Environmental Toxic Torts

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The Need For Expert Evidence To Make Out An Innocent Landowner Defense Under CERCLA

As every litigator knows, evidence almost always tells a story that is untidy and riddled with loose ends. This was illustrated by a recent innocent landowner case in California — Coppola v. Smith. There, a company had...more

Energy & Environment Update - January 2015 #2

In This Issue: - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Commerce - Department of Energy - Department of Treasury - Environmental Protection...more

RCRA Definition of Solid Waste Final Rule Published in Federal Register, and Other Recent RCRA Developments

RCRA Definition Of Solid Waste Final Rule Published In Federal Register: On January 13, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its final rule revising the Definition of Solid Waste (DSW) under the...more

EPA Seeks Additional Comment on NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule, and Other Recent CWA Developments

EPA Seeks Additional Comment On NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule: On December 1, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requested additional comment on the proposed National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System...more

Falling Oil Prices Ignite Concern Over Bakken Crude

Happy Days Are Here Again? Gasoline prices have been falling steadily for months. Now a gallon may be purchased for substantially less than three dollars in many regions of the country. ...more

Media Reports on 2014 "Fracking" Verdicts Miss the Real Story: Scientific Study Continues to Demonstrate the Safety of...

In April 2014, press reports widely suggested that a Dallas, Texas case was the first large verdict awarded on the basis of environmental damages sustained due to fracking. One advocacy journalism website's description of the...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, 1/15

Predictions And Outlook For EPA's Office Of Chemical Safety And Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) 2015: 2015 will be a very interesting year. There are two overarching considerations that will make the year more difficult to...more

New Requirements for Proposition 65 Warnings Proposed

On January 12, 2015, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) proposed the first significant revisions to Proposition 65’s warning requirements since the 1980s. The updated regulations seek to...more

Claims Administration and Handling in Mass Tort Cases: Lessons from Deepwater Horizon

In mass casualty and toxic tort litigation, an effective means of providing prompt and efficient compensation to victims can benefit all stakeholders. Claimants receive prompt payment for lost property or business expenses,...more

EPA Issues RCRA Rule Regulating Coal Ash as Non-Hazardous Waste

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on December 19, 2014, issued a much anticipated and certain to be controversial final rule under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) on the RCRA regulatory status...more

Insurance Recovery Law -- December 2014 #2

Ammonia Release Constitutes “Direct Physical Loss” Under Policy - Why it matters: A New York federal court recently ruled that the discharge of ammonia at a manufacturing plant – causing a facility shutdown for...more

NJ Spill Act Contribution Rights in Jeopardy Under Proposed Bill: Points to Consider - M&E Environment & Energy Alert

A bill (A-3880/S-444) recently introduced in both houses of the New Jersey legislature would prevent companies and private individuals from exercising their existing contribution rights under New Jersey’s Spill Act to recover...more

California Proposition 65 Warning Requirements for DINP Effective December 20, 2014

On December 20, 2014, California’s Proposition 65 warning requirements for consumer, occupational, and environmental exposures to diisononyl phthalate (“DINP”) will take effect. ...more

California Federal Court Dismisses CERCLA Claims and Strikes Request for Attorneys’ Fees

In N. Cal. River Watch v. Fluor Corp., __F.Supp.3d__, 2014 WL 4954638 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 2, 2014), a Northern California district court dismissed Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”)...more

Meet Your Deadlines: West Virginia AST Act Challenges

In This Presentation: - How We Got Here - Aboveground Storage Tank Act - Key Definitions - Key Elements - Upcoming Deadlines - AST Registration Stats - Interpretive Rule (47 CSR 62) -...more

Minnesota Federal Court Clarifies Pleading Standard in Vapor Contamination Case

In an opinion that may help clarify the jurisdictional and pleading requirements for plaintiffs seeking damages and injunctive relief for alleged injuries from vapor intrusion, the federal district court in Minnesota denied a...more

Third Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Toxic Tort Claims Based on Unreliable Experts

Underscoring the importance of reliable expert methodology, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld the dismissal of a personal injury suit based on unreliable expert testimony. See Henry v. St Croix Alumina,...more

New Jersey Landowner Forfeits Damages by Allowing Defendant to Remediate

In what may be a cautionary tale for owners of contaminated property, a New Jersey appellate court has ruled that a landowner forfeited any claim to property damages when he allowed the responsible party to perform...more

Hydrocarbon Exposure Reconsidered

You might recall previous entries discussing the $2.9 million Dallas County verdict and judgment in Parr v. Aruba. Not all similar suits have the same result. Michael and Myra Cerny sued Marathon Oil Corp. and Plains...more

Tenant Who Sublets A Superfund Site Is Not Likely To Be A CERCLA Liable Party

It is generally the rule that a lessee who does not operate the property it rents will not be liable under CERCLA except in the unusual circumstance where the lessee qualifies as an “owner” of the property. Typically, this...more

California's Eastern District: Government Agency Liable for Costs When Site Cleanup Is Mismanaged

In a ruling last month (California Department of Toxic Substances Control v. Jim Dobbas, Inc., et al), the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California held that the Department of Toxic Substances...more

NJ Supreme Court to Rule on Application of General Six-year Statute of Limitations to Spill Act Claims

The Supreme Court of New Jersey recently heard arguments on whether private claims for contribution brought under the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act, N.J.S.A. 58:10-23.11 et seq. (Spill Act) are subject to a...more

EPA Inspector General To Review Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards Program

On October 2, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that its Office of the Inspector General (IG) plans to review the reported results from the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards Program....more

In BP Gulf Oil Spill Litigation, the District Court Decided Important Legal Questions that will Likely be Appealed, including the...

On September 4, 2014, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier issued findings of fact and conclusions of law for the trial of the MDL of the Gulf Oil Spill, which included findings that the oil spill was the result of BP Exploration...more

EPA Issues Final Rule Clarifying CERCLA’s “All Appropriate Inquiry” Standard

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has at long last issued a Final Rule which provides clarification to prospective purchasers of contaminated property regarding the standards and practices that are to be used for...more

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