Environmental Toxic Torts

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They Blew Us Off – Insights into the State of New Mexico’s Suits Against the EPA and the State of Colorado

While speaking at a recent conference on natural resource damages, the Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department, Ryan Flynn, outlined New Mexico’s grievances against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”)...more

Murky Waters Following the Gold King Mine Spill

In the wake of actions taken on August 5, 2015 by contractors for the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that resulted in the Gold King Mine Spill, western states that rely on water from the Animas River, the...more

Los Angeles Superior Court Issues Important Defense Verdict In Unique Proposition 65 Trial Against Brass-Polish Manufacturer

In a recent trial in Los Angeles Superior Court in the matter AFS Enterprises, LLC, v. Reckitt Benckiser, PLC, Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BC539678, the plaintiff brought a single claim under Proposition 65 (Safe...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

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - May 2016 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - Proceeds from cap-and-trade auction fall far short of targets - Los Angeles Times - May 25 - The latest auction in California’s cap-and-trade market for greenhouse gases fell...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

Toxic Tort & Product Liability Quarterly Vol. 9, No. 2, May 2016

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

Court Upholds $1.6 Million C-8 Jury Verdict

In another development in the ongoing ammonium perfluorooctanoate (“C-8”) multidistrict litigation, a federal trial court in Ohio upheld an October 2015 jury verdict against E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (“DuPont”). ...more

North Carolina Court of Appeals Caps UST Damages to Diminution in Property Value

Illustrating the limits on damages available to North Carolina landowners in toxic tort cases, the North Carolina Court of Appeals upheld a trial court’s order capping damages at the diminution in the value of the...more

Michigan Court Defers to Regulator’s Concurrent Jurisdiction in UST Cleanup

In a decision highlighting a practical challenge in pursuing tort claims against some underground storage tank (“UST”) owners and operators, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that a trial court could nix a lawsuit stemming...more

Pennsylvania Federal Court Dismisses Untimely Medical Monitoring Class Claim

In a decision that may make it more difficult to sustain medical monitoring claims in Pennsylvania, a federal district court dismissed as untimely a putative class action alleging workplace chemical exposure. Blanyar v....more

D.C. Water Utility Sheds Negligence, Consumer Protection Claims in Lead-in-Water Litigation

In a decision that may have implications in other cases related to alleged lead in drinking water, a District of Columbia trial court dismissed negligence and consumer protection claims against the District’s water utility,...more

Expert’s Specific Causation Methodology Unreliable in Leukemia Row

In a case underscoring the importance of reliable methodologies in expert testimony, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit upheld a trial court decision excluding specific causation testimony linking benzene...more

Tenth Circuit Bars Class Tort Claims for Failing to Plead Injury

Underscoring the importance of pleading actual injury in a toxic tort class action, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit dismissed Oklahoma class claims that were based only on “reasonable concern” of future injury...more

Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation: Discharger of Petroleum Not Able to Maintain Suit Against Another Discharger (5/16)

Under Navigation Law § 181, a party injured by the intentional or inadvertent discharge of petroleum products may bring a claim for damages against the party responsible for the discharge. But what if the injured party also...more

More Legal Action in the Wake of Flint Water Crisis

We blogged about the Flint water crisis when class action lawsuits were filed earlier this year. The crisis began when Flint switched its water supply from Lake Huron via Detroit’s water system to the Flint River in April...more

Something in the Water: Flint Judge Disqualifies Himself and Staff as Theoretical Plaintiffs

In late April, U.S. District Court Judge Mark A. Goldsmith, in Concerned Pastors for Social Action, et al. v. Nick A. Kouri, et al., FlintRiverissued an interesting Order Regarding Disqualification. During an April 6, 2016...more

Texas Court of Appeals Issues Important State Superfund Order

In a “case of first impression,” U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit,texascapitol sitting in Austin, in TCEQ v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al., issued an important decision interpreting the scope of the Texas Solid...more

4th Circuit Revisits N.C.’s Statute of Repose; No Bar to Hazardous Waste-Related Personal Injury Claims

Twice, courts have been called upon to interpret North Carolina’s 10-year statute of repose in connection with injuries allegedly stemming from the release of hazardous substances. CTS Corporation v. Waldburger involved CTS’s...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - March 2016 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - Bill would limit communications with California Coastal Commission: Santa Barbara Independent - Mar 23 - State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson announced plans to introduce a bill...more

About those calls from MassDEP…

Last month, we wrote about MassDEP’s trichloroethylene (TCE) site reevaluation initiative. MassDEP has begun the process of screening sites previously closed under the MCP to look for sites where TCE might exceed the new...more

Does Your Toxic Release Inventory Make You a Target for Enforcement?

Summary: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of the Inspector General is examining the Agency’s usage of Toxic Release Inventory data to evaluate companies’ compliance with surface water discharge permitting...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

Pennsylvania Jury Awards $4.2 Million in Groundwater Contamination Case

On Thursday, a federal jury in Pennsylvania ordered Cabot Oil & Gas to pay more than $4.2 million in damages to two Pennsylvania families who sued in 2009 alleging that the Texas-based company’s drilling operations...more

An Update on Reopening TCE Sites in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection plans to begin contacting some owners of properties with closed trichloroethylene (TCE) remediation sites and requiring them to conduct testing, following a review of...more

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