ST. PAUL, Minn. — The 3M Co. on Feb. 20 announced that it has reached an agreement with Wolverine World Wide Inc. under which 3M will pay $55 million “to support” Wolverine’s efforts to address PFAS chemical remediation under Wolverine’s consent decree with the state of Michigan, which resolves Wolverine’s third-party claims against 3M (Michigan Department of Environmental Quality v. Wolverine World Wide Inc. and Wolverine World Wide Inc. v. 3M Company, No. 18-39, W.D. Mich.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Feb. 20 announced its proposal to regulate perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in drinking water, but it said it would not regulate six other chemicals that commonly contaminate the water supply based on “inadequate” data.
NEW YORK — A New York state justice on Feb. 14 dismissed a lead-paint poisoning injury case against the city of New York and two city agencies, ruling that “uncontroverted” expert opinion showed that the plaintiff’s blood-lead levels did not constitute poisoning and that the plaintiff’s lung cancer was caused by other factors (Velimir Zic, et al. v. City of New York, et al., No. 15920.1/2012, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
NEW ORLEANS — A cancer victim on Feb. 18 sued Monsanto Co. in Louisiana federal court contending that it is liable for his injury as a result of making, promoting and providing misleading information about the herbicide Roundup, which contains the active ingredient glyphosate. The case is just one of 339 similar lawsuits that have been filed against Monsanto in various jurisdictions since the beginning of February (Gerard C. Breaux Sr. v. Monsanto Company, No. 20-593, E.D. La.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, along with other attorneys general, on Feb. 12 sent a comment letter to the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, arguing that certain provisions of the EPA’s proposed lead and copper rule (LCR) fail to protect public health as required by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).
ST. LOUIS — A Missouri state court judge on Feb. 13 ordered that a cancer victim who sued Monsanto Co. alleging that it is responsible for his injury because it manufactured and sold the herbicide Roundup, which contains the active ingredient glyphosate, may file documents under seal while the case has been continued indefinitely while the parties are engaged in a mediation process (Christopher Wade v. Monsanto Company, No. 1722CC-00370, Mo. Cir., 22nd Jud. Cir., St. Louis).
CHARLESTON, S.C. — A Pennsylvania cancer victim on Jan. 24 sued the 3M Co., E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. and other chemical manufacturers in South Carolina federal court contending that they have contaminated his groundwater with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) related to the use of aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), a fire-fighting foam that contains PFAS compounds (James M. Jones v. 3M Company, et al., No. 20-263, MDL 18-2873, D. S.C.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Feb. 12 partially granted and partially denied a law firm’s requests for information from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) pertaining to the EPA’s communication related to its classification of glyphosate as noncarcinogenic. The judge held that although the EPA’s search for communications was “inadequate,” it could still withhold a variety of material (Husch Blackwell LLP v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, No. 18-1213, D. D.C., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24322).
NEW YORK — The journal Environmental Health on Feb. 12 published an article in which a researcher determined that the strongest evidence shows that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, causes cancer in mice. The researcher said the regulatory authorities that reviewed the data and reached a different conclusion “appear to have relied on analyses conducted by” Monsanto rather than an analysis conducted by the authorities themselves.
NEW YORK — An attorney for the U.S. government and an 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 Feb. 11 debated before the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals whether Donziger is a flight risk who should be subject to home confinement for being held in contempt (United States v. Donziger, No. 19-4155, 2nd Cir.).
HAMMOND, Ind. — A federal judge in Indiana on Feb. 11 ruled that tenants in a housing complex had a valid due process claim related to a property interest against a housing authority that failed to remediate lead contamination (Kendra Mabry, et al. v. City of East Chicago, et al., No. 16-402, N.D. Ind., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23340).
LANSING, Mich. —The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) on Feb. 3 reached a $69.5 million settlement with a manufacturer of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that had contaminated drinking water supplies in the state. If approved, the agreement will call for the company to conduct groundwater investigations and remediation in the area affected by the chemicals (Michigan Department of Environmental Quality v. Wolverine World Wide Inc., No. 18-39, W.D. Mich.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Families who contend that they have been injured by contaminated drinking water at a military base filed a petition for writ of certiorari on Feb. 3 in the U.S. Supreme Court, contending that it needs to review a lower court’s decision that the plaintiffs’ claims were barred by North Carolina’s 10-year statute of repose (Erica Y. Bryant, et al. v. United States, et al., No. 19-982, U.S. Sup.).
NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana man on Jan. 21 sued Monsanto Co. in Louisiana federal court contending that the company is liable for his cancer as a result of exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, which he says Monsanto misrepresented to the public as safe (Dwight Arsenaux v. Monsanto Company, No. 20-1013, E.D. La.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A glyphosate cancer victim on Feb. 11 filed a brief in California appeals court contending that it should affirm a verdict in his favor against Monsanto Co., the maker of the herbicide Roundup, and arguing that the appellate court does not need to rule on the issue of preemption raised by Monsanto because “the verdict stands on the finding of strict liability” (DeWayne Johnson v. Monsanto Company, Nos. A155940 and A156706, Calif. App., 1st Dist.).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Northrop Grumman Corp. and its affiliates on Feb. 7 filed an answer and affirmative defenses in New York federal court in which they deny all allegations against them for injuries related to groundwater contamination, maintain that the plaintiffs fail to state claims for which relief can be granted and argue that the plaintiffs share responsibility for comparative negligence (Christopher J. Cornett, et al. v. Northrop Grumman Corporation, et al., No. 18-6453, E.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK — Chevron Corp. on Feb. 10 filed a brief in New York federal court objecting to a report and recommendation in a lawsuit against Steven R. Donziger, the attorney who won an $18.5 billion judgment against Chevron in a court in Ecuador for residents’ injuries only to have it reversed, contending that a judge should decline a magistrate judge’s suggestion to hold in abeyance a contempt motion against one of Donziger’s associates pending the resolution of Donziger’s federal appeals (Chevron Corporation v. Steven Donziger, No. 11-691, S.D. N.Y.).
SAN FRANCISCO — Monsanto Co. on Feb. 7 filed a brief in California appellate court contending that an $86,742,310 glyphosate cancer verdict against the company should be reversed because the claims are preempted by federal law, there is “no substantial evidence” to support the verdict and a new trial is needed due to “prejudicial attorney misconduct” (Alva Pilliod, et al. v. Monsanto Company, No. A158228, Calif. App., Dist. 1).
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A federal judge in Ohio on Feb. 7 ruled that E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.’s expert may not modify his testimony in a trial over cancer allegedly caused by perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8) contamination in groundwater, but he is allowed to testify that the plaintiff’s expert did not properly account for other factors that affected the plaintiff’s health (In re: E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21793).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Jan. 22 issued an interim registration review decision for glyphosate and its various salt forms in which the agency said it did not identify any human health risks from exposure to glyphosate, although there is a “potential ecological risk” to mammals and birds.