CHARLESTON, S.C. — ExxonMobil Oil Corp., the federal government and two South Carolina agencies on May 1 entered into an agreement in South Carolina federal court in which the company agreed to spend $6.6 million on environmental restoration projects to resolve allegations that it violated the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and South Carolina environmental laws when releasing hazardous waste into soil and groundwater at a number of phosphate fertilizer plants in the state (United States v. ExxonMobil Oil Corp., No. 19-cv-1273, D. S.C.).
OAKLAND, Calif. — The attorneys representing a California couple, as well as those representing Monsanto Co., are set to present closing arguments on May 8 in a glyphosate cancer trial in California state court, after the presiding judge denied Monsanto’s request for a mistrial on May 6 (Alva Pilliod, et al. v. Monsanto Company, No. RG17862702, Calif. Super., Alameda Co.).
OAKLAND, Calif. — An expert for Monsanto Co. on May 1 testified that “there is no evidence of a causal association between Roundup and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma,” as the glyphosate cancer trial of a California couple continued into its 18th day. The parties say that closing arguments are expected May 7 (Alva Pilliod, et al. v. Monsanto Company, No. RG17862702, Calif. Super., Alameda Co.).
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The plaintiffs who sued E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. for alleged injuries connected to exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8) moved in Ohio federal court on April 25 for clarification of whether the Ohio Tort Reform Act (OTRA) applies to Ohio plaintiffs with claims currently pending in the multidistrict litigation (In re: E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio).
SAN FRANCISCO — Plaintiffs in one case in the multidistrict litigation for the herbicide Roundup on May 1 filed a brief in California federal court contending that the removal of their case from California state court to the MDL was “procedurally improper” and the matter should be remanded (In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2741, [Samantha Taylor, et al. vs. Monsanto Co., et al., No. 19-01030, N.D. Calif.]).
MILWAUKEE — The former makers of lead-based paint on May 1 filed a brief in a Wisconsin federal court contending that the testimony of a psychiatrist regarding the incarceration of the father of one of the plaintiffs is relevant, as is information about the criminal history of another relative of that same plaintiff (Glenn Burton v. American Cyanamid, et al., No. 07-0303, E.D. Wis.).
SAN FRANCISCO — Environmental groups on April 30 filed a petition for fees and costs in a California federal court related to their lawsuit against the Trump administration with regard to its decision to suspend most of the requirements of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Waste Prevention rule that governs methane flaring at hydraulic fracturing sites, including sites on Native American lands (Sierra Club, et al. v. David Bernhardt, et al., No. 17-7187, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Environmental Protection Agency issued a proposed interim registration review decision on April 30 in which it said that it has not identified “any human health risks from exposure to glyphosate,” the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup.
DETROIT — A federal judge in Michigan on April 29 ruled that a defense witness in the lawsuit brought by a whistleblower in the Flint lead-contaminated water litigation was excluded from testifying because the defense did not establish that the testimony was admissible. The judge also held that the city of Flint could present evidence of the whistleblower’s gambling hobby (Natasha Henderson v. Flint, et al., No. 16-11648, E.D. Mich.).
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Residents of the city of Flint, Mich., on April 29 filed a brief in Michigan federal court contending that their allegations of discrimination on the basis of race and wealth in connection with the city’s and the state’s response to the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint are pertinent to their claim that the defendants’ behavior “shocks the conscience” (In re Flint Water Cases [Luke Waid, et al. v. Richard D. Snyder, et al.], No. 16-10444, E.D. Mich.).
BRONX, N.Y. — A woman sued the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) in New York state court on April 19, contending that she and her child have suffered personal injuries, economic damages and noneconomic damages as a result of fraud, misrepresentations and systemic failures of the NYCHA that resulted in their exposure to lead-based paint (Giselle Roman v. New York City Housing Authority, et al., No. 706981/2019, N.Y. Sup., Queens Co.).
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A divided Maryland appellate panel on April 22 reversed a class action settlement in a lead-based paint injury case on grounds that the agreement interferes with enforcement authority of state and federal agencies that govern the transfer payment rights in structured settlements for tort victims (Consumer Protection Division v. Crystal Linton, No. 2609, Sept. Term 2017, Md. Spec. App., 2019 Md. App. LEXIS 340).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — With the denial of a petition for a writ of certiorari on April 29, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ ruling upholding the exclusion of a man’s causation experts in his case against his former employers alleging that he contracted an autoimmune disease from exposure to toxic substances at work (Timothy J. Rizzo v. Applied Materials, Inc., et al., No. 18-1153, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on April 29 denied certiorari sought by environmental groups that contended that a lower court erred when it ruled that federal law preempted the review process for the construction of a pipeline that would carry hydraulically fractured gas through several counties in Pennsylvania (Delaware Riverkeeper Network, et al. v. Secretary of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, et al., No. 18-1106, U.S. Sup.).
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Two companies filed a joint brief in Kentucky federal court on April 23 contending that the residents who brought a chemical exposure case against them should not be permitted to dismiss their federal case and proceed in a different forum because they are trying to avoid the obligations imposed by the district court’s order that requires them to show medical injuries and property damage that can be traced to the defendants’ facilities (Modern Holdings, LLC, et al. v. Corning, Inc., et al., No. 5:13-cv-00405, E.D. Ky.).
SAN FRANCISCO — Monsanto Co. filed its opening brief in a California appeals court on April 23, arguing that the court should reverse the glyphosate cancer verdict in favor of a groundskeeper who won $78,506,418.35 because there is “no substantial evidence of causation” (DeWayne Johnson v. Monsanto Company, Nos. A155940 and A15670, Calif. App, 1st Dist.).
WILMINGTON, N.C. — A federal judge in North Carolina on April 19 partially granted and partially denied E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.’s motion to dismiss a groundwater contamination lawsuit, ruling that residents have plausible allegations for private nuisance, injury and the failure to act “reasonably” related to the company’s discharge of chemicals into the environment (Victoria Carey, et al. v. E. I. DuPont de Nemours & Company, et al., No. 17-201, E.D. N.C.).
NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge in Louisiana on April 15 adopted a magistrate judge’s recommendation to dismiss a class action claiming that exposure to dispersants used during the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in April 2010 caused injuries, finding that the suit was filed two days after the Feb. 4, 2019, deadline imposed by the Deepwater Horizon Medical Benefits Class Action Settlement Agreement (Michelle Kristine King, et al. v. BP Exploration & Production Inc., et al., No. 19-1081, E.D. La., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64082).
OAKLAND, Calif. — A plaintiff expert in a glyphosate cancer trial testified in California state court on April 17 that Monsanto Co. relied on fraudulent test results regarding the safety of the herbicide Roundup and never disclosed to the public that it lacked valid data regarding the product’s carcinogenicity. On cross-examination, Monsanto’s attorney pointed out that the witness held no medical degree of any kind (Alva Pilliod, et al. v. Monsanto Company, No. RG17862702, Calif. Super., Alameda Co.).
DETROIT — A federal judge in Michigan on April 18 denied the U.S. government’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by residents of the city of Flint, Mich. who seek $722.4 million under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) for the Environmental Protection Agency’s alleged mishandling of the lead-contaminated water crisis in the city (Jan Burgess, et al. v. United States, No. 17-10291, E.D. Mich., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66030).