Environmental Liability

News & Analysis as of

New York’s Highest Court Reaffirms Specific Causation Rule under Parker in Toxic Tort Cases

On March 27, 2014, New York’s Court of Appeals issued a ruling reversing an Appellate Division decision and sustaining the lower court’s decision granting a defendant’s motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint alleging...more

BP Updates for 2014: Second Oil Spill in Lake Michigan and DWH Settlement Recap

The claimant eligibility for the DWH settlement agreement reaches just under the $5 billion mark this month, meanwhile BP’s Indiana based Whiting Refinery leaks an estimated 1600 gallons of crude oil into Lake Michigan. BP...more

Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation: Court of Appeals Revisits and Clarifies Causation Requirements for Expert Opinions

Causation is the crux of any toxic tort litigation. The Court of Appeals’ recent decision in Cornell v. 360 West 51st Street Realty, LLC, No. 16 (N.Y. Mar. 27, 2014) underscores that principle and revisits the causation...more

Governor Brown's Promised SB 4 Amendments: Proposals Should Appease Environmental Critics by Closing Potential CEQA Loopholes

In his SB 4 signing message (see September 20, 2013 post), Governor Brown promised certain “clarifying” amendments for SB 4, and his administration has begun the process of seeking those amendments....more

The EPA's Golden Rule: No Good Neighbor Goes Unpunished

Have you ever wondered what all those additional charges are on your electric bill? This month my bill lists a “Customer Charge,” a “2013 Fuel Adjustment” and a “State-Wide Low-Income Assistance Fee,” which add up to about...more

11th Circuit Affirms Disclaimer Under Pollution Buy-Back Endorsement

In its recent decision in Composite Structures, Inc. v. The Continental Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 5258 (11th Cir. Mar. 20, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, applying Florida law, had...more

Caution: Wildlife Crossing – Hydraulic Fracturing and Endangered Species

Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” has become a hot button issue for environmental groups. Most reported environmental issues pertaining to fracking involve water use and water and air quality. However, over the past few...more

Wisconsin Court Holds Gas Line Explosion Not Covered Under CPL Policy

In its recent decision in Acuity v. Chartis Specialty Ins. Co., 2014 Wisc. App. LEXIS 201 (Wisc. App. Mar. 12, 2014), the Court of Appeals for Wisconsin, District Two, had occasion to consider whether damages resulting from a...more

History Repeats Itself At The Mouth Of The Miami River

Ten years ago, attorney Michael Kreitzer represented a developer who was faced with an injunction on its development of a high-rise apartment building on the south side of the Miami River after it was discovered that the...more

Retailers: It’s Time To Check How Your Stores Manage Their Waste

If you’re a retailer, it’s a good time to assess your system for tracking and managing hazardous waste. Think you don’t generate any? Think again. Those aerosol cans, product returns from customers, old pharmaceuticals and...more

Court of Appeal Finds Caltrans Omitted Material Necessary to Informed Decision Making by Failing to Include a Threshold of...

In Lotus v. Department of Transportation (2014) 223 Cal.App.4th 645, a California Court of Appeal found that Caltrans omitted material necessary to informed decision-making and informed public-participation when it failed to...more

Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation: Third Department Clarifies Scope of Recoverable Medical Monitoring Damages in Waterborne...

On the heels of the Court of Appeals’ landmark decision rejecting an independent cause of action for medical monitoring in Caronia v. Phillip Morris USA, on February 20, 2014, the Third Department decided Ivory v. IBM. Ivory...more

Fifth Circuit Limits Pollution Liability

In a significant decision issued February 24, 2014, the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that federal laws preempt state laws in the case of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, because the event occurred in federal...more

Brownfield land in the UK: environmental indemnities

Introduction - In this second in our series of briefings on topics relevant to those involved in brownfield land, we focus on environmental indemnities....more

More Than Five Years Later, the Bush Administration Is Still Losing Environmental Cases

I previously noted that the record of the Bush administration in defending its rulemaking decisions was dangerously near the Mendoza Line. Indeed, even four years after Bush left office, it was continuing to lose decisions. ...more

Public Statements Made In Wake Of Environmental Disaster May Give Rise To Shareholder Securities Claims

When speaking on environmental issues affecting publicly-traded corporations, corporate officers, directors and management should be mindful of potential exposure to liability under the securities laws. After two oil spills...more

New York Landowners Sue Governor Cuomo Over Fracking Review

A large group of New York property owners have filed suit against Governor Andrew Cuomo, demanding that the state concludes its five-year-long assessment of whether to allow high-volume hydraulic fracturing. The group, called...more

Time-Barred Claim . . . Or Is It? Supreme Court Agrees To Review Fourth Circuit State Statute of Repose Case

As reported on the Ogletree Deakins Environmental Law blog in July of 2013, a divided panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERLCA or...more

What Defense Counsel Can Learn From The W.Va. Spill

For the companies and their lawyers, the headlines were awful and kept getting worse: 300,000 people suffering without drinking water; changes in corporate ownership just days before the chemical spill; and accusations that a...more

Caltrans EIR Analysis of Impacts to Redwoods Found Inadequate

In Trisha Lee Lotus v. Caltrans (Jan. 30, 2014), the First District Court of Appeal reversed a Humboldt County Superior Court decision, and ruled that a California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) environmental impact...more

Who Knew? Hazardous Waste Management by Retail Stores

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a “pre-publication” Notice of Data Availability for Hazardous Waste Management in the Retail Sector (the “Notice”), to be published in theFederal Register. The Notice...more

Family Businesses and Environmental Liability

We all know that environmental laws impose heavy liability on businesses that release environmental contaminants into the air, soil or water. The family business is not immune to such liability. In fact, many...more

Ninth Circuit Denies Rehearing of Clean Air Act Suit and War of Words Ensues

On February 3, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit declined to rehear en banc a decision handed down last October by a three-judge panel, thereby leaving in place a decision that could significantly...more

BP Loses Bid to Cancel Oil-Spill Settlement Agreement

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has recently struck down BP’s request to cancel the settlement agreement it had arranged with the Plaintiff’s Setting Committee (PSC) in March 2012. BP’s effort to get this agreement, which...more

Taking the Fight to the Ice: Ontario Court of Appeal allows enforcement action against Canadian subsidiary for environmental...

In Yaiguaje v Chevron Corporation, 2013 ONCA 758, the Ontario Court of Appeal held that Ontario has jurisdiction to recognize and enforce a foreign judgment against a Canadian subsidiary that was not a party to the foreign...more

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