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

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Michigan Civil Rights Agency: Flint Water Crisis Was Result Of 'Systemic Racism'
DETROIT - The Michigan Civil Rights Commission (MCRC) on Feb. 17 issued a report in which it said the "disparate response" to the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich., was the result of "systemic racism that was built into the foundation and growth of Flint, its industry and the suburban area surrounding it" and said the state should establish a "Truth and Reconciliation Commission" to deal with racial discrimination.



Judge Cancels Oral Argument To Settle Jurisdictional Issue In 1 Flint Water Case
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - A federal judge in Michigan on Feb. 17 issued an order canceling oral arguments in a case brought by residents of the city of Flint, Mich., who seek damages for injuries from exposure to lead-contaminated drinking water, ruling that the court is "obligated to examine" the subject matter jurisdiction of the case (Tamara Nappier v. Richard Snyder, et al., No. 16-636, W.D. Mich.).



Monsanto Denies Wrongdoing In Cancer Claim Related To Glyphosate Exposure
SAN FRANCISCO - Monsanto Co. on Feb. 21 filed an answer in California federal court, arguing that the personal injury case brought against it related to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, contending that the allegations against the company are "vague and conclusory and comprise attorney characterizations" about a product that "repeatedly has been found to be safe to humans and the environment by regulators in the United States and around the world" (In Re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2741, N.D. Calif.).



World Health Organization Documents On Glyphosate Not Protected, Monsanto Says
SAN FRANCISCO - Monsanto Co. on Feb. 9 filed a brief in California federal court arguing that the documents it seeks in a subpoena of nonparties in a glyphosate-injury lawsuit are not property of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC); therefore, they should be turned over to the company (In Re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2741, N.D. Calif.).



Judge: Tainted Groundwater Case Valid; Damages Allowed Against Some Defendants
NEW ORLEANS - A federal judge in Louisiana on Feb. 21 partially granted and partially denied motions to dismiss claims brought by a class of residents who contend that Chevron USA Inc. and related companies are liable for contaminating their groundwater with naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM), ruling that the plaintiffs have a valid strict liability claim but do not have a claim for punitive damages against all defendants (Joseph Robertson, et al. v. Chevron USA Inc., et al., No. 15-00874, E.D. La.).



Judge: Seattle's Case Against Monsanto Valid; PCB Design Defect Claim Dismissed
SEATTLE - A federal judge in Washington on Feb. 22 dismissed one cause of action but ruled that the majority of claims brought by the city of Seattle against Monsanto Co. for allegedly contaminating its groundwater with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were valid (City of Seattle v. Monsanto Company, et al., No. 16-cv-00107, W.D. Wash.).



Company: Jury Trial Brief In Groundwater Case Relies On 'Misrepresentations'
FRESNO, Calif. - A dry cleaning company on Feb. 10 filed a brief in California federal court arguing that the city of Visalia, Calif.'s brief seeking a jury trial in a lawsuit brought by a couple seeking remediation costs associated with tetrachloroethylene (PCE) contamination of groundwater "relies on a series of misrepresentations to support its argument" (Viola Coppola, et al. v. Gregory Smith, et al., No. 11-cv-01257, E.D. Calif.).



Judge Denies Oil Rig Explosion Plaintiff's Request To File Evidence Under Seal
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on Feb. 13 denied a man's motion to file photographs under seal as part of the evidence record in an oil rig explosion injury lawsuit, concluding that the pictures were identical to, or "cumulative of," photographs that had already been included in the record (Natto Iyela Gbarabe v. Chevron Corporation, No. 14-173, N.D. Calif.).



1st Circuit Panel: Review Of Ruling In Drinking Water Case 'Not In Order'
BOSTON - A panel of the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 14 ruled that residents who contend that a company contaminated their drinking water with perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8) cannot appeal a ruling of the district court that denied their motion to remand the case to New Hampshire state court (Kevin Brown, et al. v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, No. 16-8055, 1st Cir.).



