Civil Procedure Residential Real Estate Toxic Torts

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Another Lead-Related Crisis: East Chicago, Indiana

Last week, we began following the news about East Chicago, Indiana, where dangerously high levels of lead and arsenic have been found in the soil of a public affordable housing community and nearby elementary school affecting...more

Eighth Circuit Reverses Class Certification in Vapor Intrusion Litigation

On May 20, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reversed class certification in a case involving residential vapor intrusion claims, in Ebert et al. v. General Mills, Inc., No. 15-1735 (8th Cir. May 20,...more

8th Circuit Court Finds Class Action Inappropriate to Resolve Neighborhood Claims for Damages Arising From Environmental...

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Eighth Circuit found that a class action could not be sustained in an environmental pollution case because “the class lacks the requisite commonality and cohesiveness to satisfy Rule 23.”...more

Maryland Court of Appeals OKs Circumstantial Causation Evidence in Lead Paint Cases

In a case that may make it easier to prove causation in Maryland lead paint cases, the Maryland Court of Appeals held that neither direct evidence of the source of lead nor expert testimony was necessary when a trier of fact...more

Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation: New York Court of Appeals Issues Ruling Clarifying Residence in Lead-Based Paint Cases...

The New York Court of Appeals recently addressed the question of "residence" under New York City’s lead abatement law, better known as "Local Law 1."(1) Local Law 1 – first enacted in 1982 – imposes a duty on landlords to...more

Tenth Circuit holds that environmental contamination case doesn’t require remand under Class Action Fairness Act’s “local...

Although the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA) permits most significant class actions to be heard in federal court, the law requires district courts to remand so-called “local controversies” to state court. A “local...more

September 2015: Product Liability Litigation Update

Ninth Circuit Restricts Scope of CAFA’s “Local Single Event” Exception. In Allen v. Boeing Co., 784 F.3d 625 (9th Cir. 2015), the Ninth Circuit recently held that a case did not fall within the Class Action Fairness Act’s...more

Offensive Discovery after Strudley and Changes to the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure

Toxic tort cases often involve real property, especially in areas with large mining and energy sectors like the West and Southwest. The cases frequently have large potential damage values and require extensive discovery....more

New Jersey Court Applies Continuous Trigger Theory and Finds That No Coverage Is Available Because Damage Manifested Prior to...

In Cypress Point Condo. Ass’n. v. Selective Way Ins. Co., 2015 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 721 (March 30, 2015), the New Jersey Law Division dismissed a declaratory judgment action filed against an insurer for a framing...more

Property Owners Denied Class Certification in Halliburton Contamination Suit

Earlier this month, a federal district court in Oklahoma denied class certification to a group of property owners living near a contaminated research facility owned by Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. in Duncan, Oklahoma,...more

No Statute of Limitations for Private Contribution Claims Under New Jersey’s Spill Act

Selling a piece of commercial property often requires much negotiation and planning, and generally represents the culmination of a result of a well-reasoned business decision. And at the conclusion of the deal—and depending...more

Judge Finds GenOn Power Plant Suit is Like School on a Saturday … No Class.

A Pennsylvania federal judge recently struck the class allegations from a suit brought against GenOn Power Midwest LP, alleging that its coal-fired power plant released toxic emissions that damaged surrounding property. Even...more

New York Federal Court Finds that CERCLA’s Petroleum Exclusion Covers Benzene Derived from Gasoline Degradation

In White Plains Housing Authority v. Getty Properties Corp., No. 13-cv-6282, 2014 WL 7183991 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 16, 2014), the district court applied the petroleum exclusion of the Comprehensive Environmental Response,...more

Arkansas Federal Court Denies Class Certification in Property Damage Suit

Exemplifying the reluctance of many courts to allow toxic tort cases to proceed as class actions, a federal judge in Arkansas denied certification of a putative class of neighboring landowners who claimed the Defendant’s...more

Federal Court Determines Low Levels of Carcinogens PCE and TCE Insufficient to Establish Private RCRA Cause of Action Absent...

Further underscoring the importance of expert testimony to support environmental claims, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey in Leese v. Lockheed Martin Corp., et al., No. 11-5091 (JBS/AMD), 2014...more

Federal Court Rejects Homeowners’ Expert’s Valuation of Alleged Diminution in Value Due to Environmental Contamination

In a recent environmental contamination case, a New Jersey federal judge rejected an expert valuation of alleged diminution in value on Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, 509 U.S. 579 (1993) grounds. In Leese, et al. v....more

Storing Heating Oil In Residential Tank Is Not An Abnormally Dangerous Activity In New Jersey

The Appellate Division recent held that the storage of home heating oil in an underground storage tank is not an abnormally dangerous activity. In Ross v. Lowitz, the plaintiffs, John and Pamela Ross, owned property that was...more

Seventh Circuit Rejects Class Action Alleging Groundwater Contamination From Refinery Because Homeowners’ Claims Lack Commonality

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently reversed the certification of a class of property owners who alleged an Illinois refinery leaked potentially carcinogenic chemicals into their property and water...more

Six-Year Statute Of Limitations Applies To Spill Act Contribution Claims

In a stunning decision, the New Jersey Appellate Division held on August 23 that the State’s general six-year statute of limitations for property damage applies to private claims for contribution under the New Jersey Spill...more

The Seventh Circuit Still Wrong: Bernstein v. Bankert

Late last year I blogged on the dubious decision by the Seventh Circuit in Bernstein v. Blankert which held that a settling CERCLA party did not resolve its liability to the government until it had performed all of its...more

Which Is Worse? EPA Oversight or Citizen Oversight?

Everyone who represents PRPs in Superfund settlements has his or her own horror stories regarding the scope of EPA’s oversight cost claims. We all know that oversight costs can end up as an appreciable percentage of total...more

Abolishment of Limitation Periods for Contaminated Sites in BC Put on Hold

In 2012, the government of B.C. passed legislation that would eliminate any limitation period previously applicable to actions to recover the costs of environmental remediation under the Environmental Management Act, S.B.C....more

Virginia Supreme Court Ends Chinese Drywall Debate

We are pleased to report that the Virginia Supreme Court has tacked down – or, more appropriately, “drywall-ed in” – the issue of whether a pollution exclusion in a property insurance policy precludes coverage for Chinese...more

Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Update: September 2012 -- Indiana Supreme Court Interprets Application of Statute of Repose in an...

Statutes of repose can provide immunity for contractors against latent asbestos personal injury claims filed several years after the work was performed and the plaintiff was exposed. Under many states’ statutes of repose,...more

Ontario Court of Appeal Dismisses $36 Million Environmental Class Action Award Against Inco

In a 3-0 decision, the Ontario Court of Appeal has reversed a $36 million trial award to members of an environmental class action. Thousands of Port Colborne, Ontario’s residents had sued Inco for property devaluation caused...more

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