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Preview: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Mass Tort Pleadings Legal News

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Legacy Oil Pollution Claims Dismissed Without Prejudice In Louisiana Federal Court
NEW ORLEANS - Defense motions to dismiss were granted in part on April 22 with leave to amend in a well field legacy contamination lawsuit pursued by landowners in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana (Catherine P. Alford, et al. v. Chevron USA Inc., et al., No. 13-5457 $(consolidated$), E.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55724).



Oklahoma Class Plaintiffs Appeal Dismissal Of Claims For Waste Hauling Pollution
DENVER - Class action representatives of an Oklahoma action alleging fly ash and produced water contamination filed an appellant brief April 21 in the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals seeking reversal of an order denying remand under the local controversy exception to the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 or, alternatively, vacating summary judgment for defendants for failing to state a claim (William Reece, et al. v. AES Corp., et al., No. 14-7010, 10th Cir.).



April Trial Stayed Pending Dispositive Motion Ruling In Pennsylvania Federal Court
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - Natural gas operators sued in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania filed a supplemental authority on April 28 in support of dismissing a strict liability claim as a matter of law; the trial anticipated to start April 21 was stayed in March pending a ruling on dispositive defense motions (Edward E. Kamuck v. Shell Energy Holdings, et al., No. 11-1425, M.D. Pa.).



March 2015 Royalty Trial Set In Arkansas; Some Claims Dismissed In January Order
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A putative class action filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas seeking recovery of royalties from a natural gas company is scheduled for trial in March 2015; certain of the causes of action were dismissed in January 2014 for failure to state a claim (Joe Rath, et al. v. BHP Billiton Petroleum (Arkansas) Inc., et al., No. 13-602, E.D. Ark.).



Gas Well Operator Objects To Order Denying Dismissal In Texas Federal Court
FORT WORTH, Texas - XTO / Exxon Energy Inc. filed objections April 29 to an order denying its motion to dismiss a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas seeking $9 million for wrongful death and property damage allegedly caused by the release of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing to complete natural gas wells; the order was entered April 15 by a magistrate judge (Daniel W. Nicholson v. XTO / Exxon Energy Inc., No. 13-899, N.D. Texas).



Gas Well Operators Seek Order To Support Claims Before Summary Judgment Discovery
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - Natural gas extraction companies accused of contaminating water wells in northern Pennsylvania filed a reply April 8 in support of a case management order requiring the plaintiffs in a lawsuit removed Jan. 28 to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania to make a prima facie case for their claims before the beginning of discovery; the plaintiffs responded March 25 to the motion filed March 12 (Sheila Russell, et al. v. Chesapeake Appalachia, et al., No. 14-148, M.D. Pa.).



Discovery Dispute Reported By Oilfield Well Operators In Arkansas Injection Suit
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Natural gas extraction companies sued in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas by Faulkner County, Ark., couples alleging property damage from hydraulic fracturing waste disposal in injection wells filed a status report on May 5 describing Phase 1 discovery disagreements with respect to the plaintiffs' requests for seismic data and depositions of corporate representatives (Bobbie Hill, et al. v. Southwestern Energy Co., No. 12-500, E.D. Ark.).



New Mexico Property Owners Amend Complaint In Suit Challenging Fracking Ban
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - New Mexico property owners and a hydrocarbon extraction trade group seeking a declaratory judgment against Mora County, N.M., officials in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico for violating their constitutionally protected civil and property rights by the enactment of a ban on hydraulic fracturing and hydrocarbon extraction filed an amended complaint Jan. 10; a case management order filed March 20 includes a February 2015 deadline for the parties to submit a consolidated, final pretrial order (Mary L. Vermillion, et al. v. Mora County, N.M., et al., No. 13-1095, D. N.M.).



Gas Pipeline Operator Seeks Declaratory Judgment, Removal Of Bull From Easement
COVINGTON, Ky. - Columbia Gas Transmission filed a declaratory judgment complaint and motion for a temporary restraining order April 14 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky against a Foster, Ky., property owner who refuses to restrain an aggressive bull and dogs on his property to allow entry to a natural gas pipeline right of way (Columbia Gas Transmission v. Gary Galloway, No. 14-77, E.D. Ky.).



Pennsylvania Plaintiffs Sue Well, Pipeline Operators For Loss Of Property Value
SCRANTON, Pa. - A natural gas extraction company and a natural gas pipeline company were sued April 9 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania for loss of use by property owners; the defendants have yet to file an appearance in the lawsuit assigned April 11 to Judge Malachy E. Mannion (Thomas Chaffee, et al. v. Talisman Energy USA Inc, et al., No. 14-690, M.D. Pa.).



Natural Gas Pipeline Operator Appeals $78,000 Award In Pennsylvania Easement Suit
PHILADELPHIA - A natural gas pipeline company ordered to pay a Pike County, Pa., property owner $78,545 in compensation Feb. 24 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in an eminent domain condemnation action to allow construction of a second pipeline in an existing right-of-way filed notice of appeal April 7 in the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. v. Permanent Easements, et al., No. 14-1821, 3rd Cir.).



Pennsylvania Physician Argues 1st Amendment Standing To Challenge Trade Secrets Act
SCRANTON, Pa. - The Pennsylvania physician suing the state attorney general and secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania for relief from statutory restrictions on his ability to discover the chemicals in proprietary hydraulic fracturing fluids used in natural gas extraction he alleges violate his civil rights under the First and 14th amendments to the U.S. Constitution and expose him to professional disciplinary action by the American Medical Association filed a brief April 30 opposing motions to dismiss on the grounds he lacks standing (Dr. Alfonso Rodriguez, M.D., v. Michael L. Krancer, et al., No. 12-1458, M.D. Pa.).



Reconsideration Is Sought Of Order To Arbitrate With O'Quinn Defendants In Texas
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Plaintiffs alleging malpractice against silica-exposure law firms and attorneys associated with the late John M. O'Quinn on March 21 asked a Texas federal court to reconsider its order to arbitrate, citing the costs involved in the proceedings and the lack of opportunity for additional discovery (Frank Bates, et al. v. Richard N. Laminack, et al., No. 12-00387, S.D. Texas).



