COLUMBUS, Ohio — A federal judge in Ohio on Dec. 31 denied a motion by E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. seeking a mistrial regarding a jury award of $50 million to cancer victims injured by exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8), ruling that DuPont’s arguments “are not well taken.”
NEW YORK — A New York justice on Dec. 29 denied motions for summary judgment filed by numerous insurers seeking a declaration that no coverage is owed for an underlying lead paint judgment entered against their insured after determining that the insurers failed to meet their burden of proving that the insured expected or intended the harm that resulted from the use of its lead-contaminated paints.
BUFFALO, N.Y. — A federal judge in New York on Dec. 30 granted in part motions to dismiss filed by individual companies in a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act and strict liability lawsuit brought by landowners who live near a now-defunct landfill and have allegedly sustained physical injuries, finding that the plaintiffs’ third amended complaint (TAC) failed to sufficiently allege how the companies contributed to contamination at the site and engaged in ultrahazardous activity.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Institute for Policy Integrity at the New York University School of Law on Dec. 14 filed an amicus curiae brief in the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals contending that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to rescind the 2016 Methane Waste Prevention Rule “rests on the erroneous conclusion that the 2016 Rule unlawfully defined the oil and gas source category to include transmission and storage equipment.”
SANTA ANA, Calif. — A cancer victim on Dec. 29 sued Monsanto Co. in California state court contending that it is liable for fraud and negligence in connection with its manufacturing and selling of the herbicide Roundup, which contains the active ingredient glyphosate (Paul Leath v. Monsanto Company, No. 30-2020-01176463-CU-MT-CXC, Calif. Super., Orange Co.).
FLINT, Mich. — The city of Flint, Mich., on Dec. 22 issued a public notice indicating that its council has consented to the city joining the settlement of the litigation pertaining to the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint by using $20 million from its excess liability insurance, while it continues to deny liability (In re Flint Water Cases, No. 16-10444, E.D. Mich.).
DENVER — Environmental groups on Dec. 21 filed a notice of appeal in the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals seeking reversal of a district court decision that vacated the 2016 Methane Waste Prevention Rule that requires oil and gas producers to use currently available technologies and processes to cut flaring in half at hydraulic fracturing wells on public and tribal lands. The notice did not include any arguments supporting the appeal (Wyoming, et al. v. United States Department of the Interior, et al., No. 16-285, D. Wyo.).
SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on Dec. 21 filed a brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals contending that it should uphold a lower court’s summary judgment ruling that environmental groups lacked standing to pursue claims challenging the BLM’s decision to rescind the 2016 methane waste prevention rule that pertains to the venting and flaring of methane in hydraulic fracturing operations (California v. U.S. Bureau of Land Management, et al., Nos. 20-16157 and 20-16158, 9th Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 23 denied a petition for rehearing en banc in a hydraulic fracturing lawsuit and let stand the panel’s earlier decision, which held that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) met the federal requirements for a 2017 lease sale in the National Petroleum Reserve (NPR) in Alaska (Northern Alaska Environmental Center, et al. v. U.S. Department of the Interior, et al., No. 19-35008, 9th Cir.).
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — A man who contends that he contracted cancer from exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, sued Monsanto Co. on Dec. 23 in Iowa federal court, contending that it committed scientific fraud and misrepresented Roundup as being safe when in fact it is toxic (Michael Potash v. Monsanto Co., No. 20-4061, N.D. Iowa).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Dec. 23 issued a conditional order dismissing one of the bellwether cases in the multidistrict litigation for Roundup Products Liability Litigation related to claims brought by cancer victims who say they were injured as a result of exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup. No details of the settlement were available (In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation [Gebeyehou v. Monsanto], MDL No. 2741, No. 16-5813, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Dec. 21 published a final rule for regulatory revisions to the National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) for lead and copper under the authority of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), which accelerate the replacement of lead service lines and increase community water testing.
SALT LAKE CITY — A cancer victim on Dec. 23 sued Monsanto Co. in Utah federal court, contending that the company knowingly misrepresented the safety of its herbicide Roundup, which contains the active ingredient glyphosate. She also says Monsanto committed scientific fraud in its attempt to show that glyphosate is not carcinogenic (Linda Ekker v. Monsanto Company, No. 20-904, D. Utah).
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Maryland Court of Special Appeals on Dec. 21 affirmed a trial court’s decision and ruled that there was sufficient evidence to support a $1.7 million verdict awarded to a tenant who had been injured by exposure to lead-based paint (City Homes Inc. v. Dilan Sumpter, No. 1376, Sept. Term 2019, Md. Spec. App., 2020 Md. App. LEXIS 1213).
SAVANNAH, Ga. — A federal judge in Georgia on Dec. 21 partially dismissed a glyphosate cancer lawsuit against Monsanto Co., ruling that claims connected to the labeling and packaging of the herbicide Roundup failed, but determining that portions of the plaintiff’s design defect and negligence claims survived (John D. Carson Sr. v. Monsanto Company, No. 17-237, S.D. Ga., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 240309).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A water supplier on Dec. 11 filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court contending that a petition for writ of certiorari filed by a manufacturing company in a groundwater contamination case should not be granted because it is “premised on a misreading of the Alabama Supreme Court’s plurality opinion which is based on the narrow facts of this case
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. — A federal judge in New York on Dec. 21 ruled that a consolidated action for trichloroethylene injury could proceed against a chemical laboratory brought by workers at the facility, although the plaintiffs’ claims for fraudulent concealment were dismissed (In re: Brookhaven National Laboratory Trichloroethylene Cases, No. 19-4839, E.D .N.Y., 2020 U.S. LEXIS 239930).
TRENTON, N.J. — A water company on Dec. 18 sued E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. and its affiliates in New Jersey federal court seeking to hold them jointly and severally liable for damages allegedly sustained as a direct and proximate result of their releases of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) into the air, soil and water (Suez Water New Jersey Inc. v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., et al., No. 20-19906, D. N.J.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on Dec. 16 issued a transfer order sending five more cases to the Roundup Products Liability Litigation MDL in California federal court. In one case, which is indicative of the lot, a couple says that Monsanto’s “wrongful conduct” resulted in the husband’s cancer diagnosis (In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2741, N.D. Calif.).
LOS ANGELES — Walmart Inc. on Dec. 9 moved in California federal court to dismiss a second amended Roundup class action on grounds that the claim fails for lack of standing and the lead plaintiff cannot show that she is likely to be deceived about the safety of Roundup in the future based on the lack of product warnings and, therefore, there is “no threat of imminent injury” (Sherry Hanna v. Walmart Inc., No. 20-1075, C.D. Calif.).