Mealey's Toxic Torts

  • September 20, 2023

    Firefighter With Cancer: PFAS Makers Showed ‘Conscious Disregard’ For Safety

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — A retired firefighter who has cancer has sued the 3M Co., E.I. Dupont de Nemours & Co. and other makers of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in South Carolina federal court arguing that they are liable for causing his cancer because PFAS is a key ingredient in the firefighting agent aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) and he was exposed to it on the job.  The plaintiff contends that the defendants falsely represented that PFAS was safe and that that constitutes “conscious disregard and reckless indifference for the safety and welfare of the public.”

  • September 19, 2023

    Insurer Says Pollution, Lead Exclusions Bar Coverage For Lead Exposure Suit Claims

    BUTTE, Mont. — No coverage is owed to an insured for an underlying third-party complaint alleging that the insured’s negligence in installing a water well contributed to injuries sustained by tenants who consumed the well water because the policies’ exclusions for pollution and lead bar coverage, an insurer says in a complaint filed in Montana federal court.

  • September 18, 2023

    Companies: Norfolk Southern’s Ohio Train Derailment Third-Party Case Fails

    YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Two companies have filed a joint motion to dismiss a third-party complaint against them brought by Norfolk Southern Corp. and Norfolk Southern Railway Co. (collectively, Norfolk Southern) in the Ohio train derailment litigation arguing that Norfolk Southern cannot bring negligence claims against them because they are not owners or operators of the railcars that were involved in the accident.

  • September 15, 2023

    Water Agency Says PFAS Makers Are Liable For Drinking Water Contamination

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — A water authority has sued the makers of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which are used as ingredients in the firefighting substance aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), in South Carolina federal court seeking to recover the costs of protecting and restoring its drinking water from PFAS contamination and arguing that the defendants knew that the chemicals are toxic.

  • September 15, 2023

    PFAS Makers Assert Immunity As Government Contractors In Groundwater Case

    NEW YORK — The makers of the firefighting agent called aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) who are being sued by two hotels in Vermont over contamination from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have removed the case to New York federal court arguing that they are immune from the lawsuit because they are covered by the government contractor defense.

  • September 15, 2023

    EPA:  Nonprofit’s Ohio Train Derailment Case Should Be Dismissed Based On CERCLA

    YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and its administrator have filed a reply brief in Ohio federal court arguing that it should dismiss a lawsuit brought by a nonprofit organization over the East Palestine train derailment and the subsequent toxic chemical spill because the court lacks jurisdiction on grounds that the suit interferes with a removal action under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act.

  • September 15, 2023

    Insurer Seeks Dismissal Of Tyco’s AFFF Claims Under Brillhart-Wilton Doctrine

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — An insurance company has filed a brief in South Carolina federal court arguing that it should dismiss an amended complaint by Tyco Fire Products LP that seeks insurance coverage for claims arising from injuries associated with the firefighting agent aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), arguing that the court should abstain from deciding coverage issues pursuant to the Brillhart-Wilton doctrine.

  • September 15, 2023

    Parties Debate Admissibility Of Experts Under Daubert In Paraquat Litigation

    EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — The plaintiffs who sued the makers of the pesticide paraquat and the companies themselves have filed competing briefs in Illinois federal court debating the admissibility of the plaintiffs’ expert witnesses under the Daubert standard.  The defendants say the plaintiffs’ general causation expert “offers a masterclass in violating Rule 702,” and the plaintiffs contend that the defendants’ arguments “have no basis in Seventh Circuit authority.”

  • September 14, 2023

    Monsanto Denies Glyphosate Claims, Says Scientifically Reliable Evidence Lacking

    SAN FRANCISCO — Monsanto Co. has filed an answer to a cancer lawsuit filed against it related to glyphosate, the active ingredient in its herbicide Roundup, in which it denies all allegations and asserts affirmative defenses that the plaintiff cannot proffer any scientifically reliable evidence that the products at issue were “defective or unreasonably dangerous.”

  • September 14, 2023

    DuPont Sues City, Newspapers To Protect Trade Secrets In PFAS Settlement

    ROME, Ga. — E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. and its affiliates have sued the city of Rome, Ga., and two newspapers in Georgia state court in an attempt to prevent the publication of the terms of a settlement agreement related to a lawsuit brought by the city against DuPont concerning contamination from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) on grounds that the agreement contains confidential trade secrets.

  • September 13, 2023

    Attorneys:  Reconsideration Of Plaintiff Leadership Order Needed In Water Case

    RALEIGH, N.C. — Two attorneys for some of the plaintiffs suing the U.S. government in North Carolina federal court over injuries allegedly from toxic water at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune filed a reply brief arguing that it should reconsider a previous ruling regarding the establishment of a committee called the Plaintiffs’ Leadership Group (PLG) because new evidence has come to light about how the committee was formed amid an “ongoing lack of transparency.”

  • September 13, 2023

    Judge Nixes Appeal In Camp Lejeune Case Regarding Firms’ Solicitation Of Clients

    WHEELING, W.Va. — Ruling that the question of law for which a law firm sought interlocutory appeal “does not contain substantial grounds for difference of opinion,” a federal judge in West Virginia denied the firm’s motion and said that a cell phone may qualify as a residential phone under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in a lawsuit brought by a woman who contends that the firm illegally solicited clients for mass tort cases relating to toxic water exposure at Camp Lejeune.

