Mealey's Toxic Torts

  • December 13, 2019

    Secretary Of Labor Sues Gun Range For Violations Related To Lead Exposure

    ORLANDO, Fla. — The U.S. secretary of Labor on Dec. 6 sued a shooting gallery in Florida federal court under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, contending that the children of a former employee of the gun range tested positive for lead poisoning as a result of lead contamination that the employee took home from work  (Eugene Scalia v. Shooting Gallery Range Inc., et al., No. 19-2304, M.D. Fla.).

  • December 13, 2019

    Court Delays Oral Arguments In Glyphosate Cancer Appeal Due To Volume Of Briefs

    SAN FRANCISCO — An appellate panel in California on Dec. 6 issued an order indicating that it will attempt to schedule oral argument in Monsanto Co.’s appeal of a $78,506,418.35 glyphosate cancer verdict in March or April 2020, despite the fact that the plaintiff has shown a compelling need to have the appeal resolved as soon as possible and the briefing in the case has been completed (DeWayne Johnson v. Monsanto Company, Nos. A155940 and A156706, Calif. App., 1st Dist.).

  • December 13, 2019

    Special Master:  Monsanto CEO Not Entitled To Protective Order In Glyphosate Trial

    ST. LOUIS — The special master in a glyphosate cancer case against Monsanto Co. on Dec. 5 issued a report that former Monsanto CEP Hugh Grant is not entitled to a protective order shielding him from a subpoena and must testify at trial (James Adams v. Monsanto Company, No. 17SL-CC02721, Mo. Cir., St. Louis Co., 21st Jud. Cir.).

  • December 13, 2019

    Saint-Gobain: Class Fails To Meet Status Requirements In Tainted Groundwater Case

    CONCORD, N.H. — Defendants who have been sued for allegedly contaminating the drinking water in a New Hampshire community on Dec. 10 moved in federal court for leave to file a supplemental memorandum opposing class certification for the plaintiffs on grounds the lead plaintiffs are actually no longer members of the proposed class (Kevin Brown, et al. v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation, et al., No. 16-242, D. N.H.).

  • December 13, 2019

    Judge: Aqueous Foam Plaintiffs May Add DuPont Entities As Defendants

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — A federal judge in South Carolina on Dec. 12 ruled that six plaintiffs in the multidistrict litigation for the firefighting agent known as aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) could add as defendants numerous entities affiliated with E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. that the plaintiffs say bear some liability for their injuries from exposure to perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and/or perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) (In re: Aqueous Film Forming Foam, MDL 18-2873, D. S.C.).

  • December 12, 2019

    Glyphosate Plaintiffs Seek To File Medical Information Under Seal In Roundup MDL

    SAN FRANCISCO — Plaintiffs in the multidistrict litigation related to Roundup Products Liability on Dec. 11 moved in California federal court seeking to file under seal medical information related to their diagnoses of cancer, which they argue was caused by exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup (In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation [Hernandez v. Monsanto Co.], MDL No. 2741, No. 17-07364, N.D. Calif.).

  • December 11, 2019

    Magistrate To Decide Lead Plaintiff In Securities Class Against DuPont Spinoff

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A federal judge in Delaware on Dec. 10 referred to a magistrate judge motions pending in a securities class action against the Chemours Co. related to allegations that it concealed the true nature of its liabilities related to litigation it faces for injuries caused by exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid, also called C8, among other per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).  The specific motions pertain to which party should be the lead plaintiff in the case (In re:  The Chemours Company Securities Litigation, No. 19-1911, D. Del.).

  • December 11, 2019

    Judge: Donziger Entitled To 5th Amendment Defense; Hearing Will Proceed

    NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on Dec. 9 denied a motion by Chevron Corp. seeking to preclude Steven R. Donziger, the attorney who won an $18.5 billion judgment against the company in a court in Ecuador for injuries only to have it reversed, from refusing to answer questions in an evidentiary hearing based on his rights under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The judge also denied a motion by Donziger in which he sought to stay the evidentiary hearing in question (Chevron Corporation v. Steven Donziger, No. 11-691, S.D. N.Y.).

  • December 11, 2019

    Drywall Maker Says Class Allegations Lack Commonality, Timeliness

    NEW ORLEANS — A manufacturer of allegedly defective drywall made in China filed a motion in Louisiana federal court Dec. 9 to deny class certification for a proposed nationwide class of individuals claiming they suffered physical and economic injuries as a result of having the product being in their homes, arguing that the allegations are untimely and lack commonality (In re:  Chinese-Manufactured Drywall Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2047, Elizabeth Bennett, et al. v. Gebr. Knauf Verwaltungsgesellschaft KG, et al., No. 14-2722, E.D. La.).

  • December 11, 2019

    Special Prosecutor In Criminal Case Against Donziger Says He Remains A Flight Risk

    NEW YORK — A special prosecutor for the U.S. government on Dec. 10 filed a brief in a New York federal court contending that Steven R. Donziger, the attorney who won an $18.5 billion judgment against the company in a court in Ecuador for injuries only to have it reversed, “remains a flight risk” and there is nothing to warrant a modification of his release conditions in the criminal contempt case against him (Chevron Corporation v. Steven Donziger, No. 19-561, S.D. N.Y.).

