Mealey's Toxic Torts

  • February 29, 2024

    Government: 5 Cases Related To AFFF Use At Air Force Base Should Be Dismissed

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — The U.S. government filed a motion in South Carolina federal court to dismiss five cases alleging injuries from exposure to the firefighting agent aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), which contains per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), on grounds that the plaintiffs cannot identify any “mandatory and specific directive” that the U.S. Air Force (USAF) violated in using AFFF at Cannon Air Force Base (CAFB).

  • February 29, 2024

    Man Says BP Is Liable For His Cancer From Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Remediation

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A man with cancer who claims that he was injured by exposure to toxic chemicals from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the cleanup efforts that ensued has filed a lawsuit for compensatory and punitive damages against BP Exploration & Production Inc. and its affiliates in Delaware federal court contending that they are liable for his illness due to negligence.

  • February 28, 2024

    Norfolk Southern, Railcar Owners Say School District’s Train Derailment Case Fails

    PITTSBURGH — Norfolk Southern Corp. and Norfolk Southern Railway Co. (collectively, Norfolk Southern) and railcar owners have filed briefs in Pennsylvania federal court in support of their respective motions to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Pennsylvania school districts that sued them for injuries related to the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, that led to the release of toxic chemicals in the air and groundwater.  Each defendant contends that the school districts fail to allege facts to support their claims.

  • February 27, 2024

    Delaware High Court: Letter About Paraquat Exposure Does Not Constitute Claim

    WILMINGTON, Del. — The Delaware Supreme Court on Feb. 26 affirmed a lower court’s finding that an insurer owes a duty to defend its insured against underlying bodily injury suits arising out of exposure to paraquat, a chemical compound manufactured by the insured for use in herbicides, because a letter from a law firm sent to the insured a year before the policies at issue incepted did not constitute a claim for damages.

  • February 27, 2024

    Energy Companies Say Uranium Injury Case Is Barred By Statute Of Limitations

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Energy companies on Feb. 26 moved in Ohio federal court to dismiss an injury case against them, arguing that pursuant to the Price Anderson Act (PAA), the plaintiff’s cancer claims are “facially untimely” based on a two-year statute of limitations.

  • February 27, 2024

    Monsanto: 11th Circuit Roundup Ruling Needs En Banc Review, Implications ‘Serious’

    ATLANTA — Monsanto Co. filed a second petition for rehearing en banc in the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 26, arguing that “the full Court’s attention remains warranted,” following a ruling earlier this month by a panel that vacated and remanded to federal district court a long-running dispute over the labeling of Roundup.  Monsanto says the ruling that state law failure-to-warn claims related to the herbicide are not preempted by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) or any action of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency “threatens serious implications for medicines, food labeling, and more.”

  • February 26, 2024

    Monsanto Not Entitled To New Trial Following $1.5B Roundup Verdict, Plaintiffs Say

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Three plaintiffs who won $1.5 billion in punitive damages against Monsanto Co. for injuries from exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, filed response briefs in Missouri state court on Feb. 23 arguing that Monsanto is not entitled to a new trial because “the evidence, and the evidence alone, justified this verdict.”  Likewise, the plaintiffs argue that Monsanto’s motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) fails because, among other things, punitive damages are warranted.

  • February 26, 2024

    Couple Say Monsanto Has Known Roundup Is Toxic But Misrepresents It As Safe

    SAN DIEGO — A husband and wife sued Monsanto Co. in California federal court contending that it is liable for the husband’s injury from exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, because the company has “long been aware of glyphosate’s carcinogenic properties.”  Furthermore, the couple say that despite having that knowledge, Monsanto maintains that regulatory authorities and independent experts are in agreement that Roundup is not genotoxic and that there is no evidence that Roundup is genotoxic.

  • February 26, 2024

    Man Says Monsanto’s ‘Wrongful Conduct’ Regarding Roundup Caused His Cancer

    NEW ORLEANS — A man who claims that he developed cancer from exposure to the herbicide Roundup has sued Monsanto Co. in Louisiana federal court contending that its “negligent and wrongful conduct” caused his injury because glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is “defective, dangerous to human health, unfit and unsuitable to be marketed and sold in commerce.”

  • February 23, 2024

    Jackson Residents’ Second Amended Complaint Claims City, Firm Breached Duty

    JACKSON, Miss. — Residents suing Jackson, Miss., and an engineering firm for causing the lead-contaminated water crisis in the city have filed a second amended class complaint in Mississippi federal court contending that the defendants violated the residents’ right to bodily integrity and breached their duty of care to the residents.

  • February 23, 2024

    Companies Cite Federal Officer Jurisdiction In Removing PFAS Case To Federal Court

    HARTFORD, Conn. — Three makers of the firefighting agent aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), which contains per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), have removed to Connecticut federal court a lawsuit brought by the state of Connecticut seeking injunctive relief to address past, present and future PFAS pollution on grounds that federal officer jurisdiction applies.

  • February 22, 2024

    Magistrate: Lead Case Against The Presidio Not Barred By Federal Tort Claims Act

    SAN FRANCISCO — A federal magistrate judge in California has denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit for lead-paint poisoning brought by tenants who rent a home in the Presidio, a federal enclave administered by the Presidio Trust, ruling that the claims are not barred by the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA).  However, the magistrate judge dismissed claims for punitive damages and claims against one of the contractors for emotional distress and nuisance, ruling that they were duplicative of other claims.