Halliburton: Discovery, Trial Schedule Should Be Changed; Plaintiffs 'Misleading'
OKLAHOMA CITY - Halliburton Energy Services Inc. (HESI) on March 1 filed a brief in Oklahoma federal court, arguing that the district court should modify a scheduling order to extend the discovery deadline and change the date of trial plaintiff selection in a collection of lawsuits brought by residents who allege that the company is liable for their injuries by the alleged presence of perchlorate in the aquifer that supplies their drinking water (Albin Family Revocable Living Trust, et al. v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 16-910, W.D. Okla.).



Company: Drinking Water Case Preempted By Federal Law, And Claims Are 'Moot'
LOS ANGELES - Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PGE) on Feb. 24 filed its answer to a groundwater contamination complaint in California federal court, contending that the court lacks jurisdiction because the claims are preempted by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and the claims are moot (Carolyn Bolin, et al. v. Pacific Gas & Electric Company, No. 16-676, C.D. Calif.).



Judge Approves Dismissal Of Drinking Water Case Amid Document Dispute
SPOKANE, Wash. - A federal judge in Washington on Feb. 27 issued an order approving a settlement in a lawsuit brought by an environmental group that sought declaratory relief for alleged violations of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in relation to documents pertaining to an investigation of groundwater contamination on Native American lands (Friends of Toppenish Creek v. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, et al., No. 16-3013, E.D. Wash.).



3M: Groundwater Case Fails; Any Alleged Injuries Stem From Acts Beyond Control
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - On Feb. 24, 3M Co. filed its answer to a lawsuit brought against it for groundwater contamination, in which it denies any liability and argues that the claim fails because the company has "not caused or contributed to an imminent and substantial endangerment to health or the environment" (Tennessee Riverkeeper Inc. v. 3M Company, et al., No. 16-1029, N.D. Ala.).



Texas High Court: Lower Court Should Decide If ExxonMobil Should Clean Up Site
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court held Feb. 24 that a lower court judge should determine if a landowner can seek an order requiring ExxonMobil Corp. to remediate two sites where it conducted oil drilling and production operations, finding that the issue was not properly raised on appeal (ExxonMobil Corporation v. Lazy R. Ranch, LP, et al., No. 15-0270, Texas Sup., 2017 Tex. LEXIS 210).



Groups: EPA Emergency Action Needed For Lead Contamination In East Chicago, Ind.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A collection of community groups, the NAACP and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) on March 2 filed notice of petition with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency seeking emergency action to abate "the imminent and substantial endangerment" to East Chicago, Ind., posed by lead contamination of drinking water.



$20M Lead-Based Paint Injury Case May Proceed, Judge Says
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on March 1 ruled that residents who seek $20 million for lead-based paint poisoning injuries allegedly sustained when they rented an apartment have a private right of action and the case may proceed (Sabrina Fuller v. Chandrakalli Sukhnandan, No. 16-2038, E.D. N.Y.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29063).



Panel Reverses, Says Statute Of Limitations Expired On Lead-Based Paint Case
ALBANY, N.Y. - A New York appellate panel on March 2 reversed a trial court ruling and determined that a lead-based paint poisoning lawsuit against a landlord couple should be dismissed on grounds that the statute of limitations had expired on the claim (Violet Vasilatos v. William Dzamba, No. 523286, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 3rd Dept.; 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 1581).



Pennsylvania Drinking Water Bill Mandating Lead Tests Referred To Committee
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania General Assembly on Feb. 28 referred to committee a bill that would give power to the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to appropriate money to provide safe drinking water by testing public water systems for lead.



Judge Reverses, Says Benefits Denied To Veteran Based On Flawed Medical Opinion
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on Feb. 27 reversed and remanded a ruling by the Board of Veterans Appeals that denied a veteran's claim for benefits from exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam, concluding that the board failed to provide an adequate statement of its reasons for relying on the opinion of the medical examiner in the case (Joyce M. Carter v. David J. Shulkin, No. 16-1192, Vet. Clms.; 2017 U.S. App. Vet. Claims LEXIS 250).