  • September 13, 2023

    Judge Says Flint Plaintiffs’ Expert Opinion Is ‘Relevant And Admissible’

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A federal judge in Michigan who is presiding over the litigation related to the Flint lead-contaminated water crisis has denied an attempt by one of the defendants seeking to exclude a plaintiffs’ expert, ruling that his opinion is “relevant and admissible” because he opines only as to what the potential harm is, which is different from the issue of damages.

  • September 12, 2023

    Man Says PFAS Makers Are Liable For His Cancer Because They Concealed Its Toxicity

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — A man with cancer who claims he developed his injury as a result of exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from the use of the firefighting agent aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) has sued 3M Co., E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. and other makers of PFAS in South Carolina federal court, seeking damages due to the “intentional, malicious, knowing, reckless and/or negligent acts and/or omissions” of the defendants.

  • September 12, 2023

    Glyphosate Cancer Cases Remanded For Trial; Experts Survive Parties’ Opposition

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Sept. 11 remanded a glyphosate cancer lawsuit from the multidistrict litigation (MDL) for the herbicide Roundup to a federal court in Kentucky pursuant to a conditional remand order that covers multiple cases. In the case brought by the estate of Kenzie Elizabeth Murdock, the judge remanded after denying Monsanto Co.’s motion to exclude Murdock’s expert witness.

  • September 12, 2023

    Michigan Agency Sues Airport For PFAS Contamination Of Soil And Groundwater

    LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) sued the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority in state court seeking to compel it to comply with multiple state laws pertaining to the protection of natural resources and the remediation of contamination from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

  • September 12, 2023

    Insured Says Coverage Owed For Contribution To Lead Paint Abatement Fund

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Supreme Court should affirm a state appellate court’s ruling that an insured’s obligation to contribute to a lead paint abatement fund constitutes damages under applicable insurance policies because the ordinary meaning of the word damages includes the insured’s obligation to contribute to the abatement fund, the insured says in it appellee brief filed in the Ohio Supreme Court.

  • September 11, 2023

    In Contamination Dispute, Landfill Operator Is Not Entitled To Summary Judgment

    SAN DIEGO — The operator of a landfill that allegedly contaminated groundwater near a new development is not entitled to summary judgment on claims brought against it by the developer because genuine issues of material fact exist regarding the claims, a California federal judge found in denying the operator’s motion for summary judgment.

  • September 08, 2023

    Magistrate: RICO Claims Valid Against Some Defendants In PFAS Water Pollution Case

    BOSTON — A federal magistrate judge has issued a sprawling report that recommends granting and dismissing multiple motions to dismiss a lawsuit alleging drinking water contamination by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), concluding that claims for violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO) are viable against certain defendants.

  • September 08, 2023

    Amicus Says Roundup Label Does Not Preempt Warning Under State Law

    ATLANTA — A nonprofit consumer advocacy organization has filed a supplemental amicus curiae brief in the product labeling dispute involving the herbicide Roundup in the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, arguing that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s registration of a pesticide that does not have a specific warning on its label does not preempt a state law requirement to provide such a warning.

  • September 01, 2023

    Monsanto Says Glyphosate Case Fails For Lack Of Plaintiff’s Causation Expert

    SAN FRANCISCO — Monsanto Co. has moved for summary judgment in a woman’s glyphosate cancer lawsuit on grounds that her claims cannot proceed because she failed to disclose any expert reports regarding specific causation.

  • September 01, 2023

    Monsanto:  School Districts’ PCB Case Fails For Lack Of ‘Injury In Fact’

    BURLINGTON, Vt. — Monsanto Co. and two affiliated companies argue that the lawsuit filed against them in Vermont federal court by 95 school districts alleging contamination from polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) should be dismissed because the plaintiffs have no injury in fact and fail to state a claim for property damage.

  • September 01, 2023

    DuPont Says High Court Review Needed For ‘Deeply Flawed’ $40M PFAS Ruling

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. has filed a reply brief in the U.S. Supreme Court contending that a lower court’s decision affirming a $40 million per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) verdict against it is “deeply flawed” because it misapplies Supreme Court precedent by allowing the results of “a handful of early trials to preclude trial on key issues across an entire” multidistrict litigation.

  • August 31, 2023

    30 Cases Alleging Companies Knew PFAS Was Toxic Sent To Firefighting Foam MDL

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) has transferred another 30 cases to the MDL for aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) litigation, a firefighting agent that contains per- and polyfuoroalkyl substances (PFAS).  One of the cases, which is representative of the others, involves claims from the owner and operator of a water system in New York that contends that 3M Co., E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. and others are liable for contaminating its water supply because they knew that the PFAS they manufactured were toxic.

  • August 31, 2023

    Subpoena Of Norfolk Southern’s Consultant In Ohio Case Is Valid, Plaintiffs Say

    YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Plaintiffs who say they have been injured from exposure to toxic chemicals released from the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, have filed a brief in Ohio federal court arguing that their subpoena of a Norfolk Southern litigation consultant is valid and that they should not be required to withdraw the subpoena “simply based on Norfolk Southern’s blanket assertion of privilege.”