Mealey's Toxic Torts

  • June 19, 2024

    JPMDL To Mull Consolidation Of Cases Alleging Benzene In Acne Products

    WASHINGTON, D.C.  — The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) will meet in Portland, Maine, on July 25 to decide whether to consolidate for pretrial purposes cases that allege that users of benzoyl peroxide (BPO) products for the treatment of acne vulgaris, including creams, washes, scrubs and bars, were inadequately warned about the presence of benzene.

  • June 19, 2024

    Engineering Firm Insists It Owed No Duty To Flint Water Bellwether Plaintiffs

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. — An engineering firm that is a defendant in the litigation over the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich., filed a reply brief on June 18 in Michigan federal court reiterating its insistence that it did not owe a duty of care to a group known as the Bellwether III plaintiffs because under Michigan law, a professional generally owes a duty only to clients, and the firm’s client was the city of Flint.

  • June 18, 2024

    Monsanto: New Trial Needed In $275M PCB Verdict Case Based On Statute Of Repose

    SEATTLE — Monsanto has filed a reply brief in Washington state appellate court contending that it must “at a minimum” remand for a new trial a case involving a $275 million judgment against Monsanto Co. for injuries from polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in a Seattle area school because the trial court “improperly excised” from the Washington Product Liability Act (WPLA) its “claim-defining” statute of repose.

  • June 18, 2024

    Business Groups Seek Review Of Rule Listing 2 PFAS As Hazardous Substances

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America and two trade associations filed a petition for review of a final rule, promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency, that added two widely used per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to the list of hazardous substances covered by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act.

  • June 17, 2024

    Defendants In Hair Relaxer Cases Oppose Plaintiffs’ Bid For Dismissal

    CHICAGO — Defense liaison counsel in the litigation brought by users of hair relaxer products who contend that they have been injured by toxic chemicals in those products have filed a brief in Illinois federal court arguing that it should deny the request of certain plaintiffs who seek to be dismissed without prejudice.  The defendants contend that the plaintiffs seeking dismissal have failed to demonstrate good cause.

  • June 14, 2024

    Norfolk Southern: Third-Party Defendant’s Bid To Seal Is ‘Misleading On The Facts’

    YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Norfolk Southern Railway Co. and Norfolk Southern Corp. (Norfolk Southern, collectively) filed a brief in Ohio federal court arguing that it should deny a motion to seal expert reports filed by a third-party defendant in the litigation stemming from alleged injuries from the release of toxic chemicals at the 2023 train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, arguing that the motion to seal is “misleading on the facts.”

  • June 14, 2024

    Couple Sues PFAS Makers For Husband’s Cancer From Exposure As A Firefighter

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — A couple on June 13 sued the 3M Co., E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. and others in South Carolina federal court seeking damages for kidney cancer which he says is the result of exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) the defendants made and sold for use in the firefighting agent known as aqueous film forming foams (AFFF) despite knowing they were toxic.

  • June 14, 2024

    Groups Say EPA Decision On Underground Injection Wells In Louisiana Violates Law

    NEW ORLEANS — Environmental groups have filed a brief in the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals arguing that it should reverse a decision of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which they say unlawfully handed over to the state of Louisiana the responsibility of regulating the practice of sequestering carbon dioxide in underground injection wells, which the groups say violated the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and threatens groundwater.

  • June 14, 2024

    Hawaii Federal Judge Stays Fuel Release Claims Pending EPA Administrative Process

    HONOLULU — Fuel contamination claims brought under the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) by an environmental group against the U.S. Navy for releases from an underground fuel storage facility should be stayed to the extent that the Environmental Protection Agency is currently working to resolve the contamination issues, a Hawaii federal judge found in partly granting the Navy’s motion to dismiss.

  • June 14, 2024

    Woman With Cancer Says Deepwater Horizon Parties Misrepresented Danger

    NEW ORLEANS — A woman with cancer has sued BP Exploration & Production Inc. and others in Louisiana federal court, arguing that they are liable for her injury from exposure to oil and toxic dispersants from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the remediation efforts conducted in its aftermath.  She says the defendants misrepresented that the seafood caught in the waters where the spill had happened, as well as the beaches affected by those waters, was safe.

  • June 13, 2024

    Quartz Countertop Defendant Denies Liability In Silicosis Case Brought By Worker

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — One of the defendants sued by a worker with silicosis who says he was injured by exposure to crystalline silica while cutting quartz countertops has filed an answer in California state court denying all allegations and asserting 42 affirmative defenses, including that the complaint fails to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action.

  • June 13, 2024

    Harvard University Says It Is Not A Co-Party In PFAS Case Against 3M

    BOSTON — Harvard University filed a sur-reply in Massachusetts federal court opposing a motion to add it as a party to a lawsuit alleging drinking water contamination from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) on grounds the 3M Co. fails to allege that PFAS in waste material allegedly received from Harvard in June 2022 have been the source of any contamination at issue in the lawsuit brought by residents of a Massachusetts town.