Judge Sets Aside, Remands Ruling That Denied Agent Orange Benefits
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in the U.S. Court of Veterans Appeals on Feb. 22 set aside a ruling by the Board of Veterans Appeals that denied benefits to the widow of a soldier who had been exposed to Agent Orange, concluding that the medical opinion on which the denial of benefits was based relied on the opinion of an independent medical examiner who did not adequately explain her conclusion (Atta L. Corbiser v. David J. Shulkin, No. 15-2505, Vet. Clms.; 2017 U.S. App. Vet. Claims LEXIS 214).



Judge Reverses, Remands Agent Orange Ruling, Says Cancer Connection Could Exist
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on Feb. 28 reversed and remanded a ruling by the Board of Veterans Appeals that denied a veteran's claim for full benefits related to prostate cancer that he contended was caused by his exposure to Agent Orange while in Vietnam (Chester McNeil Jr. v. David J. Shulkin, No. 16-1447, U.S. App., Vet. Clms.; 2017 U.S. App. Vet. Claims LEXIS 263).



Firm Gets Extension In Flint Water Crisis Appeal To U.S. Supreme Court
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan on Jan. 18 granted the application for an extension of time for an engineering firm to file a petition for writ of certiorari to appeal a decision by the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that the local controversy exception to the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA) requires a lawsuit brought by a class of residents in Flint, Mich., pertaining to its lead-contaminated water crisis to be tried in state court (Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam PC v. Jennifer Mason, et al., No. 16A701, U.S. Sup.).



Flint Water Crisis Defendants: Court Should Consider Rulings From Other Courts
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Some of the defendants sued by residents of Flint, Mich., in connection with that city's lead-contaminated drinking water crisis on Feb. 15 filed a brief in Michigan federal court contending that the court should consider decisions issued in other cases pertaining to the Flint water crisis (Tamara Nappier v. Richard Snyder, et al., No. 16-636, W.D. Mich.).



Judge Dismisses Flint Water Case, Says Federal Notice Requirement Not Met
DETROIT - A federal judge in Michigan on Feb. 7 dismissed a lawsuit against the state of Michigan, its governor, various state employees and the city of Flint, Mich., for the lead-contaminated water crisis on grounds that the plaintiffs failed to comply with the notice requirements of a federal law pertaining to safe drinking water (Myia McMillian, et al. v. Governor Richard D. Snyder, et al., No. 16-10796, E.D. Mich.).



Judge In C8 Injury MDL Vacates Orders In Light Of Global Resolution Of Claims
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The federal judge in Ohio presiding over the multidistrict litigation against E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. for alleged injuries connected to exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8) on Feb. 14 issued an order vacating all current scheduling orders because the parties have informed the court that they have reached a global resolution of all cases comprising the MDL (In re E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio).



3 Sets Of Plaintiffs: Monsanto Concealed Carcinogenicity Of Glyphosate
SAN FRANCISCO - A California couple on Feb. 9 filed a lawsuit against Monsanto Co. in California federal court, alleging that the husband of the couple has contracted non-Hodgkin lymphoma from exposure to the company's herbicide Roundup, which contains that active ingredient glyphosate (Joseph E. Shipley, et al. v. Monsanto Co., No. 17-651, N.D. Calif.).



Cancer Case Against Monsanto For Glyphosate Exposure Sent To Roundup MDL
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on Feb. 15 transferred to the multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California the case of a man who contends that his exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, caused him to develop NK/T-cell lymphoma (In Re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, No. 2741, JPMDL).



Judge: Monsanto's Claim For Recovery Of Costs Related To PCB Contamination Fails
SPOKANE, Wash. - A federal judge in Washington on Feb. 14 dismissed a counterclaim brought by Monsanto Co. and its affiliates against the city of Spokane, ruling that the company failed to state a claim for recovering costs from the city for remediating its groundwater, which is contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) (City of Spokane v. Monsanto Company, et al., No. 15-00201, E.D. Wash.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20846).



Judge: Claims Processor Must Not Contact Nuclear Waste Settlement Class Members
DENVER - A federal judge in Colorado on Feb. 14 ordered a third-party claims-processing company to cease communications with members of a settlement class in connection with a $375 million deal between residents and Dow Chemical Co. related to injuries suffered from exposure to nuclear waste (Merilyn Cook, et al. v. Rockwell International Corp., et al., No. 90-181, D. Colo.).



