Toxic Torts Updates

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Fund management expenses in catastrophic personal injuries cases – awards on top of awards?

The costs of managing awards of damages for catastrophic personal injury claims comprise one of the most significant heads of damage that a plaintiff is awarded. These costs often make up around 20% of the total award. ...more

Employers’ Asbestos Liabilities Do Not Extend to Workers’ Spouses

Two federal judges recently dismissed the claims of the spouses of workers who purportedly carried asbestos fibers home from their workplaces. In July 2014, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma...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

Karl Rove's Efforts to "Buy" Courts Harmed America, Says Legendary Attorney [Video]

Oct. 8, 2014 (Mimesis Law) -- Fred Levin, one of the most successful and controversial plaintiffs lawyers in America, talks with Lee Pacchia about a new book by Josh Young detailing his colorful life and his views on civil...more

EPA Announces Final Rule Eliminating ASTM Phase I ESA Standard E1527-05 from CERCLA “All Appropriate Inquiries Rule”

On October 6, 2014, the EPA announced a final rule amending the “All Appropriate Inquiries Rule” [40 CFR Part 312] (“AAI Rule”) for conducting environmental site investigations of potentially contaminated property....more

Third-Party Protections In Mass Tort Chapter 11 Cases

A defendant facing thousands of mass tort lawsuits in federal and state courts throughout the country often will seek to address the litigation by seeking Chapter 11 relief under the Bankruptcy Code. The Chapter 11 process...more

Environmental Groups Ramp-up the Crude-by-Rail Fight in the Courtroom

Bakken crude producers and midstream transportation companies already experience transportation woes related to inadequate pipeline infrastructure, railroad capacity, tank car supply, rail accidents, and new regulations. But...more

Energy Newsletter - October 2014

In This Issue: - Mexico's New E&P Contracts - Electricity Reform in Mexico: New Opportunities and Roles - New Licence Terms Promoting Unconventional Exploration and Production are Introduced for the UK's 14th...more

Shipping hazmats by air? Follow the rules or pay the price: FAA imposes substantial penalties for hazardous materials violations

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is increasingly cracking down on senders of hazardous materials by air, and your company could be its next target. Shippers and carriers of hazardous materials sent via...more

The Expanding Availability of Apportionment To Limit Liability in Superfund Cases

In Burlington Northern in 2008, the US Supreme Court ruled that Superfund liability could be apportioned whenever there was a reasonable basis for showing that the harm was divisible, such as by considering the length of time...more

Boxer Criticism On Current TSCA Reform Efforts

On September 18, 2014, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) Chair Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) issued a statement containing links to Senator Boxer's counterproposal to and critique of the Toxic Substances...more

California Governor Signs Bill Regulating Oil by Rail

On September 25, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that will provide California’s emergency responders with more information about trains carrying crude oil and require railroad companies to provide...more

The Class Action Chronicle - Fall 2014

This is the fifth edition of The Class Action Chronicle, a quarterly publication that provides an analysis of recent class action trends, along with a summary of class certification and Class Action Fairness Act rulings...more

Summary of Changes in the Chemical Safety Improvement Act (CSIA, S. 1009) and the Boxer TSCA Version Released September 2014

This analysis reviews the changes made to the original version of the Chemical Safety Improvement Act (CSIA) (identified as CSIA1 in this memorandum) based on Senator Barbara Boxer's (D-CA) version of the Toxic Substances...more

Texas Supreme Court oral arguments (9/14)

No. 12-0803 -- Texas Dep't of Aging & Disability Servs. v. Cannon -- The plaintiff brought a wrongful-death case against the department and department employees. The department moved to dismiss the employees, arguing that...more

Deepwater Horizon ruling puts focus on prevention

Last week’s decision by District Judge Carl Barbier exposes the UK-headquartered energy giant to up to $18bn in fines for the 2010 drillship incident because, under the same US laws that cover tanker spills, civil penalties...more

Aboveground Storage Tank Act Interpretive Rule

This morning, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) filed a proposed interpretive rule (the “Interpretive Rule”) with the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office implementing, in part, the recent...more

Continuing Litigation Over Titanium Dioxide in Sunscreen and Cosmetics Underscores Importance of Exposure Assessments in...

In an ongoing Proposition 65 litigation brought in late 2013 by the Public Interest Alliance (PIA) targeting more than 100 sun-protection and powder-cosmetics manufacturers, plaintiff claims defendants’ products expose...more

PHMSA Proposes Regulations Claimed to Make Business Easier for Retailers and Transporters and Finalizes a Regulation that Could...

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) recently published two proposed regulations that may positively affect retailers and transporters, if implemented as proposed. In addition, PHMSA finalized a...more

MN PUC Affirms Path of Contentious Litigation for Externalities Value Determination

The MN PUC held a hearing on September 4, 2014, to address the impending investigation of social costs of pollutants under Minn. Stat. § 216B.2422 subd. 3 (known as externalities values). First established in the late 1990s,...more

Chance Of 2014 TSCA Reform Shrinking Fast

Stakeholders agree that the chances of legislative reform to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) are small -- and getting smaller as the days progress. Both Hill staff and industry trade representatives acknowledge that...more

Responsible Mercury Management Post-MEBA

Several domestic industries have historically produced elemental mercury as either a main product or a byproduct of their operations. This mercury has typically been sold to third parties that have utilized it in the...more

NPDES Permits Are Construed Narrowly Against the Permittee

In July, we noted that the Clean Water Act’s permit shield defense would be construed narrowly, applying only where a permittee had clearly disclosed that the relevant pollutant to the agency. This week, in Alaska Community...more

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