Toxic Torts Civil Procedure

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China’s Top Court Clarifies Environmental Tort Liability Standards

On June 1, 2015, China’s Supreme People’s Court (“SPC”) issued an interpretation, The SPC Interpretation on Several Questions Concerning Applicable Law in the Adjudication of Environmental Tort Liability Dispute Cases...more

Q&A Series: Locke Lord’s Jim Tyrrell on the Keys to a Winning Products Liability Defense

What is the key to succeeding for a client in a complex products liability or toxic tort matter? JT: It’s all in the ‘C’s.’ Command of the facts, command of the law, command of the science, command of the courtroom and...more

Environmental Notes - June 2015

In this Issue: - EPA Issues SIP Call to Eliminate SSM Defense - EPA and Corps Define “Waters of The United States” - Frequent Questions: EPCRA 313 - Generators Need to be Vigilant About TCLP Sampling...more

South Carolina Court Limits CERCLA Remedies

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) allows the federal government to collect funds from or to order a “potentially responsible party” (“PRP”) to clean up contaminated sites. 42...more

Ninth Circuit Adheres to Narrow Interpretation of “Local Single Event” Exception Under CAFA

In a recent decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a suit brought against Boeing and its environmental remediation contractor over alleged groundwater contamination that occurred over the course of 40 years...more

New Discovery Order Requiring Greater Transparency Regarding Bankruptcy Trust Claims in Southern California Asbestos Litigation

On May 27, 2015, the Honorable Emilie H. Elias, the coordination judge who presides over all asbestos litigation in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego (LAOSD), issued a discovery order entitled “Case...more

PRPs May Want To Dig In With Divisibility Defense

In a victory for potentially responsible parties at multiparty contamination sites, a federal district court in U.S. v. NCR Corp., No. 10-C-910 (E.D. Wis. May 15, 2015), held a PRP established that environmental harm at a...more

District Court Imposes Divisibility Cap on Superfund Liability

A Wisconsin district court has ruled that NCR Corporation’s liability for contamination in the Fox River is limited to NCR’s share of contamination contributed to the river....more

Reinsurers’ Motion To Vacate Arbitration Award Held Time-Barred

A federal judge in New York has denied reinsurers’ motions for relief from a prior judgment. The reinsurers, Equitas Insurance Limited and Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s of London, argued that they were entitled to judicial...more

PRP in CERCLA Enforcement Action Saves Millions of Dollars with Successful Divisibility Defense

Action Item: On March 15, 2015, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in United States v. NCR Corp., No. 10-C-910 (E.D. Wis. May 15, 2015), held that a potentially responsible party (“PRP”) at...more

Colorado Supreme Court Restricts Use of "Lone Pine" Discovery Orders

On April 20, 2015, the Colorado Supreme Court released an important decision restricting the use of so-called "Lone Pine" orders. See Antero Resources Corp. v. Strudley. Lone Pine orders require plaintiffs in toxic tort cases...more

Ninth Circuit Strictly Construes “Single Local Event” Exception to CAFA Jurisdiction for Mass Actions

In a recent decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals strictly construed the “single local event” exception to federal jurisdiction under CAFA as not encompassing “events or occurrences” that are of a continuing...more

Are Concurrent CERCLA Claims For Section 107(a) Cost Recovery and Section 113(f) Contribution Permissible?

Given the uncertainties after Cooper Industries v. Aviall about what cause of action a PRP has for recovering response costs under CERCLA, many parties take the prudent course of pleading claims under both for cost recovery...more

California Federal Court Dismisses Medical Monitoring Claims for Lack of Plausible Cancer Risk

In a significant victory for defendants facing toxic tort exposure claims, a California federal court dismissed a medical monitoring putative class action brought by drinkers of certain Pepsi products because Plaintiffs...more

Louisiana Court Rules that Migration of Chemicals from Spill Not a “Continuing Tort”

In a case that may make it more difficult for plaintiffs to maintain years-old toxic tort cases in Louisiana, a state appellate court ruled that a 1983 chemical spill did not constitute a “continuing tort.” ...more

Colorado High Court Nixes Use of Lone Pine Orders to Streamline Colorado Fracking Litigation

On April 20, 2015, the Colorado Supreme Court issued a ruling interpreting Rule 16 of the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure and implicating the scope of a trial court’s inherent authority to manage the cases before it. In...more

How Are the Texas Anti-SLAPP Statute and Jade Helm 15 Alike?

May a court “draw rational inferences from circumstantial evidence” when determining if a plaintiff has met its burden in a suit in which the defendant has invoked the Texas Citizens Participation Act . That was the question...more

New Jersey Court Applies Continuous Trigger Theory and Finds That No Coverage Is Available Because Damage Manifested Prior to...

In Cypress Point Condo. Ass’n. v. Selective Way Ins. Co., 2015 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 721 (March 30, 2015), the New Jersey Law Division dismissed a declaratory judgment action filed against an insurer for a framing...more

California Appellate Court Finds Railroad Company Not Subject to Jurisdiction

In BNSF Railway Company v. Superior Court (2015) 185 Cal.Rptr.3d 391, the California Court of Appeal, Second District, reversed a trial court order denying BNSF Railway Company’s motion to quash service of summons for lack of...more

PCB Cleanup Suit Declared Time-Barred

A Connecticut federal judge recently dismissed a suit seeking to hold Monsanto and others responsible for the cleanup of polychlorinated biphenyls (“PCBs”) released from paint, finding that the plaintiff filed its suit after...more

Colorado Supreme Court Rejects Orders Requiring Plaintiffs to Present Early Evidence Supporting Their Toxic Tort Claims

In an April 20, 2015, decision that was highly anticipated by the energy industry, the Colorado Supreme Court rejected a procedural device called a “Lone Pine” order that requires plaintiffs to make a threshold evidentiary...more

Court Affirms Arbitration Panel’s $14 Million Award In Favor Of Insured In Reinsurance Dispute Over Asbestos Claims

A federal district court has confirmed a $14 million arbitration award entered in favor of Amerisure against its reinsurer Everest. As we earlier reported, the court had previously denied the motion to seal briefing...more

Lone Pine Loss: Supreme Court of Colorado Says State Rules Don’t Allow Use of Lone Pine Orders in Natural Gas Drilling Case

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court of Colorado issued its long-awaited decision in Antero Resources Corp. v. Strudley and held that the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure do not allow a trial court to issue a modified case...more

New York Court Sets Aside $11 Million Verdict and Puts the Onus on Plaintiffs to Quantify Exposures to Asbestos

On April 13, 2015, Justice Barbara Jaffe of the Supreme Court, New York County, issued a decision and order granting the motion by Ford Motor Company to set aside the verdict of $11 million in Juni v. A.O. Smith Water...more

Policyholder Insider Quarterly

Makers and Users of Smart Devices Beware: You May Have a Critical and Costly Gap in Your Insurance Coverage - The drumbeat of high-profile data breaches has led to rapid growth in the number of companies purchasing or...more

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