Toxic Torts Civil Procedure Energy & Utilities

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In Alabama, Sewage is NOT a Pollutant Falling Within the Pollution Exclusion in a Commercial General Liability Policy

Pollution exclusion clauses are an insurance industry staple and are often contained in commercial general liability insurance policies. While one might think that raw sewage would be considered a pollutant, under current...more

Asbestos Exposure Liability Decision May Affect Future "Take Home" Cases

Following recent court action, defendants up against "take-home" asbestos exposure claims may need to rethink their legal strategy. The Northern District of Illinois recently denied a Motion for Reconsideration of a...more

Bankrolling Class Actions: Court Rules That Plaintiff Must Identify Third-Party Funder Of Class Action Lawsuit

Seyfarth Synopsis: The increasingly common practice of third-party funding of class actions, which provides tax incentives to plaintiffs’ attorneys and third-party funders alike, may no longer be protected under...more

Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation: Discharger of Petroleum Not Able to Maintain Suit Against Another Discharger (5/16)

Under Navigation Law § 181, a party injured by the intentional or inadvertent discharge of petroleum products may bring a claim for damages against the party responsible for the discharge. But what if the injured party also...more

More Legal Action in the Wake of Flint Water Crisis

We blogged about the Flint water crisis when class action lawsuits were filed earlier this year. The crisis began when Flint switched its water supply from Lake Huron via Detroit’s water system to the Flint River in April...more

Texas Court of Appeals Issues Important State Superfund Order

In a “case of first impression,” U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit,texascapitol sitting in Austin, in TCEQ v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al., issued an important decision interpreting the scope of the Texas Solid...more

Tenth Circuit holds that environmental contamination case doesn’t require remand under Class Action Fairness Act’s “local...

Although the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA) permits most significant class actions to be heard in federal court, the law requires district courts to remand so-called “local controversies” to state court. A “local...more

Double Counting and Inflexibility Are Unreasonable in 4A Negotiations Says Mass. Appeals Court: Court Affirms Award of Attorneys’...

Seeking 80 percent of remedial costs from each of two potentially responsible parties and “inflexibility” in pre-litigation negotiations are sufficiently unreasonable to trigger attorneys’ fees under the Massachusetts cleanup...more

Implications of the Clean Power Plan on Historical Research

We’ve been closely tracking litigation related to the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan (CPP), which seeks to reduce carbon pollution from power plants and includes state-by-state mandates. Recently, the Supreme Court stayed...more

Private and Governmental Plaintiffs File Toxic Tort Suits Over L.A. Gas Leak

In perhaps the most well-publicized environmental release incident since Deepwater Horizon, Southern California Gas Co. faces a number of toxic tort-based lawsuits stemming from a natural gas leak at one of its storage wells...more

Federal Court Strikes Town Ordinance Requiring Warning Labels

In a case that may have implications for chemical warning laws, a federal court in New York found a town’s efforts to require warning labels on pesticide-treated utility poles compelled non-commercial speech and infringed on...more

Toxic Tort & Product Liability Quarterly Vol. 9, No. 1, February 2016

Sixth Circuit Rules that Clean Air Act Does Not Preempt State Tort Claims - In a decision that may leave facilities open to private tort liability despite compliance with federal Clean Air Act (CAA) requirements, the...more

The Ongoing Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan

Last week, citizens of Flint, Michigan filed two class-action lawsuits against Gov. Rick Snyder, Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and other government officials. ...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

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

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

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

Foes of the NJDEP $225 Million Settlement with Exxon Mobil Must File “Friend of the Court” Briefs Today

After denying their motions to intervene last week (see our coverage here), Judge Hogan issued a Scheduling Order that sets today as the deadline for the eight environmental organizations and State Senator Lesniak (D-Union)...more

Too Little, Too Late: Judge Denies Environmental Groups’ Motion to Intervene in Chris Christie’s Exxon Mobil Settlement

A New Jersey state judge ruled on Monday that eight environmental groups and a New Jersey state senator cannot intervene to challenge the $225 million settlement with Exxon Mobil proposed by the New Jersey Department of...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

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

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

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