Toxic Torts Civil Procedure

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Illinois Asbestos Court Rules on Personal Jurisdiction in First Post-Daimler Decisions

In what is believed to be the Court’s first post-Daimler written decisions on the issue, Madison County, Illinois Judge Stephen A. Stobbs recently issued two decisions addressing whether the Court has personal jurisdiction...more

Insurer’s Action To Arbitrate Stayed In Lieu Of Earlier-Filed State Court Coverage Action

An Illinois federal court recently stayed an insurer’s petition to compel arbitration of a dispute with its policyholder, finding that abstention in favor of an earlier-filed suit involving the parties was appropriate under...more

Maryland Court of Appeals Holds that Expert Is Not Permitted to Opine as to Source of Lead Paint Exposure Based Solely Upon...

On October 16, 2015, in Jakeem Roy v. Sandra B. Dackman, et al., No. 6, Sept. Term 2015 (Md. Oct. 16, 2015), the Court of Appeals of Maryland held that a pediatrician is not qualified to offer an expert opinion regarding the...more

Illinois Supreme Court Narrows Ability for Employees to Sue for Alleged Occupational Diseases

On November 4, 2015, in the case of Folta v. Ferro Engineering, 2015 Il 118070 (2015), the Illinois Supreme Court strengthened the exclusivity provision of the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act and Illinois Occupational...more

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

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

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

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

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

Seventh Circuit Affirms Exclusion of Plaintiffs’ Causation Experts in Vinyl Chloride Case

Underscoring the importance of sound science in expert opinions, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld the exclusion of expert testimony that did not adequately draw or extrapolate from reliable...more

Texas Appellate Court Sides with Energy Industry by Requiring Personal Injury Plaintiffs to Submit Expert Testimony in Nuisance...

In a significant victory for the energy industry, on October 7, 2015, the San Antonio Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of Marathon Oil Corporation, Marathon Oil EF, LLC (together “Marathon”) and Plains...more

Plaintiff’s Mere Presence in Area Where Asbestos is Present Insufficient to Establish Bystander Exposure

In Schiffer v. CBS Corporation (filed 9/9/15; modified 9/30/15), the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, affirmed summary judgment in favor of the defendant asbestos insulation manufacturer finding...more

Federal Court Allows Sealing Of A Petition Seeking Confirmation Of Arbitral Award

On August 14, 2015, a federal district court in New York entered an order allowing a petition to confirm an arbitration award to be filed in redacted form with the arbitration award to be filed under seal. The case is pending...more

September 2015: Product Liability Litigation Update

Ninth Circuit Restricts Scope of CAFA’s “Local Single Event” Exception. In Allen v. Boeing Co., 784 F.3d 625 (9th Cir. 2015), the Ninth Circuit recently held that a case did not fall within the Class Action Fairness Act’s...more

Settlement – Recovering Costs Under CCP § 998 – Multiple Defendants’ Settlement Offer

Brian Kahn v. The Dewey Group, et al. - California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (September 8, 2015) - Code of Civil Procedure section 998 (§ 998) is a tool that allows litigants to further settlement...more

Yaiguaje v Chevron Corporation: Supreme Court releases leading decision on the enforcement of foreign judgments in Canada

Summary - - Supreme Court of Canada favours a relaxed approach to the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments in Canada. - For a Canadian court to recognize and enforce a foreign judgment, a judgment...more

Offensive Discovery after Strudley and Changes to the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure

Toxic tort cases often involve real property, especially in areas with large mining and energy sectors like the West and Southwest. The cases frequently have large potential damage values and require extensive discovery....more

Court Of Chancery Grants Stay Of Derivative Case

A stay of derivative litigation is hard to get even when there is another case pending elsewhere. But when, as here, the other litigation may expose the company to significant liability, a stay of the derivative action...more

Insurance Code §520 Requires Reversal of Prior Supreme Court Decision Upholding Insurance Policy Language Barring Post-Loss...

Fluor v Superior Court (Hartford) California Supreme Court (August 20, 2015) In 2003, the California Supreme Court ruled in Henkel Corp. v. Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co. (2003) 29 Ca.4th, 934, that a...more

“Not the Stuff of Science”: “Differential Etiology” Causation Opinions Fail Daubert in 7th Circuit Toxic Tort Case

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a district court’s grant of summary judgment in an environmental toxic tort case, holding that the testimony of all three of plaintiffs’ causation experts – James Dahlgren,...more

In Reversal, California Supreme Court Allows Assignment of Coverage for Liability Claims

California’s Supreme Court has reversed its own heavily criticized decision from 2003 in Henkel Corp. v. Hartford Accident & Indem. Co. (2003) 29 Cal. 4th 934. In Fluor Corp. v. Superior Court, the Court announced that its...more

Illinois Appellate Court Reverses Asbestos Verdict on Sole Proximate Cause Argument

In Smith v. Illinois Central Railroad Co., the Fourth District of Illinois recently overturned a $1.4 million verdict against the Illinois Central Railroad. At trial, the Court had excluded evidence of the decedent's work at...more

Ninth Circuit Reverses Dismissal of Damages Claim in San Diego Contamination Suit

In a decision that may reopen the door to significant damages in a California soil and groundwater contamination suit, the Ninth Circuit reversed a trial court’s dismissal of the City of San Diego’s restoration and real...more

DuPont Wins Partial Summary Judgment in Drinking Water MDL

An Ohio federal district court gave E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Co. a partial victory in litigation over ammonium perfluorooctanoate (“C-8”) drinking water contamination in Ohio and West Virginia by granting partial summary...more

Michigan Court Finds Expert Testimony Not Necessary to Show Link Between Chemical Exposure and Injury

Issuing an opinion that could lower the bar for proving toxic tort causation, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that direct expert testimony may not be necessary to prove causation in a toxic tort case and that a plaintiff...more

District Court Limits Nuisance Claims Against Chemical Manufacturer in Elk River Spill

Finding only public interests at issue from contamination of public drinking water supplies, a West Virginia federal court dismissed a private nuisance claim, but not a public nuisance claim against a chemical manufacturer. ...more

West Virginia Federal Court Finds Personal Jurisdiction Over Out-of-State Parent Company in Elk River Spill

In a ruling that could broaden parent company exposure to suit in West Virginia, the Southern District of West Virginia found that it had personal jurisdiction over the out-of-state parent company of an in-state water company...more

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