Mealey's Toxic Torts

  • April 15, 2024

    AFFF Maker To Pay $750M To Settle PFAS Claims Brought By Public Water Providers

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — Tyco Fire Products LP said April 12 that it has reached a $750 million settlement to resolve claims related to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) litigation in South Carolina federal court brought by public water systems (PWS) alleging contamination of their water supplies from the presence of PFAS, which is an ingredient in the firefighting substance aqueous film forming foam (AFFF).

  • April 15, 2024

    Man Says Stone Countertop Makers Concealed Dangers, Caused His Silicosis

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A man who has silicosis has sued numerous stone countertop companies in California federal court alleging that they are liable for his injury because they fraudulently concealed the fact that their products contain minerals that, when cut, produce large amounts of respirable crystalline silica dust.

  • April 12, 2024

    Quartz Countertop Defendants: Complaint Fails To State Facts Sufficient For Claims

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — Multiple defendants sued by workers who say they developed pulmonary injuries from exposure to crystalline silica while cutting stone countertops have filed answers to the complaint in California state court.  One defendant, Arizona Tile LLC, denies all allegations and asserts affirmative defenses contending that the plaintiffs fail to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action against it.

  • April 11, 2024

    EPA Sets 1st Standard For Levels Of 6 PFAS In Drinking Water

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on April 10 that it has published a final rule regulating six types of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water under the National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR).  The rule sets maximum contaminant level goals (MCLGs) for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) at zero.

  • April 10, 2024

    Judge: Experts Can Testify On How Jet Fuel Spill Caused Psychological Injuries

    HONOLULU — A federal judge in Hawaii largely rejected efforts by the U.S. government to exclude three experts retained by the plaintiffs to opine on the psychological impacts of a groundwater contamination case after finding that many of its arguments can be addressed through cross-examination.

  • April 10, 2024

    Railcar Company: Court Should Deny Norfolk Southern’s Partial Final Judgment Bid

    YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — One of the railcar companies being sued by Norfolk Southern Corp. and Norfolk Southern Railway Co. (collectively, Norfolk Southern) over the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, that resulted in the release of toxic chemicals filed a brief on April 9 opposing Norfolk Southern’s motion for partial final judgment in its third-party lawsuit, arguing that the third-party claims that have been dismissed are closely related to unadjudicated first-party claims that remain.

  • April 10, 2024

    Flint Federal Tort Case Plaintiffs Say Government Has Waived Sovereign Immunity

    DETROIT — The plaintiffs in litigation seeking $722.4 million under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) related to the Flint water crisis on April 9 filed an opposition brief in Michigan federal court arguing that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s renewed motion to dismiss the lawsuit should be denied on grounds that granting it would “completely eviscerate the goals of the FTCA” and because the United States has waived its sovereign immunity from suit for injury caused by negligent or wrongful acts of government employees if a private person would be liable for those actions.

  • April 10, 2024

    Monsanto Says 4 Roundup Cases Fail For Lack Of Causation Experts

    SAN FRANCISCO — Monsanto Co. has filed multiple motions for summary judgment in California federal court in glyphosate cancer lawsuits pending in the multidistrict litigation for the herbicide Roundup, contending that they all fail on causation grounds because in each case the plaintiffs failed to submit an expert report on specific causation prior to the deadline.  In a case brought by Edilia Gonzalez and others, Monsanto says Gonzalez did not provide an expert report containing case-specific evidence of a causal link between Roundup exposure and the cancer that killed plaintiff Manuel Balbuena.

  • April 09, 2024

    Jackson Water Crisis Plaintiffs Say Their Claims Are ‘Plausibly Pleaded’

    JACKSON, Miss. — The plaintiffs suing Jackson, Miss., over the drinking water crisis in the city have filed a brief in Mississippi federal court arguing that it should deny the city’s motion to dismiss their class action on grounds that they have “plausibly pleaded” a claim for the violation of their bodily integrity and that their second amended complaint includes facts showing that they relied on the city’s misrepresentations about the water crisis in making their decision to continue drinking tap water.

  • April 09, 2024

    Michigan Residents: 3M, DuPont Liable For Knowingly Polluting Water With PFAS

    DETROIT — Michigan residents sued 3M Co., E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. (DuPont) and other chemical manufacturers on April 8 in Michigan federal court contending that they are liable for contaminating local drinking water with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) during the defendants’ “decade-long calculated, fraudulent, and knowing concealment of their polluting activities.”

  • April 09, 2024

    Norfolk Southern To Pay $600M To Settle Ohio Train Derailment Litigation

    YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Norfolk Southern Railway Co. and Norfolk Southern Corp. (Norfolk Southern collectively) and the plaintiffs suing them filed notice in Ohio federal court on April 9 indicating that they have reached a $600 million agreement in principle to resolve the class action pertaining to alleged injuries from the release of toxic chemicals in the 2023 train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio; a third-party lawsuit among Norfolk Southern and railcar companies continues.

  • April 08, 2024

    Judge Seals Portions Of Flint Experts’ Opinions, Guarding Minors’ Personal Data

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A federal judge in Michigan on April 5 issued an order granting a motion to seal certain portions of the opinions of plaintiffs’ experts in the litigation over the water crisis in Flint, Mich., ruling that some aspects of their opinions include medical and personal information of minor children.

