Toxic Exposure

News & Analysis as of

Operating a Well in California May Automatically Put You At Risk for a Prop 65 Lawsuit

California's Proposition 65 is notorious for its duty-to-warn requirement, which states that a business must give a clear and reasonable warning prior to exposing people to certain levels of any listed chemical. The warning...more

California Attorney General Targets Prop. 65 Plaintiffs’ Settlement Terms

The California Office of the Attorney General is seeking to limit certain payment provisions common in Prop. 65 plaintiffs’ settlements with defendants. The proposed rulemaking, published September 25, 2015, would limit the...more

Better Late Than Never: The California Supreme Court Reverses Itself, Holding That Corporate Policyholders May Assign Insurance...

Asset purchase and sale transactions are a preferred structure for many corporate deals. For a variety of reasons, it may be prudent for businesses or product lines to be transferred through these transactions, and an asset...more

Products Liability – Raw Material Supplier – Consumer Expectations Test

David Johnson, et al. v. United States Steel Corporation - Court of Appeal, First District (September 1, 2015) - In a products liability case, a plaintiff may seek recovery on theories of both negligence and...more

EPA Requests Comment On Fiscal Year 2017 – 2019 Enforcement Priorities

EPA on September 15, 2015, announced its National Enforcement Initiatives (NEIs) for its Fiscal Years (FY) 2017 – 2019 and requested comment on them. 80 Fed. Reg. 55352. EPA selects enforcement initiatives every three years...more

Clean Power Rule Challenges Will Proceed Sooner or Later, But Its Goal May Already Be Close at Hand

Legal challenges filed almost immediately after President Obama announced the Clean Power Rule may be premature. That is what attorneys for EPA told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently in...more

California Doubles Down on Proposition 65 Regulations; OEHHA Issues Pre-Regulatory Proposals That Harm Existing Defenses

Late last week, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (“OEHHA”) released several new pre-regulatory draft proposals regarding Proposition 65 (“Prop 65”). With one possible exception, the pre-regulatory...more

UK Report Assesses Workplace Exposure and Control Measures During the Manufacture and Handling of Engineered Nanomaterials

The United Kingdom’s Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prepared a report entitled Summary of work undertaken to assess workplace exposure and control measures during the manufacture...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, August 2015

EPA Issues Direct Final Rule On Significant New Use Notification Electronic Reporting: On July 20, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a direct final rule amending the Toxic Substances Control Act...more

Illinois Appellate Court Reverses Asbestos Verdict on Sole Proximate Cause Argument

In Smith v. Illinois Central Railroad Co., the Fourth District of Illinois recently overturned a $1.4 million verdict against the Illinois Central Railroad. At trial, the Court had excluded evidence of the decedent's work at...more

Supreme Court Tells EPA Cost Does Matter

The Environmental Protection Agency's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) placed national limits on mercury and other toxic emissions from power plants. The agency projected MATS to prevent 11,000 premature deaths, 4,700...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

A little good news: OSHA Grants Some Reprieve For Compliance with Its New Construction Industry Confined Space Rules

On May 4, 2015, OSHA issued a final rule setting new standards for workers in confined spaces on construction sites. The new rule requires coordination for multiple employers at the worksite, a competent person to evaluate...more

2015 Summary of Key Maine Environmental Legislation

The Pierce Atwood Environmental and Land Use Practice Group is pleased to provide the 2015 Summary of Key Maine Environmental Legislation enacted or carried over in the First Regular Session of Maine's 127th Legislature...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Holds That Insured May Settle Tort Claim Without Insurer Consent Under “Fair and Reasonable” Standard

In Babcock & Wilcox Co. v. American Nuclear Insurers, a divided Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, deciding an issue of first impression under Pennsylvania law, recently held that when an insurer defends its insured subject to a...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

Penn Study Unlikely to Result in Flood of Fracking Lawsuits

A recently released study from scientists at the University of Pennsylvania suggests a link between hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") for gas and oil and cardiac and neurological illnesses. Whether the report triggers a rash...more

Hidden Costs of Common Beauty Treatments?

The “toxic trio” is a foreboding name some associate with common and seemingly innocuous manicures and pedicures. Salon workers suffer higher-than-average rates of birth defects, miscarriages, cancers, and skin afflictions...more

MATS attack: Supreme Court reversal of EPA's Air Toxics Rule signals difficulties ahead

On June 29, 2015, the US Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, reversed and remanded to the DC Circuit EPA's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rule (MATS). Michigan v. EPA, No. 14-46. MATS is a signature regulation of the Obama...more

The Supreme Court Strikes Down the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards

While the Court’s decision marks a symbolic defeat for EPA, it may not significantly alter power plant operators’ compliance efforts. In a much anticipated decision delivered on the last day of the term, the Supreme...more

Toy Safety Regulation Should Be Left To The Federal Government

On June 2, 2015, the Suffolk County Legislature became the latest county legislature in New York to pass a “toxic-free toys” act. About a week later, the New York City Council got in on the action and introduced a similar...more

Q&A Series: Locke Lord’s Jim Tyrrell on the Keys to a Winning Products Liability Defense

What is the key to succeeding for a client in a complex products liability or toxic tort matter? JT: It’s all in the ‘C’s.’ Command of the facts, command of the law, command of the science, command of the courtroom and...more

EPA Issues Proposal to Mitigate Exposure to Bees from Acutely Toxic Pesticide Products

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Proposal to Mitigate Exposure to Bees from Acutely Toxic Pesticide Products published in the Federal Register on May 29, 2015, seeks comment on a proposal to adopt mandatory...more

Colorado Supreme Court Restricts Use of "Lone Pine" Discovery Orders

On April 20, 2015, the Colorado Supreme Court released an important decision restricting the use of so-called "Lone Pine" orders. See Antero Resources Corp. v. Strudley. Lone Pine orders require plaintiffs in toxic tort cases...more

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