Toxic Exposure

News & Analysis as of

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

Lone Pine Order Reversed: Rocky Mountain Low

We think Lone Pine orders are fair and useful tools, and we believe that courts should use them more often, not less. We learned last week that the Colorado Supreme Court disagrees, at least when reviewing the particular...more

Colorado Supreme Court Rejects Orders Requiring Plaintiffs to Present Early Evidence Supporting Their Toxic Tort Claims

In an April 20, 2015, decision that was highly anticipated by the energy industry, the Colorado Supreme Court rejected a procedural device called a “Lone Pine” order that requires plaintiffs to make a threshold evidentiary...more

In Big Defense Win, Appellate Court Affirms that Proposition 65 Exposure Level Can Be Based on Average Consumption Over Time

In an important victory for defendants doing business in California, the California Court of Appeal recently affirmed a trial court’s decision holding that the defendants did not violate Proposition 65 (Prop 65), California’s...more

Product Liability 2014 Year in Review

In This Issue: - Letter From The Chair - Key Practice Trends + Highlights - Consumer Products - Pharmaceutical Products and Medical Devices - Aviation - Toxics Regulation and Toxic...more

California Appellate Court Agrees with Defendants on Prop. 65 Exposure Averaging

In one of the most significant appellate decisions interpreting California’s Prop. 65, the California Court of Appeal on March 17 ruled that, for purposes of establishing the Prop. 65 “safe harbor” defense, exposure to a...more

California’s Strict New Health Risk Assessment Guidelines May Increase Regulatory Burden on Industrial Uses and Development...

On March 6, 2015, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) updated its Guidance Manual for Preparation of Health Risk Assessments (HRAs) for the purpose of better characterizing exposure risks...more

Medical Monitoring For Soft Drink Purchasers: Not The Choice For This Generation

Those of us who have been paying at least marginal attention to developments in popular culture and product liability law—not necessarily the fanatical level of attention to these subjects paid by certain of our...more

Will Illinois create a hazardous materials training law?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly one in 30 workers in America reported a disabling work-related illness or injury in 2012. Many of these disabilities are caused by exposure to hazardous materials....more

Divided New York Court of Appeals Holds That Under Noncumulation Clause Only One Limit Is Available to Cover Multiple Claims

In Nesmith v. Allstate Insurance Co., New York’s highest court, over a two-judge dissent, held that under the noncumulation clause in a landlord’s liability policy, only one limit was available to cover claims by children...more

Judge Finds GenOn Power Plant Suit is Like School on a Saturday … No Class.

A Pennsylvania federal judge recently struck the class allegations from a suit brought against GenOn Power Midwest LP, alleging that its coal-fired power plant released toxic emissions that damaged surrounding property. Even...more

Louisiana Federal Court Excludes “Every Exposure” Testimony

Adding to the growing body of case law that rejects the so-called “every exposure” theory, a federal court in Louisiana has excluded specific causation opinions of a plaintiffs’ expert who relied on the theory, finding that...more

North Carolina’s Amended Repose Law Fails to Save Barred Toxic Tort Claim

Notwithstanding the intent of the North Carolina legislature, a federal court ruled that the state’s recently amended law exempting groundwater contamination suits from a 10-year statute of repose did not save a latent toxic...more

Arkansas Federal Court Denies Class Certification in Property Damage Suit

Exemplifying the reluctance of many courts to allow toxic tort cases to proceed as class actions, a federal judge in Arkansas denied certification of a putative class of neighboring landowners who claimed the Defendant’s...more

NRDC Files Petition for Review To Ban Flea Collars and Pet Products Containing Pesticides

On January 5, 2015, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) filed a petition for review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit challenging the November 6, 2014, decision of the U.S. Environmental Protection...more

Toxins and the workplace: What you should know

Many Illinois employees face considerable health risks from toxins in the workplace. Common workplace toxins, including solvents, pesticides, fuels and chemical reagents, can cause lasting physical damage....more

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

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