News & Analysis as of

EQT’s Lengthy Battle With the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Gets Its Day in State Supreme Court

On November 17, 2015, Pittsburgh-based energy company EQT Production Co. (“EQT”) presented its oral argument before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, requesting it set aside a February 20, 2015, ruling of Commonwealth Court...more

Jury in C-8 Exposure Case Awards $1.6M in Compensatory Damages, Denies Punitives

An Ohio federal jury in October handed out the first verdict in multi-district litigation (“MDL”) against E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Co. related to ammonium perfluorooctanoate, or C-8, in drinking water around DuPont’s...more

Eighth Circuit Holds Fear of Contamination Insufficient to Establish Nuisance Class

In a ruling that underscores the difficulty of securing class certification in toxic tort cases involving fear of contamination claims, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reversed a Missouri federal...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Reaffirms Restatement Approach to Nuisance, Trespass

In a ruling that further delineates the threshold for maintaining private nuisance and trespass claims in New Jersey, the state’s highest court held that defendant landowners were not liable for contamination to neighboring...more

Third Time Is the Charm for Refinery in Getting Claims Dismissed With Prejudice

In a case that tested a federal judge’s patience for inadequate pleadings, a Michigan federal court shut down a group of business owners’ repeated attempts to craft viable tort claims against an oil refinery in a...more

Seventh Circuit Affirms Exclusion of Plaintiffs’ Causation Experts in Vinyl Chloride Case

Underscoring the importance of sound science in expert opinions, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld the exclusion of expert testimony that did not adequately draw or extrapolate from reliable...more

West Virginia Federal Court Certifies Class for Liability Purposes in Chemical Spill Suit

A West Virginia federal court certified a class for purposes of determining Defendants’ liability for a chemical spill that disrupted the water supply for approximately 300,000 residents in the Charleston area. Good v. Am....more

CERCLA Remains Ridiculous: A Remedy In Operation For 18 Years Is “Short Term”

Far too frequently, we are reminded just how hard judges must work to save CERCLA from itself. The decision last week in California River Watch v. Fluor Corporation is the most recent compelling example....more

While The Outcome In the Lower Fox River Case Continues to Change, The Legal Standard For Apportionment Is The Same

In 1832, Abraham Lincoln said that ” it is better to be only sometimes right, than at all times wrong, so soon as I discover my opinions to be erroneous, I shall be ready to renounce them.” Judge Greisbach of Eastern...more

Eighth Circuit Decertifies Environmental Nuisance Class Action Alleging “Fear of Contamination” Without More

The Eighth Circuit recently issued a decision reversing class certification for lack of commonality. In Smith v. ConocoPhillips Pipe Line Co., the Eighth Circuit considered a class action proceeding on a nuisance theory...more

Can Air Emissions Lead to CERCLA Liability?

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. § 9601 et seq. (“CERCLA”) imposes fairly broad liability on potentially responsible parties (“PRPs”) to pay for the investigation and...more

Flint Water System Troubles May Signal Numerous, Potentially Broad-Ranging Problems

For the City of Flint, Michigan, the immediate problem is that the water it provides its citizens is not safe to drink. For many other communities across the nation, the problem may be whether they can do the things necessary...more

Texas Court: No Prejudice Required to Deny for Late Reporting Under a Claims-Made Policy

This summer in Nicholas Petroleum, Inc. v. Mid-Continent Cas. Co., 2015 WL 4456185, 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 7489 (Tex.App., Jul. 21, 2015), a Dallas panel of Texas’ intermediate level appellate court rejected policyholder...more

Important Changes in Litigating Oil and Gas Cases in Federal Court: What the 2015 Amendments to the Federal Rules Mean for Oil and...

Many oil and gas disputes are litigated in federal court. In recent years, federal litigation has undergone significant changes in discovery practices and rules. For example, with the increase in electronically stored...more

Dirty Instruments Pose Threat to Outpatients, Too

Earlier this year, both patients and providers were shocked when a rash of hospital patients got seriously ill or died after medical devices used to examine their gastrointestinal tracts infected them because they were not...more

Offensive Discovery after Strudley and Changes to the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure

Toxic tort cases often involve real property, especially in areas with large mining and energy sectors like the West and Southwest. The cases frequently have large potential damage values and require extensive discovery....more

Supreme Court Declares Canadian Corporations may be Liable for Acts of Foreign Affiliates

In a just-released decision, Chevron Corp v Yaiguaje, 2015 SCC 42, the Supreme Court of Canada held that Canadian courts have jurisdiction to decide whether a foreign judgment can be enforced in Ontario against either or both...more

Draft Guidelines for Planning Grants Released by California Department of Water Resources

Guidelines Will Drive Funding Process; Comments Due Oct. 5 - With the passage of the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (Proposition 1), California voters authorized the issuance of $7.1...more

“Not the Stuff of Science”: “Differential Etiology” Causation Opinions Fail Daubert in 7th Circuit Toxic Tort Case

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a district court’s grant of summary judgment in an environmental toxic tort case, holding that the testimony of all three of plaintiffs’ causation experts – James Dahlgren,...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - August 2015 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus: Clean Water Act rule faces challenges from both sides - Courthouse News Service - Aug 18: A widely publicized new rule clarifying the definition of ’waters of the United States’ under the...more

Arsenic In Calif. Wine, But Is There A Problem?

A class action was filed in California Superior Court on March 19, 2015, Doris Charles et al. v. The Wine Group Inc. et al., case no. BC576061, that has raised a number of questions about the extent to which arsenic should be...more

Multinationals in China Should be Aware of Increased Enforcement of Environmental Law, Monitoring Requirements – and Fraud

In the last twelve months the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has been remarkably vocal about environmental law, monitoring, and fraud, especially under the new environmental...more

Washington Healthcare Update

This Week: Bipartisan Senate Letter Questions HHS and CMS on Details of State ACA Waivers...OMB Is Reviewing Final Medicaid-Covered Outpatient Drug Rule...Delaware Forgoes Transition to State-Based Exchange....more

Public Records in Massachusetts: Legislature looks to Improve Access and Top Court Clarifies Attorney-Client and Work-Product...

The combined efforts of Massachusetts’ highest court, its legislature, and the Governor’s office are clarifying and modernizing Massachusetts public records law, which is considered by some to be one of the weakest in the...more

Massachusetts Issues Guidance on Addressing 1,4 Dioxane Sites

MassDEP issued a fact sheet in June identifying special considerations for responding to releases of 1,4-dioxane (“dioxane”), which was primarily used as a stabilizer and corrosion inhibitor as an additive to chlorinated...more

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