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Preview: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Emerging Toxic Torts Legal News

LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Emerging Toxic Torts Legal News

Headline Emerging Toxic Torts Legal News from LexisNexis®


City Of Flint: High Court Should Hear Case 'Of National Importance'
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The city of Flint, Mich., on Feb. 16 filed a reply brief in the U.S. Supreme Court contending that the original claims brought by residents pertaining to the lead-contaminated water crisis in that city are preempted by Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and the city's petition before the Supreme Court "raised questions of national importance warranting certiorari" (Daniel Wyant, et al. v. Melissa Mays, et al., No. 17-901, Jeff Wright, et al. v. Melissa Mays, et al., No. 17-666, and City of Flint, et al. v. Beatrice Boler, et al., No. 17-989, U.S. Sup.).

Cert Denied For Ruling On Causation Expert In Nuclear Facility Injury Case
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 20 denied a petition for a writ of certiorari filed by 137 residents of a Pennsylvania town who say that illegal releases of radioactive materials from a nearby plant caused their cancers and the deaths of their family members and that a federal appeals court erred in ruling on the admissibility of expert testimony in their case (Michelle McMunn, et al. v. Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group, Inc., et al., No. 17-907, U.S. Sup.).

Jury Awards $58M To Lead Paint Plaintiffs Against New York Housing Authority
BRONX, N.Y. - In a verdict that was released for publication Feb. 20, a jury in New York awarded a mother and her daughter $58 million for injuries stemming from lead-based paint injuries while living in a premises operated by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). The verdict was handed down Jan. 26 (Dakota Jade Taylor, by her mother and natural guardian Tiesha Jones, v. NYCHA, No. 350150/11, N.Y. Sup., Bronx Co., 2018 Jury Verdicts LEXIS 129).

New Group Of Flint, Mich., Residents Joins Lead Case Against State, Local Officials
DETROIT - A new group of residents from the city of Flint, Mich., on Feb. 27 joined the ongoing lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan against state and local officials related to the lead-contaminated water crisis in that city by filing a complaint seeking an unspecified amount of punitive damages (In re Flint Water Cases [Helen Chapman, et al. v. Gov. Richard D. Snyder, et al.], No. 16-10444, E.D. Mich.).

North Carolina Residents Sue DuPont Alleging Discharge Of Toxins Into Groundwater
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. - A group of residents filed a lawsuit in North Carolina federal court on Feb. 21 against E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., alleging that the company is liable for discharging toxic substances into the community near DuPont's Fayetteville Works facility "with blatant disregard for the effects on the people living nearby" (James S. Dew, et al. v. E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, et al., No. 18-30, E.D. N.C.).

Judge: California May List Glyphosate As Carcinogenic; Companies Not Required To
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Feb. 26 denied a motion filed by Monsanto Co. and farming entities that sought to enjoin the state of California from listing glyphosate as a chemical known to cause cancer, but the judge enjoined the state from requiring the companies to issue a warning regarding the chemical (National Association of Wheat Growers, et al. v. Lauren Zeise, et al., No. 17-2401, E.D. Calif.).

States Ask Court To Lift Stay, Expedite Merits Briefing In Methane Rule Case
CHEYENNE, Wyo. - Four states filed a joint motion in Wyoming federal court on Feb. 26 asking the court to lift the stay in a case challenging the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) methane flaring rule and requesting that the court expedite merits briefing (Wyoming, et al. v. United States Department of the Interior, et al., No. 16-285, D. Wyo.).

EPA Administrator Signs Methane Rule Amendments
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt on Feb. 23 signed a final rule governing the emission standards for methane related to what are known as "fugitive emissions" from oil and gas operations, removing a requirement for completion of repairs in certain emergency situations and establishing a separate monitoring requirement for well sites on the Alaskan North Slope.

Workers Tell 10th Circuit Fracking Company Owes Duty Of Care For Lithium Injury
OKLAHOMA CITY - Two men who contend that they were injured when a lithium battery exploded while they were working on a hydraulic fracturing rig on Feb. 28 filed an appeal brief in the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, arguing that the lower court erred when it ruled that as a matter of law, the defendants owed no duty of care to plaintiffs (Jacob McGehee, et al. v. Forest Oil Corp., et al., No. 17-6238, 10th Cir.).

