pretrial proceedings (In re: Corpus Christi Tap Water Litigation, MDL No. 17-69, Texas MDL Panel; 2017 Tex. LEXIS 291).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on March 9 vacated and remanded a case involving a veteran’s claims for benefits due to exposure to Agent Orange while in Vietnam, concluding that the Board of Veterans Appeals erred when it failed to return a medical examination report that needed clarification (Freddie Bell Jr. v. David J. Shulkin, No. 15-3376, Vet. Clms.; 2017 U.S. App. Vet. Claims LEXIS 340).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A group of engineering firms that were sued by residents who contended that they shared liability for the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich., on March 9 filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court arguing 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 “creates a circuit split and is wrong” (Lockwood Andrews & Newnam P.C. v. Jennifer Mason, No. 16-1092, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on Feb. 28 reversed and remanded a ruling by the Board of Veterans Appeals that denied a veteran’s claim for full benefits related to prostate cancer that he contended was caused by his exposure to Agent Orange while in Vietnam (Chester McNeil Jr. v. David J. Shulkin, No. 16-1447, U.S. App., Vet. Clms.; 2017 U.S. App. Vet. Claims LEXIS 263).
ALBANY, N.Y. — A New York appellate panel on March 2 reversed a trial court ruling and determined that a lead-based paint poisoning lawsuit against a landlord couple should be dismissed on grounds that the statute of limitations had expired on the claim (Violet Vasilatos v. William Dzamba, No. 523286, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 3rd Dept.; 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 1581).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A collection of community groups, the NAACP and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) on March 2 filed notice of petition with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency seeking emergency action to abate “the imminent and substantial endangerment” to East Chicago, Ind., posed by lead contamination of drinking water.
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — A federal judge in New York on March 1 ruled that residents who seek $20 million for lead-based paint poisoning injuries allegedly sustained when they rented an apartment have a private right of action and the case may proceed (Sabrina Fuller v. Chandrakalli Sukhnandan, No. 16-2038, E.D. N.Y.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29063).
OKLAHOMA CITY — Halliburton Energy Services Inc. (HESI) on March 1 filed a brief in Oklahoma federal court, arguing that the district court should modify a scheduling order to extend the discovery deadline and change the date of trial plaintiff selection in a collection of lawsuits brought by residents who allege that the company is liable for their injuries by the alleged presence of perchlorate in the aquifer that supplies their drinking water (Albin Family Revocable Living Trust, et al. v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 16-910, W.D. Okla.).
LOS ANGELES — Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PGE) on Feb. 24 filed its answer to a groundwater contamination complaint in California federal court, contending that the court lacks jurisdiction because the claims are preempted by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and the claims are moot (Carolyn Bolin, et al. v. Pacific Gas & Electric Company, No. 16-676, C.D. Calif.).
SPOKANE, Wash. — A federal judge in Washington on Feb. 27 issued an order approving a settlement in a lawsuit brought by an environmental group that sought declaratory relief for alleged violations of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in relation to documents pertaining to an investigation of groundwater contamination on Native American lands (Friends of Toppenish Creek v. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, et al., No. 16-3013, E.D. Wash.).
SAN FRANCISCO — Monsanto Co. on Feb. 9 filed a brief in California federal court arguing that the documents it seeks in a subpoena of nonparties in a glyphosate-injury lawsuit are not property of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC); therefore, they should be turned over to the company (In Re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2741, N.D. Calif.).
BOSTON — A panel of the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 14 ruled that residents who contend that a company contaminated their drinking water with perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8) cannot appeal a ruling of the district court that denied their motion to remand the case to New Hampshire state court (Kevin Brown, et al. v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, No. 16-8055, 1st Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on Feb. 27 reversed and remanded a ruling by the Board of Veterans Appeals that denied a veteran’s claim for benefits from exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam, concluding that the board failed to provide an adequate statement of its reasons for relying on the opinion of the medical examiner in the case (Joyce M. Carter v. David J. Shulkin, No. 16-1192, Vet. Clms.; 2017 U.S. App. Vet. Claims LEXIS 250).