CARLISLE, Pa. — A water company in Pennsylvania on Feb. 11 sued The 3M Co. and other chemical manufacturers in state court contending that they are liable for contaminating the local water supply with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and that the liability transfer between E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. and its spinoff company The Chemours Co. was fraudulent under state law.
DURHAM, N.C. — In a study published in the journal “Environmental Health Perspectives” on Jan. 27, researchers conclude that exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, and exposure to the European Union herbicide formulation known as Roundup MON 52276, suggests inhibition of the gut microbiome.
CHICAGO — A putative class of plaintiffs on Feb. 8 sued Gerber Products Co. and another party in Illinois federal court contending that they may have known that their baby food products contained elevated levels of toxic heavy metals yet still promoted the food as safe.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Feb. 9 issued an announcement in which it said that after reviewing a press release from the EPA during the closing days of the Trump administration, the agency’s toxicity assessment for perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS), which is one of multiple chemicals in the family of toxins known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), was “compromised by political interference as well as infringement of authorship and the scientific evidence of the author’s conclusions.”
LOS ANGELES — A couple on Feb. 10 sued Monsanto Co. in California federal court contending that it is liable for causing the husband’s cancer because the company knowingly concealed the dangers associated with exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup.
CINCINNATI — A group of plaintiffs in the litigation concerning the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich., on Feb. 9 filed a notice of appeal in the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals opposing a district court’s order that denied their motion to intervene to object to a proposed $641.25 million settlement, which the lower court has preliminarily approved.
LOS ANGELES — A California appellate panel on Jan. 29 issued an unpublished decision in which it affirmed summary judgment dismissal of a cancer victim’s chemical exposure case on grounds that the defendant’s medical expert’s opinion was properly admitted and the plaintiff failed to show that his injury was caused by exposure to numerous toxins during his employment with a railroad company.
DES MOINES, Iowa — A federal judge in Iowa on Feb. 1 approved the entry of a consent decree between the federal government and companies found liable for trichloroethylene (TCE) and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination a site in Des Moines that requires the companies to jointly and severally pay $11.5 million, finding that the agreement is fair and reasonable.
BURLINGTON, Vt. — A federal judge in Vermont on Feb. 8 ruled that class plaintiffs who are suing a plastics company alleging drinking water contamination from perflourooctanoic acid (PFOA) do not need to take down a website and a video posted to a social media platform that provide information about the class “vilifying the defendant” because they “may open the door to a freer presentation by the defendant” as the case proceeds.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on Feb. 4 transferred three cases to the In re: Aqueous Film Forming Foams Products Liability Litigation in South Carolina federal court. One of the cases was the second such lawsuit brought by the Michigan attorney general, who objected to having it sent to the MDL.
ST. PAUL, Minn. — A trial court did not err in finding that a policy’s exclusion for chemical or biological materials precludes coverage for the contamination of water systems at mink farms that occurred during a vandalism incident because the damage to the water systems was caused by the dispersal of a poisonous chemical, the Minnesota Court of Appeals said Feb. 8.
DETROIT — Plaintiff attorneys involved in the litigation over the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich., on Feb. 3 moved in Michigan federal court for a preliminary injunction and a temporary restraining order against an attorney they say is “engaging in misleading class communications and inappropriate solicitation of represented individuals in Flint.”
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California attorney general on Feb. 3 announced that the state had reached a $4.1 million settlement with a company that shredded steel from end-of-life automobiles and other items related to contamination of drinking water and air.
LEVERKUSEN, Germany — Bayer Corp., the parent of Monsanto Co., on Feb. 3 announced that it has reached a $2 billion class settlement with certain plaintiffs for cancer claims related to the herbicide Roundup, which contains the active ingredient glyphosate. Under the agreement, Monsanto will seek permission to add a reference link on its Roundup products allowing consumers to access public scientific information about the herbicide.
WILMINGTON, Del. — Shell Oil Co., Dow Chemical Co. and others on Jan. 29 filed a brief in Delaware federal court arguing that the claims of Ecuadorian banana plantation workers who contend they were injured by exposure to pesticides are barred based on a statute in Ecuadorean law and insist that the plaintiffs cannot use Delaware law to “sidestep” another jurisdiction’s time limits.
LOS ANGELES — A group of residents on Dec. 17 sued the city of Los Angeles Department of Water & Power and two officials in state court, contending that it is liable for injuries caused by exposure to “toxic air” as a result of a gas leak it concealed for 1,085 days before notifying the public.
WAUSAU, Wis. — A Wisconsin couple on Dec. 7 filed a reply brief in a state appeals court contending that the “junk” and “municipal waste” on their property, for which the county government issued a citation, did not pose a threat to groundwater because no toxins were released and, therefore, the county’s fine levied against them is “excessive” and the case should be dismissed.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on Jan. 27 transferred an additional three cases to the multidistrict litigation for personal injury cases against E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. brought by plaintiffs who contend that DuPont “negligently, recklessly, maliciously, knowingly and carelessly” exposed them to perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8 or PFOA), which led to cancer and in some cases wrongful death.
CHARLESTON, S.C. — A federal judge in South Carolina on Jan. 25 granted preliminary approval to a $17.5M settlement for PFAS injury claims stemming from groundwater contamination caused by the firefighting agent aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), determining that the deal meets the appropriate federal procedural requirements.
OKLAHOMA CITY — A Nebraska woman on Jan. 27 sued Monsanto Co. in Oklahoma federal court contending that it is liable for wrongfully causing her husband’s death from cancer as a result of manufacturing the herbicide Roundup, which contains the active ingredient glyphosate.