NEW YORK — Juries decide disagreements between experts on lung cancer causation science, and the dueling opinions are not grounds for granting summary judgment, a New York justice said in a pair of Jan. 22 opinions denying the motions of two asbestos-flooring companies.
DES MOINES, Iowa — A federal judge in Iowa on Dec. 4 dismissed a chemical exposure lawsuit against the U.S. government brought by a company that sought to develop residential lots on a parcel of property that had been contaminated by trichloroethylene (TCE), ruling that the court lacked jurisdiction because the government’s decisions regarding chemical disposal were “discretionary.”
JACKSON, Ohio — An Ohio appeals panel on Jan. 11 ruled that a company was not entitled to recover the costs of remediating groundwater contaminated with various toxins because the insurance policy covering the property contained an exclusion that barred the claim.
NEWARK, N.J. — The parties involved in a lawsuit brought by education workers related to allegations that the city of Newark has “dangerously high levels of lead” in its drinking water on Jan. 26 filed a joint motion to dismiss the case in light of a settlement agreement that calls for the city to finish replacing its water service lines to remove lead pipes and increase its health protections for residents.
SEATTLE — A federal judge in Washington on Jan. 22 granted summary judgment dismissal of wrongful death chemical exposure case on grounds that the deceased’s widow failed to meet her burden to establish that there was a genuine issue of material fact regarding the defendant’s negligence.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on Jan. 22 transferred six additional glyphosate cancer cases to the In re Roundup Products Liability Litigation MDL pending in California federal court. All of the plaintiffs contend that exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, caused them to develop various types of cancer such as non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and chronic myeloid lymphoma (CML).
NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 22 vacated a ruling certifying a class for nearby residents of a Crosby, Texas, chemical production facility owned by Arkema Inc. that exploded as a result of flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey in 2017, finding that a federal judge in Texas did not fully address the predominance requirement of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 and did not explain how the proposed injunctive relief for the medical monitoring and property remediation classes would remedy the members’ injuries.
GREAT FALLS, Mont. — Environmental groups on Jan. 12 sued the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and federal officials in Montana federal court, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief for the BLM’s decision to continue to sell hydraulic fracturing leases on public lands in Montana and North Dakota “while turning a blind eye to the groundwater contamination and climate pollution the leases will cause.”
GEORGETOWN, Del. — A chicken processing plant in Delaware on Dec. 18 agreed to pay $65 million to a class of residents that had sued it for groundwater contamination.
HARRISBURG, Pa. — In an unpublished opinion issued Jan. 12, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania ruled that an environmental group’s case for breach of duty by state regulators regarding safe drinking water standards for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) failed because state law does not impose a mandatory duty on the state’s environmental agencies.
WILMINGTON, Del. — DuPont de Nemours Inc. on Jan. 22 announced that it will pay $83 million to settle most of the claims brought by residents who contended that they were injured by exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8 or PFOA) pending in the multidistrict litigation in Ohio federal court. The company also said it reached a memorandum of understanding with two companies it spun off to absorb the legal costs of the litigation.
DETROIT — A Michigan federal judge on Jan. 21 approved a $641.25 million settlement to resolve class action claims related to the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich., saying that all the necessary elements had been met.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A split panel of the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 15 denied a motion for partial stay of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s rule that rescinded the 2016 Methane Waste Prevention Rule, ruling that the environmental groups that sought the stay had not satisfied “the stringent requirements” for a stay.
LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel on Jan. 14 announced indictments against nine state and local officials related to the lead-contaminated water crisis in the city of Flint, charging former Gov. Rick Snyder with willful neglect of duty and charging former Director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Nicolas Lyon with nine counts of involuntary manslaughter.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 19 denied certiorari in a groundwater contamination case and let stand a 4-3 ruling of the Alabama Supreme Court that a carpet manufacturer is subject to specific personal jurisdiction in the state despite the fact that it operates in Georgia.
FLINT, Mich. — A Michigan man pleaded guilty Jan. 14 in federal court in Michigan to one count of violating the Clean Water Act (CWA) when discharging 47.8 million gallons of landfill leachate in the city of Flint’s sewer system from an industrial wastewater treatment facility he owned.
LOS ANGELES — Thirteen municipalities filed a renewed motion in federal court in California on Dec. 31 seeking preliminary approval of a $550 million class settlement with Monsanto Co. and its subsidiaries to resolve allegations over contamination stemming from products containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), arguing that the new settlement agreement remedies problems identified by a judge who denied approval of the settlement in November.
OMAHA, Neb. — A federal judge in Nebraska on Jan. 7 denied a motion to dismiss a toxic chemical exposure case and ruled that a cancer victim’s medical experts used methods that are “scientifically valid” and, therefore, they could testify in the case.
CHARLESTON, S.C. — Makers of the firefighting agent aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) and a class of plaintiffs who say they were injured by exposure to AFFF through contamination of their drinking water on Jan. 7 filed a joint motion in the multidistrict litigation for AFFF in South Carolina federal court seeking approval of a $17.5 million settlement.
NEW YORK — The special prosecutor in the U.S. government’s case against 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 Jan. 7 filed a letter in New York federal court stating that she did not oppose Donziger’s proposed new trial date of May 10.