2nd Circuit Reinstates Smuggling, Racketeering Claims Against R.J. Reynolds
NEW YORK - The European Community (EC) is an agency or instrumentality of its member states for the purpose of diversity jurisdiction in U.S. federal courts, and allegations of cigarette smuggling, racketeering and money laundering brought by the EC against the corporate parent of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (RJR) and others contained sufficient domestic contacts to invoke the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 23 (The European Community, et al. v. RJR Nabisco Inc., et al., No. 11-2475, 2nd Cir.).



Safety-Kleen Seeks To Bar Plaintiff's Expert Regarding Job Exposure
HATO REY, Puerto Rico - Claims that Safety-Kleen Systems Inc.'s Solvent 105 (SK 105) caused chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) are supported by obsolete and inadmissible science, the company argues in a May 16 brief seeking to bar a key plaintiff's expert pursuant to Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharm., Inc. (509 U.S. 579, 589 $(1993$)) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico (Gerardo Campos, et al. v. Safety-Kleen Systems Inc., No. 3:12-cv-01529-ADC, D. Puerto Rico).



Employer Argues Employment Settlement Precludes Injury Claims
HATO REY, Puerto Rico - Claims that Safety-Kleen Systems Inc.'s Solvent 105 caused chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) are precluded by language in a "Confidential Negotiated Settlement Agreement" of an earlier administrative charge before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a former employer says in a May 21 brief seeking summary judgment in the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico (Gerardo Campos, et al. v. Safety-Kleen Systems Inc., No. 3:12-cv-01529-ADC, D. Puerto Rico).



Louisiana Couple Alleges Exposure To Liquid Wrench Caused Multiple Myeloma
NEW ORLEANS - Twenty years of exposure to benzene in Radiator Specialty Co.'s Liquid Wrench caused a Louisiana millwright to develop multiple myeloma (MM), the man and his wife say in suit filed April 24 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana (Carl Norred and Janifer Norred v. Radiator Specialty Company, No. 14-936, E.D. La.).



Pipeline Company Says Expert Is Unqualified To Opine On Vineyard Value
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - A plaintiff's expert is not qualified to place a dollar value on the proposal to develop a "Zinnyard" on land contaminated by a pipeline rupture, a Canadian company whose pipeline burst, spilling tar sands oil laced with benzene into the Kalamazoo River, says in a May 15 motion to exclude in Michigan federal court (Fredonia Farms LLC, et al. v. Enbridge Energy Partners L.P., No. 1:12-cv-01005, W.D. Mich.).



Church Resolves Claims Over Gas Station Leak That Contaminated Basement School
MILWAUKEE - A church whose basement school was contaminated by gasoline containing benzene and the owner of the service station where the leak originated have resolved their dispute, according to an April 2 stipulation filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin (Grace Christian Fellowship v. KJG Investments Inc., et al., No. 2:07-cv-348, E.D. Wis.).



Shippers End Dispute Over Maintenance Of Benzene-Injured Seaman
NEW ORLEANS - Two shipping companies have resolved a dispute over which is responsible for what portion of the maintenance and cure of a seaman who asserted a claim under the Jones Act for benzene-induced aplastic anemia, a Louisiana federal judge said May 16 (Stephen Scott v. Cenac Towing Co. LLC, et al., No. 2:12-cv-00811, E.D. La.).



Plaintiffs' Counsel Agrees To Pay Chevron $15 Million To End Lago Agrio Lawsuit
NEW YORK - Chevron Corp. and Patton Boggs announced a settlement May 7 in an unjust enrichment lawsuit Patton Boggs filed in connection with Chevron's U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York lawsuit to prevent enforcement of the $18 billion Lago Agrio, Ecuador, judgment for personal injuries and environmental contamination; the presiding judge granted Chevron's motion to file counterclaims March 31 and dismissed Patton Boggs' claims April 29 (Patton Boggs v. Chevron Corp., No. 12-9176, S.D. N.Y.).



Chevron Petitions For Leave To Conduct Discovery Of Lago Agrio Case Investor
NEW YORK - Chevron Corp. filed a petition on May 9 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for leave to conduct discovery against a company it avers provides financial support to the Ecuadorians who were awarded $9.5 billion in remediation damages by a Lago Agrio, Ecuador, court (In re Chevron Corp. v. H5, et al., No. 14-144, S.D. N.Y.).



Chevron Petitions For Leave To Subpoena Supporter Of Lago Agrio Suit Plaintiffs
DENVER - Chevron Corp. filed a petition May 14 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado for leave to subpoena documents and deposition testimony from the owner of a business consulting firm it alleges was instrumental in financing the Lago Agrio, Ecuador, litigation that resulted in a $9.5 billion judgment against the company for contaminating the Amazon jungle region of Ecuador and exposing the residents to toxic waste left from oil extraction; a Southern District of New York judge ruled in March that the judgment was obtained by fraud (In re Chevron Corp. v. Andres Snaider, No. 14-1354, D. Colo.).



New Jersey Defendant Seeks To Dismiss Claims To Recover Solvent Remediation Costs
CAMDEN, N.J. - The owner of a Burlington County, N.J., research and manufacturing facility accused in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey of releasing chlorinated solvents into a residential neighborhood filed a motion May 15 to dismiss claims for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief in the form of remediation cost recovery; personal injury and diminution of property value claims were previously dismissed for failure to state a claim (Michael Leese, et al. v. Lockheed Martin, et al., No. 11-5091, D. N.J.).



Motion To Limit Attorney, Treating Physician Contact Denied In C8 Injury Litigation
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The motion filed April 21 by DuPont to limit communications between plaintiffs' counsel and plaintiffs' treating physicians in the consolidated U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio multidistrict litigation alleging personal injury claims for exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid released from the DuPont Washington Works chemical refinery near Parkersburg, W.Va., was denied May 16 (In re E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio).



