SAN FRANCISCO — Class members on June 24 moved in California federal court for preliminary approval of a settlement as well as a stay of lawsuits related to cancer claims linked to the herbicide Roundup, pending a fairness hearing (In re Roundup Products Liability Litigation [Ramirez v. Monsanto], MDL 2741, N.D. Calif.).
LEVERKUSEN, Germany — Bayer Corp. announced June 24 that it will spend more than $10 billion to resolve lawsuits claiming that the use of Roundup caused individuals to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), crops were damaged by the drift of the herbicide dicamba and water contamination was caused by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A federal judge in Kansas on June 19 allowed a pro se widow to pursue a $130 million lawsuit claiming that her husband’s exposure to glyphosate in Agent Orange and Roundup caused him to develop cancer, finding that her complaint plausibly alleges claims for relief (Consuelo E. Kelly-Leppert v. Monsanto/Bayer Corp., No. 20-cv-2121-KHV, D. Kan., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107720).
DENVER — A Colorado federal judge issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) on June 5 barring the city of Denver from using pepper spray and rubber bullets against protesters peacefully demonstrating against police brutality. He also refused the city’s subsequent request to modify the TRO’s language stating that body cameras must be recording “at all times” (Agazi Abay, et al. v. Denver, 20-01616, D. Colo., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99523).
GEORGETOWN, Del. — A state court judge in Delaware on June 18 denied a chicken processing plant’s motion for dismissal of a groundwater contamination case on grounds that the Delaware long-arm statute confers personal jurisdiction over the company as a nonresident defendant because it has taken actions either in person or through an agent in Delaware (Gary and Anna-Marie Cuppels, et al. v. Mountaire Corporation, et al., No. S18C-06-009 ESB, Del. Super., Sussex Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on June 18 announced that it will not regulate perchlorate levels in drinking water because based on “the best available science and the proactive steps that EPA, states and public water systems have taken to reduce perchlorate levels,” it has determined that perchlorate does not meet the criteria for regulation as a drinking water contaminant under the Safe Drinking Water Act.
SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on June 15 filed a brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals arguing that its proposed rule for lead-based paint hazard standards complies with the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and is “reasonable” (A Community Voice, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 19-72930, 9th Cir.).
MILWAUKEE — A real estate company and a family trust on June 16 sued a chemical company in Wisconsin federal court, contending that it is liable under the Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) for remediating groundwater contamination of property the trust owns (Grossmanns Family Real Estate LLC, et al. v. Great Lakes Synergy Corporation, No. 20-905, E.D. Wis.).
LOS ANGELES — Monsanto Co. on June 17 removed to California federal court a wrongful death lawsuit related to cancer allegedly caused by exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, on grounds that a local school district was fraudulently joined in the initial lawsuit filed in state court (Halaevalu Tuuholoaki, et al. v. Bayer AG, et al., No. 20-5391, C.D. Calif.).
GEORGETOWN, Del. — A chicken processing plant on June 15 filed a brief in Delaware state court contending that it is “improper and unwarranted” for the members of a groundwater contamination class action to seek sanctions for alleged violations of discovery protocol (Gary and Anna-Marie Cuppels, et al. v. Mountaire Corporation, et al., No. S18C-06-009 ESB, Del. Super., Sussex Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on June 4 transferred seven glyphosate cancer cases to the multidistrict litigation (MDL) for Roundup products, bringing the total number of cases in the MDL to 2,826 (In re Roundup Products Liability Litigation [Corban v. Monsanto], MDL 2741, N.D. Calif.
SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on June 11 moved in California federal court to exclude the testimony of a witness for a group that seeks to compel the EPA to ban the introduction of “fluoridation chemicals” into drinking water, arguing that the expert’s testimony is beyond the scope of her disclosures according to federal procedural rules (Food & Water Watch Inc., et al. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 17-2162, N.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK — 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, on June 9 filed a notice of appeal in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals seeking reversal of a district court’s decision which denied his request to modify the conditions of his pretrial release. This appeal marks the second time Donziger has appealed his home detention arrangement to the Second Circuit (United States v. Steven Donziger, No. N/A, 2nd Cir.).
PORTLAND, Ore. — A federal judge in Oregon on June 9 granted a social justice group’s request for a temporary restraining order barring Portland police from using tear gas as a crowd control measure against peaceful protesters. In ruling on the group’s proposed class action, the judge noted that use of the toxic chemicals violated protesters’ constitutional rights and could exacerbate the spread of COVID-19 (Don’t Shoot Portland, et al. v. City of Portland, No. 20-00917, D. Ore., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100801).
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A federal judge in Michigan on June 8 ordered the Michigan Solicitor General’s Office to produce certain documents pertaining to the criminal investigation pending related to the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich. (In re Flint Water Cases, No. 16-10444, E.D. Mich.).
NEW YORK — In a settlement that was posted to the docket on June 5, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and advocates for the environment reached an agreement under which the EPA will propose revisions to national drinking water regulations for microbial and disinfection byproduct contaminants and will publish additional lists of contaminants in the Federal Register (Waterkeeper Alliance Inc., et al. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 19-899, S.D. N.Y.).
GEORGETOWN, Del. — A special master in Delaware state court on June 5 ruled that the notice of litigation provided by a chicken processing plant to prospective members of a putative class action for groundwater contamination must provide more information on the pollution, the plant’s role in causing the situation and the possible benefits of the class action (Gary and Anna-Marie Cuppels, et al. v. Mountaire Corporation, et al., No. S18C-06-009 ESB, Del. Super., Sussex Co.).
CINCINNATI — A panel of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 2 said that former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and an administration official could not stay an order deposing them as nonparty fact witnesses in the litigation that has arisen in the wake of the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich. (In re: Flint Water Cases [Luke Waid, et al. v. Darnell Earley, et al., No. 20-1352, 6th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — An attorney for Monsanto Co. on June 2 told a California appeals panel that Monsanto’s conduct was “not reprehensible at all” and that a $78,506,418.35 glyphosate cancer verdict should be reduced because the plaintiff’s life expectancy has been shortened to less than two years. The attorney also argued that the claim itself fails because it is preempted by California law (DeWayne Johnson v. Monsanto Company, Nos. A155940 and A156706, Calif. App., 1st Dist.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on June 1 refused to hear a case brought by families who contended that they have been injured by contaminated drinking water at a military base and said review was needed because a lower court wrongly determined that the claims were barred by North Carolina’s 10-year statute of repose (Erica Y. Bryant, et al. v. United States, et al., No. 19-982, U.S. Sup.).