Toxic Torts Updates

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Worker entitled to asbestos records for government building he worked in, but not list of employees in building

A worker was entitled to asbestos records for the government building he worked in. However, he was not entitled to a list of government employees who worked in the building and therefore who may have been exposed to...more

County Counsel Teamwork: The Exide Story

Justice: (1) the principle or ideal of just dealing or right action; (2) conformity to this principle or ideal The concept of environmental justice is straightforward, the pathway to practical solutions are often...more

"Take-Home" Asbestos Case Decision Could have Ripple Effect

Companies facing "take-home" asbestos or other toxic tort exposure claims in Arizona, or in other jurisdictions applying Arizona law, now have a new case to cite in dispositive motions. With the Sept. 20 Arizona Court of...more

New Jersey Court Rules Talcum Powder Claims Not Supported by Science

Talcum powder has been widely used as a cosmetic and bath product by Americans for well over a century. In recent years, claims have been asserted that talcum powder causes certain forms of ovarian cancer. This has resulted...more

Florida Tightens the Reins on Proving Causation in Asbestos Claims

On September 14, 2016, Florida joined a growing number of jurisdictions that reject the “any exposure” theory of proving causation. Variously known as the “cumulative exposure” or “each and every exposure” theory, it is based...more

Guest Post – With No General Causation Experts, Denture Cream Plaintiffs Drop Like Leaves In Autumn

Today we have a guest post from Reed Smith‘s Jaclyn Setili, about one of our pet peeves – MDL plaintiffs (and their counsel) who think they don’t have to do any work at all on their cases, and simply show up come settlement...more

Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation: What Does a Reformed TSCA Mean for Private Rights of Action Under State Law? (9/16)

As we reported, on June 22, 2016, President Obama signed the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety Reform for the 21st Century Act (the Act) into law, enacting the Toxic Substances Control Act’s (TSCA) first reform in its four...more

Put Up or Pay Up: Mentor Obtape MDL Judge Promises Sanctions to Plaintiff Attorneys Filing Meritless Cases

We spend the vast bulk of our professional life working in the context of MDLs. We know the drill: plaintiff lawyers file hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands of cases. At some point, the cream rises to the top in...more

You Should Know - September 2016

Asbestos: Lethal and Still a Threat to All Americans: Backpack: check. Pencils: check. Respirator: ??? Two years ago, the Ocean View School District in Orange County, California, was forced to close...more

Another Lead-Related Crisis: East Chicago, Indiana

Last week, we began following the news about East Chicago, Indiana, where dangerously high levels of lead and arsenic have been found in the soil of a public affordable housing community and nearby elementary school affecting...more

MDL Court Says “You Don’t Belong Here” to Plaintiff “Added by Amendment”

This weekend, the Drug and Device Law Rock Climber hosted a sleepover to say goodbye to her friends as she headed back to college. Somehow, between our last survey of heads on pillows and the convergence on the breakfast...more

Breaking News – California High Court Expands “Specific” Personal Jurisdiction To Recreate “Exorbitant” Personal Jurisdiction...

It’s been two years since the First District California Court of Appeals issued its ill-founded decision in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court, 175 Cal. Rptr. 3d 412 (Cal. App. 2014), which used specific personal...more

Environmental Litigation and Toxic Torts Update – Mountain West Coast Case Law Highlights

COLORADO CITY FRACKING BANS PREEMPTED BY STATE LAW - City of Longmont v. Colo. Oil and Gas Ass’n, 369 P.3d 573 (Colo. 2016), 2016 Colo. LEXIS 442; City of Fort Collins v. Colo. Oil and Gas Ass’n, 369 P.3d 586 (Colo....more

Asbestos Exposure Liability Decision May Affect Future "Take Home" Cases

Following recent court action, defendants up against "take-home" asbestos exposure claims may need to rethink their legal strategy. The Northern District of Illinois recently denied a Motion for Reconsideration of a...more

Toxic Tort & Product Liability Quarterly Vol. 9, No. 3, August 2016

California Appellate Court Upholds “Every Exposure” Theory - Deferring to the role of a jury in resolving questions of competing scientific theories, a California appeals court upheld a trial court’s ruling allowing...more

Ninth Circuit Rejects CERCLA Liability for Air Emissions

Do air emissions of hazardous substances create a cleanup liability under the Superfund? In the closely watched case of Pakootas, et al. v. Teck Cominco Metals, Ltd., the Ninth Circuit said, “no,” becoming the highest court...more

Bankrolling Class Actions: Court Rules That Plaintiff Must Identify Third-Party Funder Of Class Action Lawsuit

Seyfarth Synopsis: The increasingly common practice of third-party funding of class actions, which provides tax incentives to plaintiffs’ attorneys and third-party funders alike, may no longer be protected under...more

3D Printing: Health Care Miracle, Product Liability Nightmare, or Both? Insights from Nutter’s David Ferrera and Robyn Maguire

David Ferrera, partner in Nutter’s Litigation Department and chair of the firm’s Product Liability and Toxic Tort Litigation practice group, and Robyn Maguire, partner in Nutter’s Litigation Department and a member of the...more

Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation: New Hoosick Falls Law: Was it Necessary? (8/16)

On Thursday, July 21, 2016, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation modifying the statute of limitations for personal injury claims arising from exposure to hazardous substances.1 Commonly known as the...more

California Adopts the Sophisticated Intermediary Doctrine

In a recent opinion, the Supreme Court of California formally adopted the Sophisticated Intermediary Doctrine, clarifying what circumstances may permit a raw materials supplier to discharge its duty to warn consumers. Webb...more

NJ Supreme Court Opens Door to More Take-Home Exposure Claims against Landowners

On July 6, 2016, in Schwartz v. Accuratus Corporation, No. A-73-14-076195, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that individuals other than spouses exposed to take-home toxins may pursue claims against landowners....more

Lesson of Ninth Circuit CERCLA Decision: Prepare to Prove Recoverable Costs

On June 13, 2016, the Ninth Circuit held that a party which has settled its liability pursuant to a CERCLA section 1071 cost recovery claim may recover any response costs not covered by the settlement under CERCLA section...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - July 2016 #5

Environmental and Policy Focus - State Supreme Court rules in state’s favor on Delta property rights - Sacramento Bee - Jul 21 - The California Supreme Court ruled last Thursday that the state has the right to...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Air Emissions Not Covered by CERCLA

Decision finds operator of a lead and zinc smelter not liable as an “arranger” under CERCLA for aerial deposition of heavy metals. On July 27, a panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit unanimously held...more

New Ninth Circuit Decision Precluding CERCLA Liability for Airborne Emissions

Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued in the long-running Pakootas v. Teck Cominco Metals, Ltd. litigation another important decision further defining the scope of liability under the federal Comprehensive...more

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