New Jersey Refinery Operator Seeks Dismissal Of Complaint Alleging PFC Exposure
CAMDEN, N.J. - A company accused of contaminating the Paulsboro, N.J., municipal water supply with fluorocarbon compounds moved to dismiss on April 15 for failing to state a claim in a putative class action removed March 25 to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey under the Class Action Fairness Act; the plaintiffs were granted until June 2 to file a response (Aaron Thomas, et al. v. Solvay Specialty Polymers USA, et al., No. 14-1870, D. N.J.).



Motion To Consolidate Cases Filed After 4-MCHM Spill Opposed In West Virginia
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Motions to consolidate five personal injury and property damage class actions in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia litigation arising from the January spill of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol into the Elk River are opposed by the plaintiffs in one of the actions until jurisdiction under the Home State Exception of the Class Action Fairness Act is resolved; the plaintiffs resisting consolidation moved to continue on May 12 (Summer Johnson, et al. v. Freedom Industries Inc., et al., No. 14-13164; Crystal Good, et al. v. American Water Works Co. Inc., No. 14-1347; Maddie P. Fields v. Freedom Industries, et al., No. 14-13454; Roger Strickland, et al. v. Freedom Industries Inc., et. al., No. 13-11009; Lori Good, et al. v. Etowah River Terminal LLC, et al., No. 14-11011, S.D. W.Va.).



Smelter Owners Challenge Pleadings In Class Complaint For Chemical Exposure Injures
SPOKANE, Wash. - The owners and operators of a smelter on the Columbia River in British Columbia filed motions May 8 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington to dismiss for failing to state a claim and to strike class allegations in a class action complaint filed by a U.S. citizen alleging personal injuries from exposure to fugitive toxicants from the smelter (Barbara Anderson, et al. v. Teck Metals, et al., No. 13-420, E.D. Wash.).



June Date Set To Remedy Deficient Plaintiff Responses In Paulsboro Derailment Suit
CAMDEN, N.J. - The magistrate judge presiding over the consolidated Paulsboro, N.J., train derailment litigation in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey issued an amended discovery order with respect to non-class action matters May 20, ordering the plaintiffs to produce by June 13 responses to interrogatories and requests for document production; the plaintiffs filed a third amended complaint May 20 (In re: Paulsboro Derailment Cases, No. 13-784, D. N.J.).



RICO Suit Defendants Seek To Intervene In Settlement Between Chevron, Patton Boggs
NEW YORK - The defendants in the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act complaint filed by Chevron Corp. in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to prevent enforcement of the $18 billion Lago Agrio, Ecuador, judgment for personal injuries and environmental contamination moved to intervene May 21 in the settlement of unjust enrichment litigation announced by Chevron and Patton Boggs, which represented the Ecuadorians, in the Lago Agrio litigation; Patton Boggs avers that the intervention is unnecessary under the terms of the settlement agreement in a response filed May 22 (Patton Boggs v. Chevron Corp., No. 12-9176, S.D. N.Y.).



Plaintiffs Fail To Pierce Corporate Veil In Lawsuit Alleging Abandoned Pollution
FORT MYERS, Fla. - A personal injury and property damage lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida alleging fraud and strict liability for the illegal abandonment of volatile organic compounds and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons was dismissed May 27 without prejudice for failing to state a claim; the plaintiffs have 14 days to file an amended complaint (Noel D. Clark Jr., et al. v. Ashland Inc., No. 13-794, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71995).



Spray Foam Insulation Maker Seeks To Sanction Counsel In New York Class Action
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - A spray polyurethane foam insulation manufacturer named as a defendant in a putative class action lodged in September 2012 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York announced May 29 that it intends to seek sanctions against the former attorneys for the plaintiffs; the notice was filed in response to a motion by the plaintiffs for leave to voluntarily dismiss (Neil Markey, et al. v. Lapolla Industries Inc., et al., No. 12-4622, E.D. N.Y.).



Iraq War Contractors Cite Jurisdiction To Overturn $81 Million C6 Exposure Verdict
PORTLAND, Ore. - Iraq War contractors appealing in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals a June 2013 judgment awarding $81 million to a dozen bellwether plaintiffs alleging hexavalent chromium exposure personal injury claims filed a corrected brief May 21 in their cross-appeal for summary disposition based on the U.S. Supreme Court jurisdiction decision in Walden v. Fiore (No. 12-574, Feb. 25, 2014); the summary disposition cross-appeal is submitted for a ruling on the merits (Rocky Bixby, et al. v. KBR, Inc., et al., No. 13-35513 $(consolidated$), 9th Cir.).



Iraq War Contractor Seeks Continuance Of Stay In Texas Chrome 6 Exposure Lawsuit
HOUSTON - Iraq War contractors sued in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas for alleging exposing military personnel to hexavalent chromium exposure at an oil extraction site in Iraq filed a request May 5 to continue an August 2012 stay of an order denying dismissal for lack of jurisdiction under the political question doctrine and the combat activities exception in the Federal Tort Claims Act; the veterans filed a request May 8 for a status conference to establish final scheduling deadlines and to consider increasing the initial group of veterans selected for trial in light of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision to deny review of the order (Mark McManaway, et al v. KBR Inc., et al., No. 10-1044, S.D. Texas).



Settlement Objections Filed In Missouri Class Action For Landfill Fire Odor Damage
ST. LOUIS - Eleven objections were filed by May 22 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri class action settlement preliminarily approved April 17 by a magistrate judge; a $6,886,500 settlement fund is to be paid by the owners of the Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill to a class of nearby residents for property value damage and public nuisance caused by odors released from an underground fire in the landfill (Marsha Buck, et al. v. Republic Services Inc., et al., No. 13-801, E.D. Mo.).