2nd Circuit: Water Agency's Contamination Claims Barred By Statute Of Limitations
NEW YORK - A panel of the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 2 affirmed a district court ruling that a municipal water district's claims of nuisance, trespass and negligence arising from water contamination caused by Northrop Grumman Corp. were barred by the statute of limitations (Bethpage Water District v. Northrop Grumman Corporation, et al., No. 16-2592, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 5349).

Power Company Wants EPA To Comment On Groundwater Contamination Lawsuit
RICHMOND, Va. - A Virginia power company filed a supplemental authority in the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 27, contending that the Environmental Protection Agency should be permitted to comment in the Sierra Club's groundwater contamination lawsuit against the company with regard to allegations that penalties are warranted for violations of federal law (Sierra Club v. Virginia Electric & Power Company f/k/a Dominion Virginia Power, No. 17-1895, 4th Cir.).

Plaintiffs Showed Companies Owed A Duty Of Care For Tainted Aquifer, Judge Says
ALBANY, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on Feb. 20 partially granted and partially denied a motion to dismiss a groundwater contamination lawsuit, ruling that the plaintiffs showed that the chemical company defendants have a duty to businesses within the area of contamination that have suffered economic losses as a result of the tainted aquifer (R.M. Bacon LLC v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., et al., No. 17-0441, N.D. N.Y.; 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26299).

General Motors: Groundwater Claims In Michigan Barred By Bankruptcy Court Order
NEW YORK - General Motors LLC on Feb. 27 moved in federal bankruptcy court in New York for an injunction to prevent a separate lawsuit from proceeding against the company pertaining to allegations that it is liable for groundwater contamination in Michigan (In re: Motors Liquidation Company, f/k/a/ General Motors Corp., et al., No. 09-50026, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Texas High Court Reverses, Says Penalties For Tainted Water Are Constitutional
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court on Feb. 23 reversed an appellate court ruling and found that the civil penalties awarded against an owner and operator of a company that violated laws pertaining to groundwater contamination were constitutional and did not amount to a double recovery for the state (State of Texas v. Bernard Morello, No. 16-0457, Texas Sup.; 2018 Tex. LEXIS 169).

Group: Restaurants' Claim Of Bad Counsel In $151M Water Settlement Lacks Support
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The West Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association Inc. (WVHTA) on Feb. 28 filed a brief in West Virginia federal court contending that two restaurants that seek inclusions in a $151 million class settlement regarding groundwater contamination make allegations that they were not properly represented by counsel without "any evidentiary support" (Crystal Good, et al. v. American Water Works Co. Inc., No. 14-1374, S.D. W.Va.).

Agencies' Responses To FOIA Requests About Toxins 'Insufficient,' Judge Says
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in the District of Columbia District Court on Feb. 13 partially granted and partially denied a motion for summary judgment filed by federal agencies as part of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit pertaining to chemical contamination at an Army base, ruling that some of the agencies did not provide sufficient information to satisfy the records request (Raymond C. Pulliam v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 15-1405. D. D.C.; 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23505).

Judge: Denial Of Benefits For Veteran's Pesticide Exposure Was 'Clearly Erroneous'
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on Feb. 16 set aside and remanded a ruling of the Board of Veterans Appeals that denied a veteran's claim for benefits related to Gulf War Syndrome (GWS), concluding that the board's conclusion was "clearly erroneous" (Tammy Chambers v. David J. Shulkin, No. 17-242. U.S. App., Vet. Clms.; 2018 U.S. App. Vet. Claims LEXIS 174).

Judge Vacates Agent Orange Case, Says She 'Cannot Understand' Evidence Ruling
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on Feb. 20 vacated and remanded a case in which a veteran argues that he was injured by exposure to Agent Orange, saying she "cannot understand" why the Board of Veterans Appeals determined that there was no credible evidence that the plaintiff was exposed to the herbicide (Marc Kessler v. David J. Shulkin, No. 16-3699, Vet. Clms.; 2018 U.S. App. Vet. Claims LEXIS 181).

Defendants Afforded Time To Conduct Discovery In Lead Paint Coverage Dispute
BALTIMORE - A Maryland federal judge on Feb. 22 denied an insurer's motion for summary judgment in a lead paint injury coverage suit after determining that the defendants must first be afforded the opportunity to conduct discovery on the issue of whether the insured made a material misrepresentation in the policy application (CX Reinsurance Co. Ltd., et al. v. Homewood Realty Inc., et al., No. 15-3136, D. Md.; 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28354).