  • June 13, 2024

    Judge Dismisses Jackson Water Case, Says Constitutional Violation Not Established

    JACKSON, Miss. — A federal judge in Mississippi has dismissed claims for violation of bodily integrity and state-created danger brought by residents against the city of Jackson, and it has dismissed all claims against individual plaintiffs, related to the drinking water contamination in that city because the plaintiffs did not establish a “facially plausible constitutional violation.” The remaining claims against the city and an engineering firm for negligence remain active.

  • June 12, 2024

    Judge Nixes Government’s Bid To Stop Expert’s Deposition In Camp Lejeune Case

    RALEIGH, N.C. — On June 11, a federal magistrate judge in North Carolina denied a motion by the U.S. government that sought a protective order to prevent its expert, Christopher Portier, from providing deposition testimony, ruling that the government’s arguments regarding the burden of compliance with international and Italian law are “unavailing.”

  • June 12, 2024

    Judge: Monsanto Must Produce Privilege Log, Materials From Other PCB Cases

    BURLINGTON, Vt. — A federal judge in Vermont on June 11 partially granted a motion to compel the production of some documents in a lawsuit over polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) brought by a Vermont school against Monsanto Co., ruling that Monsanto’s objections were “not persuasive” and that some of the company’s arguments were not supported with citation to authority.

  • June 12, 2024

    Judge Grants Initial Approval To $750M Deal To Settle Drinking Water AFFF Claims

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — A federal judge in South Carolina on June 11 granted preliminary approval to a $750 million settlement of class claims by municipalities and water authorities against two manufacturers related to drinking water contamination from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the firefighting agent aqueous film forming foam (AFFF).

  • June 12, 2024

    4th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of PFAS Testing Case On Jurisdictional Grounds

    RICHMOND, Va. — A divided panel of the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of a case brought by environmental groups that contend that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency did not follow through on testing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that were released into the Cape Fear River by the Chemours Co., ruling that the lower court lacked jurisdiction to rule on the case.

  • June 11, 2024

    Farmers Sue EPA For Failure To Identify PFAS In Sewage Sludge Fertilizer

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A group of farmers from Texas has sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeking declaratory and injunctive relief under the citizen suit provision of the Clean Water Act (CWA) for failing to perform its nondiscretionary duty to identify and regulate per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in sewage sludge used for fertilizer.

  • June 11, 2024

    Judge Dismisses PFAS Case Against Orange Juice Maker Affiliated With Coca-Cola

    WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — A federal judge in New York on June 10 dismissed without prejudice a per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) class action complaint against the Coca-Cola Co., ruling that the plaintiff’s allegations “boil down to describing general and unspecific results of testing, without meaningfully linking those results” to purchased products; as a result, the judge was unable to conclude that the plaintiff has standing.

  • June 11, 2024

    Firefighter Says PFAS Makers Concealed Danger, Are Liable For His Cancer Diagnosis

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — A firefighter who says he developed cancer from exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) has sued 3M Co., E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. and others in South Carolina federal court alleging that they continue to misrepresent the safety of PFAS while they engage in fraudulent concealment regarding its dangers.

  • June 10, 2024

    $25M Settlement Between Flint Residents, Engineering Firm Gets Initial Approval

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. — According to a note on the docket in the litigation for the water crisis in Flint, Mich., a federal judge in the state has granted preliminary approval to a $25 million settlement for the claims of residents and businesses that sued an engineering firm that was involved in making the decision to switch the local water supply to the Flint River, which precipitated the lead-contaminated water crisis.

  • June 07, 2024

    Panel: North Carolina State University Must Allow Testing Of Building With PCBs

    RALEIGH, N.C. — A divided appeals panel in North Carolina has ruled that North Carolina State University (NCSU) must produce documents and must permit inspection and testing of an academic building that contains polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), the exposure to which a former student claims caused him to develop cancer.

  • June 07, 2024

    EPA To Address ‘Unreasonable Risk’ Of N-Methylpyrrolidone Used In Common Products

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced that it will address the “unreasonable risk of injury to human health” presented by n-methylpyrrolidone (NMP), a solvent with numerous uses, including paint and coating removal, industrial and domestic cleaning products and semiconductors.  The EPA will assess the risk pursuant to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

  • June 07, 2024

    Residents Affected By Air Pollution From Mill Seek Approval Of $18M Settlement

    ROCK HILL, S.C. — After three years of litigation in South Carolina federal court, a group of residents whose homes and health have allegedly been damaged by air pollution from a nearby paper mill seek preliminary approval of a class settlement agreement that would see the operator of the mill pay $18 million to settle the residents’ negligence and nuisance claims.

  • June 06, 2024

    Teachers Appeal Reversal Of $185M PCB Verdict To Washington Supreme Court

    OLYMPIA, Wash. — The plaintiffs who had their $185 million verdict against Monsanto for injuries from exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at a Seattle area school overturned have filed a petition for review with Washington Supreme Court, which they are seeking to accelerate, arguing that “important, recurring, and unsettled questions of law” are at play, the resolution of which “will immediately affect dozens of parallel pending cases and the claims of more than two hundred victims of toxic chemical exposure.”