Amended Complaints Entered In Radiation Exposure Suits Consolidated In Missouri
ST. LOUIS - Second amended complaints filed with leave by the plaintiffs in several of the personal injury lawsuits consolidated for pretrial proceedings in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri against contractors and successors to contractors engaged in the Manhattan Engineering Project near the St. Louis Airport filed were entered May 29; the parties on May 29 filed a joint motion to consolidate two additional lawsuits for pretrial proceedings (Scott D. McClurg, et al. v. MI Holdings Inc., et al., No. 12-361 $(consolidated$), E.D. Mo.).



NECC, Insiders, Insurers Pay $100M For Victims Of 2012 Fungal Meningitis Outbreak
BOSTON - The bankruptcy trustee for New England Compounding Pharmacy (also known as New England Compounding Center, or NECC) on May 6 filed motions formalizing a previously announced $100 million settlement with the company, its insiders and some of its insurers to pay patients who were injured or killed by fungal meningitis allegedly caused by the pharmacy's contaminated steroid (In Re: New England Compounding Pharmacy, Inc., No. 12-19882, D. Mass. Bkcy.).



Punitive Damages Out In Pa. Risperdal Male Breast Cases, Pa. Judge Rules
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on May 2 applied New Jersey law to Risperdal cases pending in his court and said that under the New Jersey Products Liability Act and case law, the plaintiffs cannot recover punitive damages (In Re: Risperdal Litigation, March Term 2010 No. 296, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).



Woman Says Ethicon Morcelex Spread Cancer Cells During Robotic Hysterectomy
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - A New York woman and her husband on May 1 sued Ethicon Endo Surgery Inc. in a federal court alleging that a morcellator used in her hysterectomy released cancer cells for which she is undergoing treatment (Brenda Leuzzi, et al. v. Ethicon Endo Surgery, Inc., et al., No. 6:14-6218, W.D. N.Y.).



Public Citizen Sues FDA To Force Action On Black Boxes For Proton Pump Inhibitors
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Public Citizen on April 30 asked a federal court to find that the Food and Drug Administration is violating the Administrative Procedure Act by failing to act on a Citizen Petition to require black box warnings on proton pump inhibitor (PPI) drugs (Public Citizen, Inc. v. Food and Drug Administration, No. 1:14-751, D. D.C.).



Massachusetts: Zohydro Prescribing Requirements Don't Ban Drug's Availability
BOSTON - Massachusetts says its new requirements on doctors before they prescribe the hydrocodone drug Zohydro do not "effectively ban" the new drug and are an exercise of its regulation of the practice of medicine, according to an opposition brief filed May 7 in a federal court (Zogenix, Inc. v. Deval Patrick, et al., No. 1:14-11689, D. Mass.).



Class Action Seeks Warning, Refunds For Baby Powder That Causes Ovarian Cancer
LOS ANGELES - Johnson's Baby Powder is marketed by Johnson & Johnson for women and can cause ovarian cancer, according to a class action complaint filed against the company on April 18 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California (Mona Estrada, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 2:14-1051, E.D. Calif.).



Pfizer To Pay $325M To Settle Neurontin 3rd-Party Payer, Antitrust Class Action
BOSTON - Pfizer Inc. has agreed to a $325 million class settlement of claims by third-party payers that allege that the off-label promotion of the epilepsy drug Neurontin violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and that the drug maker's efforts to delay the marketing of generic Neurontin violated antitrust laws, according to a motion filed May 30 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts (In Re: Neurontin Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 1629, No. 1:04-10981, D. Mass.).



Franck's Lab Insurer To Pay $2.6M To Help Settle Compounded Drug Claims
NEW ORLEANS - The insurer for Franck's Lab Inc. will pay $2.63 million to help the compounding pharmacy settle allegations that plaintiffs were injured by its contaminated products, according to a motion filed May 30 with the multidistrict litigation court (In Re: Franck's Lab, Inc. Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2454, E.D. La.).



United States Tells High Court Not To Disturb 9th Circuit Device Preemption Ruling
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. solicitor general on May 20 said a federal appeals court used the wrong reasoning in deciding that a drug pump injury claim is not barred by express and implied preemption but said the U.S. Supreme Court should still not hear the appeal of defendant Medtronic Inc. (Medtronic, Inc. v. Richard Stengel, et al., No. 12-1351, U.S. Sup.).



Mirena IUD Plaintiffs Seek 2nd MDL For Head Injuries Related To Levonorgestrel
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Ten plaintiffs on May 27 asked a federal panel to centralize lawsuits alleging that the levonorgestrel hormone in the Mirena intrauterine device causes a harmful build-up of cerebrospinal fluid in the skull, a risk that the manufacturer allegedly fails to warn of (In Re: Mirena IUS Levonorgestrel-Related Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2559, JPMDL).



FDA Seizes $11M Worth Of Unapproved Drugs From Indian Generic Drug Maker
CINCINNATI - The Food and Drug Administration on May 14 seized $11.18 million worth of unapproved drugs belonging to Ascend Laboratories of Montvale, N.J. (United State of America v. 1961 label cases, et al., No. 1:14-399, S.D. Ohio, W. Div.).



Zohydro Maker Wants 2nd Injunction; Massachusetts Seeks To Dismiss New Complaint
BOSTON - Zogenix Inc. on May 23 asked a federal court to issue a preliminary injunction against Massachusetts' restrictions on the prescribing of Zohydro ER, saying the restrictions for doctors and pharmacist are an "effective ban" on the opioid drug and are preempted by federal law (Zogenix, Inc. v. Deval Patrick, et al., No. 1:14-11689, D. Mass.).



Statute Of Repose Appeal Scheduled For Arguments April 23 Before Supreme Court
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court are scheduled for April 23 in an appeal of the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals opinion holding that the North Carolina statute of repose does not bar residents of a development allegedly contaminated with trichloroethylene from pursuing damages against the owner of an electronics factory site it sold in 1987 (CTS Corp. v. Peter Waldburger, et al., No. 13-339, U.S. Sup.).



