CONCORD, N.H. — A New Hampshire state court judge on Nov. 26 granted a preliminary injunction to a water and sewer agency regarding rules it promulgated for the levels of various per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances in drinking water but stayed implementation of the order to allow for either party in the lawsuit to appeal the ruling (Plymouth Village Water & Sewer District, et al. v. Robert R. Scott, No. 217-2019-CV-00650, N.H. Super., Merrimack Co., 2019 N.H. Super. LEXIS 18).
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Plaintiffs in the litigation pertaining to the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich., on Dec. 30 filed a brief in Michigan federal court contending that the district court should deny a motion filed by defendants who seek additional time for their own depositions and a reduction in time allotted for the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs contend that the defendants cite no evidence in support of their motion (In re Flint Water Cases, No. 16-10444, E.D. Mich.).
SAN FRANCISCO — The Monsanto Co. on Dec. 13 filed a brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, arguing that a lower court erred in a trial about the herbicide Roundup when it admitted into evidence the conclusion reached by the International Agency for Research Cancer (IARC) that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is carcinogenic (Edwin Hardeman v. Monsanto Company, No. 19-16636, 9th Cir.).
FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Residents of a housing complex that was built on property that was later designated a Superfund site cannot seek to recover costs for the investigation of lead and arsenic contamination and relocation to temporary housing under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, a federal judge in Indiana ruled Dec. 16 in granting a motion for partial summary judgment filed by E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. and The Chemours Co., finding that the plaintiffs were required to pay their attorney for the investigative costs pursuant to a retainer agreement and that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency agreed to pay for temporary housing (Lerithea Rolan, et al. v. Atlantic Richfield Co., et al., No. 16-cv-357, N.D. Ind., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 216744).
SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. government on Dec. 20 filed an amicus curiae brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in support of Monsanto Co.’s appeal of a glyphosate cancer verdict, contending that the plaintiff’s claims of failure to warn regarding Monsanto’s labeling of the herbicide Roundup, which contains the active ingredient glyphosate, are preempted by federal law (Edwin Hardeman v. Monsanto Company, No. 19-16636, 9th Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A Texas woman who sued Monsanto Co. alleging that its fraudulent concealment of the health risks associated with the herbicide Roundup, which contains glyphosate, led to her exposure and eventual cancer had her case transferred to the multidistrict litigation for Roundup Products Liability Litigation in California federal court (Emma Ronay v. Monsanto Company, No. 19-7930, MDL 2741, N.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK — Steve 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 Dec. 12 filed notices of appeal in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in two separate but related cases pertaining to the judgment (Chevron Corporation v. Steven Donziger, No. 19-4091; United States of America v. Donziger, No. 19-4155, 2nd Cir.).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals on Dec. 20 affirmed a lower court and ruled that a man did not have a legal malpractice case against attorneys he says failed to properly represent him by ensuring that he had opted out of a class action settlement pertaining to groundwater contamination claims (Richard Gravely v. Anthony J. Majestro, et al., No. 19-30, W. Va. Sup., 2019 W.Va. LEXIS 661).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Supreme Court on Dec. 19 reinstated a $5,211,500 award to a man who sought personal injury damages for chemical exposure using a state statute typically applied to chemical damage from pollution to local waterways. The Supreme Court said the definition of “all damages” in the statute covered his injuries (Charles L. Lieupo v. Simon’s Trucking Inc., No. 18-657, Fla. Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO — An attorney on Dec. 18 filed a brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, arguing that a lower court judge abused his discretion when he sanctioned her during a glyphosate cancer trial in which her client won $80,267,644.10 against Monsanto Co. The verdict was later reduced, and the plaintiff appealed to the Ninth Circuit (Edwin Hardeman v. Monsanto Company, Nos. 196253 and 19-16255, 9th Cir.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware state court judge on Dec. 18 issued a partial bench ruling in which he stayed discovery in a lawsuit brought by the Chemours Co., a spinoff company of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., which contends that DowDuPont seeks 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. Vice Chancellor Sam Glasscock III did not elaborate on the reason for his decision (The Chemours Company v. DowDuPont Inc., No. 2019-0351, Del. Chanc.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Dec. 17 issued an order remanding a glyphosate cancer lawsuit against Monsanto Co. to California state court, despite the company’s contention that the state defendants named in the complaint had been fraudulently joined (Victor Berliant, et al. v. Monsanto Company, et al., No. 19-7189, N.D. Calif.).
CINCINNATI — A Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 17 reinstated a man’s citizen suit accusing a local sanitary district of violating the Clean Water Act (CWA) by failing to create a management plan for discharges of pesticide used to control mosquitoes, holding that his notice of intent to sue was sufficient because it listed the date of violation as the month the district’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit became effective (Matt Cooper v. Toledo Area Sanitary District, No. 19-3216, 6th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 37235).
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The U.S. government on Dec. 16 filed a criminal complaint in Virginia federal court against an attorney it claims engaged in interstate communication with parties from whom he intended to extort money under the guise of providing consulting services related to litigation involving the herbicide Roundup, which contains the active ingredient glyphosate (United States of America v. Timothy Litzenburg, No. 19-69, W.D. Va.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Residents of the city of Flint, Mich., on Dec. 16 filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court contending that it should deny a petition for certiorari filed by current and former employees of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) who contend that they are entitled to immunity in the Flint lead-contaminated water crisis litigation (Stephen Busch, et al. v. Shari Guertin, et al., No. 19-350, U.S. Sup.).
LOS ANGELES — Home Depot U.S.A. Inc. on Dec. 13 filed a brief in California federal court arguing that it should dismiss a lawsuit brought against the company related to the sale of the herbicide Roundup, which contains the active ingredient glyphosate, because the case is preempted by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) (James Weeks v. Home Depot U.S.A. Inc., No. 19-6780, C.D. Calif.).
PHILADELPHIA — The U.S. Department of the Navy’s request for a six-month stay of a consolidated lawsuit pending a determination from the federal government and the commonwealth of Pennsylvania as to whether perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and pefluorooctanic acid (PFOA) are hazardous substances was denied by a federal judge in Pennsylvania on Dec. 16 after he found that the interests of the plaintiffs outweigh those of the Navy (Kristen Giovanni, et al. v. U.S. Department of the Navy, No. 16-4873, Dorothy Palmer, et al. v. U.S. Department of the Navy, No. 17-765, E.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 215446).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal magistrate judge on Dec. 13 issued a report recommending that a California federal judge dismiss a chemical exposure case brought by a woman who contends that she was poisoned while working for the state Department of Corrections. According to the report, the claims are barred by immunity under the 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Dawn Devore v. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, et al., No. 18-2487, E.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 215309).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on Dec. 12 vacated a portion of a Board of Veterans Affairs decision that denied a veteran benefits for esophageal cancer he contends he developed as a result of drinking contaminated water at the Marine Corps Base at Camp Lejeune. The judge ruled that the board provided an inadequate statement of the reason it denied benefits (Don R. Edwards v. Robert L. Wilkie, No. 19-74, U.S. App., Vet. Clms., 2019 U.S. App. Vet. Claims LEXIS 2185).
ORLANDO, Fla. — The U.S. secretary of Labor on Dec. 6 sued a shooting gallery in Florida federal court under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, contending that the children of a former employee of the gun range tested positive for lead poisoning as a result of lead contamination that the employee took home from work (Eugene Scalia v. Shooting Gallery Range Inc., et al., No. 19-2304, M.D. Fla.).