Environmental Personal Injury

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Restoring the Duty of Care Analysis to Negligence Claims in Third-party Proceedings

The Alberta Court of Appeal has provided some helpful guidance on the scope of third-party claims in O’Connor Associates Environmental Inc v MEC OP LLC, 2014 ABCA 140, narrowing the scope and application of the decision of...more

CERCLA’s Statutory Liability Defenses — How Strict Is CERCLA Liability?

It was no surprise that the Second Circuit in In re September 11 Ligitation recently affirmed the lower court’s ruling that contamination caused by the 9/11 attacks was within CERCLA’s “Act of War” defense. Although CERCLA...more

Texas Jury Awards $3 Million in Hydraulic Fracturing Lawsuit

A jury in Dallas County, Texas, awarded nearly $3 million on April 22, 2014, in a suit contending that Aruba Petroleum, Inc., as well as other operators and service providers, had caused “environmental contamination and...more

Clean Air Act Ruling May Curb Suits

Last month, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to re-hear en banc a decision handed down last October by a three-judge panel, thereby leaving in place a decision that could be a major hurdle for plaintiffs in...more

What Defense Counsel Can Learn From The W.Va. Spill

For the companies and their lawyers, the headlines were awful and kept getting worse: 300,000 people suffering without drinking water; changes in corporate ownership just days before the chemical spill; and accusations that a...more

Ninth Circuit Denies Rehearing of Clean Air Act Suit and War of Words Ensues

On February 3, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit declined to rehear en banc a decision handed down last October by a three-judge panel, thereby leaving in place a decision that could significantly...more

EARL e-News: South Carolina Supreme Court Dismisses Lawsuit Against Carnival Cruise Lines - Updates on Environmental,...

On January 22, 2014, the South Carolina Supreme Court granted Carnival Corporation d/b/a Carnival Cruise Lines’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit brought by several citizen groups in Charleston, South Carolina. The Court held...more

Shutting Down a Capital City: How High Will Business Interruption Claims Go?

On Thursday, January 9, 2014, a major chemical spill into West Virginia’s Elk Rivet cut off water to more than 300,000 people in the Kanawha Valley and surrounding nine counties. The chemical leak was from a facility owned by...more

The Eyes of Texas are upon a Subsurface Trespass Case

The Texas Supreme Court is now poised to decide whether subsurface migration of fluids from an approved injection well may constitute an actionable trespass under Texas common law. Recently accepting a petition for review in...more

The Top 6 At 12: Highlights Of The Top Climate Change Legal Stories In The Second Half Of 2013

2013 has drawn to a close; here is our take on the top six climate change legal stories in the last six months. 1. Climate Change Assessments - Blockbuster legislation may have been evaded once more but that has not...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - December 19, 2013

California plans tighter control of hydraulic fracturing, but not enough for some - New York Times - Dec 13: California oil and gas companies using hydraulic fracturing to tap the nation’s largest oil shale formation...more

Citizens Are Not Harmed By the Concept of Pollution Trading: A Challenge to the Chesapeake Bay TMDL Is Dismissed

On December 13, the District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed plaintiffs’ challenge in Food and Water Watch v. EPA to the Chesapeake Bay TMDL’s discussion of pollution trading and offsets. As I had previously...more

Differentiating Between Junk Science and Admissible Expert Opinion in Pennsylvania

In environmental personal injury cases, proof of causation is key and that causation almost always hinges on expert opinion. A recent appellate decision in Pennsylvania in Snizavich v. Rohm and Haas Company provides useful...more

"The Weakest Link For Climate Change Plaintiffs"

In a case seeking to compel the Washington Department of Ecology and two regional agencies in the state of Washington to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the...more

Texas High Court Set to Hear Appeal on Viability of Post-Cleanup Stigma Damages in Environmental Contamination Claim

In an issue of first impression in Texas, the state’s highest court will hear arguments in December 2013 in a case involving a party’s claim to recover stigma damages following the cleanup of environmental contamination to...more

Litigation Risks in Texas Are Reduced –The Merits of New Trial Orders by Texas Courts Are Now Subject to Appellate Review

Significant oil and gas exploration and development has occurred and continues to occur in South Texas. Whenever an injury, death, or environmental damage results from these operations, a defendant energy company have often...more

Despite Bell, State Law CO2 Liability Claims Are Doomed

“Therefore, the court declines to assert supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims which are dismissed without prejudice to their presentation in a state court action.” So ends the last analytical...more

Another Judicial Assault On GHG Emissions

The federal courts barred federal common law nuisance actions to obtain money damages or injunctive relief. American Elec. Power Co. v. Connecticut, 131 S. Ct. 2527 (2011)(holding nuisance claims seeking injunctive relief...more

Real Estate Legal News - October 2013 • Volume 4, Number 1

In This Issue: - KEEP IT CLEAN: EPA ENDORSES NEW ASTM STANDARD FOR CONDUCTING ESAS: The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently proposed a rule to recognize the updated standard of the...more

Whatever Happened To State Law Carbon Dioxide Liability Claims? Still No Music After Bell

“Therefore, the Court declines to assert supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims which are dismissed without prejudice to their presentation in a state court action.” So ends the last analytical...more

The Ninth Circuit Dismisses Suit on Greenhouse Gas Regulation: Science Not Sufficient To Support Causal Link To Plaintiffs’ Injury

On October 17, 2013, the Ninth Circuit ruled that it lacked jurisdiction to consider a challenge to Washington’s failure to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the state’s five oil refineries under the Clean Air Act....more

Implications for Industry of Oregon DEQ's Final Nuisance Odor Strategy

For regulated companies and Associated Oregon Industry members, the publication of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality's (DEQ) final nuisance odor strategy this past August brought mixed blessings. Among the...more

Louisiana is Walking on Eggshell Skulls

Ground zero for climate change and rising sea levels in the United States is not a status to which any state aspires. Florida distastefully remembers 2005 when four hurricanes — Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne — roared...more

Lone Pine Orders Called Into Question In Colorado

A Lone Pine order is a case management tool often utilized by courts in complex multi-party toxic tort cases to organize plaintiffs’ claims and to focus the parties on key issues early in the litigation. A Lone Pine order...more

Court Decision Emphasizes the Importance of a Preventive System in Discharging Environmental and Health and Safety Obligations

In a recent decision, the Ontario Court of Justice convicted Sunrise Propane Energy Group Inc. and 1367229 Ontario Inc. (the Companies), and their directors, Shay Ben-Moshe and Valery Belahov (the Directors), of multiple...more

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