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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

BP Oil Spill Litigation – Current Status of the Litigation

As many are aware, BP entered into a Settlement Agreement to compensate citizens of areas surrounding the Gulf of Mexico for losses arising from the epic oil spill in 2010. There has been substantial litigation and appellate...more

Objectors Seek Writ of Certiorari to SCOTUS Over Monsanto Agent Orange Settlement

On January 21, 2014, objectors to a class action settlement over contamination from Monsanto Agent Orange herbicide filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the Unites States Supreme Court. The Petition asked the Court to...more

PA Supreme Court Allows Certain Mesothelioma Claimants to Sue Their Employer

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently issued a ground-breaking decision that could potentially expose employers to a wave of new lawsuits by former employees suffering from mesothelioma. In its November 22, 2013 opinion in...more

CERCLA, RCRA, and Vapor Intrusion: Does What Happens in Vegas Really Stay in Vegas?

In Voggenthaler v. Maryland Square LLC, 724 F.3d 1050 (9th Cir. 2013), the defendants argued that contamination that happened in Vegas, stayed in Vegas, and therefore the Commerce Clause barred the application of CERCLA. The...more

Oklahoma Supreme Court Holds Comprehensive Lawsuit Reform Act of 2009 Unconstitutional

In 2009, Oklahoma joined the list of states attempting to curb “lawsuit abuse” by passing the Comprehensive Lawsuit Reform Act of 2009 (CLRA of 2009). Arguably the most sweeping legislation affecting the practice of law in...more

CWP 4750 of 2013 [Hemant Goswami vs. Union of India]

PIL - Ban Identified Carcinogens

The Writ petition is about the unrestricted commercial availability of many substances which are labelled as Group 1 (Class A) or Group 2A/2B Carcinogens (Sure-shot Cancer causing agents) by the WHO IARC (International Agency...more

Appellate Court Upholds Statutory Due Diligence Requirement and Finds Ownership Status after Declaration of Taking

Liability based on property ownership under New Jersey’s Spill Compensation and Control Act (“Spill Act”) and its impact on condemnation cost recovery suits were the subject of an interesting decision last month in New...more

RCRA Citizen Suits Are Still Constitutional

2012 is shaping up to be the Year of the Commerce Clause. Not only is the Commerce Clause at the center of the Supreme Court ‘s impending review of the Affordable Care Act later this spring; it is also at the heart of a...more

Subject Matter Jurisdiction Under RCRA: Testing the Limits of the Commerce Clause in a Citizens' Suit

Courts have traditionally construed federal jurisdiction of environmental statutes expansively, consistent with their remedial intent. However, recent opinions in Voggenthaler v. Maryland Square, LLC, Case 2:08-cv-1618 (D....more

Retroactive Application of Florida's Asbestos and Silica Act Held Unconstitutional

In a 5-2 decision released Friday, July 8, the Florida Supreme Court held that the retroactive application of the 2005 Asbestos and Silica Compensation Fairness Act (Act) is unconstitutional because it divested the named...more

Merits Brief to US Supreme Court in Public Nuisance Case Challenges "Standardless Liability"

Amicus Curiae Brief on the Merits: "Such a standardless exercise is not jurisprudential. Instead, it transforms courts across the United States into regulatory agencies, requires them to devise ad hoc standards for each...more

Atlantic Richfield Company, et al v. County of Santa Clara, et al

Amicus Curiae Brief Supporting Petition for Certiorari in United States Supreme Court

The Brief urges review of the California Supreme Court's ruling allowing public authorities to use contingent fee counsel to prosecute public nuisance cases. It asserts that granting private counsel financial interests in...more

Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Shell Petroleum (No Corporate Liability Under AlienTort Claims Act)

Order Affirming Motion to Dismiss

A panel of the court ruled 2-1 on September 17, 2010 that the Alien Tort Statute gives U.S. courts jurisdiction over alleged violations of international law by individuals only, not by corporations. The decision dismisses...more

Comment: Connecticut v. American Electric Power Co.

This comment discusses Connecticut v. American Electric Power Co. (“AEP”), in which the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit announced that the federal common law of nuisance could potentially provide the basis...more

Pay Now, Challenge Later: D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds Constitutionality of EPA Unilateral Administrative Orders in...

An important decision has upheld the government’s power to order private parties to take expensive cleanup actions with little ability to challenge the order until after completing the work. On June 29, 2010, the U.S. Court...more

Yucca Mountain Project: federal, state and tribal struggles for sovereignty

Millions fight to save Nevada's people and land from nuclear waste. The Yucca Mountain Project has gone from bad to ugly, and now involves a number of law suits involving federal, state and tribal sovereignty over Yucca...more

Supreme Court Upholds Private Right of Action Under CERCLA

A unanimous Supreme Court has removed any doubt about a private party's right to sue for environmental response costs under the federal Superfund. In U.S. v. Atlantic Research Corporation, Case No. 06-562, the Court addressed...more

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