Whistleblower: Issues Remain About Protected Speech In Flint Water Crisis Case
CINCINNATI - A woman who was formerly the administrator for the city of Flint, Mich., and then became a whistleblower after the lead-contaminated water crisis in that city on Feb. 14 filed a brief in the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals contending that a district court erred when it granted the city's motion for summary judgment because there are genuine disputes of material facts regarding her claims under state law, as well as the First Amendment (Natasha Henderson v. City of Flint, Mich., No. 17-2031, 6th Cir.).

Class, Defendants Debate Jurisdiction And Discovery In Flint Lead Water Case
DETROIT - Engineering consultants named as defendants in the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich., and the class of plaintiffs alleging that they have been injured by that water on Feb. 9 filed briefs debating whether the federal district court has jurisdiction to order certain discovery at the current stage of the litigation (In re Flint Water Cases [Luke Waid, et al. v. Richard D. Snyder, et al.], No. 16-10444, E.D. Mich.).

Agency Seeks To Rescind Most Of 2016 Methane Waste Prevention Rule
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on Feb. 13 announced its proposed changes to the 2016 Waste Prevention Rule, calling for the rescission of the majority of regulations on oil and gas operators who had been required to control the venting and flaring of methane produced by drilling activities.

California High Court Denies Review Of $1.15B Award In Lead Paint Lawsuit
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The California Supreme Court on Feb. 14 denied a petition for review filed by the former makers of lead-based paint who contended that the high court should hear their appeal because an appellate court "misstated and omitted material facts" when it found that there was "substantial evidence" that the companies promoted paints containing white lead pigments for interior residential use (The People v. ConAgra Grocery Products Company, et al., No. S246102, Calif. Sup.).

Plaintiffs In Lead Case Seek Sanctions, Say Defense Counsel Withheld Evidence
MILWAUKEE - Three residents filed a brief in a Wisconsin federal court on Feb. 8 asking it to consider sanctions against the attorney of a company they sued for allegedly causing their injuries from exposure to lead-based paint, on grounds that the attorney withheld evidence concerning the successor-in-interest status of his client (Glenn Burton v. American Cyanamid, et al., No. 07-0303, E.D. Wis.).

DuPont C8 Trial Judge Approves Payment Of More Than $1.78M To Claims Administrator
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A federal judge in Ohio on Feb. 9 granted a motion by plaintiffs in the multidistrict litigation brought against E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. for alleged injuries connected to exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8), approving the interim disbursement of $1,787,500 to the claims administrator for services rendered (In re: E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio).

Judge: MDL Court Applied 'Incorrect' Legal Standard; MTBE Negligence Claim Valid
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Feb. 8 granted a motion for reconsideration filed by the Orange County Water District (OCWD) in its methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) groundwater contamination lawsuit against various gasoline companies, ruling that the multidistrict litigation court wrongly dismissed the OCWD's negligence causes of action by relying on "an incorrect legal standard" (Orange County Water District v. Unocal Corporation, et al., No. 03-1742, C.D. Calif.).

Chemical Injury Case Barred By Workers' Compensation Law, Companies Say
LANCASTER, Pa. - Armstrong World Industries Inc. and a German chemical company on Feb. 8 filed a joint brief in Pennsylvania state court contending that the third amended complaint filed by a former employee who says he was injured from exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE) and methylene chloride (MC) should be dismissed because the claims are barred by the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act (WCA) (Jose Rivera v. Armstrong World Industries Inc., et al., No. CI-15-06542, Pa. Comm. Pls., Lancaster Co.).

Winemaker Agrees To Pay $330,000 For Deadly Ammonia Leak
FRESNO, Calif. - Gibson Wine Co. on Jan. 29 entered into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in which it said it would pay a $330,000 civil penalty and spend $300,000 to make improvements to its facility following a deadly leak of anhydrous ammonia at its Sanger, Calif., site (United States of America v. Gibson Wine Co., No. 15-cv-1900, E.D. Calif.).

City Sues Chemical Companies For Damages To Groundwater From Fire-Fighting Foam
BOSTON - The city of Westfield, Mass., on Feb. 14 filed a lawsuit in Massachusetts federal court against 3M Co. and other chemical companies, seeking to recover costs associated with soil and groundwater cleanup due to contamination from the defendants' manufacture and use of aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) (City of Westfield, Massachusetts v. 3M, et al., No. 18-30027, D. Mass.).