Judge Says Trespass, Nuisance Claims In Groundwater Contamination Case Valid
ALBANY, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on Feb. 6 partially dismissed some groundwater contamination claims brought by a class of residents against Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp. and Honeywell International Inc. for allegedly contaminating their drinking water with perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8), ruling that the plaintiffs' trespass and nuisance claims were valid (Michelle Baker, et al. v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., et al., No. 16-917, N.D. N.Y.).



Groundwater Contamination Case Should Be Stayed Pending Appeal, Groups Argue
TRENTON, N.J. - Environmental advocacy groups on Feb. 14 filed a brief in New Jersey federal court contending that the court should stay their groundwater contamination case against NL Industries Inc. pending appeal (Raritan Baykeeper Inc., et al. v. NL Industries Inc., et al., No. 09-4117, D. N.J.).



22 Plaintiffs: California Utility Is Liable For Arsenic, Uranium In Drinking Water
SANTA ANA, Calif. - Multiple California residents, in separate lawsuits based on a boilerplate complaint, on Feb. 13 filed their third amended complaints against Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PGE) alleging that they had suffered "irreparable harm health injuries as a direct result of being poisoned with chemicals" from PGE's operations (Barbara A. Vinson v. Pacific Gas & Electric Company, No. 16-514, C.D. Calif.).



Judge Dismisses 1 Cause Of Action In Groundwater Case, Says Other Claims Stand
MINNEAPOLIS - A federal judge in Minnesota on Feb. 15 dismissed one cause of action but sustained the majority of a city's groundwater contamination lawsuit against 3M Co., finding that the company's argument that the city has not been deprived of its ability to use the groundwater is "unavailing" (City of Lake Elmo v. 3M Company, No. 16-2557, D. Minn.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22202).



Maryland Panel Reverses; Lead Paint Claim Against Property Managers Valid
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - A panel of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals on Feb. 9 reversed a trial court ruling and found that a real estate management company and its officials that were sued by a woman who contends that she was poisoned by lead-based paint while living in an apartment managed by the company were not entitled to summary judgment dismissing the claim (Shanece Coley v. 23rd Street Realty Company, et al., No. 2203, Sept. Term 2015, Md. Spec. App., 2017 Md. App. LEXIS 160.).



Panel Reverses, Says Lead Paint Poisoning Claim Should Be Dismissed
NEW YORK - A New York appellate court on Feb. 10 reversed a trial court ruling and concluded that a realty management company was entitled to summary judgment on a lead-poisoning claim on grounds that the plaintiff failed to show that his cognitive deficits were caused by exposure to lead-based paint (Adrian T., by his mother and natural guardian Filiberta T. v. Millshan Realty Co. LLC, No. 2751, 22004/06, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept., 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 1047).



U.S. Supreme Court Justice Grants Lago Agrio Parties Extension To File Petition
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Jan. 19 granted an extension for time to file a petition for writ of certiorari for a group of Ecuadorian residents and their attorney who challenge a fraud ruling with regard to an $18.5 billion judgment they previously won against Chevron Corp. (Steven Donziger, et al. v. Chevron Corporation, No. 16A686, and Hugo Gerardo Camacho Naranjo v. Chevron Corporation, No. 16A714, U.S. Sup.).



4 More Cancer Cases Against Monsanto Transferred To Roundup MDL
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on Jan. 31 issued a conditional transfer order sending four glyphosate injury cases to the multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, adding still more cases in which the plaintiffs allege that their exposure to the Roundup herbicide caused them to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) (In Re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, No. 2741, JPMDL).



Professor, University: Glyphosate Documents Sought By Monsanto Are Confidential
SAN FRANCISCO - A professor and the university where she teaches filed a brief in California federal court on Jan. 12 contending that documents that were subpoenaed related to research on injuries allegedly caused by glyphosate exposure are property of the World Health Organization (WHO) and neither the professor nor the university are permitted to disclose them (In Re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2741, N.D. Calif.).



Louisiana Couple Says Monsanto Fraudulently Concealed Danger Related To Glyphosate
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana couple on Jan 31 filed a lawsuit against Monsanto Co. in Louisiana federal court, contending that the company's negligence and fraud led to the wife's exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide, and caused her to develop cancer (Bennierita Smith, et al. v. Monsanto Company, No. 17-844, E.D. La.).



