SAN FRANCISCO — A cancer victim who is suing Monsanto Co. and an Alabama business alleging that they are liable for his injury filed a brief on Nov. 19 in California federal court, arguing that his case should be remanded to Alabama state court from the multidistrict litigation for In re Roundup Products Liability Litigation because Monsanto has “has failed to timely and persuasively meet its burden of establishing diversity jurisdiction” (In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation [Phillip Mowry v Monsanto Company, et al.], No. 20-3356, MDL 2741, N.D. Calif.).
CHICAGO — Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul on Nov. 19 announced that his office had reached a $370,000 settlement with a group of developers over the release of toxic dust that the attorney general alleged contaminated a residential area when the developers demolished a smokestack at a former power generating station (People of Illinois, ex rel. Kwame Raoul v. Hilco Redevelopment LLC, et al., No. 2020-CH-4076, Ill. Cir., Cook Co., Chanc. Div.).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A couple on Sept. 22 filed its opening brief in Florida appeals court contending that a trial court erred when it granted summary judgment to a defendant in a chemical exposure cancer lawsuit because the company did not establish a factual dispute that the mineral spirits it provided to the husband’s workplace did not cause his illness (Robert Howell, et al. v. Sea Foam Sales Company, et al., No. 4D20-0838, Fla. App., 4th Dist.).
CHICAGO — Three companies against which plaintiffs won $700,000 for injuries from exposure to lead-based paint on Nov. 12 filed separate reply briefs in the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, arguing that the verdict should be reversed on grounds that the award is contrary to Wisconsin law (Glenn Burton, et al. v. Armstrong Containers Inc., et al., No. 20-1774, 7th Cir.).
RALEIGH, N.C. — A federal judge in North Carolina on Nov. 10 denied the U.S. government’s motion to dismiss a groundwater contamination lawsuit, ruling that the claim is not barred by the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) or a North Carolina statute of repose because “there are simply no policy considerations” that can account for the U.S. Department of Navy’s failure to provide uncontaminated water at Camp Lejeune (Gregory Wayne Bunting v. United States, No. 19-67, E.D. N.C., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 210416).
PHILADELPHIA — A panel of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 18 ruled that a shareholder class action claiming that the 3M Co. and its officers concealed the truth about the company’s exposure to liability associated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in violation of federal securities laws belongs in Minnesota federal court because claims based on false statements or omissions arise in the district where they occurred (In re 3M Co., et al., No. 20-2864, 3rd Cir.).
CHARLESTON, S.C. — DuPont de Nemours Inc. and an affiliated company on Nov. 16 moved in South Carolina federal court for leave to file a motion to dismiss in the multidistrict litigation for aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) and attached to the motion for leave a copy of the actual dismissal motion, in which they argue that all of the cases lack personal jurisdiction (In re: Aqueous Film Forming Foam Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 18-2873, D. S.C.).
SAN FRANCISCO — Monsanto Co. on Nov. 17 filed a brief in California federal court contending that one of the bellwether plaintiffs in the Roundup Products Liability Litigation multidistrict litigation should have his case dismissed because he had sufficient evidence to be on notice of a potential claim and the statute of limitations expired well before he filed his lawsuit (In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2741, N.D. Calif.).
NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge in Louisiana on Nov. 16 denied a motion to dismiss a chemical exposure lawsuit against a timber company and its contractor, ruling that there are genuine issues of material fact to be resolved with regard to the plaintiffs’ claims that the defendants were negligent (Dorothy Gail Collett, et al. v. Weyerhaeuser Company, et al., No. 19-11144, E.D. La., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 210481).
FLINT, Mich. — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel on Nov. 17 announced that an amended settlement of the litigation pertaining to the lead-contaminated water in the city of Flint worth $641.25 million, including payments by additional defendants, has been submitted to a Michigan federal court judge for approval (In re Flint Water Cases, No. 16-10444, E.D. Mich.).