Plaintiffs' Attempt To Lift Discovery Stay 'Improper,' Company Argues
SAN FRANCISCO - Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PGE) filed a brief in California federal court on Jan. 25 arguing that the plaintiffs, who allege that the company's manufactured gas plant (MGP) has contaminated local groundwater, made an "improper" motion for an order confirming the lack of any stay of discovery in the action or, alternatively, an order lifting the stay (San Francisco Herring Association, et al. v. Pacific Gas & Electric Company, No. 14-04393, N.D. Calif.).

Groups: Review Of EPA Permit For Dumping Fracking Waste In Gulf Of Mexico Needed
NEW ORLEANS - The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and two other environmental advocacy groups on Feb. 13 filed a petition in the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals contending that the Circuit Court should review an Environmental Protection Agency permit that allows oil companies to discharge toxins into the Gulf of Mexico, which the CBD argues puts coastal communities at risk (Center for Biological Diversity, et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. N/A, 5th Cir.).

Judge Affirms Denial Of Resident's Intervention Request In Contamination Suit
HAMMOND, Ind. - A federal judge in Indiana on Feb. 9 upheld a magistrate judge's ruling denying a motion to intervene filed by nearby residents of a Superfund site, holding that the request, which came two years after a settlement was reached between companies and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, was untimely (United States of America v. Atlantic Richfield Co., et al., No. 14-cv-312, N.D. Ind., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21524).

Class Of Oil Platform, Processing Facility Workers Certified In Oil Spill Suit
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Feb. 9 certified one of two proposed subclasses, comprising oil platform and processing facility workers, in a lawsuit against the operators of a Santa Barbara, Calif., pipeline that leaked into the Pacific Ocean in May 2015, finding that common questions predominate (Keith Andrews, et al. v. Plains All American Pipeline, L.P., et al., No. 15-4113, C.D. Calif.).

Shell To Pay $10M To Reduce Excessive Emissions From Industrial Flares
NEW ORLEANS - Shell Chemical LP on Feb. 12 entered into a consent decree in Louisiana federal court with the government and Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) in which the company agreed to spend $10 million to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the use of four industrial flares at its Norco, La., facility (United States of America, et al. v. Shell Chemical LP, No. 18-cv-104, E.D. La.).

Study: Fracking Fluids Alter Mice At 'Environmentally Relevant' Exposure Levels
AMHERST, Mass. - Researchers at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the University of Missouri-Columbia on Feb. 7 released a hydraulic fracturing study that suggests that the mammary gland in female mice is sensitive to mixtures of chemicals used in fracking at exposure levels that are "environmentally relevant." The researchers conclude that "the impact of these findings on the long-term health of the mammary gland, including its lactational capacity and its risk of cancer, should be evaluated in future studies."

When Strategies Go Awry: Part 4 In A Series On Cognitive Biases And Their Impact
By Laura A. Frase But Wait - I Remember It Differently: Cognitive Biases That Mess with Our Memories "'It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards' the Queen remarked."

Residents: Supreme Court Should Not Hear Appeal Of Flint Water Crisis Ruling
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A group of Michigan residents on Feb. 5 filed a consolidated brief in the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that three separate petitions for writ of certiorari filed by various Michigan entities should be denied because a federal appellate panel "faithfully applied this Court's precedents" when it ruled that the residents' claims related to the lead-contaminated drinking water crisis in Flint, Mich., are not preempted by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) (Daniel Wyant, et al. v. Melissa Mays, et al., No. 17-901, Jeff Wright, et al. v. Melissa Mays, et al., No. 17-666, and City of Flint, et al. v. Beatrice Boler, et al., No. 17-989, U.S. Sup.).

City Of Flint, Mayor Argue Whistleblower's Water Crisis Appeal Is 'Without Merit'
CINCINNATI - The city of Flint, Mich., and its mayor on Jan. 17 filed a brief in the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals arguing that the appeal of a woman who was formerly the city administrator and then became a whistleblower after the lead-contaminated water crisis in the city is "without merit" and that oral argument is "unnecessary" (Natasha Henderson v. City of Flint, Mich., No. 17-2031, 6th Cir.).

