Mealey's Toxic Torts

  • April 30, 2024

    Monsanto’s $336.15M Bond Sets In Motion Appeal Of $549.9M Roundup Punitive Award

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Monsanto Co. has filed a supersedeas bond valued at $336,150,000 in Missouri state court as part of its notice of appeal of a $549.9 million punitive damages award for three plaintiffs for injuries from exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup.

  • April 29, 2024

    Plaintiffs Seek Approval Of $600M Settlement Of Train Derailment Lawsuit In Ohio

    YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The co-lead counsel for plaintiffs filed a brief in Ohio federal court on April 26 supporting a motion for preliminary approval of a $600 million settlement to resolve the class action against Norfolk Southern Railway Co. and Norfolk Southern Corp. (Norfolk Southern, collectively) pertaining to alleged injuries from the release of toxic chemicals at the 2023 train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio; a third-party lawsuit among Norfolk Southern and railcar companies continues.

  • April 26, 2024

    EPA Announces 4 Final Rules Aimed At Reducing Power Plant Pollution

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a press release issued April 25, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it has finalized a set of four rules that will reduce pollution from fossil fuel-fired power plants by updating standards for coal combustion residual (CCR) storage, heavy metal emissions, wastewater discharges and coal ash storage.

  • April 26, 2024

    Widow Sues Lockheed Martin For Husband’s Death From Toxins At Weapons Plant

    ORLANDO, Fla. — A widow has sued Lockheed Martin Corp. in Florida federal court arguing that it is liable for her husband’s wrongful death from “dangerous and reckless mismanagement of extremely hazardous toxins, including but not limited to, heavy metals, persistent environmental pollutants, and volatile organic compounds” (VOCs) at a weapons manufacturing facility.

  • April 26, 2024

    Monsanto Answers 2 Roundup Cancer Cases, Says Reliable Evidence Not Proffered

    SAN FRANCISCO — Monsanto Co. filed two answers on the same day in the multidistrict litigation in California federal court related to alleged injuries from exposure to the herbicide Roundup, denying all claims in both lawsuits and asserting affirmative defenses that the claims in both cases are barred because neither of the plaintiffs, John Pawlowski and Ronald Bailey, can proffer any scientifically reliable evidence that the products at issue were defective or unreasonably dangerous.

  • April 26, 2024

    Chemical Producer Fails To Invoke Federal Jurisdiction In Statewide Pollution Row

    TRENTON, N.J. — Federal jurisdiction is not proper over claims brought by the New Jersey attorney general and a state agency against a chemical producer for its alleged contamination of the state’s natural resources with carcinogenic chemicals because the claims are based exclusively on state law, a New Jersey federal judge found in remanding the case to state court.

  • April 25, 2024

    Judge Approves Combined Fees, Costs Of More Than $956.18M In AFFF Settlements

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — A federal judge in South Carolina has approved a combined $956,187,560.75 in attorney fees and costs related to two settlements pertaining to the firefighting agent known as aqueous film forming foam (AFFF).  One case involving claims against 3M Co. was settled for $12.5 billion, and the other involved claims against E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., which settled for $1.18 billion.

  • April 25, 2024

    Insurers: Coverage Case In AFFF MDL Should Be Nixed In Light Of Wisconsin Action

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — On April 24, insurers filed a brief in South Carolina federal court arguing that it should dismiss or stay a lawsuit brought by a company that makes the firefighting agent known as aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), arguing that a “first-filed, more comprehensive lawsuit” in Wisconsin state court involves the same insurance coverage issues should take priority.

  • April 24, 2024

    Panel: Environmental Agency May Sue For Water Pollution Despite Prior Agreement

    TRENTON, N.J. — In an unpublished opinion, a state appellate panel in New Jersey reversed and remanded a groundwater contamination case, ruling that the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) did not forfeit its right to sue chemical companies as a result of a prior consent order to remediate the hazard.

  • April 24, 2024

    $12.25M Settlement Approved In Neighborhood Class’s Case Over Smokestack Demolition

    CHICAGO — A federal magistrate judge in Illinois granted final approval of a $12.25 million settlement between the companies that caused a smokestack to be demolished at a coal power plant in a Chicago neighborhood and a class of residents in that neighborhood who alleged that they were exposed to a “plume of toxic debris and particulate matter” as a result of the demolition, causing breathing issues.

  • April 24, 2024

    Monsanto: School District’s Opposition To Motion To Quash Deposition Should Fail

    BURLINGTON, Vt. — Monsanto Co. has filed a reply brief in Vermont federal court contending that the Burlington School District’s (BSD) opposition to Monsanto’s motion to quash the BSD’s notice of deposition in litigation related to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the school and the BSD’s challenge to Monsanto’s motion for a protective order related to testimony from a time period other than 1935 to 1977 constitute “a hidden attempt to argue a belated claim that [Monsanto] had a post-sale duty to warn.”

  • April 23, 2024

    Judge Allows Emotional Distress Evidence, Nixes Negligence Testimony In Water Case

    HONOLULU — A federal judge in Hawaii on April 22 issued two orders on motions in limine filed by the U.S. government in a groundwater contamination case, ruling that evidence related to medical negligence is excluded but that evidence of the plaintiffs’ emotional distress and purported hearsay evidence about a plaintiffs’ alleged lost wages is not excluded, as residents attempt to hold the government liable for injuries from exposure to jet fuel that was released from a U.S. Navy base.

