Toxic Exposure

News & Analysis as of

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Formally Adopts “Gist of the Action” Doctrine

Pennsylvania’s “gist of the action” doctrine prohibits plaintiffs from pursuing tort claims for what are, in actuality, breach of contract claims. A variety of defendants, including those in the financial services industry,...more

Gist of the Action Doctrine May Not Bar Tort Claims Arising from Negligent Performance of Contractual Duties

On December 15, 2014, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court broke its long silence on the gist of the action doctrine when it issued its decision in Bruno v. Erie Insurance Co. The gist of the action doctrine precludes a plaintiff...more

Class Certification Denied in Chemical Leak Lawsuit

An Arkansas federal judge recently denied a motion to certify a proposed class of property owners alleging that Whirlpool’s failure to clean up toxic chemicals at its facility diminished the value of their surrounding...more

Res Judicata Prevents Plaintiff from Recovering Exemplary Damages

Earlier this month, in Oleszkowicz v. Exxon Mobil Corp., et al., 2014-0256 (La. 12/9/14), 2014 WL 7009533, the Supreme Court of Louisiana barred a plaintiff from relitigating an exemplary damages claim arising from alleged...more

Insurance Recovery Law -- December 2014 #2

Ammonia Release Constitutes “Direct Physical Loss” Under Policy - Why it matters: A New York federal court recently ruled that the discharge of ammonia at a manufacturing plant – causing a facility shutdown for...more

New York District Court Rejects Excess Carrier’s Attempt to Stack Primary Limits in Continuous Exposure Case

Cases involving continuous exposure present unique challenges. Determining when the alleged injury occurred is critical in evaluating causation, damages, and statute of limitations defenses. The date and nature of the...more

California Proposition 65 Warning Requirements for DINP Effective December 20, 2014

On December 20, 2014, California’s Proposition 65 warning requirements for consumer, occupational, and environmental exposures to diisononyl phthalate (“DINP”) will take effect. ...more

“Rip & Run” Asbestos Abatement Not Taken Lightly By the U.S. Government

On November 12, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, ruled on the Northern District of New York’s sentencing of an air monitoring contractor criminally prosecuted for “rip & run” asbestos abatement projects, i.e.,...more

EPA Issues Guidance for Developing Data-Derived Extrapolation Factors

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on October 3, 2014, the availability of a final document entitled Guidance for Applying Quantitative Data to Develop Data-Derived Extrapolation Factors for Interspecies...more

Pennsylvania Appeals Court Affirms Defendants’ Summary Judgments on Bystander Exposure Claims

Allegations of bystander exposure to asbestos via laundry is a common claim in cases where a plaintiff has no apparent occupational exposure but instead alleges that her asbestos-related disease was caused by exposure to...more

Missouri’s General Rule Of One Corporation Not Being Liable For Another’s Conduct Is Reaffirmed

In Blanks v. Fluor Corp., ____ S.W.3d ____ (Mo. App. E.D. 2014) WL 4589815, September 16, 2014), the Missouri Court of Appeals reversed a jury verdict against Fluor Corporation, because it was improperly based on the conduct...more

Third Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Toxic Tort Claims Based on Unreliable Experts

Underscoring the importance of reliable expert methodology, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld the dismissal of a personal injury suit based on unreliable expert testimony. See Henry v. St Croix Alumina,...more

Coverage Options for Employee Asbestos Claims

Over the past year, courts in Illinois and Pennsylvania have dramatically altered the ability of an employee to bring claims against past and present employers for asbestos-related injuries. Traditionally, employees were...more

Hydrocarbon Exposure Reconsidered

You might recall previous entries discussing the $2.9 million Dallas County verdict and judgment in Parr v. Aruba. Not all similar suits have the same result. Michael and Myra Cerny sued Marathon Oil Corp. and Plains...more

TSCA Work Plan for Chemical Assessments: EPA Adds and Removes Chemicals Based on New Data

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on October 23, 2014, that it has updated its Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Work Plan for Chemical Assessments. According to EPA, the updated TSCA Work Plan...more

“We Need to Talk” – OSHA is Looking to Start a Dialogue on Chemical Management and Permissible Exposure Limits

Everyone knows that the permissible exposure limits or PELs set forth in various OSHA standards are pretty old (most have not been updated since 1971), and that we’ve learned a lot about chemical exposure and human health in...more

Nebraska Supreme Court Holds Pollution Exclusion Applicable to Lead Paint Claim

In its recent decision in State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. Dantzler, the Supreme Court of Nebraska had occasion to consider the application of pollution exclusion to an underlying personal injury claim involving an...more

Insurance Recovery Law - September 2014

Pollution Exclusion Doesn’t Bar Coverage for Worker Exposed to Hazardous Chemicals That Were Not “Dispersed”: Why it matters - A federal district court in Texas strictly construed a pollution exclusion in...more

‘Chemical (Over)reaction’?: States Push for Tighter Regulation of Consumer Products

The chemical wars are in full swing. And for consumer products and chemicals manufacturers, victory on the regulatory front is by no means a foregone conclusion. Progressive legislators in states such as California,...more

Continuing Litigation Over Titanium Dioxide in Sunscreen and Cosmetics Underscores Importance of Exposure Assessments in...

In an ongoing Proposition 65 litigation brought in late 2013 by the Public Interest Alliance (PIA) targeting more than 100 sun-protection and powder-cosmetics manufacturers, plaintiff claims defendants’ products expose...more

Responsible Mercury Management Post-MEBA

Several domestic industries have historically produced elemental mercury as either a main product or a byproduct of their operations. This mercury has typically been sold to third parties that have utilized it in the...more

N.J. Federal Court Dismisses Environmental Suit Against Lockheed Martin for Lack of Health Threat

A New Jersey federal court recently dismissed an environmental suit against Lockheed Martin, rejecting the plaintiffs’ argument that any exposure to particular environmental contaminants is harmful. Leese v. Lockheed Martin...more

EPA's Concern Over TCE Vapor Intrusion Is Misguided

On July 9, 2014, the Director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund Division in Region 9 issued a memo to staff setting an “operational framework” to address “inhalation exposures [to trichloroethylene] in...more

New Wave of State Law Air Pollution Torts?

The U.S. Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari in Bell v. Cheswick could pave the way for more state common law air pollution tort suits and greater exposure for emitters. A new wave of state common law air pollution...more

Other 2014 Environmental and Land Use Legislation: Fracking, Brownfields, State Land Conservation, Private Easements, Wood Burning...

The General Assembly passed noteworthy bills on six diverse environmental and land use subjects. Hydraulic Fracturing Waste - A deceptively simple bill concerning hydraulic fracturing waste, PA 14-200, emerged...more

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