Lago Agrio Suit Defendant Opposes Motion For $32 Million Filed By Chevron For Fees
NEW YORK - The defendants in the lawsuit filed by Chevron Corp. in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to prevent the enforcement of the $9.5 billion compensatory damages award for contamination of the Oriente region of Ecuador oppose the company's March 18 motion for $32,334,584 in attorney fees in a response filed April 4; Chevron prevailed in a bench trial and was granted injunctive relief in March under theories of fraud and violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (Chevron Corp. v. Steven R. Donziger, et al., No. 11-691, S.D. N.Y.).



$3 Million Settlement Reached In Kentucky Class Action Filed After 2012 Derailment
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A settlement was announced April 2 in a class action lawsuit filed after an October 2012 train derailment near West Point, Ky., that forced the evacuation of residents and allegedly interrupted businesses within five miles of the accident; the parties seek certification of a settlement class and preliminary approval of the $3 million settlement in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky (Susan E. Morgan, et al. v. Paducah & Louisville Railway Inc., et al., No. 12-010, W.D. Ky.).



CAFA Jurisdiction Appeal Filed In Gas Royalty Dispute Relisted By Supreme Court
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The appeal of a remand order filed by natural gas extraction companies in the U.S. Supreme Court challenging a Kansas federal judge's interpretation of the amount in controversy jurisdictional threshold for removal under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 was relisted March 31 for the April 4 conference of the justices (Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co., et al. v. Brandon W. Owens, et al., No. 13-719, U.S. Sup.).



Natural Gas Zoning Appeal By New York Property Owner Set For June Oral Arguments
ALBANY, N.Y. - The appeal by a landowner to the New York Court of Appeals challenging an appellate division opinion affirming that local municipalities have home rule authority to adopt zoning ordinances to regulate natural gas extraction operations is scheduled for oral arguments on June 3 (Cooperstown Holstein Corp. v. Town of Middlefield, No. 13-242, N.Y. App.).



Motion To Amend Granted In Missouri Federal Lawsuits Alleging Radiation Exposure
ST. LOUIS - The plaintiffs in three personal injury lawsuits consolidated for pretrial proceedings in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri filed against contractors and successors to contractors engaged in the Manhattan Engineering Project near the St. Louis Airport were granted leave April 4 to file amended complaints to include exposure doses (Scott D. McClurg, et al. v. MI Holdings Inc., et al., No. 12-361 $(consolidated$), E.D. Mo.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46719).



Japanese Power Plant Owner Challenges Causation In Fukushima Responders' Suit
SAN DIEGO - The owner of a nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan, sued in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California by United States service members and their families for radiation exposure injuries allegedly arising from the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan's response to a March 2011 nuclear reactor accident filed a motion March 27 to dismiss the second amended complaint filed in February for lack of jurisdiction (Lindsay R. Cooper, et al. v. Tokyo Electric Power Co. Inc. aka TEPCO, No. 12-3032, S.D. Calif.).



South Florida Parents Seek Clarification Of Jurisdiction In Order Denying Remand
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The parents of a 6-month-old they allege developed an optic tumor because of exposure to ionizing radiation in the Acreage neighborhood of West Palm Beach pressed their argument for a clarification of an order denying their motion to remand in a reply filed March 29; the plaintiffs challenge references to exclusive jurisdiction in the order denying remand (Richard Cotromano, et al. v. United Technologies Corp., Pratt & Whitney Group, et al., Nos. 13-80928 and 13-80929, S.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45447).



Water Utility Opposes Remand Of Class Action Arising From Elk River Contamination
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The water utility named as a defendant in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia litigation for personal injuries and property damage arising from the January spill of chemicals from a tank farm opposes remand of one of the lawsuits on the grounds that the Home State Exception of the Class Action Fairness Act does not apply; plaintiffs in five of the cases seek consolidation in a motion filed March 28 (Summer Johnson, et al. v. Freedom Industries Inc., et al., No. 14-131164; Crystal Good, et al. v. American Water Works Co. Inc., No. 14-1347; Maddie P. Fields v. Freedom Industries, et al., No. 14-13454; Roger Strickland, et al. v. Freedom Industries Inc., et. al., No. 13-11009; Lori Good, et al. v. Etowah River Terminal LLC, et al., No. 14-11011, S.D. W.Va.).



Wind Farm Operators Remove Noise Nuisance Lawsuit Filed By Vermont Property Owner
BRATTLEBORO, Vt. - The owners and operators of a Vermont wind farm filed notice of removal on April 1 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont in a lawsuit alleging that the operation of the electricity-generating facility near Sheffield, Vt., creates noise that is a nuisance to the plaintiff (Paul Brouha v. Vermont Wind, et al., No. 14-63, D. Vt.).



Parties Dispute Status Of Vinyl Chloride Injury Suit In Indiana Federal Court
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The parents of two minor children seeking to recover in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana for personal injuries allegedly caused by exposure to fugitive vinyl chloride in domestic well water and the company accused of releasing the vinyl chloride filed status reports April 15; the company avers that it is time for summary judgment motions, but the plaintiffs want to test the admission of an expert report under Federal Rule of Evidence 702 (C.W., et al. v. Textron Inc., No. 10-87, N.D. Ind.).



4th Circuit Mandate Stayed In KBR Burn Pit Litigation Pending Supreme Court Appeal
RICHMOND, Va. - The March 6 Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals opinion reviving the personal injury claims of Iraq war veterans suing contractors for allegedly mishandling waste disposal and providing contaminated water at military outposts in Iraq and Afghanistan was stayed April 3 pending appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court; the Fourth Circuit panel concluded that the trial court judge erred by granting summary judgment to the contractors before allowing jurisdictional discovery of the political question and derivative sovereignty affirmative defenses (In re KBR Inc. Burn Pit Litigation $(Alan Metzgar, et al.$), No. 13-1430, 4th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 4188).



Debtors' Motion To Withdraw Bankruptcy Referrals Granted In West Virginia Lawsuits
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A motion filed March 25 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia to withdraw the remand of adversary lawsuits to bankruptcy court by the owner of the West Virginia tank farm from which a chemical allegedly leaked in January and contaminated a public water utility system was granted April 16; the tank farm owner filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition Jan. 17 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of West Virginia (Desimone Hospitality Services v. West Virginia-American Water Co., No. 14-63, S.D. W.Va.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52572).



