Mealey's Toxic Torts

  • February 01, 2024

    Flint Class, Engineering Firms Settle Water Contamination Claims For $25 Million

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The class plaintiffs in the Flint lead-contaminated water litigation have reached a $25 million settlement with three engineering firms that were involved in the decision to switch the city’s water supply to the Flint River, which resulted in the corrosion of pipes, causing lead to leach into local drinking water, a source told Mealey Publications on Feb. 1.

  • January 31, 2024

    Plaintiffs Seek Approval Of PFAS Class Settlement Worth More Than $1.36 Million

    TRENTON, N.J. — Plaintiffs alleging contamination from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have filed a brief in New Jersey federal court supporting a settlement of their lawsuit against the defendant chemical companies that would pay a combined $1,367,975 to three settlement classes, saying the proposed agreement “readily passes muster for its preliminary approval.”

  • January 31, 2024

    L’Oreal Says PFAS Case Relies On ‘Sheer Speculation’ Not An Injury In Fact

    NEW YORK — L’Oreal USA Inc. has filed a motion and brief in New York federal court arguing that it should dismiss an amended complaint against it because the plaintiffs still rely on “sheer speculation” that their mascara contains traces of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and they have no injury-in-fact.

  • January 30, 2024

    Colorado Water District Seeks Damages From Government For PFAS Pollution

    DENVER — A Colorado water district has sued the U.S. government in Colorado federal court under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), seeking to recover damages for alleged ongoing contamination of local drinking water with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that have been released at Peterson Air Force Base (PAFB).

  • January 30, 2024

    Residents Tell 6th Circuit Bodily Integrity Claim In Groundwater Case Is Valid

    CINCINNATI — Michigan residents have filed a response brief in the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals contending that a federal district court properly found that they sufficiently alleged that various federal and state officials violated the residents’ substantive due process right to bodily integrity in relation to conduct that led to the contamination of the residents’ groundwater.

  • January 29, 2024

    Pa. Jury Awards $2.25B To Man With Cancer In Roundup Trial Against Monsanto

    PHILADELPHIA — A jury in Pennsylvania state court on Jan. 26 awarded $2.25 billion in combined damages to a man who said exposure to Monsanto Co.’s herbicide Roundup caused his cancer.

  • January 29, 2024

    Flint Plaintiffs Say Defense Expert’s Testimony Amounts To ‘Inadmissible Hearsay’

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The plaintiffs in the Flint water crisis litigation on Jan. 26 filed a reply brief in Michigan federal court seeking to exclude the testimony of an expert witness for three engineering firms that are on trial for their role in the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich.  The plaintiffs argue that the expert’s previous testimony in the Flint bellwether trial, which is a separate action, constitutes “inadmissible hearsay” in the class action at hand.

  • January 29, 2024

    Connecticut Files 2 Lawsuits Involving PFAS; 1 Of Them Targets Firefighting Foam

    HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut has filed two lawsuits against makers of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in state court.  One suit is focused on damages allegedly caused by the firefighting agent aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) and the other asserts claims for contamination from PFAS not related to AFFF products.

  • January 26, 2024

    Attorney Files 6 Cases Alleging Monsanto Knew Roundup Was Carcinogenic

    ST. LOUIS — An attorney on Jan. 25 filed six lawsuits against Monsanto Co. in Missouri federal court, all contending that the respective plaintiffs developed cancer from exposure to the herbicide Roundup.  In one complaint, which is representative of all of the cases, plaintiff Terry Larrabee contends that for decades, Monsanto has known of the association between Roundup and carcinogenicity leading to the development of numerous forms of cancer.

  • January 26, 2024

    Flint Plaintiffs Seek Order Compelling Production Of Documents Improperly Withheld

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Plaintiffs in the Flint water crisis litigation have moved in Michigan federal court to compel engineering firms that were involved in the decision to switch the city’s water supply to the Flint River, which resulted in the drinking water being contaminated with lead, to comply with court orders to produce documents that the presiding judge has determined were withheld under improper assertions of privilege.

  • January 26, 2024

    U.S. Navy: Alleged Injuries In Hawaii Water Case Not Caused By Negligent Acts

    HONOLULU — The U.S. government filed an answer in Hawaii federal court on Jan. 25 denying claims in a fifth amended complaint filed by plaintiffs who contend the U.S. Navy is liable for groundwater contamination and asserting affirmative defenses that the alleged injuries were not caused by the government’s negligent acts or omissions.

  • January 25, 2024

    Request For Discovery Order Is ‘Poorly Advised,’ Hair Relaxer Plaintiffs Say

    CHICAGO — Plaintiffs in a suit against cosmetic companies over alleged injuries related to hair relaxer products filed a brief in Illinois federal court on Jan. 24 contending that the defendants’ request for a court order establishing procedures for dealing with discovery disputes is “poorly advised and should be rejected in its entirety.”

  • January 25, 2024

    Parties File Competing Briefs In Monsanto’s Appeal Of $185M PCB Verdict

    SEATTLE — Teachers who won a total award of $185 million against Monsanto Co. in 2021 for injuries from exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at a Seattle area school where they taught and Monsanto have each filed supplemental briefs in Washington state appeals court debating the applicability of the Washington Product Liability Act (WPLA).  Monsanto says the trial court’s refusal to apply the WPLA’s statute of repose was unconstitutional, while the teachers continue to argue that the trial court correctly applied Missouri law.

