ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Maryland Court of Appeals on June 24 affirmed a lower court ruling and said a trial court did not abuse its discretion in allowing the testimony of plaintiff’s experts in a lead-based paint poisoning lawsuit despite some dispute over the timing of the admission based on the scheduling order (Elliot Dackman, et al. v. Daquantay Robinson, No. 80, Sept. Term 2018, 2019 Md. LEXIS 310).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California man on June 21 sued Monsanto Co. in California federal court, contending that he has developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) as a result of exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, which he alleges Monsanto has misrepresented as a safe product (Saul Cohen v. Monsanto Company, No. 19-3632, N.D. Calif.).
OAKLAND, Calif. — Monsanto Co. on June 17 filed a brief in California state court contending that it should order a new trial in the glyphosate cancer case of a husband and wife who were awarded $2,055,206,172.77 in total damages against Monsanto. The company maintains that the plaintiffs’ counsel “repeatedly engaged in prejudicial misconduct” (Alva Pilliod, et al. v. Monsanto Company, No. RG17862702, Calif. Super., Alameda Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO — The man who won $80,267,644.10 when a federal jury found that Roundup was a “substantial factor” in causing his cancer filed a brief in California federal court on June 14, contending that Monsanto Co.’s motion for judgment as a matter of law or a new trial should be denied because he “presented sufficient admissible scientific evidence” regarding causation and his claims are not preempted (In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation [Hardeman v Monsanto], MDL No. 2741, No. 16-525, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) on June 14 filed a response brief in the U.S. Supreme Court contending that a petition for a writ of certiorari sought by environmental groups regarding the proper interpretation of the Clean Water Act (CWA) as it relates to navigable waters should be held pending the Supreme Court’s decision in a similar case (Tennessee Clean Water Network, et al. v. Tennessee Valley Authority, No. 18-1307, U.S. Sup.).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida on June 14 dismissed for lack of standing a putative class action in which the plaintiffs contended that General Mills Inc. failed to warn its customers that its cereal contains glyphosate, which the plaintiffs argued is a carcinogen (Mounira Doss v. General Mills Inc., No. 18-61924, S.D. Fla.).
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Plaintiff Steering Committee (PSC) in the multidistrict litigation against E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. for alleged injuries connected to exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8) on June 10 moved in Ohio federal court to strike DuPont’s response to the PSC’s trial proposal and sanction the company for its “repeated corporate pattern and practice of willful misconduct” (In re: E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio).
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. — A federal judge in New York on June 13 denied a motion to dismiss a groundwater contamination case brought by residents against Northrop Grumman Corp., ruling that the claims are not barred by the statute of limitations (Rosalie Romano, et al. v. Northrop Grumman Corporation, No. 16-5760, E.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99435).
NEW YORK — A Connecticut couple sued Monsanto Co. in a New York federal court on June 13, contending that the company is liable for one member of the couple developing cancer as a result of exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, and arguing that the company misrepresented the safety of the product (Edward L. Lamkay, et al. v. Monsanto Company, No. 19-5518, S.D. N.Y.).
LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Attorney General announced on June 13 that the Flint Water Crisis prosecution team, which has led the state’s investigation of the lead-contaminated water crisis in the city of Flint, has dismissed without prejudice all pending criminal cases brought by the former Office of Special Counsel (OSC) “in order to conduct a full and complete investigation.”
MILWAUKEE — The Atlantic Richfield Co. (ARCO) on June 10 filed a brief in Wisconsin federal court contending that the court should reject a motion filed by plaintiffs who won $6 million against the former makers of lead-based paint who want to amend a court order that allows the attorneys in the case to interview jurors about the verdict (Glenn Burton v. American Cyanamid, et al., No. 07-0303, E.D. Wis.).
ST. LOUIS — A Massachusetts couple on June 5 sued Monsanto Co. in Missouri federal court contending that the company is liable for the husband’s cancer as a result of his exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup. The couple argues that Monsanto gave “false assurances” that Roundup was “harmless to human beings” (Daniel Miller Darst, et al. v. Monsanto Company, No. 19-1640, E.D. Mo.).
SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 6 dismissed appeals of a judge’s decision to halt work on the Keystone XL Pipeline due in part to threats to Native Americans’ land and water, ruling that the challenges are now moot because President Donald Trump issued a new permit allowing pipeline construction to continue (Indigenous Environmental Network, et al. v. U.S. Department of State, et al., Nos. 18-36068, 18-36069, 19-35036, 19-35064, 19-35099, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 17095).
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A firefighter who claims that he has been injured as a result of exposure to aqueous film forming foams (AFFF) used to fight chemical fires, which contain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), on June 10 filed a brief in Ohio federal court contending that the motion to dismiss filed by one of the defendants should be denied because its argument is “without merit” (Kevin Hardwick v. 3M Company, et al., No. 18-1185, S.D. Ohio).
NEW YORK— A federal judge in New York on June 11 denied a motion to vacate a contempt order issued to 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. Donziger was held in contempt for engaging in a “scheme” for the “fraudulent procurement” of the judgment in Ecuador and he was ordered to surrender his passports (Chevron Corporation v. Steven Donziger, No. 11-691, S.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK — A New York state judge on June 6 fined a property management company and a New York City agency and held them in contempt for failing to remediate lead-based paint hazards in a rental property (Manuel Castillo v. Banner Group LLC, et al., No. 825/2019, N.Y. Civ., New York Co., 2019 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 2913).
SAN FRANCISCO — The attorneys general for the states of California and New Mexico on June 7 moved in California federal court for summary judgment declaring that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) decision to rescind the 2016 Waste Prevention Rule that pertains to methane flaring by hydraulic fracturing operationswas “unlawful.” The plaintiffs argue that the court should vacate the decision because methane flaring can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that cause and worsen respiratory problems (California, et al. v. Ryan Zinke, et al., No. 18-5712, N.D. Calif.).
MIAMI — Residents sued several sugarcane growers in Florida federal court on June 4, contending that the companies’ agricultural practices, including the pre-harvest burning of sugarcane, causes various toxins to contaminate their private land and cause health problems (Clover Coffie, et al. v. Florida Crystals Corporation, et al., No. 19-80730, S.D. Fla.).
SAN FRANCISCO — Monsanto Co. on May 31 filed a brief in federal court in California contending that the judge presiding over the multidistrict litigation for Roundup products liability claims should enter judgment for the company as a matter of law or order a new trial on all claims brought by a man who won $80,267,644.10 when a jury found that Roundup was a “substantial factor” in causing his cancer (In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation [Hardeman v Monsanto], MDL No. 2741, No. 16-525, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO — The federal judge in California presiding over the multidistrict litigation for Roundup products liability on June 3 issued an order dismissing some plaintiffs with prejudice, lifting a stay of discovery in certain cases and setting the date for the next trial in 2020 (In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2741, N.D. Calif.).