Judge Consolidates 57 Elk River Spill Lawsuits To Consider Remand Motions
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Fifty-seven lawsuits filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia to recover damages allegedly caused by a January chemical spill into the Elk River that contaminated a public water utility system were consolidated April 18 for consideration of motions to remand (Desimone Hospitality Services v. West Virginia-American Water Co., No. 14-63, S.D. W.Va.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55255).



DuPont Seeks Amendment Of Case Management Order In C8 Personal Injury MDL
COLUMBUS, Ohio - DuPont filed a motion April 10, which the plaintiffs opposed April 17, to amend the case management order in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio multidistrict litigation where lawsuits alleging personal injuries claims against DuPont for exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid released from the DuPont Washington Works chemical refinery near Parkersburg, W.Va., are consolidated; DuPont avers that the amendment is necessary to encourage the plaintiffs to file claims in the Southern District of Ohio (In re E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio).



Legacy Oil Pollution Claims Dismissed Without Prejudice In Louisiana Federal Court
NEW ORLEANS - Defense motions to dismiss were granted in part on April 22 with leave to amend in a well field legacy contamination lawsuit pursued by landowners in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana (Catherine P. Alford, et al. v. Chevron USA Inc., et al., No. 13-5457 $(consolidated$), E.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55724).



Gas Pipeline Operator Seeks Declaratory Judgment, Removal Of Bull From Easement
COVINGTON, Ky. - Columbia Gas Transmission filed a declaratory judgment complaint and motion for a temporary restraining order April 14 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky against a Foster, Ky., property owner who refuses to restrain an aggressive bull and dogs on his property to allow entry to a natural gas pipeline right of way (Columbia Gas Transmission v. Gary Galloway, No. 14-77, E.D. Ky.).



Federal Plaintiffs: Don't Let Companies Refer To 'Legal Product'
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Defendants should be prohibited from referring to cigarettes as a "legal product," consolidated federal tobacco plaintiffs in Florida say in an April 8 motion in limine, because they do so in a way that invites a jury to revisit liability findings preclusively established in Engle v. Liggett Group Inc. (945 So. 2d 1246 $(Fla. 2006$)) (In re: Engle Cases, No. 3:09-cv-10000-J-32JBT, M.D. Fla., Jacksonville Div.).



R.J. Reynolds: Plaintiffs Shouldn't Be Allowed To Use CEO's Comments
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Plaintiffs asserting death and injury from smoking should not be allowed to show juries a 1971 "Face the Nation" television interview in which a former tobacco executive says low-birth weight babies caused by smoking could have advantages, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (RJR) says in a motion in limine filed April 8 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida (In re: Engle Cases, No. 3:09-cv-10000-J-32JBT, M.D. Fla., Jacksonville Div.).



Tobacco Companies Again Petition Supreme Court Over Florida Class Action Ruling
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Undeterred by previous denials, three of the nation's largest tobacco companies filed 10 petitions for writ of certiorari challenging the constitutionality of Florida tobacco verdicts on March 28, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that the Florida Supreme Court's ruling that allows members of the Engle v. Liggett Group Inc. (945 So. 2d 1246 $(Fla. 2006$)) class action to use liability findings from that case in individual lawsuits violates the companies' due process rights.



Marlboro Cancer Screening Class Suffers Another Defeat
NEW YORK - A putative class of Marlboro smokers seeking low-dose computerized tomography (LDCT) to detect incipient cancer received another rejection April 14 when the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals accepted a holding from New York's highest court that state law does not recognize an independent cause of action for medical monitoring (Marcia L. Caronia, et al. v. Philip Morris USA Inc., No. 11-316, 2nd Cir.).



Plaintiffs Reiterate That Safer Marlboros Could Have Been Designed
BOSTON - Saying that Philip Morris USA Inc. has admitted that cigarettes cause long-term cellular damage and safer cigarettes could be made, a Massachusetts federal class of Marlborough smokers who want the company to pay for low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) defends its motion for partial summary judgment on breach of warranty and proximate causation in a March 24 brief (Kathleen Donovan, et al. v. Philip Morris USA Inc., No. 1:06cv12234, D. Mass.).



California Class Action Seeks Reimbursement Over Safety Claims
LOS ANGELES - Electronic cigarettes contain many harmful ingredients and are not the safer alternative to smoking represented by manufacturers, a putative California reimbursement class argues in a case removed March 19 to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (Eric McGovern, et al. v. NJOY Inc., et al., No. 8:14-cv-427, C.D. Calif.).



Smokers' Group Says New York Regulation Is Unconstitutional
NEW YORK - A self-styled smoker's rights group has sued to overturn New York City's ban on electronic cigarettes, saying in a March 25 state court complaint that the regulation unconstitutionally violates the "one subject rule" (NYC C.L.A.S.H., Inc., et al. v. City of New York, et al., No. n/a, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).



British Subsidiary Sues U.S. Companies Over Patent Dispute
LOS ANGELES - A Dutch e-cigarette subsidiary of British Imperial Tobacco Group PLC filed nine lawsuits on March 5 in California federal court, alleging that manufacturers of electronic cigarettes infringed four of its patents (Fontem Ventures B.V. et al. v NJOY Inc., No. 2:14-cv-01645, C.D. Calif., Western Div.).



Judge Halts Enforcement Of New York Ban On Tobacco Coupons, Discounts
NEW YORK - New York City's ban on cigarette discounts and coupons was postponed for at least two months by a March 19 federal court ruling that gives the city time to promulgate rules and allows the parties to cross-move for summary judgment (National Association of Tobacco Outlets, Inc. et al v. City of New York et al., No. 1:14-cv-00577, S.D. N.Y.).



Kalamazoo River Oil Spill Parties Say Settlement Is Near
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Michigan federal judge supervising litigation over a ruptured pipeline that spilled tar sands oil laced with benzene into the Kalamazoo River ordered a 12th stay of class certification discovery on April 7 based on the parties' declaration that they had reached a tentative settlement in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) (Precious Holder, et al. v. Enbridge Inc., et al., No. 1:10-cv-752, W.D. Mich., Southern Div.).



