Toxic Torts Civil Procedure

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The Strategy of Lone Pine Orders: Timing Matters

Federal and state courts are using Lone Pine orders to effectively manage and control mass tort cases and other complex litigation. A Lone Pine order is a case management order that requires all plaintiffs to furnish...more

Federal District Court Ruling in Fukushima Daiichi Case Has Implications for Global Nuclear Liability Management

A recent ruling in Cooper v. Tokyo Electric Power Company, No. 12-CV-3032, S.D. Cal., Oct. 28, 2014, one of three lawsuits filed in the United States related to the 2011 incident at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant,...more

Claims Administration and Handling in Mass Tort Cases: Lessons from Deepwater Horizon

In mass casualty and toxic tort litigation, an effective means of providing prompt and efficient compensation to victims can benefit all stakeholders. Claimants receive prompt payment for lost property or business expenses,...more

Class Certification Denied in Chemical Leak Lawsuit

An Arkansas federal judge recently denied a motion to certify a proposed class of property owners alleging that Whirlpool’s failure to clean up toxic chemicals at its facility diminished the value of their surrounding...more

Res Judicata Prevents Plaintiff from Recovering Exemplary Damages

Earlier this month, in Oleszkowicz v. Exxon Mobil Corp., et al., 2014-0256 (La. 12/9/14), 2014 WL 7009533, the Supreme Court of Louisiana barred a plaintiff from relitigating an exemplary damages claim arising from alleged...more

Reinsurance Arbitration Award Confirmed, Reaching Result Contrary To Previous Award Against Different Reinsurer

On March 11, 2014, we reported on the First Circuit’s ruling in a contested arbitration between OneBeacon America Insurance Co. and certain of its reinsurers over reinsured asbestos claims. The reinsurers filed a declaratory...more

Insurance Recovery Law -- December 2014 #2

Ammonia Release Constitutes “Direct Physical Loss” Under Policy - Why it matters: A New York federal court recently ruled that the discharge of ammonia at a manufacturing plant – causing a facility shutdown for...more

NJ Spill Act Contribution Rights in Jeopardy Under Proposed Bill: Points to Consider - M&E Environment & Energy Alert

A bill (A-3880/S-444) recently introduced in both houses of the New Jersey legislature would prevent companies and private individuals from exercising their existing contribution rights under New Jersey’s Spill Act to recover...more

One Expert In, One Expert Out in Illinois Asbestos Case

An Illinois federal judge recently approved only one of two well-known asbestos experts to testify in a former pipefitter’s asbestos exposure case. U.S. District Judge John Z. Lee of the Northern District of Illinois held...more

Your Deposition: What to Expect [Video]

Depositions sound intimidating to any lay person involved in a civil lawsuit. Whether the case is about a personal injury, a commercial dispute, an employment issue or any other kind of claim that winds up in civil court,...more

California Federal Court Dismisses CERCLA Claims and Strikes Request for Attorneys’ Fees

In N. Cal. River Watch v. Fluor Corp., __F.Supp.3d__, 2014 WL 4954638 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 2, 2014), a Northern California district court dismissed Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”)...more

Pennsylvania Appeals Court Affirms Defendants’ Summary Judgments on Bystander Exposure Claims

Allegations of bystander exposure to asbestos via laundry is a common claim in cases where a plaintiff has no apparent occupational exposure but instead alleges that her asbestos-related disease was caused by exposure to...more

UPDATE: United States Supreme Court Declines Review of Ninth Circuit Decisions Involving “Any Exposure” Theory and Government...

As reported in our January 2014 edition, the Ninth Circuit en banc affirmed a prior ruling vacating a $10 million jury verdict in an asbestos personal injury action, holding that the Washington federal district court abused...more

Minnesota Federal Court Clarifies Pleading Standard in Vapor Contamination Case

In an opinion that may help clarify the jurisdictional and pleading requirements for plaintiffs seeking damages and injunctive relief for alleged injuries from vapor intrusion, the federal district court in Minnesota denied a...more

Third Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Toxic Tort Claims Based on Unreliable Experts

Underscoring the importance of reliable expert methodology, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld the dismissal of a personal injury suit based on unreliable expert testimony. See Henry v. St Croix Alumina,...more

New Jersey Landowner Forfeits Damages by Allowing Defendant to Remediate

In what may be a cautionary tale for owners of contaminated property, a New Jersey appellate court has ruled that a landowner forfeited any claim to property damages when he allowed the responsible party to perform...more

October 2014: Product Liability Update

Some Courts Loosening Restrictions on Punitive Damages. The 1990s and 2000s saw many developments 9 restricting the frequency and size of punitive damages awards in tort litigation, including both state tort-reform...more

Hydrocarbon Exposure Reconsidered

You might recall previous entries discussing the $2.9 million Dallas County verdict and judgment in Parr v. Aruba. Not all similar suits have the same result. Michael and Myra Cerny sued Marathon Oil Corp. and Plains...more

Tenant Who Sublets A Superfund Site Is Not Likely To Be A CERCLA Liable Party

It is generally the rule that a lessee who does not operate the property it rents will not be liable under CERCLA except in the unusual circumstance where the lessee qualifies as an “owner” of the property. Typically, this...more

California's Eastern District: Government Agency Liable for Costs When Site Cleanup Is Mismanaged

In a ruling last month (California Department of Toxic Substances Control v. Jim Dobbas, Inc., et al), the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California held that the Department of Toxic Substances...more

NJ Supreme Court to Rule on Application of General Six-year Statute of Limitations to Spill Act Claims

The Supreme Court of New Jersey recently heard arguments on whether private claims for contribution brought under the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act, N.J.S.A. 58:10-23.11 et seq. (Spill Act) are subject to a...more

Beveridge & Diamond Secures Pennsylvania Supreme Court Review in Toxic Tort Case

Litigators in the Firm’s Washington, DC office persuaded the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to grant an appeal in a tort case in which 34 plaintiffs allege that the land application of biosolids to farmland created a nuisance and...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

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

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

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