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Environmental Toxic Torts

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Environmental issues written by leading professionals.

Transnational Class Action Dispute Over Oil Spill Commenced in Australia

by Jones Day on

Following the 2009 Montara Oil Field oil spill in the Timor Sea, an Indonesian seaweed farmer brought a class action in Australia against the operator of the Montara Oil Field. The action was commenced on behalf of a class of...more

Environmental Notes - May 2017

by Williams Mullen on

The Clean Power Plan (“CPP”), and its companion new source review rule, is the Obama Administration’s signature regulation on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Among other things, it requires states to put...more

Can Discharges to Groundwater Trigger Clean Water Act Liability

by Williams Mullen on

It’s a bad day when you find out that your facility has been leaking wastewater, wastes, petroleum product or chemicals. But if the leak went into the soil and the groundwater first, rather than a nearby creek, are you liable...more

U.S. District Court Finds EPA Erred in Approving Pesticides Known To Impact Endangered Species

by Nossaman LLP on

On May 8, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted, in part, a motion for summary judgment brought by plaintiffs in a suit challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”)...more

Another Retailer Shells Out for Hazardous Waste Violations: Big Lots Ordered to Pay $3.5 Million

by Stoel Rives LLP on

Following closely on the heels of Dollar General’s hazardous waste settlement (about which we reported in our April, 19, 2017 blog post), another discount retailer has been held to account in a big way for its failure to...more

Federal Court Dismisses Some of Seattle’s PCB Tort Claims

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

In a blow to the efforts of municipal plaintiffs to pursue environmental damages through product liability theories, a Washington federal court granted Monsanto’s motion to dismiss Seattle’s design defect and failure to warn...more

Federal Court Allows Expert Testimony on Health Risks Despite Lack of Personal Injury Claims

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

Underscoring the importance of expert testimony regarding health risks in toxic tort cases involving potential exposure issues, a Mississippi federal judge allowed expert testimony on health risks posed by alleged...more

Texas Supreme Court Tosses Untimely Damages Claims, Leaves Open Possibility of Injunctive Relief

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

Highlighting the importance of proving a factual timeline in a statute of limitations analysis, the Texas Supreme Court held that a cattle ranch owners’ claims related to alleged contamination from long-dormant oil and gas...more

Disposal of Contamination = Disposal of Evidence. Be Careful What You Throw Away!

by Snell & Wilmer on

In a recent unpublished case, the Superior Court of New Jersey held that the Plaintiff in a CERCLA case had committed spoliation when, during the course of the remedial activity, it disposed of various contaminated materials....more

How to Effectively Manage Vapor Intrusion Risks When Acquiring and Developing Property

With increasing concern and attention being raised by regulatory agencies and the public on protecting building occupants from exposure to vapor intrusion (VI)-related contaminants, parties acquiring and developing property...more

Recent PFAS Case Law – RCRA, CERCLA and Toxic Tort Claims

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

A new class of emerging contaminants poses challenges at remediation sites and for the protection of drinking water, and is generating new toxic tort litigation. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are emerging...more

Environmental Litigation and Toxic Torts Update – Mountain/West Coast Case Law Highlights

Ninth Circuit Finds “Threatened” Designation For Bearded Seals Proper Based On New Long-Term Projections - Alaska Oil and Gas Ass’n et al. v. Pritzker et al., 840 F.3d 671, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19084 (9th Cir. 2016)....more

EPA’s Proposed “Reset” of TSCA Chemical Inventory Requires Identification of “Active” and “Inactive” Chemicals and Confirmation of...

If you manufacture or import a chemical subject to the Toxic Substances Control Act (“TSCA”) Chemical Substance Inventory, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has proposed to require you to confirm each such...more

Coal Plant Shutdowns: Taking Steps to Control the Reopener

by McCarter & English, LLP on

Operators shutting down coal-fired plants would be wise to plan ahead for potential future remediation obligations – aka the “reopener.” Predicting these obligations may be quite difficult, but operators can implement...more

Common Stock Used to Reimburse EPA for CERCLA Response Costs

by Williams Mullen on

A recent CERCLA settlement provides an unusual method for reimbursing response costs incurred by EPA at a Superfund site. Under a proposed Consent Decree concerning the Yavapai Penta Superfund Site in Prescott, Arizona,...more

EPA Eases Path to Superfund Listing: Vapor Intrusion Component Added to the Hazardous Ranking System

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: With the EPA adding the consideration of vapor intrusion in its Superfund site investigations, hundreds of sites that previously would not rank high enough to qualify for listing on the National Priorities...more

District of New Hampshire Denies Remand Under CAFA’s Local Controversy Exception

by Pierce Atwood LLP on

On November 30th, in Brown v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., United States District Judge Joseph Laplante of the District of New Hampshire denied plaintiffs’ motion to remand two related class action lawsuits based...more

Regulatory Burdens On Retailers Continue to Evolve

by Snell & Wilmer on

In the run up to the Presidential Election, you may have missed some of the following regulatory developments that might impact your business....more

Wait, How Many Trucks? Ash Pond Closure by Removal

by Balch & Bingham LLP on

Utilities around the country have developed preliminary closure plans for surface impoundments storing coal ash, gypsum, and other coal combustion residuals (CCR). Some ash ponds are already in the process of closing. To...more

Environmental Litigation and Toxic Torts Update – Mountain/West Coast Case Law Highlights

Ninth Circuit Issues Major Cercla Decision Finding That Arranger Liability Cannot Be Based On Contamination Deposited On A Site By The Wind - Pakootas v. Teck Cominco Metals, No. 15-35228, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13662 (9th...more

County Counsel Teamwork: The Exide Story

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

Justice: (1) the principle or ideal of just dealing or right action; (2) conformity to this principle or ideal The concept of environmental justice is straightforward, the pathway to practical solutions are often...more

Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation: What Does a Reformed TSCA Mean for Private Rights of Action Under State Law? (9/16)

As we reported, on June 22, 2016, President Obama signed the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety Reform for the 21st Century Act (the Act) into law, enacting the Toxic Substances Control Act’s (TSCA) first reform in its four...more

Environmental Litigation and Toxic Torts Update – Mountain West Coast Case Law Highlights

COLORADO CITY FRACKING BANS PREEMPTED BY STATE LAW - City of Longmont v. Colo. Oil and Gas Ass’n, 369 P.3d 573 (Colo. 2016), 2016 Colo. LEXIS 442; City of Fort Collins v. Colo. Oil and Gas Ass’n, 369 P.3d 586 (Colo....more

Ninth Circuit Rejects CERCLA Liability for Air Emissions

by Morrison & Foerster LLP on

Do air emissions of hazardous substances create a cleanup liability under the Superfund? In the closely watched case of Pakootas, et al. v. Teck Cominco Metals, Ltd., the Ninth Circuit said, “no,” becoming the highest court...more

Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation: New Hoosick Falls Law: Was it Necessary? (8/16)

On Thursday, July 21, 2016, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation modifying the statute of limitations for personal injury claims arising from exposure to hazardous substances.1 Commonly known as the...more

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