Plaintiff: Safety-Kleen Objects To Legitimate Discovery Requests
PITTSBURGH - Plaintiffs alleging the development of myelofibrosis and myelodysplastic syndrome as a result of occupational exposure to benzene in Safety-Kleen Systems Inc.'s 105 Solvent have moved to strike objections to discovery requests, saying in a March 24 brief that the defendant has filed evasive and incomplete responses to interrogatories and requests for production originally made in November 2012 (Ruben Grigoryants and Mariana Grigoryants v. Safety-Kleen Corporation, No. 1:11-CV-00267-SJM, W.D. Pa.).



Difficult Pregnancy Cited In Delays Of Discovery Documents
HATO REY, Puerto Rico - An attorney representing a man who says working with Safety-Kleen Systems Inc.'s Solvent 105 caused chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) responded to an emergency discovery motion March 21 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico, saying she is 25 weeks into a difficult pregnancy and has been placed on bed rest (Gerardo Campos, et al. v. Safety-Kleen Systems Inc., No. 3:12-cv-01529-ADC, D. Puerto Rico).



AndroGel MDL Hearing Accelerated; 13 New Plaintiffs Want To Add Other Drugs
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judicial panel on April 14 accelerated briefing for the creation of an AndroGel multidistrict litigation docket and scheduled the motions for argument at the panel's May 29 meeting (In Re: AndroGel Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2545, JPMDL).



Merck Seeks Sanction Against Plaintiff Vioxx Expert For Breach of Confidentiality
NEW ORLEANS - Merck Sharp & Dohme on April 4 asked the Vioxx multidistrict litigation judge to sanction plaintiff expert Dr. David Egilman for disclosing the contents of confidential documents to a reporter for the Wall Street Journal (In Re: Vioxx Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 1657, No. 2:05-md-1657, E.D. La.).



Citing New FDA Statements, Incretin Memetic Defendants Move For Preemption In MDL
SAN DIEGO - Saying the Food and Drug Administration has recently rejected the same warnings that plaintiffs claim should have been given, makers of four incretin memetic-based diabetes drugs on April 17 asked the federal multidistrict litigation court to find the claims preempted by federal law and to grant summary judgment (In Re: Incretin-Based Therapies Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2452, No. 13-md-2452, S.D. Calif.).



AndroGel Maker Supports MDL, But Competitors Ask Judicial Panel To Limit Scope
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Three makers of testosterone replacement drugs on April 25 told a federal judicial panel that they favor centralization of federal lawsuits alleging heart attack or stroke from the drugs (In Re: AndroGel Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2545, JPMDL).



Zohydro Maker Says Mass. Post-Injunction Actions Effectively Ban Drug Again
BOSTON - Zohydro manufacturer Zogenix Inc. on April 28 filed an amended complaint against Massachusetts, saying that despite a temporary injunction, the state government has attempted an "end run" by imposing prescribing restrictions that it says effectively ban only its drug (Zogenix, Inc. v. Deval Patrick, et al., No. 1:14-11689, D. Mass.).



Astellas Pharma Pays $7.3M To Settle Mycamine Off-Label False Claims Lawsuit
PHILADELPHIA - Astellas Pharma US Inc. has agreed to pay $7.3 million to settle a False Claims Act lawsuit that it promoted its antifungal drug Mycamine for off-label use in pediatric patients, the U.S. Justice Department announced April 16 (United States of America, ex rel. Frank Smith v. Astellas Pharma, U.S. Inc., et al., No. 10-999, E.D. Pa.).



Iraq War Contractors Cite Feb. 25 Jurisdiction Opinion To Dismiss Veterans' Claims
PORTLAND, Ore - Iraq War contractors appealing a June 2013 judgment awarding $81 million to a dozen bellwether plaintiffs alleging hexavalent chromium exposure personal injury claims in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals moved for summary disposition on Feb. 28 based on the U.S. Supreme Court jurisdiction decision in Walden v. Fiore (No. 12-574, Feb. 25, 2014) (Rocky Bixby, et al. v. KBR, Inc., et al., No. 13-35513, 9th Cir.).



Hydraulic Fracturing Company Renews Motion To Dismiss Texas Wrongful Death Lawsuit
FORT WORTH, Texas - XTO Energy Inc. on March 7 moved to dismiss for failing to state a claim an amended complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas seeking $9 million for wrongful death and property damage allegedly caused by the release of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing; the amended complaint was filed with leave of the court on Feb. 21 (Daniel W. Nicholson v. XTO / Exxon Energy Inc., No. 13-899, N.D. Texas).



Trade Groups Ask To Intervene In Pennsylvania Appeal Of Natural Gas Regulation
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association, the Marcellus Shale Coalition and the American Petroleum Institute filed a petition March 5 to intervene in the lawsuit remanded Feb. 21 to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which ruled Dec. 19 that portions of the state gas and oil regulations known as Act 13 of 2012 violate the Pennsylvania Constitution declaration of rights; on remand, the Commonwealth Court is instructed to consider the severability of remaining sections of Act 13 (Robinson Township, et al. v. Pennsylvania, et al., No. 284 MD 2012, Pa. Cmwlth.).



Denton, Texas, Residents Allege Nuisance, Trespass Harm By Natural Gas Companies
DENTON, Texas - Twenty-five Denton residential property owners sued two natural gas extraction companies on Feb. 28 in the 393rd Judicial District Court in Denton County, Texas, for private nuisance and trespass allegedly caused by wells within 300 feet of their neighborhoods that diminish property values and inflict emotional injuries (John Alexander, et al. v. EagleRidge Operating, et al., No. 14-01430-393, Texas Dist., 393rd Dist., Denton Co.).



