Toxic Torts Updates

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Pro Te: Solutio - Vol. 8 No. 5

The Spring 2016 issue of Pro Te Solutio deals head-on with issues that are driving litigation in this modern era. And as it is with many issues, there are two sides to every story. The first topic we wrangle involves the...more

Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation: In Asbestos Case, Court of Appeals Holds Manufacturer’s Duty to Warn Extends to Joint Use...

In In Re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, decided June 28,2016, the Court of Appeals tackled the question of whether a manufacturer must warn against a danger inherent in using its product together with a product designed...more

New Jersey High Court Expands Reach of “Take-Home” Toxic Tort Claims

Action Item: Employers and premises owner of facilities in which employees or visitors might be exposed to alleged hazardous substances must be aware of a recent New Jersey Supreme Court decision in Schwartz v. Accuratus...more

Mona Hanna Discusses Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Class Action Claims [Video]

Mona Hanna presented, “When Bad Stuff Happens: Best Practices for Managing Potentially Catastrophic Claims,” at the Resort Hotel Association’s Annual Conference in Pebble Beach, CA on July 12, 2016. She raised awareness of...more

Punitives Slashed in Wyoming Carbon Monoxide Case

In a case closely watched by tort reformers, a federal appeals court has whittled a $25.5 million punitive damages award to $1.95 million in a carbon monoxide poisoning lawsuit in Wyoming. Reversing much of the lower...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

Component Parts Doctrine not Applicable to Products Used in Manufacturing Process That are not Incorporated into a Different...

Flavio Ramos, et al. v. Brenntag Specialties, Inc., et al. - California Supreme Court (June 23, 2016) - In cases of claimed injury from asbestos exposure, the component parts doctrine was designed to provide...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

California Supreme Court Adopts the Sophisticated Intermediary Defense

In Webb v. Special Elec. Co., the California Supreme Court formally adopted the "sophisticated intermediary doctrine," which provides an additional defense that manufacturers and suppliers can assert against product liability...more

“All Sums” Claims Another Victory, This Time In New York

In Viking Pump, Inc., et al. v. TIG Insurance Co., et al., 2016 N.Y. LEXIS 1018 (N.Y. May 3, 2016), policyholders scored a victory when New York’s highest court applied “all sums” allocation and vertical exhaustion. The...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

Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation: Applying the Toxic Tort Statute of Limitations (6/16)

Toxic tort cases may involve claims of injuries arising months or years after the date of alleged exposure. A recent Appellate Division Third Department decision addressed the application of the toxic tort statute of...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

Government Claims Against Contractors and Developers Subject to Statute of Repose Filing Deadlines, Arizona Court of Appeals Rules

In a matter of first impression, the Arizona Court of Appeals recently ruled that government claims against contractors and developers are subject to the time limits set forth in the Construction Statute of Repose. The...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

New York Reaffirms General Acceptance Standard in Frye for Scientific and Technical Issues

In a recent opinion handed down by New York’s highest state court – the Court of Appeals –Sean R. v. BMW of N. Am., LLC, 2016 N.Y. Slip. Op. 01000 (Feb. 2016) reaffirmed New York’s continued adherence to Frye’s “general...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

First Circuit: Plaintiffs’ Specific Causation Expert Fails to Pass Muster in Benzene Case

Last week, we (along with many of you, we assume) attended the DRI Drug and Medical Device conference in Chicago. We re-connected with friends dating to the beginning of our lengthy career (literally – ran into the head of...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

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