Civil Remedies Toxic Torts

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BP Updates for 2014: Second Oil Spill in Lake Michigan and DWH Settlement Recap

The claimant eligibility for the DWH settlement agreement reaches just under the $5 billion mark this month, meanwhile BP’s Indiana based Whiting Refinery leaks an estimated 1600 gallons of crude oil into Lake Michigan. BP...more

Recent Developments in Medical Monitoring Case Law (2013-2014)

Over the last 30 years, state and federal courts have grappled with how best to address claims filed by plaintiffs who do not currently suffer from an actual injury or illness, but rather seek damages for their risk of...more

Baltimore City Circuit Court Rejects Attempt to Consolidate Asbestos Cases

Order refusing to consolidate more than 13,000 non-mesothelioma cases continues a U.S.-wide trend of courts moving away from mass trial consolidations in asbestos cases. On March 5, the Circuit Court for Baltimore...more

Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation: Third Department Clarifies Scope of Recoverable Medical Monitoring Damages in Waterborne...

On the heels of the Court of Appeals’ landmark decision rejecting an independent cause of action for medical monitoring in Caronia v. Phillip Morris USA, on February 20, 2014, the Third Department decided Ivory v. IBM. Ivory...more

BP Oil Spill Update

On April 18, 2012, BP Exploration and Production Inc. and BP America Production Company (collectively “BP”) entered into an economic and property damages class action settlement with the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the...more

BP Loses Bid to Cancel Oil-Spill Settlement Agreement

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has recently struck down BP’s request to cancel the settlement agreement it had arranged with the Plaintiff’s Setting Committee (PSC) in March 2012. BP’s effort to get this agreement, which...more

Objectors Seek Writ of Certiorari to SCOTUS Over Monsanto Agent Orange Settlement

On January 21, 2014, objectors to a class action settlement over contamination from Monsanto Agent Orange herbicide filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the Unites States Supreme Court. The Petition asked the Court to...more

Seventh Circuit Highlights Challenges To Class Certification In Environmental Litigation

Property owners in the town of Roxana, Illinois, a small village on the Mississippi River across from St. Louis, filed suit against Shell Oil Company and ConocoPhillips. The property owners alleged that a refinery owned by...more

Second Circuit Clarifies “Removal” vs. “Remedial” Action Under CERCLA

In the CERCLA context, knowing whether a cleanup action is a “removal” or “remedial” action is crucial to the length of time allowed for the cleanup, the amount of money that may be spent on the cleanup, and the statute of...more

Third Circuit Expands CERCLA Contribution Rights and Narrows RCRA Injunctive Power

In Trinity Industries, Inc. v. Chicago Bridge & Iron Company, No. 12-2059, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued a precedential opinion interpreting contribution rights under the Comprehensive Environmental Response,...more

Indiana Court of Appeals Once More Asked to Interpret AIA Standard Construction Contract

This week's discussion focuses on the interpretation of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) standard construction contract by the Indiana Court of Appeals in the recent case Allen County Public Library v. Shambaugh &...more

Judge Barbier Responds To Court Of Appeals In Deepwater Horizon Litigation

On October 2, 2013, BP won a reprieve in its ongoing effort to tighten standards and slow claims payments by Claims Administrator Patrick Juneau. BP had asked the court to direct Mr. Juneau to halt payments that did meet...more

Deepwater Horizon Settlement Fine-Tuned By Fifth Circuit

The Fifth Circuit has taken steps to fine-tune the interpretation and implementation of the agreement BP negotiated to settle its massive liabilities arising from the April 2010 oil spill following the explosion of the...more

Insureds Must Exhaust Coverage From Solvent Insurers

On September 24, 2013, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that policyholders must look to its solvent insurers before seeking benefits from the New Jersey Property-Liability Insurance Guaranty Association (“Guaranty...more

Class Action Litigation Reform – Interview with Dan Pascucci, Member, Mintz Levin [Video]

Attorney Dan Pascucci, Member of Mintz Levin's Litigation Practice, talks about the Supreme Court’s role in establishing the national identity of class action litigation....more

Colorado Supreme Court Asked To Address Whether “Lone Pine” Orders Are Allowed in Toxic Tort Case Involving Hydraulic Fracturing

On August 29, 2013, Antero Resources asked the Colorado Supreme Court to review the Colorado Court of Appeal’s decision in Strudley v. Antero Resources Corp., a decision by the Colorado Court of Appeals that reversed a trial...more

Third Circuit Decision Allowing CERCLA Contribution Claim Based On Settlement Of State-Law Liability Sets Up Split With Second...

A panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit decided an important precedential decision last week expanding the right to seek contribution for cleanup costs under the Comprehensive Environmental...more

Painting a Picture at Trial for the Court of Appeal

During a trial, the jury and court below will hear the testimony of witnesses and observe their demeanor. Once the case is on appeal, the reviewing court is usually limited to reading transcripts that may or may not convey...more

Ninth Circuit Opinion Highlights Vapor Intrusion Risks and Challenges Faced by Brownfields Developers and Their Lenders

A recent ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit illustrates the challenges faced by developers of contaminated properties and their lenders, as well as the extraordinary risks associated with...more

Washington Legislature Passes Significant Changes To The Model Toxics Control Act

During the waning hours of the legislative session, the Washington State Legislature passed Substitute Senate Bill 5296 (SSB 5296) by large majorities and Governor Inslee signed the bill without changes. ...more

Proposition 65 Reform Efforts Drawing Strong Support From Legislature and Governor

There may be reforms coming to Proposition 65 (Prop. 65) after several previous failed attempts and a growing chorus of complaints from business large and small over the years concerning the unfairness of the law, which was...more

Second Circuit Requires Complete Reimbursement of Class Action Defense Costs

On June 18, 2013, the Second Circuit affirmed that a liability insurer was obligated to reimburse Olin Corporation for 100% of the defense costs it incurred defending against environmental contamination class action claims....more

Oregon Senate Bill 814 Regarding Environmental Claims Handling Regulations Signed into Law

On June 10, 2013, the governor of Oregon signed into law Senate Bill 814, creating sweeping reforms on environmental claims-handling regulations and available remedies for insureds facing liability for cleanup of contaminated...more

What To Do When You Are Issued A CERCLA Injunction To Perform A $1.5 Billion Cleanup — Lower Fox River Superfund Update

In a 78 page decision in the Lower Fox River Superfund case issued last month, the federal court issued an injunction against NCR Corp. and three other PRPs requiring them to perform a $1.5 billion remedy. No company ever...more

Recent Massachusetts Decision Applies Pro-Rata Allocation and Continuous Trigger to Progressive Injury Claims, Including Asbestos...

What you need to know: A recent Massachusetts federal trial court ruling applied pro-rata allocation and continuous trigger to progressive injury claims arising from asbestos and toxic chemicals and metals....more

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