Civil Procedure Environmental Products Liability

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A Dangerous Product Does Not Necessarily Have A Design Defect

When the Town of Lexington detected PCBs in building caulk and then in indoor air in an elementary school built in 1960-61, it sued Pharmacia, alleging that Pharmacia sold a product – PCBs – with a design defect. In alleging...more

DuPont Wins Partial Summary Judgment in Drinking Water MDL

An Ohio federal district court gave E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Co. a partial victory in litigation over ammonium perfluorooctanoate (“C-8”) drinking water contamination in Ohio and West Virginia by granting partial summary...more

Impact of California Appellate Decision on Proposition 65 Actions Unclear

On April 28, 2015, the Environmental Law Foundation (“ELF”) filed a petition in the California Supreme Court for review of the Court of Appeal’s recent decision in Environmental Law Foundation v. Beech-Nut Nutrition Corp., et...more

California Federal Court Dismisses Medical Monitoring Claims for Lack of Plausible Cancer Risk

In a significant victory for defendants facing toxic tort exposure claims, a California federal court dismissed a medical monitoring putative class action brought by drinkers of certain Pepsi products because Plaintiffs...more

California Appellate Court Affirms Judgment in Favor of Food Company on Claims of Lead Exposure

In an important victory for defendants doing business in California, the California Court of Appeal recently affirmed a trial court’s decision holding that the defendants did not violate Proposition 65, California’s toxics...more

Municipalities Lose First Round in Bid to Hold PCB Manufacturers Liable For Environmental Impacts

Two Massachusetts municipalities are down but not out in their attempts to hold manufacturers of PCBs responsible for the environmental effects of PCB-containing products decades later. ...more

Class Action Lawsuit Claims Wines Contain Unsafe Levels of Arsenic

Four California residents brought a lawsuit earlier this month against 28 wineries for producing, manufacturing or distributing wine in California that allegedly contains inorganic arsenic in amounts far in excess of what is...more

Court Of Appeal Upholds “Safe Harbor” Exemption From Prop 65 Warnings For Lead In Fruit Products

In a much anticipated decision, a California Court of Appeal has upheld a trial court ruling for the defense, finding that trace levels of lead in packaged fruits, vegetables and fruit juice products require no Proposition 65...more

Arsenic in Wine: What You Need to Know About the Class Action Claims

What is the Doris Charles, et al. v. The Wine Group, et al., No. BC576061 (Cal. Sup. Ct., Los Angeles County) lawsuit? A lawsuit filed last week as a class action against wineries, wine distributors and wine retailers...more

Calif. Appellate Court Endorses Averaging Lead Exposure in Food and Beverage Prop. 65 Disputes

In a rare published decision concerning California’s expansive Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, commonly known as “Prop 65,” the California Court of Appeal on March 17, 2015, dealt companies a victory in...more

California Appellate Court Takes on Proposition 65 Warning Triggers

Auburn Courthouse Prop 65Recent attempts to modify California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, Proposition 65, have been the work of the California Legislature. (See A Sane Tweak To Proposition 65 and...more

Prop 65 Amendment Would Limit Frivolous Claims and “Overwarning”

Legislation was introduced in the California Assembly last week to provide much-needed relief from frivolous Proposition 65 claims and avoid “over-warning” the public where scientific evidence shows that products or premises...more

Louisiana Federal Court Excludes “Every Exposure” Testimony

Adding to the growing body of case law that rejects the so-called “every exposure” theory, a federal court in Louisiana has excluded specific causation opinions of a plaintiffs’ expert who relied on the theory, finding that...more

Wisconsin Supreme Court's misapplication of the pollution exclusion and disregard for policyholders' business and purpose in...

Last week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued two opinions in which it held that pollution exclusions barred coverage for third-party claims resulting from alleged contamination of water due to the seepage of cow manure and...more

Proposition 65 Plaintiff Group Seeks to Rescind “Safe Harbor” Standard for Lead

Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation, which has a long history as a Proposition 65 plaintiff, filed a writ petition earlier this week seeking to challenge and rescind the “safe harbor” level for lead under Proposition 65. ...more

Forum-Shopping Insurance Companies' Latest Tricks

Decades ago, insurance companies tried to persuade trial courts in California to apply the law of some other state to multi-party environmental and asbestos insurance coverage disputes because the insurance companies believed...more

Toxic Tort & Product Liability Quarterly Volume 7, Number 2

MASS TOXIC TORTS - West Virginia Chemical Spill Prompts Wave of Lawsuits - The January 9th, 2014 chemical release at a Freedom Industries, Inc. facility in West Virginia has shown, yet again, that major...more

Proposition 65 Hot Button Issue: Caramel Coloring in Soft Drinks

Beverage companies PepsiCo and Goya face a spate of class action lawsuits relating to the caramel coloring in their soda drinks. In January, Consumer Reports, an independent product testing organization, released a report...more

Delayed Discovery Cannot Cure Defective Pre-Litigation Investigations for Proposition 65 Suits

A California appellate court recently determined that a consumer group’s failure to conduct required pre-litigation investigations of several restaurant chains’ alleged Proposition 65 violations warranted dismissal of the...more

Is the Absolute Pollution Exclusion Absolute? It Depends on Which State Answers the Question

The battle over the scope of the absolute pollution exclusion in general liability policies continues to be fought in the context of defective drywall manufactured in China. An earlier blog entry discussed a Virginia court...more

Insurance Recovery Law -- Apr 18, 2013

Ninth Circuit Narrows Insurers' Options in Pursuing Subrogation Claims Under CERCLA - Why it matters: The Ninth Circuit confirmed that Chubb could have maintained a subrogation action against potentially liable parties...more

BLG Canadian Insurance Law Newsletter - Fall 2011

Six articles in this edition covering class actions, product liability, Sale of Goods Act implied conditions, spoliation, CGL coverage, pollution exclusions, new civil procedure rules in Ontario concerning experts, police...more

Protecting Investigative Materials

A great summary of Attorney Client and Work Product Privilege in the context of an internal investigation. Something you should keep in mind when bad things happen....more

The "Naturally Occurring" Defense In Proposition 65 Cases Involving Food Products

California's Proposition 65 requires businesses to provide reasonable warnings before knowingly and intentionally exposing individuals to chemicals known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. This duty to...more

Foraging Through the Jungle of Expert Discovery and Testimony

This is an article I wrote in 2008 on the challenges associated with maintaining privilege when working with experts. It's a very tricky issue. The new federal rules coming out this fall 2010 help resolve some of these...more

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