Judgment Permits Plaintiffs In Rocky Flats Class Action To Appeal Preemption Order
DENVER - Final judgment against the neighbors of the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant in Colorado was entered Feb. 27 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado to permit class representatives to appeal a January order holding that they may not pursue state law tort claims against the contractors who operated the plant because the claims are preempted by the Price-Anderson Act; the plaintiffs stipulated to the dismissal (Merilyn Cook, et al. v. Rockwell International Corp., et al., No. 90-181, D. Colo.).



Briefing Schedule Adopted In Class Action Alleging Fukushima Radiation Exposure
SAN DIEGO - A joint motion filed Feb. 27 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California to establish the schedule and July hearing on a motion to dismiss a second amended class action complaint alleging radiation exposure injuries following the March 2011 nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan, was granted March 4; the second amended complaint was filed Feb. 6 (Lindsay R. Cooper, et al. v. Tokyo Electric Power Co. Inc. aka TEPCO, No. 12-3032, S.D. Calif.).



Implied Warranty Claim Revived In Iowa Federal Diacetyl Lung Injury Case
SIOUX CITY, Iowa - The judge presiding over a consumer popcorn lung personal injury lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa granted a motion to reconsider filed by the plaintiffs and revived warranty and loss of consortium claims on Feb. 25; the defendants filed a renewed motion on March 3 to transfer the lawsuit to the Western District of Michigan (David Stults et uxor v. American Pop Corn Co., et al., No. 11-4077, N.D. Iowa).



Kentucky Plaintiffs Accused Of Failing To Plead Claims Against Light Bulb Makers
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The owner of a shuttered Kentucky light bulb factory filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim March 11 in response to an amended class action complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky by former workers who allege that their employer failed to warn them of exposure to metals, solvents and other hazards (Elbert Cox Jr., et al. v. Royal Philips Electronics, et al., No. 13-406, E.D. Ky.).



Railroad Defendants Oppose Motion To Remand Lawsuit In Paulsboro Derailment Action
CAMDEN, N.J. - The defendants joined in the consolidated Paulsboro, N.J., train derailment litigation in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey filed a response Feb. 18 opposing a motion to remand in one of the lawsuits; the motion to remand was filed Jan. 24 (In re: Paulsboro Derailment Cases, No. 13-784, D. N.J.).



Railroad Defendants Seek To Strike Class Allegations In Paulsboro Derailment Cases
CAMDEN, N.J. - The railroad companies in the consolidated Paulsboro, N.J., train derailment litigation in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey filed a reply Jan. 10 in support of striking class allegations in the second amended complaint on the grounds that the plaintiffs failed to meet their Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 23 ascertainability and joinder burdens (In re: Paulsboro Derailment Cases, No. 13-784, D. N.J.).



Class Representatives Oppose Summary Judgment Motion In Bhopal Contamination Suit
NEW YORK - Class representatives in a putative class action alleging property damage and personal injuries from exposure to fugitive chemicals from the closed Bhopal, India, pesticide refinery from which methyl isocyanate was released in December 1984 filed an opposition Feb. 25 to a defense motion for summary judgment for failing to state a claim (Jagarnath Sahu, et al. v. Union Carbide Corp., et al., No. 07-2156, S.D. N.Y.).



Mississippi Federal Judge Is Asked To Revisit Timeliness Ruling Against Sandblaster
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - In a motion to alter or amend judgment, a sandblaster argued to a Mississippi federal court on Feb. 28 that his 2012 product liability action was filed within the three-year statute of limitations because he did not have actual reasonable notice that he had silicosis until 2011 (Talmadge Vernon Langston v. 3M Co., et al., No. 12-163, S.D. Miss.).



Sandblaster's Claims Are Untimely, Defendants Argue To Arkansas Federal Court
PINE BLUFF, Ark. - A sandblaster's product liability claims are untimely because he failed to file suit within three years of being diagnosed with silicosis, Clemco Industries Corp., Pangborn Corp. and Precision Packaging Inc. argue to a federal Arkansas court in a Feb. 24 summary judgment motion. Mine Safety Appliances Co. (MSA) filed a similar motion on Feb. 25 (Hershel Lee Robinson v. Mine Safety Appliances Co., et al., No. 12-00383, E.D. Ark.).



Defendant Seeks Ruling On Punitive Damage And Gross Negligence Claims
JACKSON, Miss. - Mississippi Valley Silica Co. Inc. on Jan. 24 moved for a ruling on a sandblaster's claims for gross negligence and punitive damages, arguing to a Mississippi federal court that the plaintiff has provided no evidence to support the claims (Joseph Perry v. 3M Co., et al., No. 12-00647, S.D. Miss.).



West Virginia Rule Won't Support Damages, Expert, Lawyers Tell 4th Circuit
WHEELING, W.Va. - A jury improperly awarded damages, later trebled to $1,287,721.41, based on a rule governing lawyers' behavior that lacks private right of enforcement or a mechanism for civil penalties, lawyers and a discredited silica expert accused of fraudulently filing asbestos claims told the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 24 (CSX Transportation Inc. v. Robert N. Peirce Jr.; Louis A. Raimond; Dr. Ray A. Harron, Nos. 13-2235, 13-2252, 13-2325, 4th Cir.).



Eli Lilly Opposes Sanctions In Actos MDL Trial, Challenges Relevancy, Timing
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - Eli Lilly and Co. on March 17 urged the Actos multidistrict litigation court not to sanction it for the alleged "contumacious" testimony by a former company executive, saying the testimony the plaintiffs are trying to elicit is irrelevant or the motion is premature (In Re: Actos $(Pioglitazone$) Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2299, No. 6:11-md-2299, Terrence Allen, et al. v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals International, Inc., No. 6:12-64, S.D. Ill.).



Fearing Perjury Charge, Ex-Lilly Exec Seeks Delay In Actos Trial Subpoena
LAFAYETTE, La. - Fearing that he will be charged with perjury, a retired Eli Lilly and Co. executive on March 6 asked the Actos multidistrict litigation court to modify a subpoena so his attorneys can become familiar with documents and his testimony (In Re: Actos (Pioglitazone) Product Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2299, No. 6:11-md-2299, W.D. La., Lafayette Div.).