  • April 23, 2024

    Magistrate Orders Engineering Firm To Produce Documents In Flint Water Crisis Case

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A federal magistrate judge in Michigan ruled April 22 that an engineering firm that is a defendant in litigation stemming from the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint must provide 40 documents in response to a motion to compel compliance with a discovery order, saying that the judge presiding over the case has already determined that the work product doctrine does not protect the documents in question.

  • April 22, 2024

    New EPA Final Rule Will List 2 PFAS As Hazardous Substances Under CERCLA

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Environmental Protection Agency announced April 19 that it will soon finalize a rule that will add two widely used per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to the list of hazardous substances covered by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act.

  • April 22, 2024

    DuPont Affiliate Seeks Seal Of ‘Private And Confidential’ Material In PFAS Case

    WILMINGTON, N.C. — The Chemours Co. on April 19 filed a brief in North Carolina federal court arguing that it should seal non-public information, including information about business operations and strategies that “might reasonably be expected to be kept private and confidential” in the long-running lawsuit brought by residents against E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. and its affiliates related to claims that they dumped per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the Cape Fear River, resulting in groundwater contamination.

  • April 22, 2024

    Parties Who Won $275M Against Monsanto For PCB Exposure Say Appeal Lacks Merit

    SEATTLE — Students and parents who won a $275 million judgment against Monsanto Co. for injuries from polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in a Seattle area school have filed a response brief in a Washington appeals court arguing that Monsanto “largely reprises the same attacks” on the verdict that it has made before and that none of Monsanto’s new arguments on appeal has merit.

  • April 19, 2024

    Multiple Appeals Of PCB Verdicts Against Monsanto Pending In Washington State

    SEATTLE — The family of a student who won an $82 million judgment against Monsanto Co. for injuries from exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at a Seattle area school on April 18 filed a brief in a Washington appeals court responding to Monsanto’s appeal of the verdict, arguing that the company asks the appeals court to set aside the jury’s verdict on “every conceivable ground, advancing arguments it has unsuccessfully raised time and again.”  The appeal is one of several in which Monsanto challenges verdicts for other plaintiffs who were exposed to PCBS at the school.

  • April 18, 2024

    School Districts Plan To Fight Vermont’s Expected Move To Stay Monsanto PCB Case

    BURLINGTON, Vt. — The 95 school districts that have sued Monsanto Co. in Vermont federal court alleging contamination from the presence of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in school buildings have filed a response to Vermont’s motion to intervene in the case, arguing that while they do not oppose the state’s intervention, they intend to oppose its expected motion to stay the case.

  • April 18, 2024

    Bill Would Exempt Public Water Providers From PFAS Liability

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A bill that would exempt certain entities from liability under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act with respect to releases of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) has been referred to two committees of the U.S. House of Representatives.

  • April 17, 2024

    Panel Partially Affirms, Reverses Damages Ruling In Water Contamination Case

    SAN FRANCISCO — A panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has affirmed a lower court’s damages award, holding that it did not abuse its discretion when it permitted a water agency to assert restoration costs as a measure of damages related to contamination from various chemicals, but it remanded the case to amend the judgment regarding recovery of damages under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), ruling that the trial court wrongly held that the water agency received a double recovery.

  • April 17, 2024

    Engineering Firm Says It Owes Flint Bellwether III Plaintiffs No Duty Of Care

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. — An engineering firm that is a defendant in the litigation over the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich., has filed a brief in Michigan federal court arguing that the court should grant the firm summary judgment on the professional negligence claims brought by a group known as the Bellwether III plaintiffs because the firm says it did not owe them a duty of care as a matter of law.

  • April 17, 2024

    Government Can’t ‘Escape Responsibility’ For AFFF Pollution, Plaintiffs Say

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — The plaintiffs in five cases pending in the multidistrict litigation for the firefighting agent aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) filed a combined brief in South Carolina federal court on April 16 in opposition to a motion to dismiss, arguing that the U.S. government, as the owner of the land on which the “heavily contaminated” Cannon Air Force Base (CAFB) sits, “cannot be permitted to escape responsibility on jurisdictional grounds when the conduct of its employees, on its land, pollutes or otherwise harms its neighbors.”

  • April 16, 2024

    Judge Remands Vermont’s PFAS Case To State Court, Says Removal Was Untimely

    BURLINGTON, Vt. — A federal judge in Vermont has remanded to state court a per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) lawsuit brought by the state against 3M Co., E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. and DuPont’s affiliates, ruling that 3M’s removal of the case to federal court was untimely.

  • April 16, 2024

    Agency’s New Standard Cuts Miners’ Silica Exposure Limit In Half

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Labor, through the Mine Safety and Health Administration, on April 16 announced an amendment to existing standards for miners establishing a uniform permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica at 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air (µg/m3) for a full-shift exposure, calculated as an eight-hour time weighted average (TWA) for all mines. The new standard reduces by half the current exposure limit.

  • April 15, 2024

    AFFF Maker To Pay $750M To Settle PFAS Claims Brought By Public Water Providers

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — Tyco Fire Products LP said April 12 that it has reached a $750 million settlement to resolve claims related to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) litigation in South Carolina federal court brought by public water systems (PWS) alleging contamination of their water supplies from the presence of PFAS, which is an ingredient in the firefighting substance aqueous film forming foam (AFFF).

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