Toxic Torts Construction

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Town Gets Schooled on Class Definition in PCB Contamination Case

The Town of Lexington, Massachusetts filed a putative class action in 2012 on behalf of itself and alleged similarly situated Massachusetts school districts that have one or more buildings with airborne...more

Silica Dust Damage Held Barred by Pollution and Faulty Workmanship Exclusions in New York

Building construction frequently generates silica dust, a substance that can cause lung disease and other respiratory problems.  Abrasive sand-blasting or jack hammering as well as concrete drilling and block cutting can lead...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Declines Review of Case Applying Statute of Repose to Asbestos Claims

As we reported in our July 2014 edition, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania held, in Graver v. Foster-Wheeler Corp., 96 A.3d 383 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2014), that the 12-year statute of repose applicable to claims against designers...more

Is Toxic Flooring the New Chinese Drywall?

A few days ago, the popular television program “60 Minutes” aired a story about a national flooring retailer selling Chinese-manufactured laminate flooring that contains extremely high levels of the cancer-causing chemical...more

Virginia Court Nixes Claim Chinese Drywall Damage to HVAC Systems is Covered as Equipment Breakdown

In Travco Ins. Co. v. Ward, 284 Va. 547, 736 S.E.2d 321 (2012), the Virginia Supreme Court held that loss occasioned by the sulfuric gas released by defective Chinese drywall was excluded under the primary coverage grant of a...more

No Diagnosis, No "Damages": Wisconsin's Construction Statute of Repose in Asbestos Cases

How to apply Wisconsin’s construction statute of repose, Wis. Stat. § 893.89, in asbestos cases has recently been a hot topic dividing trial courts. The statute bars a broad category of claims if they are brought more than 10...more

Designers, Contractors and Insurers Take Note: Recent Amendment to IL Statute of Repose Strips Asbestos Defense, Exposes Decades...

On December 19, 2014 the Illinois legislature amended the Illinois construction statute of repose to eliminate its protection in asbestos exposure cases (Public Act 098-1131). Beginning June 1, 2015, design professionals and...more

NPDES Permits Are Construed Narrowly Against the Permittee

In July, we noted that the Clean Water Act’s permit shield defense would be construed narrowly, applying only where a permittee had clearly disclosed that the relevant pollutant to the agency. This week, in Alaska Community...more

Newly-Published Regional Steel Case Raises More Questions Than It Answers

In May, California’s Second Appellate District affirmed a summary ruling that a Commercial General Liability insurer did not have a duty to defend a subcontractor who supplied faulty “seismic tie hooks” that were encased in...more

Environmental and Energy: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Issues Draft Environmental Monitoring Services...

On Wednesday, February 12, 2014, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issued a draft Commissioner Policy on Environmental Monitoring Services (the Policy). The proposed Policy updates DEC’s...more

Editorial: Silica Exposure Lawsuits: The Next Toxic Tort?

With the Occupational Safety and Health Administration signaling its increased attention to workers’ exposure to crystalline silica, and the plaintiff bar evidently in search of new subjects for “toxic tort” claims, there is...more

NAHB Urges OSHA To Rescind Proposed Silica Rule

We recently posted an article about whether silica exposure claims might emerge as the next toxic tort. A particular focus of that article was the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) clearly increasing...more

Silica Exposure Lawsuits: The Next Toxic Tort?

With the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) signaling its increased attention to workers' exposure to crystalline silica, and the plaintiffs' bar evidently in search of new subjects for "toxic tort" claims,...more

Indiana Court of Appeals Once More Asked to Interpret AIA Standard Construction Contract

This week's discussion focuses on the interpretation of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) standard construction contract by the Indiana Court of Appeals in the recent case Allen County Public Library v. Shambaugh &...more

South Carolina Court Rejects Theory of Seamless Claims Made and Reported Coverage

In its recent decision in GS2 Engineering & Environmental Consultants, Inc. v. Zurich American Ins. Co., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95137 (D.S.C. July 9, 2013), the United State District Court for South Carolina had occasion to...more

Absolute Pollution Exclusion Applies Indoors

In Midwest Family Mutual Insurance Co. v. Wolters, et al., — N.W.2d –, 2013 WL 2363239 (Minn. May 31, 2013), the Minnesota Supreme Court joined the minority view in holding that the absolute pollution exclusion applies to...more

Vapor Intrusion Developments

Potential buyers and sellers take note — on April 16, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) issued draft guidance that would require more evaluation of "vapor intrusion" (migration of any hazardous vapors...more

Bad Faith Sentinel - April 2013

In This Issue: - Western District Of Washington: Denial of a Defense Where Additional-Insured Status Was Arguable, and Doing So in Reliance on Extrinsic Evidence, Were Both Acts of Bad Faith - New York Court...more

How to Effectively Use Surveillance Video in Tort Cases

One of the things that has changed the most since I started practicing law two decades ago is the prevalence of surveillance video in tort cases. Given its influence on litigation, it’s important for both plaintiffs and...more

DISPUTE RESOLUTION: Tort Litigation: FERC Denies Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Radon Lung Cancer Risk Claim by Ralph H. Johnson

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) recently rejected claims that radon in Marcellus Shale natural gas would lead to thousands of lung cancer deaths. These claims arose from FERC’s May 21, 2012 grant of a...more

Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Update: September 2012 -- Indiana Supreme Court Interprets Application of Statute of Repose in an...

Statutes of repose can provide immunity for contractors against latent asbestos personal injury claims filed several years after the work was performed and the plaintiff was exposed. Under many states’ statutes of repose,...more

The Rising Risks Of Chlorinated Solvent Contamination

Originally published in Law360, New York (July 03, 2012, 12:16 PM ET) For properties where chlorinated solvents have been released, new regulatory challenges and related liability concerns are increasing as a result of...more

Case Studies in Environmental Medicine (CSEM) Asbestos Toxicity

This educational case study document is one in a series of self-instructional publications designed to increase knowledge of hazardous substances in the environment and to promote the adoption of medical practices that aid...more

Save Time, Money & Angst -- MEET and CONFER

The purpose of the “meet and confer” requirements set forth in C.C.P. §§ 25.450(b)(2)), 2025.480, 2030.300(b), 2031.310(b), 2032.250 and 2033.290 was for the lawyers to revisit their position, in good faith discuss a...more

Am I Naïve to Think Something Should Be Done?

What do you do when you are being out muscled by a party who has deep pockets and a lawyer who's intent is to abuse the discovery process and run up his bills. ANSWER--GET THE COURT INVOLVED!!...more

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