Canadian Court: Lago Agrio Plaintiffs' Damages Claim 'Cannot Succeed'
TORONTO - A Canadian court on Jan. 20 dismissed a claim against Chevron Canada by plaintiffs who sought to recover damages that were handed down in a ruling by an Ecuadorean court related to injuries sustained from an oil rig explosion (Yaiguaje v. Chevron Corporation, No. CV-12-9808-00CL, Ontario Super.).



C8 Plaintiff: Damages Phases Of Trial Against DuPont Should Not Be Bifurcated
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A man who sued E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. for alleged injuries connected to exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8) on Jan. 24 filed a brief in Ohio federal court arguing that every argument asserted by the company for bifurcating the compensatory and punitive damages phases of trial has previously been rejected by the court (In re E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio).



DuPont: C8 Lawsuit Should Be Dismissed With Prejudice; Claims Are Barred
COLUMBUS, Ohio - E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. on Feb. 1 answered a complaint filed in the perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8) injury multidistrict litigation, arguing that the case should be dismissed with prejudice in its entirety on grounds that the claims are barred because the plaintiff assumed a risk and/or was contributorily negligent (In re E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio).



Residents Seek $722.4 Million In Damages From EPA For Flint, Mich., Water Crisis
DETROIT - A group of Flint, Mich., residents on Jan. 30 filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government, seeking $722.4 million for the Environmental Protection Agency's alleged mishandling of the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint (Jan Burgess, et al. v. United States of America, No. 17-10291, E.D. Mich.).



Residents: Water Crisis Defendants' Evidence Does Not Call For Ending Injunction
DETROIT - Plaintiffs who sued Michigan state officials in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on Jan. 26 filed a brief arguing that the state defendants' submissions of supplemental evidence does not support their claim that the Flint, Mich., Water System is complying with monitoring and corrosion control requirements that are part of federal regulations (Concerned Pastors for Social Action, et al. v. Nick A. Khouri, et al., No. 16-10277, E.D. Mich.).



Company: Flint Water Case Should Be Dismissed; Pleading Requirements Not Met
DETROIT - A group of consultants sued by Michigan residents who contend that they share liability for the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich., on Jan. 23 filed a brief in Michigan federal court supporting their motion to dismiss the lawsuit on grounds that the plaintiffs "fail to meet the basic requirement of establishing who did what" (Luke Waid, et al. v. Gov. Richard D. Snyder, et al., No. 16-10444, E.D. Mich.).



Michigan Law Requires Agencies To Notify Residents When Water Exceeds Lead Standards
LANSING, Mich. - As part of public health improvements proposed in response to the lead water crisis in Flint, Mich., Gov. Rick Snyder on Jan. 6 signed a bill that requires the agencies that supply drinking water to municipalities to notify local residents within three business days when their drinking water is not in compliance with state standards for lead.



Water District: MTBE Damages Properly Disclosed; Expert Is Qualified To Testify
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A California water district filed a brief in California federal court on Jan. 25 defending the qualifications of one of its experts to testify in a groundwater contamination case involving methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE). The water district also contends in a separate brief that its claim for $34 million in damages "will be amply supported" by the testimony provided (Orange County Water District v. Unocal Corporation, et al., No. 03-1742, C.D. Calif.).



Company: Rhode Island Fails To Establish Jurisdiction In MTBE Contamination Case
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - One of the chemical companies sued by Rhode Island for allegedly contaminating the state's drinking water supply with methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) on Jan. 11 moved in Rhode Island federal court to dismiss the lawsuit on that grounds personal jurisdiction does not exist (State of Rhode Island v. Alon Refining Krotz Springs, No. 16-495, D. R.I.).



Monsanto: Port Of Portland PCB Lawsuit Based On 'Insufficient Facts'
PORTLAND, Ore. - Monsanto Co. and two of its affiliates on Jan. 27 filed a brief in Oregon federal court contending that a district court should dismiss the Port of Portland's lawsuit alleging groundwater contamination from polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) on grounds that the allegations are barred by the state's product liability statute and there are "insufficient facts alleged to sustain a cognizable legal theory" (Port of Portland v. Monsanto Co., et al., No. 17-15, D. Ore.).



