Toxic Torts Personal Injury

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Emerging Trends in Tort Litigation Alleging Health Injuries Caused by Neighboring Oil and Gas Activities

Last year's $2.9 million verdict in Parr v. Aruba Petroleum, the so-called "first fracking trial," garnered attention in Texas and beyond. The significance laid not only in that the plaintiffs had succeeded on their private...more

Ninth Circuit Reverses Dismissal of Damages Claim in San Diego Contamination Suit

In a decision that may reopen the door to significant damages in a California soil and groundwater contamination suit, the Ninth Circuit reversed a trial court’s dismissal of the City of San Diego’s restoration and real...more

DuPont Wins Partial Summary Judgment in Drinking Water MDL

An Ohio federal district court gave E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Co. a partial victory in litigation over ammonium perfluorooctanoate (“C-8”) drinking water contamination in Ohio and West Virginia by granting partial summary...more

Michigan Court Finds Expert Testimony Not Necessary to Show Link Between Chemical Exposure and Injury

Issuing an opinion that could lower the bar for proving toxic tort causation, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that direct expert testimony may not be necessary to prove causation in a toxic tort case and that a plaintiff...more

District Court Limits Nuisance Claims Against Chemical Manufacturer in Elk River Spill

Finding only public interests at issue from contamination of public drinking water supplies, a West Virginia federal court dismissed a private nuisance claim, but not a public nuisance claim against a chemical manufacturer. ...more

West Virginia Federal Court Finds Personal Jurisdiction Over Out-of-State Parent Company in Elk River Spill

In a ruling that could broaden parent company exposure to suit in West Virginia, the Southern District of West Virginia found that it had personal jurisdiction over the out-of-state parent company of an in-state water company...more

Ninth Circuit Interprets CAFA Exception Narrowly, Facilitating Removal in Environmental Tort Cases

Creating a Circuit split, the Ninth Circuit held that a tort case against a Washington corporation did not fall under the so-called “local event” exception to the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”) and, therefore, had been...more

Duty to Cooperate Ruling Narrows Insurers’ Ability to Foreclose Coverage for Settled Class Action Claims

Insurance policies typically include a cooperation clause, which requires the insured to cooperate with the insurer in the defense of a covered claim. Insurers routinely use this clause as a sword against their insureds by...more

Jury Must Decide Whether Facts Exist to Suspend the Accrual of the Statute of Limitations Under The Discovery Rule

Ismael Rosas v. BASF Corporation, et al. - Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Five (May 21, 2015) - he general rule regarding statutes of limitation is that they do not begin to run until a cause...more

California Federal Court Dismisses Medical Monitoring Claims for Lack of Plausible Cancer Risk

In a significant victory for defendants facing toxic tort exposure claims, a California federal court dismissed a medical monitoring putative class action brought by drinkers of certain Pepsi products because Plaintiffs...more

How Are the Texas Anti-SLAPP Statute and Jade Helm 15 Alike?

May a court “draw rational inferences from circumstantial evidence” when determining if a plaintiff has met its burden in a suit in which the defendant has invoked the Texas Citizens Participation Act . That was the question...more

Pa. Toxic Tort Settlement Shows Potential Danger in Benzene Exposure Lawsuits

A settlement recently reached between U.S. Steel Corp. and the widow of a Pennsylvania man allegedly exposed to benzene may fuel use of toxic tort lawsuits to sue over benzene exposures. ...more

California Appellate Court Finds Railroad Company Not Subject to Jurisdiction

In BNSF Railway Company v. Superior Court (2015) 185 Cal.Rptr.3d 391, the California Court of Appeal, Second District, reversed a trial court order denying BNSF Railway Company’s motion to quash service of summons for lack of...more

Lone Pine Loss: Supreme Court of Colorado Says State Rules Don’t Allow Use of Lone Pine Orders in Natural Gas Drilling Case

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court of Colorado issued its long-awaited decision in Antero Resources Corp. v. Strudley and held that the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure do not allow a trial court to issue a modified case...more

New York Court Sets Aside $11 Million Verdict and Puts the Onus on Plaintiffs to Quantify Exposures to Asbestos

On April 13, 2015, Justice Barbara Jaffe of the Supreme Court, New York County, issued a decision and order granting the motion by Ford Motor Company to set aside the verdict of $11 million in Juni v. A.O. Smith Water...more

Municipalities Lose First Round in Bid to Hold PCB Manufacturers Liable For Environmental Impacts

Two Massachusetts municipalities are down but not out in their attempts to hold manufacturers of PCBs responsible for the environmental effects of PCB-containing products decades later. ...more

8 dangerous substances you may be exposed to at work

Not all workplace injuries involve falls and collisions. Some of the damage done on the job is more gradual and subtle. Many jobs in Illinois involve hazardous levels of exposure to chemicals and other harmful substances. ...more

California Restricts Principles of “General” Personal Jurisdiction

In BNSF Railway Company v. Superior Court (Kralovetz) (Filed 3/27/2015, No. B260798), the California Court of Appeal, Second District, held a Delaware railroad corporation, with its principal place of business in Texas, was...more

Appellate Court Rules On Loss Allocation And Notice Disputes Concerning Reinsurance Claim

A New York appellate court affirmed the denial of summary judgment but with modifications. New Hampshire Insurance Company (“New Hampshire”) together with other insurers, settled with Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corporation...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

Judge Finds GenOn Power Plant Suit is Like School on a Saturday … No Class.

A Pennsylvania federal judge recently struck the class allegations from a suit brought against GenOn Power Midwest LP, alleging that its coal-fired power plant released toxic emissions that damaged surrounding property. Even...more

Texas Supreme Court Incorporates Limitations From An “Insured Contract” Into GL Policy

In In re Deepwater Horizon, Cause No. 13-0670, Slip Op., Feb. 13, 2015, the Texas Supreme Court held that an allocation of liability found in an “insured contract” would determine the coverage provided to an additional...more

Seventh Circuit Finds Attorney Fee Dispute Arbitrable

The Seventh Circuit recently held that a cost-sharing agreement (“CSA”) between Hennessy Industries Inc. (“Hennessy”) and National Union Fire Insurance Co. (“National Union”) required the parties to arbitrate a dispute over...more

New York Federal Court Finds that CERCLA’s Petroleum Exclusion Covers Benzene Derived from Gasoline Degradation

In White Plains Housing Authority v. Getty Properties Corp., No. 13-cv-6282, 2014 WL 7183991 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 16, 2014), the district court applied the petroleum exclusion of the Comprehensive Environmental Response,...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

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