Split Michigan Appeals Court: Genuine Issues Of Fact Remain In Flint Water Case
LANSING, Mich. - A divided panel of the Michigan Court of Appeals on Jan. 25 ruled that a lower court did not err when it determined that genuine issues of material fact exist in a lawsuit brought by residents who sued the state and local defendants alleging liability for lead contamination related to the Flint water crisis (Melissa Mays, et al. v. Governor Rick Snyder, et al., No. 335555, Melissa Mays, et al. v. Governor Rick Snyder, et al., No. 335725, Melissa Mays, et al. v. Governor Rick Snyder, et al., No. 335726, Mich. App., 2018 Mich. App. LEXIS 201).

NRDC Sues EPA Over Directive Barring Some Scientists From Advisory Committees
NEW YORK - The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) on Jan. 24 sued EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt in a New York federal court, alleging that he violated federal law when he issued a directive barring qualified scientists from serving on the agency's advisory committees that provide recommendation on safe drinking water and other environmental issues (Natural Resources Defense Council Inc. v. Scott Pruitt, No. 18-613, S.D. N.Y.).

Chicago Sues U.S. Steel For Discharging Toxic Chemicals Into Lake Michigan
HAMMOND, Ind. - The city of Chicago on Jan. 24 sued U.S. Steel Corp. in an Indiana federal court, contending that it is liable for "multiple excessive discharges of toxic chemicals" into Lake Michigan, which is the source of drinking water for more than 5 million people and arguing that U.S. Steel has committed "repeated and significant" violations of its permits under the Clean Water Act (CWA), 33 U.S.C. 1251-1387 (City of Chicago v. United States Steel Corporation, No. 18-33, N.D. Ind.).

California Methane Rule Case Should Not Be Moved To Different Venue, Groups Say
SAN FRANCISCO - Environmental advocacy groups on Jan. 23 filed a brief in California federal court arguing that Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke's decision to amend the Methane Waste Prevention Rule, which pertains to methane contamination by hydraulic fracturing companies, is "the second illegal step" in his "three step plan to ensure that oil and gas companies never have to comply with the duly promulgated" rule (Sierra Club, et al. v. Ryan Zinke, et al., No. 17-7187, N.D. Calif.).

Monsanto Lacks Standing To Assert Counterclaims Over PCB Contamination, Judge Says
SAN DIEGO - Monsanto Co. and its subsidiaries lack standing to assert counterclaims for response costs, defense costs and contingent liability, a federal judge in California ruled Jan. 30, finding that costs incurred in defending a lawsuit over polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination do not constitute an injury-in-fact (San Diego Unified Port District v. Monsanto Company, et al., No. 15cv578, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14996).

Glass Manufacturer Seeking Permits To Remediate Groundwater Contamination
PITTSBURGH - Glass manufacturer PPG Industries Inc. on Jan. 22 filed a status report in a Pennsylvania federal court regarding its ongoing permitting activities pertaining to remedies for areas that the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has determined are contaminated by PPG's manufacturing activities (PennEnvironment, et al. v. PPG Industries Inc., et al. v. AS America Inc., et al., No. 12-342, W.D. Pa.).

Restaurants Seek Inclusion In $151M West Virginia Water Settlement Class
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Two restaurants affected by drinking water contamination litigation in West Virginia filed a brief in West Virginia federal court on Jan. 25, arguing that the West Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association (WVHTA) made no effort to determine if the restaurants were properly represented by counsel in decision to opt out of a $151 million class settlement, and now they want to be included (Crystal Good, et al. v. American Water Works Co. Inc., No. 14-1374, S.D. W.Va.).

Water District's Suit Over Hexavalent Chromium Levels Untimely, Judge Says
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A U.S. Court of Federal Claims judge on Jan. 31 dismissed the Sacramento Suburban Water District's inverse condemnation suit against the federal government over levels of hexavalent chromium in drinking water caused by the operation of the McClellan Air Force Base, finding that the suit was premature (Sacramento Suburban Water District v. United States of America, No. 17-860 C, Fed. Clms., 2018 U.S. Claims 44).

