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Toxic Torts Updates

Read Toxic Torts news, alerts, and legal commentary from leading lawyers and law firms:

EPA Delivers on Promise to Delay Risk Management Plant Requirements for Chemical Plants and Refineries

On June 12, 2017, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt announced another extension to the effective date of the Obama-era rule amending federal Risk Management Program (RMP) requirements for...more

New York Court Holds General Liability Insurer Has Duty to Defend Odor Claim

In its recent decision in Hillcrest Coatings, Inc. v. Colony Ins. Co., 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4519 (N.Y. 4th Dep’t June 9, 2017), the Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, Fourth Department, had occasion to...more

Arizona Civil Verdicts, 2016

by Snell & Wilmer on

For the past 13 years, I’ve written the cover story of the state bar magazine, Arizona Attorney, about Arizona verdicts. The latest one is out. Here are 2016’s top Arizona verdicts, significant defense verdicts, punitive...more

DOJ Issues Policy Memo Limiting the Use of Supplemental Environmental Projects in Federal Settlements

by Downey Brand LLP on

On June 7, 2017, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a policy memorandum dated June 5, 2017 that prohibits the allocation of settlement funds to non-governmental, third-party organizations, as a condition of...more

Connecticut Appellate Court Addresses Trigger, Allocation, Exclusions, and Other Issues of First Impression in Coverage Litigation...

by Carlton Fields on

Connecticut’s intermediate appellate court addressed a number of novel issues in a wide-ranging opinion regarding primary and excess insurers’ respective duties to defend and indemnify their common insured for long-tail...more

"Toxic" Tort Food Litigation: The Truth Behind the Headline

by Bryan Cave on

Chicago Partners Susan Brice and Thor Ketzback, along with San Francisco Associates Merrit Jones and Thomas Lee, presented on "Toxic" Tort Food Litigation: The Truth Behind the Headline, May 4, via a live presentation in our...more

Transnational Class Action Dispute Over Oil Spill Commenced in Australia

by Jones Day on

Following the 2009 Montara Oil Field oil spill in the Timor Sea, an Indonesian seaweed farmer brought a class action in Australia against the operator of the Montara Oil Field. The action was commenced on behalf of a class of...more

Environmental Notes - May 2017

by Williams Mullen on

The Clean Power Plan (“CPP”), and its companion new source review rule, is the Obama Administration’s signature regulation on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Among other things, it requires states to put...more

Can Discharges to Groundwater Trigger Clean Water Act Liability

by Williams Mullen on

It’s a bad day when you find out that your facility has been leaking wastewater, wastes, petroleum product or chemicals. But if the leak went into the soil and the groundwater first, rather than a nearby creek, are you liable...more

U.S. District Court Finds EPA Erred in Approving Pesticides Known To Impact Endangered Species

by Nossaman LLP on

On May 8, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted, in part, a motion for summary judgment brought by plaintiffs in a suit challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”)...more

Another Retailer Shells Out for Hazardous Waste Violations: Big Lots Ordered to Pay $3.5 Million

by Stoel Rives LLP on

Following closely on the heels of Dollar General’s hazardous waste settlement (about which we reported in our April, 19, 2017 blog post), another discount retailer has been held to account in a big way for its failure to...more

Federal Court Dismisses Some of Seattle’s PCB Tort Claims

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

In a blow to the efforts of municipal plaintiffs to pursue environmental damages through product liability theories, a Washington federal court granted Monsanto’s motion to dismiss Seattle’s design defect and failure to warn...more

Federal Court Allows Expert Testimony on Health Risks Despite Lack of Personal Injury Claims

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

Underscoring the importance of expert testimony regarding health risks in toxic tort cases involving potential exposure issues, a Mississippi federal judge allowed expert testimony on health risks posed by alleged...more

Texas Supreme Court Tosses Untimely Damages Claims, Leaves Open Possibility of Injunctive Relief

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

Highlighting the importance of proving a factual timeline in a statute of limitations analysis, the Texas Supreme Court held that a cattle ranch owners’ claims related to alleged contamination from long-dormant oil and gas...more

New York Lead Paint Suit Barred by Statute of Limitations

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

Illustrating the limits of New York’s discovery rule, a New York appeals court dismissed claims alleging injuries from lead paint exposure as barred by the statute of limitations. See Vasilatos v. Dzamba, No. 523286 (N.Y....more

Position Accepted By Trial Court, And By Court Of Appeals, Was Insurance Company Bad Faith: Washington Supreme Court

by Butler Snow LLP on

The Washington Supreme Court just handed a defeat to Washington State liability insurers, holding that ProBuilders Specialty Insurance Company had a duty to defend a carbon monoxide poisoning case, notwithstanding a broad...more

Louisiana Federal Court Finds Removal Proper As Dispute Could Relate To An Underlying Arbitration Clause In Insurance Policy

by Carlton Fields on

In this case, a Louisiana federal court denied a motion for remand of a former machinist’s asbestos-related claim, finding that an English insurer’s removal from state court was appropriate and that the dispute could relate...more

El Salvador Makes History and Bans All Mining - Will other countries follow?

by Bennett Jones LLP on

On March 29, 2017, El Salvador’s legislature unanimously voted to ban all metallic mining, including for gold, in the Central American country. El Salvador is the first country in the world to impose a blanket ban on mining...more

Disposal of Contamination = Disposal of Evidence. Be Careful What You Throw Away!

by Snell & Wilmer on

In a recent unpublished case, the Superior Court of New Jersey held that the Plaintiff in a CERCLA case had committed spoliation when, during the course of the remedial activity, it disposed of various contaminated materials....more

“Take-Home Toxins” Expand Duty of Care Imposed on Employers

A federal district court in Pennsylvania recently found that Accuratus Corporation (“Accuratus”), a ceramics manufacturer and supplier, could be liable under New Jersey law for chemical exposure injuries to the girlfriend and...more

"The Class Action Chronicle - Spring 2017"

This is the 15th edition of The Class Action Chronicle, a quarterly publication that provides an analysis of class action trends, along with a summary of recent class certification and Class Action Fairness Act rulings. Our...more

How to Effectively Manage Vapor Intrusion Risks When Acquiring and Developing Property

With increasing concern and attention being raised by regulatory agencies and the public on protecting building occupants from exposure to vapor intrusion (VI)-related contaminants, parties acquiring and developing property...more

When is an Environmental Contamination Claim Too Old to Extend the Limitation Period?

by Bennett Jones LLP on

40 to 60 years may be too old when determining whether to extend a limitation period for a negligence-based environmental contamination claim, the court recently ruled in Brookfield Residential (Alberta) LP (Carma Developers...more

Extensive Use Of Attorney-Client Memo In Prior Lawsuit Destroyed Attorney-Client Privilege

by Carlton Fields on

Insured companies sued Travelers for allegedly misrepresenting the scope of coverage afforded for asbestos injury claims under certain Excess Overlayer Indemnity policies. At issue has been the discoverability of a memorandum...more

New York Federal Court Denies Cross Motions For Summary Judgment On Follow The Settlements Doctrine

by Carlton Fields on

In a lengthy February 24, 2017 opinion, a New York federal court denied cross motions for summary judgment on the Follow the Settlements Doctrine, filed by Utica Mutual Insurance Company and Utica’s reinsurer, Fireman’s Fund...more

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