  • December 10, 2019

    Couple Seeks Punitive Damages For Monsanto’s Concealment Of Roundup’s Dangers

    RICHMOND, Va. — A couple on Dec. 6 sued Monsanto Co. in Virginia federal court, contending that it is liable for the husband’s cancer as a result of exposure to the herbicide Roundup, which contains the active ingredient glyphosate and arguing that Monsanto fraudulently concealed the chemical’s danger to human health (David A. Taliaferro, et al. v. Monsanto Company, No. 19-908, E.D. Va.).

  • December 02, 2019

    Class Seeks Damages For Toxic Exposure From Texas Chemical Plant Explosions

    TYLER, Texas — A group of residents on Nov. 29 filed a putative class action in Texas federal court asserting claims for property damage and seeking medical monitoring for injuries related to toxic emissions from two explosions at a chemical plant (Christopher S. Harms, et al. v. TPC Group Inc., No. 19-606, E.D. Texas).

  • December 03, 2019

    MacDill Air Force Base Residents Sue Owners, Developers Over Mold

    TAMPA, Fla. — A number of active military personnel and their spouses on Dec. 2 filed a class action in Florida federal court accusing the owners and developers of the MacDill Air Force Base of failing to provide them with sufficient housing due to mold infestations that they claim have caused economic losses and physical injuries (Joshua Lenz, et al. v. Michaels Organization LLC, et al., No. 19-cv-2970-T-30, M.D. Fla.).

  • December 02, 2019

    Panel Reverses Dismissal Of Groundwater Case, Says Delay Not Fatal To Petition

    BROOKLYN, N.Y. — A New York appeals court on Nov. 27 reversed a lower court’s ruling and held that a trial court “improvidently granted” a motion to dismiss a groundwater contamination lawsuit because the plaintiffs’ delay in filing their case was not fatal to the petition because there was no prejudice involved (In the Matter of Norma Brooks, et al v. County of Suffolk, Nos. 2017-08563 and 2018-04121, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 2nd Dept., 2019 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 8594).

  • December 02, 2019

    Chevron:  Donziger Not Allowed To Invoke 5th Amendment At Evidentiary Hearing

    NEW YORK — Chevron Corp. on Nov. 19 filed a brief in New York federal court in support of a motion in limine seeking to preclude Steve R. Donziger, the attorney who won an $18.5 billion judgment against the company in a court in Ecuador for injuries only to have it reversed, from asserting a defense under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution at an evidentiary hearing scheduled for Dec. 12 (Chevron Corporation v. Steven Donziger, Nos. 11-691, S.D. N.Y.).

  • November 27, 2019

    Monsanto:  Glyphosate Cancer Case Fails For Lack Of Causation Expert

    SAN FRANCISCO — Monsanto Co. on Nov. 20 moved in California federal court for summary judgment dismissal of a glyphosate cancer lawsuit that is part of the Roundup Products Liability multidistrict litigation, contending that the plaintiff failed to meet his burden of causation because he did not identify a specific expert who was willing to testify that Roundup exposure caused the plaintiff’s unique form of leukemia (In re:  Roundup Products Liability Litigation [Chavez v. Monsanto Co.], MDL No. 2741, No. 18-4855, N.D. Calif.).

  • November 27, 2019

    DuPont:  Consolidation Of C8 Cancer Cases For Trial Is ‘Unfairly Prejudicial’

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. on Nov. 15 filed a brief in Ohio federal court objecting to the consolidation of two cases from the multidistrict litigation related to perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8), which the court has combined for trial purposes.  DuPont argues that the consolidation will “create significant risk that the jury’s verdict will be based not on the merits of the individual cases but rather on cumulative, unfair prejudice and confusion” (In re: E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio).

  • November 27, 2019

    Panel Says Chemical Injury Case Properly Dismissed, Claims Precluded By Law

    LOS ANGELES — A California appeals panel on Nov. 21 issued an unpublished opinion affirming a trial court’s decision to sustain two separate demurrers filed by defendants in a chemical exposure injury lawsuit on grounds that the claims were precluded by workers' compensation exclusivity principles (Frank Deville v. James R. Bloch, No. B291099, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., 5th Div., 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7753).

  • November 27, 2019

    Chemours’ C8 Liability Case Belongs In Arbitration, Not Court, DowDuPont Says

    WILMINGTON, Del. — DowDuPont Inc. on Nov. 13 filed a brief in Delaware state court contending that the court should dismiss a lawsuit brought by the Chemours Co., a spinoff company of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., which contends that DowDuPont seeks to “avoid accountability for environmental costs through a campaign of transactional engineering” related to litigation brought against it for injuries allegedly caused by exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), also called C8.  DowDuPont argues that the case belongs in arbitration (The Chemours Company v. DowDuPont Inc., No. 2019-0351, Del. Chanc.).

  • November 27, 2019

    Judge Denies Dismissal Of Groundwater Case, Says Federal Claim Is Valid

    BOSTON — A federal judge in Massachusetts on Nov. 26 denied a motion to dismiss a case brought by an environmental advocacy group that sued a beach club for allegedly contaminating local groundwater, concluding that the plaintiffs adequately stated a claim under federal law for contributing to disposal of hazardous waste that “may present an imminent and substantial endangerment to health and the environment” (Conservation Law Foundation Inc. v. Longwood Venues & Destinations Inc., et al., No. 19-cv-11672, D. Mass., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 205273).