  • January 24, 2024

    New York Panel Affirms Landlord’s Liability For Lead Paint Poisoning

    NEW YORK — An appellate court panel in New York on Jan. 23 affirmed a trial court ruling and held that a landlord is liable for lead poisoning of a tenant’s child by failing to remediate the hazard in a case involving a subtenancy arrangement that was not approved by the landlord.  The panel said that despite the landlord’s claims that the subtenancy violated the rental contract, it had constructive notice that an infant lived in the premises and was exposed to lead-based paint.

  • January 24, 2024

    PFAS Defendant Says Complaint Is ‘Insufficient,’ Fails To State Causes Of Action

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — A defendant in a lawsuit alleging injuries from exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) has moved in South Carolina federal court to dismiss the amended complaint on grounds that it is “insufficient as a matter of law and fails to state cognizable causes of actions for negligence and strict liability.”

  • January 24, 2024

    Calif. Panel: State Agency Did Not Violate Water Code By Rejecting Mitigation Work

    RIVERSIDE, Calif. — The California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Santa Ana Region, did not violate the California Water Code by finding that an engineering company’s attempts to mitigate hazardous tetrachloroethylene (PCE) vapors at its facility were inadequate because the board did not order the company to perform any specific kind of mitigation work, a California panel found in affirming a trial court’s decision to deny a company’s petition for writ of administrative mandate.

  • January 23, 2024

    Defendants: Witness From Prior Flint Trial Allowed To Testify In Current Class Case

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Three related engineering firms on trial for alleged violations in connection with the Flint water crisis filed a brief in Michigan federal court on Jan. 22 opposing a motion to exclude, contending that the testimony of a witness for another defendant in the Flint bellwether trial is admissible in the case at hand, which is a separate class action, under Federal Rule of Evidence 804(b)(1) because he is not available to testify live due to a settlement agreement that prevents the other defendant from providing its employees to testify in other trials about the water crisis.

  • January 22, 2024

    Panel Says District Court Properly Dismissed Insured’s Suit For Lack Of Jurisdiction

    NEW ORLEANS — A district court properly dismissed a fire-suppressing foam distributor’s breach of contract and bad faith suit against its insurer, which denied coverage for a subpoena served on the insured in an underlying multidistrict litigation suit seeking damages for bodily injuries and contaminated drinking water caused by the use of the foam, because the lower court properly found that it lacked specific personal jurisdiction over the insurer, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said.

  • January 22, 2024

    Investor: Verizon Broke Law With Decision To Leave Toxic Cables Underground

    TRENTON, N.J. — A shareholder has filed a complaint in New Jersey federal court contending that Verizon Communications Inc. and its board of directors violated federal securities laws and committed fraud in connection with the company’s decision to leave toxic cable wires buried in the ground nationwide, which allowed the wires to contaminate groundwater.

  • January 22, 2024

    Woman With Cancer Sues Monsanto, Says Roundup Is ‘Dangerous To Human Health’

    INDIANAPOLIS — A woman with cancer on Jan. 18 sued Monsanto Co. in Indiana federal court contending that it is liable for her injury because it engaged in negligent and wrongful conduct when it sold the herbicide Roundup because it contains glyphosate, which is “defective, dangerous to human health, unfit and unsuitable to be marketed and sold in commerce.”

  • January 19, 2024

    6th Circuit Refuses Rehearing En Banc For Firefighter’s PFAS Injury Case

    CINCINNATI — A panel of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 18 denied a firefighter’s petition for rehearing en banc of the panel’s ruling that he failed to allege “any plausible pathway” by which per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) had gotten into his bloodstream.  The firefighter had argued that “undisputed evidence” showed that each defendant in the class action made PFAS and bears responsibility for contaminating his blood.

  • January 19, 2024

    Woman Seeks Default Judgment Against Defendant In Camp Lejeune Phone Call Case

    WHEELING, W.Va. — A woman representing a putative class on Jan. 18 moved for an entry of default against a law group that is a defendant in a lawsuit over alleged illegal phone calls soliciting clients for mass tort cases relating to toxic water exposure at Camp Lejeune, arguing that it is currently unrepresented in the lawsuit and the case is effectively at a standstill.

  • January 19, 2024

    Woman Sues Navy For PFAS Contamination Of Island’s Groundwater Supply

    SEATTLE — A woman has sued the US. Department of Defense (DOD) and the U.S. Department of the Navy in Washington federal court seeking damages for allegedly contaminating groundwater with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) through discharges of the chemical at a Naval Air Station on Whidbey Island.

  • January 19, 2024

    Government: DuPont Is Necessary Party In Injury Case About Chloroprene Emissions

    NEW ORLEANS — The U.S. government has filed a brief in Louisiana federal court arguing that DuPont Specialty Products USA LLC is a necessary party in a chemical injury lawsuit involving carcinogenic chloroprene emissions from neoprene manufacturing operations and, therefore, the district court should deny DuPont’s motion for judgment on the pleadings in which it insists that it must be dismissed from the case.

  • January 18, 2024

    Justice Dismisses Injury Case, Says Plaintiff Did Not Satisfy Medical Latency Period

    NEW YORK — A New York justice has ruled that a man who claimed that he got lung cancer from working as a painter on numerous construction sites in the city had not established that his injuries were caused by his work at those sites.  Instead, the justice said that defense experts showed that the medical latency period for the injuries in question had not been satisfied.

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