Toxic Torts Updates

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April 2014: Insurance Litigation Update

New York Court of Appeals Answers Important Questions About Whether an Increased Risk of Harm Constitutes a Physical Injury. Over the past fifteen years, the question of whether tort claims for medical monitoring fall within...more

Hercules and the Lernaean Hydra: The Hercules Removal Jurisprudence Sprouts Yet Another Head

In yet another twist in the tortured labors of the Hercules jurisprudence regarding removal of general maritime law claims under 28 U.S.C. §1441(a), the Eastern District of Louisiana has generated a new, divergent “head” on...more

Colorado Supreme Court Grants Petition to Consider Use of Lone Pine Orders in Toxic Tort Case Involving Hydraulic Fracturing

On Monday, the Colorado Supreme Court granted a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in Antero Resources, et al. v. Strudley, et al. The Strudley case involves claims relating to alleged injuries from natural gas drilling...more

New York’s Highest Court Reaffirms Specific Causation Rule under Parker in Toxic Tort Cases

On March 27, 2014, New York’s Court of Appeals issued a ruling reversing an Appellate Division decision and sustaining the lower court’s decision granting a defendant’s motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint alleging...more

BP Updates for 2014: Second Oil Spill in Lake Michigan and DWH Settlement Recap

The claimant eligibility for the DWH settlement agreement reaches just under the $5 billion mark this month, meanwhile BP’s Indiana based Whiting Refinery leaks an estimated 1600 gallons of crude oil into Lake Michigan. BP...more

Oil and Water – How the Galveston Oil Spill Proved The Two Don’t Mix

The Galveston Bay oil spill occurred, coincidentally, on the 25th anniversary of Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska. The Exxon Valdez oil spill is now considered to be one of the worst environmental...more

Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation: Court of Appeals Revisits and Clarifies Causation Requirements for Expert Opinions

Causation is the crux of any toxic tort litigation. The Court of Appeals’ recent decision in Cornell v. 360 West 51st Street Realty, LLC, No. 16 (N.Y. Mar. 27, 2014) underscores that principle and revisits the causation...more

Storing Heating Oil In Residential Tank Is Not An Abnormally Dangerous Activity In New Jersey

The Appellate Division recent held that the storage of home heating oil in an underground storage tank is not an abnormally dangerous activity. In Ross v. Lowitz, the plaintiffs, John and Pamela Ross, owned property that was...more

Recent Developments in Medical Monitoring Case Law (2013-2014)

Over the last 30 years, state and federal courts have grappled with how best to address claims filed by plaintiffs who do not currently suffer from an actual injury or illness, but rather seek damages for their risk of...more

Baltimore City Circuit Court Rejects Attempt to Consolidate Asbestos Cases

Order refusing to consolidate more than 13,000 non-mesothelioma cases continues a U.S.-wide trend of courts moving away from mass trial consolidations in asbestos cases. On March 5, the Circuit Court for Baltimore...more

New Prop 65 Warning Requirements on the Horizon?

Proposition 65 warnings could soon become a much bigger burden for businesses. On Friday, March 7, the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) released a...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update

Environmental and Policy Focus -- Court of Appeals upholds determination: Reuters - Mar 14 - The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday rejected a challenge to a determination by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service...more

West Virginia Legislature Passes Comprehensive Aboveground Storage Tank Bill and Amends Public Water Supply Laws

On March 8, 2014, the West Virginia Legislature passed a comprehensive bill, primarily in response to the Jan. 9, 2014 leak of fluid containing 4- Methylcyclohexane Methanol (MCHM) from an aboveground storage tank into the...more

Environmental and Energy: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Issues Draft Environmental Monitoring Services...

On Wednesday, February 12, 2014, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issued a draft Commissioner Policy on Environmental Monitoring Services (the Policy). The proposed Policy updates DEC’s...more

Proposed Regulation of Hazardous Waste in Retail Sector

The Environmental Protection Agency has released a Notice of Data Availability (NODA) in order “to collect information towards improving hazardous waste requirements for the retail sector.” Retailer hazardous waste violations...more

California Announces First Consumer Products Subjected to New Green Chemistry Rules

Today, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) announced its highly anticipated list of the first products and chemicals to be evaluated under the state’s innovative Safer Chemical Product regulations....more

D.C. Circuit Dismisses Most Industry Challenges to EPA’s Utility NSPS as Premature, Upholds EPA on Opacity Monitoring and...

In a unanimous decision issued on March 11, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected, on procedural and substantive grounds, a number of industry challenges to EPA’s new source...more

Manufacturers, Importers and Retailers Must Take Action Following DTSC Reveal of Priority Products

Once again, California is on the leading edge of environmental programs. An approaching April 1, 2014, deadline for publication of a “Priority Products List” under “Safer Consumer Products Regulations” that first went into...more

California Appellate Court Finds Employer Has No Duty to Future Child for Parent-Employee’s Preconception Exposure to Toxins

The preconception tort is essentially any tortious conduct occurring prior to a child’s conception that results in harm to the child. This type of claim, which has been recognized in California since 1982, can cover all...more

Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation: Third Department Clarifies Scope of Recoverable Medical Monitoring Damages in Waterborne...

On the heels of the Court of Appeals’ landmark decision rejecting an independent cause of action for medical monitoring in Caronia v. Phillip Morris USA, on February 20, 2014, the Third Department decided Ivory v. IBM. Ivory...more

Fifth Circuit Limits Pollution Liability

In a significant decision issued February 24, 2014, the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that federal laws preempt state laws in the case of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, because the event occurred in federal...more

Editorial: Silica Exposure Lawsuits: The Next Toxic Tort?

With the Occupational Safety and Health Administration signaling its increased attention to workers’ exposure to crystalline silica, and the plaintiff bar evidently in search of new subjects for “toxic tort” claims, there is...more

Waste Board Amends VRP Regulations: What’s Changed?

The Virginia Waste Management Board has amended the Virginia Voluntary Remediation Program (“VRP”) regulations. The amended regulations – known as Amendment 2 – went into effect on January 29, 2014. All sites now in the VRP...more

NAHB Urges OSHA To Rescind Proposed Silica Rule

We recently posted an article about whether silica exposure claims might emerge as the next toxic tort. A particular focus of that article was the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) clearly increasing...more

BP Oil Spill Update

On April 18, 2012, BP Exploration and Production Inc. and BP America Production Company (collectively “BP”) entered into an economic and property damages class action settlement with the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the...more

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