NEW YORK — The U.S. government on March 24 filed a brief in New York federal court contending that Steven R. Donziger’s motion to disqualify special prosecutors and all of the judges in the Southern District of New York from hearing the criminal contempt case against him related to a disputed $18.5 billion judgment he won against Chevron Corp. should be denied because it is based on “an erroneous premise” (United States v. Donziger, No. 19-561, S.D. N.Y.).
ST. LOUIS — A Missouri state court judge on March 23 removed a glyphosate cancer trial from the trial court docket “due to the national pandemic of the COVID-19 virus and the unavailability of jurors.” The judge set a trial-setting conference for April 27 (Leroy Seitz, et al. v. Monsanto Company, No. 1722-CC11325, Mo. Cir., St. Louis).
SAN FRANCISCO — A widow on April 1 sued Monsanto Co. in California federal court contending that it is liable for husband’s wrongful death due to cancer he developed from exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup. She also says that she is entitled to damages as a result of Monsanto’s negligent and wrongful conduct related to false representations regarding the safety of Roundup (Fredda Glatt v. Monsanto Company, No. 20-2219, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO — An environmental advocacy group on March 30 filed an amicus curiae brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in support of a cancer victim who says that his $80,267,644.10 verdict against Monsanto Co. related to injury from exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, is not preempted by federal law (Edwin Hardeman v. Monsanto Company, Nos. 19-16636 and 19-16255, 9th Cir.).
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Monsanto Co. has reached a $39.55 million settlement with plaintiffs who sought compensation for money spent on the herbicide Roundup, which the class contended the company falsely advertised, a spokesman for Monsanto said March 31. The deal still awaits approval in Missouri federal court (Lisa Jones, et al. v. Monsanto Company, et al., No. 19-102, W.D. Mo).
BALTIMORE — A federal judge in Maryland on March 31 denied a motion to dismiss the mayor and city council of Baltimore’s lawsuit against Monsanto Co. and two of its predecessors who made polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) over contamination that passed through the city’s municipal separate stormwater system (MS4) and into bodies of water, finding that plaintiffs had standing to bring their claims and that they were sufficiently stated (Mayor and City Council of Baltimore v. Monsanto Co., et al., No. RDB-19-0483, D. Md., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55265).
BUFFALO, N.Y. — A man sued his landlord on March 19 in New York state court, contending that he suffers from lead-paint poisoning as a result of the landlord’s negligence in allowing lead-based paint hazards to remain at the rental property where he lived as a boy (Cordell Williams v. Ida Andres, No. 804244/2020, N.Y. Sup., Erie Co.).
RICHLAND, Wash. — A native American tribe on March 30 sued 3M Co. and other makers of aqueous film forming foams (AFFF), which are used to fight chemical fires, in Washington federal court contending that the AFFF contained per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) that have contaminated the local groundwater supply (Kalispel Tribe of Indians, et al. v. The 3M Company, et al., No. 20-127, E.D. Wash.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A judge in Delaware state court on March 30 dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Chemours Co., a spinoff company of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., which contends that DowDuPont sought to “avoid accountability for environmental costs through a campaign of transactional engineering” related to litigation brought against it for injuries allegedly caused by exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), also called C8 (The Chemours Company v. DowDuPont Inc., No. 2019-0351, Del. Chanc.).
BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — A federal judge in West Virginia on March 30 dismissed a groundwater contamination lawsuit against hydraulic fracturing companies on grounds that the plaintiffs failed to plead facts sufficient to support their claims (Teldia Haywood, et al. v. Caretta Minerals LLC, et al., No. 19-264, S.D. W.Va., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55025).
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Several cancer victims on March 25 reply filed a brief in an Ohio federal court contending that the opinions of an expert for E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. in a joint trial pertaining to exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8) are “wholly irrelevant” regarding the class membership of one of the plaintiffs and should be excluded (In re: E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, S.D. Ohio).
SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Unified Port District’s claims for public nuisance and abatement stemming from polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination in the San Diego Bay survived motions for summary judgment filed by Monsanto Co. and others when a federal judge in California ruled March 26 that the plaintiff had standing to bring the public nuisance claim and that its request for abatement was ripe for adjudication (San Diego Unified Port District v. Monsanto Co., et al., No. 15-cv-578-WQH-AGS, S.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. 52723).
TRENTON, N.J. — Getty Petroleum Marketing Inc. (GPMI) and its successors on Feb. 27 agreed to pay $22 million to resolve claims against them brought by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) related to groundwater contamination from the gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) that leaked from underground storage tanks (USTs) at various gas stations. The settlement was authorized by a New Jersey federal judge in a joint consent order (New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection v. Amerada Hess Corp., et al., No. 15-6468, D. N.J.).
SAN FRANCISCO — Monsanto Co. on Jan. 6 filed a brief in California federal court contending that a cancer victim who sued the company for injuries allegedly caused by glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, should not be permitted to amend his expert witness disclosure (In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation [Chavez v. Monsanto Co.], MDL No. 2741, No. 18-4855, N.D. Calif.).
LEVERKUSEN, Germany — Bayer Corp. on March 25 released a report of an internal audit it performed regarding its decision to purchase the embattled Monsanto Co., which is facing mounting litigation related to claims that its herbicide Roundup causes cancer, and said that an independent auditor determined that Bayer’s due diligence procedures were “appropriate.”
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A federal judge in Michigan on March 23 ordered the pool of plaintiffs for the first bellwether trial related to the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich., reduced due to “the circumstances caused by COVID-19,” saying the pool will include only the 14 plaintiffs who have already been deposed (In re Flint Water Cases, No. 16-10444, E.D. Mich.).
SAN FRANCISCO — The state of California on March 23 filed an amicus curiae brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals contending that the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) does not preempt the claims brought against the Monsanto Co. by a cancer victim who won an $80,267,644.10 glyphosate verdict related to the herbicide Roundup (Edwin Hardeman v. Monsanto Company, Nos. 19-16636 and 19-16255, 9th Cir.).
ORANGEBURG, S.C. — A woman representing the estate of a deceased man on March 20 sued Monsanto Co. in South Carolina federal court, contending that it is responsible for negligent conduct and wrongful death in connection with the promotion of the herbicide Roundup, which contains the active ingredient glyphosate (Wanda Copeland v. Monsanto Company, No. 20-1122, D. S.C.).
SAN FRANCISCO — Environmental groups on March 20 filed a petition for review in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals asking that the court hear their appeal of the interim review decision of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in which the agency said it did not identify any human health risks from exposure to glyphosate, although there is a “potential ecological risk” to mammals and birds (Natural Resources Defense Council, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 20-70787, 9th Cir.).
LOS ANGELES — Numerous plaintiffs sued chrome plating companies in California federal court on March 18, contending that they have violated the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and are responsible for groundwater contamination from hexavalent chromium and various solvents (Arconic Inc., et al. v. Cal-Tron Plating Inc., et al., No. 20-2586, C.D. Calif.).