  • April 08, 2024

    Water District: Appeal Of AFFF Deal Valid, Claim About Motive ‘Inflammatory’

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — A California water district has filed a brief in South Carolina federal court denying what it calls an “inflammatory charge” against it leveled by class counsel in the multidistrict litigation for the firefighting substance aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) who seek an appeal bond from the water district related to its decision to appeal the court’s approval of a $1.18 billion class settlement between plaintiffs and E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. related to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination from AFFF.

  • April 05, 2024

    Michigan Panel ‘Improperly Inserted Itself’ Into PFAS Rules Process, Agency Says

    LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) has filed a supplemental brief in support of its appeal in the Michigan Supreme Court arguing that it complied with the plain language of the Michigan Administrative Procedures Act (MAPA) when it estimated compliance costs for only the per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) drinking water rules under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and that the Michigan Court of Appeals “improperly inserted itself into the rulemaking process.”

  • April 04, 2024

    Following Stipulation, Judge Dismisses 1 Defendant In Camp Lejeune Phone Call Case

    WHEELING, W.Va. — Following a stipulation by the plaintiff, a federal judge in West Virginia on April 3 issued an order dismissing with prejudice the plaintiff’s claims against one of the law firm defendants in her case alleging that multiple parties engaged in illegal phone calls soliciting clients for mass tort cases relating to toxic water exposure at Camp Lejeune.  Her claims against the other defendants remain pending.

  • April 04, 2024

    Insurer Says District Court Properly Found Coverage Is Barred For Cleanup Costs

    ATLANTA — A district court’s ruling that no coverage is owed to an insured for contamination cleanup costs caused by the release of petroleum and other contaminants from an underground storage tank at a gas station must be affirmed because the district court correctly found that the claim for contamination cleanup costs incepted prior to the issuance of the policy and is, therefore, barred from coverage, the insurer says in its appellee brief filed in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeal.

  • April 02, 2024

    Judge Grants Final Approval To $12.5B PFAS Settlement Between 3M, Water Providers

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — A federal judge in South Carolina has given final approval to a $12.5 billion class action settlement between 3M Co. and water providers who sued the company alleging that it was liable for contamination of drinking water with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).  In the order, the judge said that objections to the deal raised by the Ojibwe Tribe of Native Americans had been addressed.

  • April 01, 2024

    Judge Dismisses Federal Claims Against School District For Lead, Asbestos Exposure

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — A federal judge in Pennsylvania dismissed state-created danger and substantive due process bodily integrity claims brought by residents who contend that they were poisoned by exposure to lead and asbestos in schools in Scranton, Pa., but the judge declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the plaintiffs’ state law medical monitoring claim to allow them to file that claim in state court.

  • March 29, 2024

    L’Oréal: Bid To Compel Responses In Hair Relaxer Case ‘Unwarranted And Improper’

    CHICAGO — L’Oréal USA filed a brief in Illinois federal court on March 28 arguing that a motion to compel compliance with discovery orders filed by plaintiffs who contend they have been injured by chemicals in hair relaxer products is “unwarranted and improper” and that it has provided responses to interrogatories and there is nothing left to compel.

  • March 28, 2024

    Judge Nixes Some Lead Claims Related To Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Products

    SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California on March 27 dismissed without prejudice California state law claims, including an unfair competition law (UCL) claim, against Trader Joe’s Co. related to allegations that its dark chocolate products contain lead and other heavy metals but denied dismissal with regard to claims brought pursuant to business practice laws in other states.

  • March 28, 2024

    Glyphosate Cancer Plaintiff Says His Expert’s Opinions Have Not Been ‘Debunked’

    SAN FRANCISCO — A man who sued Monsanto Co. for allegedly causing his cancer as a result of exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, on March 27 filed a brief in California federal court arguing that Monsanto’s arguments to exclude his expert witness fail because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has not “debunked” the expert’s opinions.

  • March 28, 2024

    Judge Dismisses PFAS Cosmetics Class For Failure To Adequately Plead Allegations

    NEW YORK — A federal judge has dismissed a per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) lawsuit against a cosmetics company, ruling that the class plaintiffs failed to adequately plead that the products in question contained PFAS and lacked standing.

  • March 27, 2024

    Justice: Defendant May Obtain Plaintiff’s Medical Record Of Drug Use, But Not Of HIV

    BRONX, N.Y. — A New York state court justice has ruled that a realty company sued for causing lead-paint poisoning injuries is entitled to the infant plaintiffs’ mother’s medical records related to her use of drugs and alcohol, but he determined that the realty company cannot access her medical history pertaining to HIV.

  • March 26, 2024

    Plaintiffs Suing EPA Over Water Fluoridation Allege ‘Bureaucratic Lethargy’

    SAN FRANCISCO — Plaintiffs who sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for allegedly causing an “unreasonable risk of injury” due to the artificial fluoridation of drinking water have filed a brief in California federal court, arguing that the court “is confronted with precisely the scenario that Congress had in mind” when it enacted the citizen petition provision of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), namely, “an EPA that has let ‘bureaucratic lethargy’ undermine the appropriate enforcement of TSCA’s ‘vital authority’ for safeguarding public health.”

  • March 26, 2024

    Jackson Water Crisis Case Fails, Portion Should Be Stricken, Defendant Says

    JACKSON, Miss. — An engineering firm that is a defendant in the Jackson, Miss., water crisis litigation answered the second amended class complaint and moved to strike a portion of the complaint on grounds that it contains allegations that “have absolutely zero connection” to the firm’s scope of professional services in which it provided a water treatment system corrosion control study and engineering services to the city concerning its potable water system.  In the answer, the firm denies all allegations and asserts 46 affirmative defenses, including failure to state a claim.