NEW YORK — A new attorney for 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 Nov. 16 sent a letter to the New York federal judge who assigned the criminal contempt case to a separate judge, and called for the reassignment of the case to yet a different judge on grounds that the district court has “gone well beyond inevitable commingling and made a series of decisions that fundamentally prejudice Mr. Donziger’s right to a fair trial” (United States v. Steven Donziger, Nos. 19-cr-561 and 11-691, S.D. N.Y.).
GEORGETOWN, Del. — A state court judge in Delaware on Nov. 16 denied a chicken processing plant’s application for certification of an interlocutory appeal to the Delaware Supreme Court in a groundwater contamination case the plant argues was filed in the wrong court. The judge said the defendants’ legitimate jurisdictional concerns will be addressed “in due course” (Gary and Anna-Marie Cuppels, et al. v. Mountaire Corporation, et al., No. S18C-06-009, Del. Super., Sussex Co.).
WOODBURY, N.J. — The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) and others sued Solvay Specialty Polymers USA LLC and Arkema Inc. in state court Nov. 10, alleging that the companies’ use of “forever chemicals” during operations at a West Deptford, N.J., site has resulted in contaminated drinking water and natural resources damages (New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, et al. v. Solvay Specialty Polymers USA LLC, et al., No. GLO-L-1239-20, N.J. Super., Gloucester Co.).
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on Nov. 7 delayed until January the criminal contempt trial of 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, after counsel for the United States consented to a motion to delay filed by Donziger’s attorney, who argued that the video platform the court planned to use for the trial was “unreliable” (United States v. Steven Donziger, Nos. 19-cr-561 and 11-691, S.D. N.Y.).
HAMMOND, Ind. — A federal judge in Indiana on Nov. 6 denied a company’s motion to dismiss a groundwater contamination lawsuit under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), saying that the complaint seeking compensation was not untimely (Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority v. Honeywell International Inc., et al., No. 17-95, N.D. Ind., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 208183).
SAN FRANCISCO — A spokesman for Bayer Corp., the parent company that owns Monsanto Co., on Nov. 3 said that following a California appellate panel’s issuance of remittitur in the glyphosate cancer case brought by DeWayne Johnson, who won $20,506,418.64 for his injuries, Monsanto is weighing the possibility of filing a petition for a writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court as part of the company’s opposition to the verdict (DeWayne Johnson v. Monsanto Co., Nos. A155940 and A156706, Calif. App., 1st Dist.).
LEVERKUSEN, Germany — Bayer Corp. CEO Werner Baumann on Nov. 3 issued a statement related to the company’s release of its third-quarter earnings report in which he said the company expects that a settlement agreement to cover possible future claims related to the herbicide Roundup will cost Bayer $2 billion. The company originally predicted that the settlement of those claims would cost $1.25 billion.
CHICAGO — Two Illinois residents filed a putative class action in Illinois federal court on Oct. 30 contending that they have been poisoned by lead in their drinking water and that the city in which they live is liable for violations of due process, negligence, fraud and other claims for its failure to implement proper corrosion controls to protect citizens (Jennifer Campbell, et al. v. Sycamore, No. 20-6476, N.D. Ill.).
CHARLESTON, S.C. — Environmental groups that sued a pipeline company for contamination of groundwater agreed Oct. 27 to voluntarily dismiss the lawsuit without providing an explanation after the U.S. Supreme Court remanded the case to the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals for further consideration in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling in a separate but related lawsuit. The voluntary dismissal precludes the groups from being reinstated at a later time (Upstate Forever, et al. v. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP, et al., No. 17-1640, 4th Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO — The California federal court which is home to the multidistrict litigation (MDL) for Roundup Products Liability Litigation brought by individuals who allege that they have developed cancer from exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, on Oct. 28 added to the MDL the first case from Puerto Rico. The total number of cases in the MDL now is 3,828 (In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation [Rivera v. Monsanto], MDL No. 3741, No. 20-7552, N.D. Calif.).