Toxic Torts Civil Procedure

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Fourth Circuit Affirms Liability for Selenium Discharges - Rejects Permit Shield Defense

By a published decision released on July 11, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed a district court decision out of the Western District of Virginia finding that A & G Coal Corporation (“A & G”)...more

Texas Supreme Court Holds That Requirement to Provide Evidence of Approximate Dose Applies to Mesothelioma Cases as Well as...

On July 12, 2014, in Bostic v. Georgia Pacific Corp., No. 10-0775, a six-justice majority of the Texas Supreme Court issued a major decision on causation in asbestos cases. The Court held that the requirement to provide...more

Morristown Associates v. Grant Oil

In 2006, Morristown Associates filed a suit against multiple heating companies and the previous owners of a dry cleaning business to seek payment for the costs they incurred redeveloping the property. They cited the source...more

Settling Parties In Government Consent Orders Have CERCLA Claims For Contribution Not Cost Recovery

To the extent there was any remaining uncertainty, the Sixth Circuit has now made crystalline that a party settling some or all of its liability under CERCLA with the United States or a state has a contribution claim under...more

Oregon’s Statute of Repose May Block Common Law Environmental Claims

Oregon’s 10-year statute of repose may now play a bigger role in environmental lawsuits in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA),...more

Environmental Alert: "Texas Supreme Court Clarifies Causation Standard in Multiple Source Toxic Tort Cases"

The Texas Supreme Court took what appears to be a middle ground in toxic tort cases involving exposure to the same substance from multiple sources. The Court rejected the “but for” standard advocated by the defendant, but...more

Court Denies Renewed Attempt To Dismiss Defenses In Reinsurance Dispute Associated With Asbestos-Related Liabilities

In this case, plaintiffs sought leave to renew their motion to dismiss certain retention-related and assignment affirmative defenses based on provisions of certain Loss Portfolio Transfer (LPT) agreements, and to re-argue the...more

The Clean Water Act - Is groundwater included?

There has been much controversy in the courts as to whether groundwater can be defined as “navigable waters” under the Clean Water Act. Courts are split on this decision, with equal numbers of rulings on both sides. One...more

Texas Supreme Court opinions (7/14)

1. No. 10-0775, Bostic v. Georgia-Pacific Corp. -- This is a mesothelioma case. The overarching issue is whether the causation standard announced in Borg-Warner Corp. v. Flores (which was an asbestosis case) also applies to...more

Cornell Ruling Is Cause for Experts’ Concern

I recently co-authored an article for Law360 entitled “Cornell Ruling Is Cause for Experts’ Concern,” which covered the ruling by the New York Court of Appeals in Cornell v. 360 West 51st St. Realty, LLC (2014 NY Slip Op...more

Pa. Superior Court Confirms Statutory Right of Repose for Improvements to Real Estate in Asbestos Cases

The Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed a jury verdict in favor of plaintiffs in an asbestos mesothelioma case, finding that the 12-year statute of repose bars all claims related to improvements constructed on real estate...more

Are Personal Injury Damages Avaiable in a Nuisance Case?

As promised, on May 22, today’s post is a study of the personal injury issues raised by the defendants in Parr v. Aruba. In this post we raise the question and discuss what the parties believe the answer should be....more

Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) Apportionment

The U.S. Court of Appeals used the recent case of PCS Nitrogen Inc. v. Ashley II of Charleston LLC to decide when it is appropriate to rule in favor of apportionment under CERCLA. In this case, 43 acres of land in...more

Supreme Court Rules CERCLA Does Not Preempt State Statute of Repose

In CTS Corp. v. Waldburger, 13-339, 2014 WL 2560466 (U.S. June 9, 2014), the United States Supreme Court held that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, also known as Superfund)...more

Is Death A Defense To CERCLA Liability?

In contrast to the early days of Superfund when no argument for extending CERCLA liability was too far-fetched, the Second Circuit recently rejected one of the all-time “Hail Mary” passes for CERCLA contribution. The case,...more

Oil and Gas Companies Ask Colorado Supreme Court to Approve Trial Court Order Requiring Plaintiffs to Present Preliminary Evidence...

On June 18th, Antero Resources Corp., Antero Resources Piceance Corp, Calfrac Well Services Corp, and Frontier Drilling LLC filed their Opening Brief before the Colorado Supreme Court in a “toxic tort” case concerning...more

One Step Closer… Fifth Circuit Affirms BP Loss on CWA Liability Regarding Gulf Spill

The Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico occurred over four years ago, accompanied by numerous stories trumpeting the fact that BP would likely pay as much as $25 billion to the United States in civil penalties...more

Supreme Court Ruling Resolves Conflict on State Statutes of Repose

US Supreme Court rules CERCLA Section 309 does not preempt state statutes of repose. Federal causes of action remain unaffected. Last week, in a 7-2 decision, the US Supreme Court ruled in CTS Corp. v. Waldburger that...more

Newly-Published Regional Steel Case Raises More Questions Than It Answers

In May, California’s Second Appellate District affirmed a summary ruling that a Commercial General Liability insurer did not have a duty to defend a subcontractor who supplied faulty “seismic tie hooks” that were encased in...more

New York Court of Appeals Addresses Proof of Causation in Lead Paint Exposure Litigation

In many toxic tort cases, the date of exposure to the alleged toxin occurred years before the emergence of any symptoms of injury. For that reason, relatively simple rules for disclosure of medical proof may become more...more

United States Supreme Court Holds that CERCLA Allows State Statutes of Repose to Limit Plaintiffs’ Injury Claims

This week, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling of interest to any Potentially Responsible Party regarding the effect of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) on state...more

Words Matter … To Spartans And To The First Circuit

There is a scene in the movie 300 where King Leonidas greets the Persian messenger with, “Before you speak, Persian, know that in Sparta everyone, even a king’s messenger, is held accountable for the words of his voice.” ...more

Do Statutes of Repose Under CERCLA Really Require Supreme Court Review

Even Superfund lawyers are likely to find the Supreme Court’s decision yesterday in CTS Corporation v. Waldburger to be of limited interest. Unable to reach an agreement about a federal “toxic tort” cause of action, Congress...more

California Court of Appeal Overturns Nonsuit Granted in Household Exposure Asbestos Case Where Trial Court’s Decision Was Based on...

On May 15, 2014, the First District Court of Appeal in California found that the trial court had erred in granting a nonsuit in favor of Pneumo Abex, LLC (Abex) in the asbestos personal injury action of Johnny Blaine Kesner,...more

Leach Oil and Mouren-Laurens Oil Sites Add 1,300 New PRPs to Litigation

The Leach Oil Site and the Mouren-Laurens Oil Site are located adjacent to each other in Compton, California. These sites have been the subject of litigation between the current and former owners and operators for almost 15...more

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