Toxic Torts Civil Procedure

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Warning Causation Potpourri in New Jersey Mass Tort

Over the last couple of years, the Accutane mass tort in New Jersey state court has become the gift that keeps on giving. The latest installment is a two-fer: In re Accutane Litigation, 2016 WL 5958374 (New Jersey Super....more

"The Class Action Chronicle - Fall 2016"

This is the 13th edition of The Class Action Chronicle, a quarterly publication that provides an analysis of recent class action trends, along with a summary of class certification and Class Action Fairness Act rulings issued...more

Bootstrapped Claim Against the FDA Gets the Boot

We’re pleased to report the demise of a plaintiff’s firm’s attempt to punish the FDA for rejecting the firm’s attempt to force the agency to create evidence helpful to plaintiffs in litigation. The ploy began in 2012, when “a...more

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

Florida Appellate Court Reverses Verdict Against Valve Manufacturer in Asbestos Case - Decision: Trial Court Abused Discretion in...

Manufacturers of products that contained chrysotile asbestos won a major victory in Crane Co. v. DeLisle on Sept. 14, 2016, when Florida's Fourth District Court of Appeal (Fourth DCA) reversed a verdict entered against a...more

"Take-Home" Asbestos Case Decision Could have Ripple Effect

Companies facing "take-home" asbestos or other toxic tort exposure claims in Arizona, or in other jurisdictions applying Arizona law, now have a new case to cite in dispositive motions. With the Sept. 20 Arizona Court of...more

Florida Tightens the Reins on Proving Causation in Asbestos Claims

On September 14, 2016, Florida joined a growing number of jurisdictions that reject the “any exposure” theory of proving causation. Variously known as the “cumulative exposure” or “each and every exposure” theory, it is based...more

Guest Post – With No General Causation Experts, Denture Cream Plaintiffs Drop Like Leaves In Autumn

Today we have a guest post from Reed Smith‘s Jaclyn Setili, about one of our pet peeves – MDL plaintiffs (and their counsel) who think they don’t have to do any work at all on their cases, and simply show up come settlement...more

Put Up or Pay Up: Mentor Obtape MDL Judge Promises Sanctions to Plaintiff Attorneys Filing Meritless Cases

We spend the vast bulk of our professional life working in the context of MDLs. We know the drill: plaintiff lawyers file hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands of cases. At some point, the cream rises to the top in...more

Another Lead-Related Crisis: East Chicago, Indiana

Last week, we began following the news about East Chicago, Indiana, where dangerously high levels of lead and arsenic have been found in the soil of a public affordable housing community and nearby elementary school affecting...more

MDL Court Says “You Don’t Belong Here” to Plaintiff “Added by Amendment”

This weekend, the Drug and Device Law Rock Climber hosted a sleepover to say goodbye to her friends as she headed back to college. Somehow, between our last survey of heads on pillows and the convergence on the breakfast...more

Breaking News – California High Court Expands “Specific” Personal Jurisdiction To Recreate “Exorbitant” Personal Jurisdiction...

It’s been two years since the First District California Court of Appeals issued its ill-founded decision in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court, 175 Cal. Rptr. 3d 412 (Cal. App. 2014), which used specific personal...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

Toxic Tort & Product Liability Quarterly Vol. 9, No. 3, August 2016

California Appellate Court Upholds “Every Exposure” Theory - Deferring to the role of a jury in resolving questions of competing scientific theories, a California appeals court upheld a trial court’s ruling allowing...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

California Adopts the Sophisticated Intermediary Doctrine

In a recent opinion, the Supreme Court of California formally adopted the Sophisticated Intermediary Doctrine, clarifying what circumstances may permit a raw materials supplier to discharge its duty to warn consumers. Webb...more

NJ Supreme Court Opens Door to More Take-Home Exposure Claims against Landowners

On July 6, 2016, in Schwartz v. Accuratus Corporation, No. A-73-14-076195, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that individuals other than spouses exposed to take-home toxins may pursue claims against landowners....more

Ninth Circuit Holds Air Emissions Not Covered by CERCLA

Decision finds operator of a lead and zinc smelter not liable as an “arranger” under CERCLA for aerial deposition of heavy metals. On July 27, a panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit unanimously held...more

New Ninth Circuit Decision Precluding CERCLA Liability for Airborne Emissions

Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued in the long-running Pakootas v. Teck Cominco Metals, Ltd. litigation another important decision further defining the scope of liability under the federal Comprehensive...more

Pro Te: Solutio - Vol. 8 No. 5

The Spring 2016 issue of Pro Te Solutio deals head-on with issues that are driving litigation in this modern era. And as it is with many issues, there are two sides to every story. The first topic we wrangle involves the...more

Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation: In Asbestos Case, Court of Appeals Holds Manufacturer’s Duty to Warn Extends to Joint Use...

In In Re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, decided June 28,2016, the Court of Appeals tackled the question of whether a manufacturer must warn against a danger inherent in using its product together with a product designed...more

New Jersey High Court Expands Reach of “Take-Home” Toxic Tort Claims

Action Item: Employers and premises owner of facilities in which employees or visitors might be exposed to alleged hazardous substances must be aware of a recent New Jersey Supreme Court decision in Schwartz v. Accuratus...more

Murky Waters Following the Gold King Mine Spill

In the wake of actions taken on August 5, 2015 by contractors for the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that resulted in the Gold King Mine Spill, western states that rely on water from the Animas River, the...more

Component Parts Doctrine not Applicable to Products Used in Manufacturing Process That are not Incorporated into a Different...

Flavio Ramos, et al. v. Brenntag Specialties, Inc., et al. - California Supreme Court (June 23, 2016) - In cases of claimed injury from asbestos exposure, the component parts doctrine was designed to provide...more

California Supreme Court Adopts the Sophisticated Intermediary Defense

In Webb v. Special Elec. Co., the California Supreme Court formally adopted the "sophisticated intermediary doctrine," which provides an additional defense that manufacturers and suppliers can assert against product liability...more

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