Civil Procedure Toxic Torts

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Cornell Ruling Is Cause for Experts’ Concern

I recently co-authored an article for Law360 entitled “Cornell Ruling Is Cause for Experts’ Concern,” which covered the ruling by the New York Court of Appeals in Cornell v. 360 West 51st St. Realty, LLC (2014 NY Slip Op...more

Pa. Superior Court Confirms Statutory Right of Repose for Improvements to Real Estate in Asbestos Cases

The Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed a jury verdict in favor of plaintiffs in an asbestos mesothelioma case, finding that the 12-year statute of repose bars all claims related to improvements constructed on real estate...more

Are Personal Injury Damages Avaiable in a Nuisance Case?

As promised, on May 22, today’s post is a study of the personal injury issues raised by the defendants in Parr v. Aruba. In this post we raise the question and discuss what the parties believe the answer should be....more

Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) Apportionment

The U.S. Court of Appeals used the recent case of PCS Nitrogen Inc. v. Ashley II of Charleston LLC to decide when it is appropriate to rule in favor of apportionment under CERCLA. In this case, 43 acres of land in...more

Supreme Court Rules CERCLA Does Not Preempt State Statute of Repose

In CTS Corp. v. Waldburger, 13-339, 2014 WL 2560466 (U.S. June 9, 2014), the United States Supreme Court held that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, also known as Superfund)...more

Is Death A Defense To CERCLA Liability?

In contrast to the early days of Superfund when no argument for extending CERCLA liability was too far-fetched, the Second Circuit recently rejected one of the all-time “Hail Mary” passes for CERCLA contribution. The case,...more

Oil and Gas Companies Ask Colorado Supreme Court to Approve Trial Court Order Requiring Plaintiffs to Present Preliminary Evidence...

On June 18th, Antero Resources Corp., Antero Resources Piceance Corp, Calfrac Well Services Corp, and Frontier Drilling LLC filed their Opening Brief before the Colorado Supreme Court in a “toxic tort” case concerning...more

One Step Closer… Fifth Circuit Affirms BP Loss on CWA Liability Regarding Gulf Spill

The Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico occurred over four years ago, accompanied by numerous stories trumpeting the fact that BP would likely pay as much as $25 billion to the United States in civil penalties...more

Supreme Court Ruling Resolves Conflict on State Statutes of Repose

US Supreme Court rules CERCLA Section 309 does not preempt state statutes of repose. Federal causes of action remain unaffected. Last week, in a 7-2 decision, the US Supreme Court ruled in CTS Corp. v. Waldburger that...more

Newly-Published Regional Steel Case Raises More Questions Than It Answers

In May, California’s Second Appellate District affirmed a summary ruling that a Commercial General Liability insurer did not have a duty to defend a subcontractor who supplied faulty “seismic tie hooks” that were encased in...more

New York Court of Appeals Addresses Proof of Causation in Lead Paint Exposure Litigation

In many toxic tort cases, the date of exposure to the alleged toxin occurred years before the emergence of any symptoms of injury. For that reason, relatively simple rules for disclosure of medical proof may become more...more

United States Supreme Court Holds that CERCLA Allows State Statutes of Repose to Limit Plaintiffs’ Injury Claims

This week, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling of interest to any Potentially Responsible Party regarding the effect of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) on state...more

Words Matter … To Spartans And To The First Circuit

There is a scene in the movie 300 where King Leonidas greets the Persian messenger with, “Before you speak, Persian, know that in Sparta everyone, even a king’s messenger, is held accountable for the words of his voice.” ...more

Do Statutes of Repose Under CERCLA Really Require Supreme Court Review

Even Superfund lawyers are likely to find the Supreme Court’s decision yesterday in CTS Corporation v. Waldburger to be of limited interest. Unable to reach an agreement about a federal “toxic tort” cause of action, Congress...more

California Court of Appeal Overturns Nonsuit Granted in Household Exposure Asbestos Case Where Trial Court’s Decision Was Based on...

On May 15, 2014, the First District Court of Appeal in California found that the trial court had erred in granting a nonsuit in favor of Pneumo Abex, LLC (Abex) in the asbestos personal injury action of Johnny Blaine Kesner,...more

Leach Oil and Mouren-Laurens Oil Sites Add 1,300 New PRPs to Litigation

The Leach Oil Site and the Mouren-Laurens Oil Site are located adjacent to each other in Compton, California. These sites have been the subject of litigation between the current and former owners and operators for almost 15...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

Court of Appeal Affirms Dismissal of Cases Brought by Foreign Banana Farm Workers Claiming Exposure to Chemicals Rendered Them...

On March 7, 2014, the California Court of Appeal in Los Angeles put an end to years of toxic tort litigation by affirming a trial court’s ruling to grant petitions for writ of error coram vobis, affirming dismissal of a case...more

Florida Supreme Court Affirms Disqualification of Counsel for Class Action of Toxic Tort Plaintiffs

The Florida Supreme Court clarified that its rules of professional responsibility govern whether counsel for class action plaintiffs should be disqualified based on alleged conflicts of interests that arise after a class...more

Polsinelli Podcast - Business Litigation Survival Guide [Video]

If you own a business the reality is that one day you will likely face a lawsuit. That may mean a lawsuit you have to bring to enforce an agreement or protect your company, or one you have to defend against a disgruntled...more

April 2014: Insurance Litigation Update

New York Court of Appeals Answers Important Questions About Whether an Increased Risk of Harm Constitutes a Physical Injury. Over the past fifteen years, the question of whether tort claims for medical monitoring fall within...more

Hercules and the Lernaean Hydra: The Hercules Removal Jurisprudence Sprouts Yet Another Head

In yet another twist in the tortured labors of the Hercules jurisprudence regarding removal of general maritime law claims under 28 U.S.C. §1441(a), the Eastern District of Louisiana has generated a new, divergent “head” on...more

Colorado Supreme Court Grants Petition to Consider Use of Lone Pine Orders in Toxic Tort Case Involving Hydraulic Fracturing

On Monday, the Colorado Supreme Court granted a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in Antero Resources, et al. v. Strudley, et al. The Strudley case involves claims relating to alleged injuries from natural gas drilling...more

New York’s Highest Court Reaffirms Specific Causation Rule under Parker in Toxic Tort Cases

On March 27, 2014, New York’s Court of Appeals issued a ruling reversing an Appellate Division decision and sustaining the lower court’s decision granting a defendant’s motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint alleging...more

Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation: Court of Appeals Revisits and Clarifies Causation Requirements for Expert Opinions

Causation is the crux of any toxic tort litigation. The Court of Appeals’ recent decision in Cornell v. 360 West 51st Street Realty, LLC, No. 16 (N.Y. Mar. 27, 2014) underscores that principle and revisits the causation...more

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