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Environmental Toxic Torts

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

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - March 2016 #3

by Allen Matkins on

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?

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

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

Pennsylvania Jury Awards $4.2 Million in Groundwater Contamination Case

by BakerHostetler on

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

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

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

EPA and Municipalities Respond to Increased Concerns About Lead in Drinking Water

by McGuireWoods LLP on

Since the public discovery of widespread lead contamination of drinking water in Flint, Michigan, there has been increased scrutiny on the status of drinking water regulation and aging water infrastructure. While the crisis...more

Double Counting and Inflexibility Are Unreasonable in 4A Negotiations Says Mass. Appeals Court: Court Affirms Award of Attorneys’...

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

Seeking 80 percent of remedial costs from each of two potentially responsible parties and “inflexibility” in pre-litigation negotiations are sufficiently unreasonable to trigger attorneys’ fees under the Massachusetts cleanup...more

Complaints Are Not Totally Meaningless: A CERCLA Plaintiff Must Allege Disposal Against a Former Owner

I know it may surprise some litigators, but occasionally the allegations in a complaint do matter. In Garrett Day v. International Paper, the Court dismissed CERCLA claims brought by the current owner of a former paper mill...more

Lead in Drinking Water: Insurance Coverage Issues

The tragic water crisis in Flint, Michigan raises grave concerns as to the lurking hazards posed by our nation’s aging infrastructure. There are an estimated six million lead service lines in operation in the United States. ...more

Critical Habitat for Right Whales Expanded

by Blank Rome LLP on

Action Item: The National Marine Fisheries Services (“NMFS”) promulgated a final rule identifying critical habitats for the endangered Northern Atlantic Right Whale. Stakeholders involved in spill response, ocean and offshore...more

Private and Governmental Plaintiffs File Toxic Tort Suits Over L.A. Gas Leak

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

In perhaps the most well-publicized environmental release incident since Deepwater Horizon, Southern California Gas Co. faces a number of toxic tort-based lawsuits stemming from a natural gas leak at one of its storage wells...more

North Dakota High Court Rejects “Take-Home” Asbestos Claim

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

In a case of first impression that may clarify the duty of care in secondary exposure claims in North Dakota, the state’s highest court rejected claims based on childhood exposure to asbestos brought home on an insulation...more

Iowa Trial Court Certifies Class of 4,000 Residents in Corn Mill Nuisance Suit

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

In a victory for toxic tort class action plaintiffs, an Iowa trial court certified a class covering approximately 4,000 residents who alleged property damages due to air emissions from a nearby corn milling plant. See...more

Federal Court Strikes Town Ordinance Requiring Warning Labels

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

In a case that may have implications for chemical warning laws, a federal court in New York found a town’s efforts to require warning labels on pesticide-treated utility poles compelled non-commercial speech and infringed on...more

Iowa Trial Court Certifies Class of 4,000 Residents in Corn Mill Nuisance Suit

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

In a victory for toxic tort class action plaintiffs, an Iowa trial court certified a class covering approximately 4,000 residents who alleged property damages due to air emissions from a nearby corn milling plant. See...more

Pennsylvania Appeals Court Rejects Contamination Claim for Lack of Causation

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

Demonstrating the importance of expert causation evidence, a Pennsylvania appellate court refused a landowner’s request to reopen a case alleging chemicals from a natural gas drilling operation contaminated the landowner’s...more

Sixth Circuit Rules that Clean Air Act Does Not Preempt State Tort Claims

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

In a decision that may leave facilities open to private tort liability despite compliance with federal Clean Air Act (CAA) requirements, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit concluded that the CAA does not preempt...more

Environmental exposure: a step towards compensation of neighbours of former asbestos-using plants?

by Reed Smith on

On 22 October 2015, the Paris Civil Court ("Tribunal de grande instance de Paris") handed down a judgment concerning environmental exposure to asbestos which could pave the way towards compensation of neighbours of industrial...more

Proposed Amendments Regarding Proposition 65 Settlements

by Archer Norris PLC on

This is Archer Norris attorney Peter W. McGaw’s comment letter to the Attorney General on the proposed amendments to the Title 11, Division 4 regulations regarding settlement of Proposition 65 cases. Please see full...more

Jury in C-8 Exposure Case Awards $1.6M in Compensatory Damages, Denies Punitives

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

An Ohio federal jury in October handed out the first verdict in multi-district litigation (“MDL”) against E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Co. related to ammonium perfluorooctanoate, or C-8, in drinking water around DuPont’s...more

Court Allows Pennsylvania Punitive Damages Claims in Petroleum Exposure Case

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

The judge in a petroleum exposure case will allow a jury to decide whether a gas station operator and its environmental consultant recklessly failed to inform a plumber of the risks of working in an excavated pit with a...more

Eighth Circuit Holds Fear of Contamination Insufficient to Establish Nuisance Class

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

In a ruling that underscores the difficulty of securing class certification in toxic tort cases involving fear of contamination claims, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reversed a Missouri federal...more

Texas Court Requires Expert Testimony to Support Toxic Tort Personal Injury Claims

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

Reinforcing the requirement for expert testimony to support toxic tort personal injury claims under Texas law, a Texas appellate court held that claims for damages due to “symptoms caused by discomfort” do not fall within the...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Reaffirms Restatement Approach to Nuisance, Trespass

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

In a ruling that further delineates the threshold for maintaining private nuisance and trespass claims in New Jersey, the state’s highest court held that defendant landowners were not liable for contamination to neighboring...more

Third Circuit Affirms First-Filed Rule to Nix Toxic Tort Forum Shopping

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

Chastising the Plaintiffs for forum shopping, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld a district court’s decision to dismiss a matter with prejudice on the grounds that the Plaintiffs had previously...more

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