Judge Denies Lone Pine Order In Tainted Groundwater Case Against Johnson Controls
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - A federal judge in Indiana on Jan. 25 denied a company's motion seeking a case management order referred to as a Lone Pine order in a trichloroethylene (TCE) groundwater contamination case, concluding that such an order should be used only in "exceptional cases" (Amos Hostetler, et al. v. Johnson Controls Inc., No. 15-226, N.D. Ind.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10006).



Judge: Separate Trial Not Warranted In Case About Water Contamination
PITTSBURGH - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Jan. 23 denied a motion by a third-party defendant seeking to try third-party claims separately in a case where two environmental advocacy groups sued a glass manufacturer for groundwater contamination, finding that the third-party defendant did not show that separate trials were necessary (PennEnvironment, et al. v. PPG Industries Inc., et al., No. 12-342, W.D. Pa.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8683).



Judge: Report 'Sufficiently Reliable' As Evidence In Tainted Groundwater Case
CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on Jan. 25 ruled that an expert opinion provided by a village that sued two companies alleging groundwater contamination from vinyl chloride that leaked into the water system was "sufficiently reliable," and he refused to exclude it from evidence (Village of Sauk Village v. Roadway Express Inc., et al., No. 15-9183, N.D. Ill.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10478).



Judge: 2 Claims Remain Valid In Florida Groundwater Contamination Lawsuit
FORT MYERS, Fla. - A federal judge in Florida on Feb. 3 dismissed many claims against the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and two companies alleged to have contaminated local groundwater, but the judge said that two causes of action remained against Hercules Inc. (Noel D. Clark Jr., et al. v. Ashland Inc., No. 13-794, M.D. Fla.).



New Jersey Governor, School: Case Alleging Lead-Tainted Drinking Water Fails
TRENTON, N.J. - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, members of his administration and the State-Operated School District of the City of Newark, N.J., on Jan. 30 filed two briefs in New Jersey federal court arguing that the lawsuit brought by residents who contend that the state and the school district are liable for lead-contaminated drinking water in the school district should be dismissed for lack of standing and failure to state a claim (Veronica Branch, et al v. Chris Christie, et al., No. 16-2467, D. N.J.).



Panel Dismisses Lead Poisoning Case Because Defendants Didn't Own Premises
NEW YORK - A New York appeals panel on Jan. 31 reversed a trial court's ruling and said a lead-poisoning complaint brought against multiple defendants should be dismissed because the evidence shows that none of the defendants owned the property in question when the plaintiffs lived there (Arelie F., et al. v. Cathedral Properties LLC, et al., No. 2914, 350662/09, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept., 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 585).



Judge Affirms Denial Of Agent Orange Benefits For Veteran's Daughter
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on Jan. 30 affirmed a Board of Veterans Appeals ruling that denied education benefits to the daughter of a veteran who died from heart disease caused by exposure to Agent Orange, concluding that the board did not fail its "duty to assist" (Torie S. Garrett v. Robert D. Snyder, No. 15-2724, U.S. App., Vet. Clms., 2017 U.S. App. Vet. Claims LEXIS 77).



Widow's Benefits Claim Related To Husband's Agent Orange Exposure Denied
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on Jan. 26 ruled that a veteran's widow failed to show that the Board of Veterans Appeals (the Board) erred when it denied her claim for benefits related to her late husband's death from cancer, which she claimed was connected to his exposure to Agent Orange (Diana L. Moczynski v. Robert D. Snyder, No. 15-3737, Vet. Clms., 2017 U.S. App. Vet. Claims LEXIS 59).



2nd Circuit Says Insured's Notice Of Environmental Claims Was Not Timely
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 27 affirmed that two insurers in an environmental contamination coverage dispute did not waive their right to assert a late-notice defense because the insured's notice of the underlying environmental claims was not timely (Travelers Indemnity Co., et al. v. Northrop Grumman Corp., et al., No. 15-3117, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1471).