Camp Lejeune MDL Judge Warns Attorney About 'Borderline Frivolous' Motion
ATLANTA - A federal judge in Georgia presiding over consolidated suits concerning contaminated drinking water at two military bases in North Carolina on Jan. 29 denied a second motion to reconsider filed by a plaintiff seeking review of a ruling and warned the attorney about the filing of "borderline frivolous" motions (In re: Camp Lejeune, North Carolina Water Contamination Litigation, MDL 1845, Case No. 11-md-2218-TWT, N.D. Ga., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14462).

Judge: Tainted Groundwater Case Not Precluded By Fracking Services Contract
PITTSBURGH - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Feb. 1 denied a well services company's motion to dismiss a breach of contract lawsuit against it related to groundwater contamination that the company allegedly caused by failing to perform services properly on a hydraulic fracturing well site (EQT Production Company v. Terra Services LLC, No. 14-01053, W.D. Pa.).

Judge: Groundwater Lawsuit Filed Prematurely; California Regulation Not In Effect
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A judge in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims on Jan. 31 dismissed an inverse condemnation lawsuit against the federal government concerning drinking water that was contaminated with hexavalent chromium from McClellan Air Force Base on grounds that the case was filed prematurely (Rio Linda Elverta Community Water District v. United States of America, No. 17-859 C, Fed. Clms.; 2018 U.S. Claims LEXIS 47).

Judge: Settlement Cannot Be Enforced Until City Resolves Insurance Dispute
FRESNO, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Feb. 2 denied a landowner's motion to enforce a settlement agreement with a city accused of contributing to perchloroethylene (PCE) contamination, finding that the city must first resolve a dispute with its insurance carriers to obtain coverage (Gary Coppola, et al. v. Gregory Smith, et al., No. 11-CV-1257 AWI BAM, E.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17769).

Panel Affirms Damages For Louisiana Residents Exposed To Multiple Toxic Chemicals
LAKE CHARLES, La. - A Louisiana appellate panel on Jan. 10 affirmed a lower court's decision that a group of plaintiffs were entitled to a combined total of $225,500 in damages from CITGO Petroleum Corp. and others for exposure to multiple toxic chemicals that were released during a flash flood in 2006 (Emma Bradford, et al. v. CITGO Petroleum Corp., et al., No. 17-296, La. App., 3rd Cir.; 2018 La. App. LEXIS 71).

Toxicologist's Opinions On Contaminated Site Upheld By Kentucky Federal Judge
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Even though a toxicology expert's opinion on what level of pollutants causes health problems is contrary to federal and Kentucky law, it is still reliable enough to help a jury determine common-law liability, a Kentucky federal judge held Jan. 25 in declining to exclude the expert's testimony (Modern Holdings, LLC, et al. v. Corning, Inc., et al., No. 5:13-cv-00405, E.D. Ky., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11891).

Judge Says CERLCA Commencement Date Applicable In Injury Suit
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.- A federal judge in Georgia on Jan. 23 denied motions for summary judgment filed by two companies arguing that 14 lawsuits for personal injuries and property damage caused by the operation of a pipe-making facility are time-barred, holding that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) commencement date could be applied to the plaintiffs' claims (William Abner v. United States Pipe & Foundry Co., No. 15-cv-02040-KOB, N.D. Ala., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10146).

Panel: Lead Paint Case Properly Dismissed; Sanctions Against Tenant Reversed
LANSING, Mich. - A Michigan appellate panel on Jan. 18 affirmed a trial court ruling dismissing lead-based paint allegations brought by a tenant against his landlord but reversed an award of $54,378.56 in sanctions that had been levied against the tenant for litigation costs in a consolidated appeal of six individual lawsuits (Nathaniel E. Chapman v. Zaki Jamil Alawi, et al., Nos. 331750, 334164 and 334948, Michigan Rental, et al. v. Nathaniel E. Chapman, No. 332711, Nathaniel E. Chapman v. Zaki Jamil Alawi, No. 333259 and Michigan Rental, et al. v. Nathaniel E. Chapman, No. 334165, Mich. App.; 2018 Mich. App. LEXIS 141).

Maryland Appeals Court Finds Evidence Showed Lead Paint Caused Injury
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - A trial court judge did not err when denying a landlord's motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) after finding that a man provided sufficient evidence to show that the presence of lead paint in a home his mother rented when he was a child significantly contributed to his injuries, a Maryland Special Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 30 (Benjamin L. Kirson v. Devon Johnson, No. 1861 September Term, 2016, Md. Spec. App., 2018 Md. App. LEXIS 79).