Toxic Torts Updates

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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

“All Sums” Claims Another Victory, This Time In New York

In Viking Pump, Inc., et al. v. TIG Insurance Co., et al., 2016 N.Y. LEXIS 1018 (N.Y. May 3, 2016), policyholders scored a victory when New York’s highest court applied “all sums” allocation and vertical exhaustion. The...more

Eighth Circuit Reverses Class Certification in Vapor Intrusion Litigation

On May 20, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reversed class certification in a case involving residential vapor intrusion claims, in Ebert et al. v. General Mills, Inc., No. 15-1735 (8th Cir. May 20,...more

Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation: Applying the Toxic Tort Statute of Limitations (6/16)

Toxic tort cases may involve claims of injuries arising months or years after the date of alleged exposure. A recent Appellate Division Third Department decision addressed the application of the toxic tort statute of...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - May 2016 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - Proceeds from cap-and-trade auction fall far short of targets - Los Angeles Times - May 25 - The latest auction in California’s cap-and-trade market for greenhouse gases fell...more

8th Circuit Court Finds Class Action Inappropriate to Resolve Neighborhood Claims for Damages Arising From Environmental...

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Eighth Circuit found that a class action could not be sustained in an environmental pollution case because “the class lacks the requisite commonality and cohesiveness to satisfy Rule 23.”...more

Government Claims Against Contractors and Developers Subject to Statute of Repose Filing Deadlines, Arizona Court of Appeals Rules

In a matter of first impression, the Arizona Court of Appeals recently ruled that government claims against contractors and developers are subject to the time limits set forth in the Construction Statute of Repose. The...more

Toxic Tort & Product Liability Quarterly Vol. 9, No. 2, May 2016

In a case that may make it easier to prove causation in Maryland lead paint cases, the Maryland Court of Appeals held that neither direct evidence of the source of lead nor expert testimony was necessary when a trier of fact...more

Court Upholds $1.6 Million C-8 Jury Verdict

In another development in the ongoing ammonium perfluorooctanoate (“C-8”) multidistrict litigation, a federal trial court in Ohio upheld an October 2015 jury verdict against E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (“DuPont”). ...more

North Carolina Court of Appeals Caps UST Damages to Diminution in Property Value

Illustrating the limits on damages available to North Carolina landowners in toxic tort cases, the North Carolina Court of Appeals upheld a trial court’s order capping damages at the diminution in the value of the...more

New York Reaffirms General Acceptance Standard in Frye for Scientific and Technical Issues

In a recent opinion handed down by New York’s highest state court – the Court of Appeals –Sean R. v. BMW of N. Am., LLC, 2016 N.Y. Slip. Op. 01000 (Feb. 2016) reaffirmed New York’s continued adherence to Frye’s “general...more

Michigan Court Defers to Regulator’s Concurrent Jurisdiction in UST Cleanup

In a decision highlighting a practical challenge in pursuing tort claims against some underground storage tank (“UST”) owners and operators, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that a trial court could nix a lawsuit stemming...more

Pennsylvania Federal Court Dismisses Untimely Medical Monitoring Class Claim

In a decision that may make it more difficult to sustain medical monitoring claims in Pennsylvania, a federal district court dismissed as untimely a putative class action alleging workplace chemical exposure. Blanyar v....more

First Circuit: Plaintiffs’ Specific Causation Expert Fails to Pass Muster in Benzene Case

Last week, we (along with many of you, we assume) attended the DRI Drug and Medical Device conference in Chicago. We re-connected with friends dating to the beginning of our lengthy career (literally – ran into the head of...more

D.C. Water Utility Sheds Negligence, Consumer Protection Claims in Lead-in-Water Litigation

In a decision that may have implications in other cases related to alleged lead in drinking water, a District of Columbia trial court dismissed negligence and consumer protection claims against the District’s water utility,...more

Expert’s Specific Causation Methodology Unreliable in Leukemia Row

In a case underscoring the importance of reliable methodologies in expert testimony, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit upheld a trial court decision excluding specific causation testimony linking benzene...more

Tenth Circuit Bars Class Tort Claims for Failing to Plead Injury

Underscoring the importance of pleading actual injury in a toxic tort class action, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit dismissed Oklahoma class claims that were based only on “reasonable concern” of future injury...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

Maryland Court of Appeals OKs Circumstantial Causation Evidence in Lead Paint Cases

In a case that may make it easier to prove causation in Maryland lead paint cases, the Maryland Court of Appeals held that neither direct evidence of the source of lead nor expert testimony was necessary when a trier of fact...more

Talc Litigation: The Big Picture

In 2015 and 2016, juries awarded $13 million in a talc case in California, and $72 million and $55 million in talc cases tried in Missouri. The California plaintiff argued that she used talcum powder which contained...more

New York High Court Applies All Sums Allocation To Long-Tail Claims Under Certain Insurance Policies

The New York Court of Appeals recently answered two certified questions from the Delaware Supreme Court concerning insurance allocation, and the Court’s answers may impact significantly policyholders litigating “long-tail”...more

New York’s Highest Court Creates Exception to Pro Rata Allocation

On May 3, 2016, the New York Court of Appeals answered two certified questions posed by the Delaware Supreme Court regarding the appropriate allocation method for long-tail claims among successive excess carriers. The first...more

Illinois Federal Court Transfers “Late Notice” Reinsurance Dispute To Pennsylvania

R&Q Reinsurance Company issued a facultative reinsurance certificate to St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Company, which reinsured a policy issued by St. Paul to Walter E. Campbell, Co. The broker who placed the certificate...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

Missouri Court Applies Borrowing Statute to Bar Illinois Asbestos Claims

In Wolfe, et al. v. Armstrong Int'l, Inc., et al., Cause No. 1522-CC11026 (Div. No. 4), the Circuit Court for the City of St. Louis, 22nd Circuit, entered an April 11, 2016, Order dismissing certain defendants from an...more

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