  • February 22, 2024

    Medical Condition Not Widely Recognized, Testimony Barred In Toxic Exposure Case

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California federal judge granted in large part three motions to exclude expert testimony in a case in which a woman claims medical injuries from toxic mold exposure, finding that one expert was unqualified to opine on a medical condition and that the testimony from the other witnesses was connected to that expert’s conclusions.

  • February 21, 2024

    Parties Debate Disclosing Material Related To Attack On Flint Plaintiffs’ Counsel

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The attorney for three engineering firms that are defendants in the Flint contaminated water litigation that has resulted in a $25 million class settlement sent a letter on Feb. 20 to the presiding judge in Michigan federal court arguing that neither the engineering firms nor the counsel representing them should be required to provide additional information to the court pertaining to the relationship among the counsel, the engineering firms and a public relations agency that, among other activities, arranged for a truck to circle the courthouse broadcasting attacks against the plaintiffs’ counsel.

  • February 16, 2024

    Agency: Evidence Production In Ohio Train Derailment Case Poses ‘Undue Burden’

    YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) filed a brief in Ohio federal court arguing that it should deny a third-party defendant’s motion to compel the production of certain evidence related to the NTSB’s investigation of the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, on grounds that the motion imposes an undue burden on the agency.

  • February 16, 2024

    Groups Sue EPA For Withholding Information On PFAS Use In Plastics Manufacturing

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two environmental groups on Feb. 15 sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeking a permanent injunction directing it to disclose under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) all “wrongfully withheld documents” related to the formation of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) during the fluorination of plastic containers by chemical company Inhance Technologies LLC.

  • February 15, 2024

    Woman Seeks New Mold Trial, Says Directed Verdict Was Granted Erroneously

    ST. CHARLES, Mo. — A woman who lost her mold exposure case in Missouri state court has filed a brief in support of a motion to set the verdict aside or, in the alternative, for a new trial, contending that the defendants’ motions for directed verdict were erroneously granted and arguing that the court erred when it ruled that she could not proceed with her negligence claim.

  • February 15, 2024

    Puerto Rico Federal Judge Denies Bid To Dismiss Ethylene Oxide Cancer Case

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A federal judge in Puerto Rico has denied multiple motions to dismiss an ethylene oxide (EtO) lawsuit without elaborating on the reasons for the denials.  The plaintiffs allege in their amended complaint that they have been injured as a result of exposure to EtO, which they say comes from a medical equipment sterilization facility near where they live, work and attend school.

  • February 14, 2024

    Judge: 4 CAFA Exceptions Don’t Defeat Federal Jurisdiction Of Fluoride Case

    BUFFALO, N.Y. — A putative class complaint by residents of a city in New York seeking damages due to the discontinuation of adding fluoride to the drinking water failed to show that four exceptions to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) apply to their case, a federal judge in New York ruled, denying the residents’ motion to send their complaint back to state court.

  • February 14, 2024

    Judge: Flint Defendant Must Say If Attorneys Knew Of Attacks On Opposing Counsel

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A federal judge in Michigan on Feb. 13 ordered an engineering firm that is party to a $25 million class settlement in the Flint lead-contaminated water litigation to file a declaration informing the court of the names of any of its attorneys who had knowledge of an incident in which a truck was circling the federal court broadcasting attacks against the plaintiffs’ counsel.

  • February 14, 2024

    Monsanto: Directed Verdict Was Proper In Glyphosate Case Due To Changed Testimony

    ST. LOUIS — Monsanto Co. has filed “suggestions in opposition” to a man’s motion for a new trial in Missouri state court, arguing that the judge properly directed a verdict in favor of Monsanto at the close of a glyphosate cancer trial because during trial the plaintiff testified to far less exposure to the herbicide Roundup than he did during discovery, and the changed testimony “created a domino effect” in the case.

  • February 14, 2024

    Company: Government’s Reason For Continuance In Chemical Trial Is ‘Utterly Hollow’

    NEW ORLEANS — A chemical company sued by the U.S. government in a chemical injury lawsuit involving carcinogenic chloroprene emissions from neoprene manufacturing operations filed an opposition brief in Louisiana federal court on Feb. 13 arguing that the government’s reason for seeking a continuance of the trial that is set to begin in March is “utterly hollow.”

  • February 13, 2024

    7th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Most Lead Paint Cases In ‘Sprawling’ Litigation

    CHICAGO — A panel of the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled in a “sprawling array of lawsuits” that all but three individual lead paint cases were properly dismissed by a lower court because most of the plaintiffs chose to proceed under a single complaint “which is now sunk after summary judgment.”

  • February 13, 2024

    Government Says Plaintiffs’ Expert In Hawaii Groundwater Case Should Be Excluded

    HONOLULU — The U.S. government on Feb. 13 filed a reply brief in Hawaii federal court contending that it should reject the plaintiffs’ circular reasoning and exclude the reports and testimony of one of their experts under Federal Rule of Evidence 702 because he did not follow a traditional Bradford Hill analysis in the groundwater contamination suit filed by residents against the United States.

  • February 13, 2024

    Plaintiffs Say Bayer Corp.’s Motion To Dismiss Roundup Cancer Case Fails

    SAN FRANCISCO — Plaintiffs who say they face an increased risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) from exposure to glyphosate because they used the herbicide Roundup while working on a farm have filed a brief in California federal court opposing Bayer Corp.’s motion to dismiss their case contending that their allegations sufficiently allege unlawful conduct.

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