SAN FRANCISCO — Monsanto Co. on Aug. 11 filed its answer in California federal court denying responsibility for causing a cancer victim’s injury and maintaining that the plaintiff cannot proffer any scientifically reliable evidence that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, causes cancer or is defective or “unreasonably dangerous.” It also contends that Roundup is sold with proper warning labels.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A federal magistrate judge who had just stepped in and begun presiding over the Flint water crisis bellwether trial for U.S. Judge Judith E. Levy of the Eastern District of Michigan on Aug. 11 declared a mistrial after a juror broke down in tears and the jury told the magistrate judge that further deliberations would not result in a unanimous verdict, sources told Mealey Publications.
BOSTON — Residents on Aug. 2 sued assorted companies in Massachusetts federal court contending that they are liable for an “environmental disaster” related to drinking water contamination from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which was caused by their “intentional, reckless, and/or negligent acts and omissions” that discharged the chemicals into the local water supply.
CHARLESTON, S.C. — A drinking water authority on Aug. 8 sued 3M Co., E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. and other makers of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in South Carolina federal court, alleging that they are liable for contaminating the water supply, concealing information about the toxicity of PFAS for decades and, with respect to DuPont, fraudulently transferring assets to spinoff companies to protect against potential liability judgments.
NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge in Louisiana on Aug. 8 dismissed one chemical company and denied dismissal of another in an injury lawsuit filed by a man who alleges that the companies’ release of ethylene oxide (EtO) caused him to develop cancer. The judge said the claims were barred by a one-year prescriptive period, which operates as a statute of limitations in Louisiana, but only as to one of the defendants.
NORRISTOWN, Pa. — A Pennsylvania municipality sued the 3M Co., DuPont de Nemours & Co. and other makers of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in state court on July 29, contending that they knew about, yet concealed, the dangers of PFAS in the firefighting agent known as aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), which has contaminated local groundwater.
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — A man who suffers from Parkinson’s disease on Aug. 9 sued the makers of the pesticide paraquat in Illinois federal court contending that they acted with “oppression, fraud, and malice” because they were fully aware of the risks associated with paraquat yet they “deliberately crafted their label, marketing, and promotion” of the pesticide to mislead farmers and consumers.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — U.S. Judge Judith E. Levy of the Eastern District of Michigan, who has presided over deliberations in the Flint, Mich., water crisis bellwether trial, is temporarily stepping aside and handing her duties to a magistrate judge due to an unspecified medical issue, pursuant to an order issued Aug. 9.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A group of plaintiffs on Aug. 5 filed a brief in Virginia federal court contending that it should not dismiss their case against baby food maker Gerber Products Co. because they have standing to pursue claims that Gerber concealed the presence and risk of toxic heavy metals in their products.
SEATTLE — An attorney for Monsanto Co. on Aug. 8 started her opening arguments in a lawsuit in Washington state court by attacking the plaintiffs’ attorney’s just-completed opening remarks as “all about demonizing Monsanto, not about finding the truth” and said the case is about “fear, not facts” as the plaintiffs seek what the attorney called a large payout of $215 million for alleged neurological injuries in students and their parents from the presence of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in light fixtures at a Seattle area school.
FLORENCE, S.C. — A cancer victim on Aug. 5 sued Monsanto Co. in South Carolina federal court contending that it is liable for causing his injury because the company engaged in “fraudulent concealment of the true character, quality, and nature” of the herbicide Roundup, which contains the active ingredient glyphosate, a chemical the plaintiff says Monsanto knew, or should have known, is associated with an increased risk of developing cancer.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Chemistry Council (ACC) on July 29 filed a petition in the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals seeking review of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s lifetime drinking water advisories for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), contending the EPA’s “scientifically flawed and procedurally improper ‘interim’ health advisories” are the result of “egregious procedural and substantive errors” om violation of federal law.
ST. LOUIS — In opening arguments Aug. 3, the attorney for three cancer victims described Roundup maker Monsanto Co. as being more interested in combatting scientific studies showing its product was dangerous than in protecting the public, while Monsanto’s attorney insisted that the herbicide does not cause cancer as he contended that the plaintiffs’ attorney’s opening remarks contained “half-truths” and “untruths.”
ATLANTA — On Aug. 2, Monsanto Co. filed a petition in the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals seeking en banc review of its decision that reversed and remanded a glyphosate cancer case, arguing that the ruling “trivializes” the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s safety determinations about pesticides “threatening chaos for settled preemption principles.”
NEW YORK — A New York federal judge presiding over the methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) multidistrict litigation on July 27 denied a motion to dismiss by Exxon Mobil Corp. in which the oil company sought a limit on the damages New Jersey may seek in connection with MTBE contamination of state waters.
JERSEY CITY, N.J. — In a July 21 unpublished holding, a New Jersey appellate court said a “reasonable interpretation” of an agreement of sale supports breach of contract claims over a trust’s responsibility for remediating groundwater contamination caused by underground gasoline storage tanks at a property it conveyed in 2000.
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — On July 27, a couple sued a group of chemical companies in Illinois federal court contending that they are liable for the husband’s development of Parkinson’s disease from exposure to the pesticide paraquat, which the couple contends the defendants made and sold when they knew, or should have known, it was “a highly toxic substance that can cause severe neurological injuries and impairment” including Parkinson’s disease.
NEW ORLEANS — A cancer victim on July 26 filed a brief in Louisiana federal court opposing a chemical plant’s motion to dismiss his chemical injury lawsuit, contending the defendant’s tortious conduct is ongoing and it is causing successive damages.
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Landowners with water pollution claims related to hydraulic fracturing moved with the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board (EHB) on July 22 to stay an order sanctioning them for bad faith and harassment against a fracking operator until the conclusion of pending appeals in related cases that challenge the order on due process grounds.
EL PASO, Texas — An appellate panel in Texas on July 27 reversed and remanded a chemical injury case, ruling that a new trial is needed because the plaintiff presented enough evidence of actual damages, but that same evidence was “legally insufficient” to support the jury’s finding that the incident of his chemical exposure caused all the medical expenses awarded by the jury.