January 19, 2012
477 Madison Avenue, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10022-5835
(212) 702 5417
477 Madison Avenue, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10022-5835
(212) 702-5414

Contributors:
›  Ryan J. Carra
›  Toren M. Elsen


For more information about our firm, please visit www.bdlaw.com .

Office Locations:
›   Washington, DC
›   Maryland
›   New York
›   New Jersey
›   Massachusetts
›   Texas
›   California

I. PRODUCT LIABILITY

Eleventh Circuit Dismisses Workplace Exposure Suit Under Learned Intermediary Doctrine

Emphasizing the importance of an intermediary’s knowledge of the potential dangers of toxic chemicals in the workplace, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of a claim by current and former employees of Lockheed Martin against manufacturers of beryllium parts.

II. CITIZEN SUITS

Federal Court Allows Citizen Suits to Proceed Based on State’s Failure to “Diligently Prosecute” Enforcement Action

In a decision that looks beyond the mere existence of relevant enforcement actions and turns on the diligence with which they are being prosecuted, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia allowed a citizen suit to proceed despite pending enforcement actions against the defendant companies.

III. ECONOMIC LOSS DOCTRINE

Fifth Circuit Finds Economic Loss Doctrine Not A Bar To Recovery for Negligence Claims in Texas

In a decision that endorses a limited reach for the “economic loss” doctrine in negligence-based claims under Texas law, the Fifth Circuit vacated a district court’s dismissal of a class action after the Texas Supreme Court reached a similar conclusion.

IV.    CONTINUING TORTS

District Court Finds No Continuing Tort Once Use of Unlined Pit Ceased

Focusing on the defendant’s conduct as opposed to allegedly ongoing contamination, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana rejected a punitive damages claim against Exxon Mobil Corporation for its alleged use of an unlined pit adjacent to an oil and gas exploration site. 

V. CERCLA

Second Circuit Finds Declaratory Judgment for Future Costs Not Premature

In a ruling that clarifies the availability of a declaratory judgment in certain Superfund cases, the Second Circuit reversed the decision of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, which had denied a request for declaratory relief for future cleanup costs under the Comprehensive Environmental Response and Compensation Act and the Declaratory Judgment Act.

Federal Court Rejects Claims Against Company Whose Employee Disposed of Hazardous Substances at Home

Rejecting an expansive view of “covered persons” under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act and its Minnesota counterpart, a federal District Court dismissed a suit against a power company whose employee disposed of PCB-containing transformers at his home.

Federal Court Finds Virgin Islands Estopped from Bringing Natural Resources Claim Due to Prior Cost Recovery Claim

Finding that a second suit was precluded because it raised issues decided in a previous suit, the federal district court for the Virgin Islands dismissed an action seeking recovery of natural resource damages from the Century Alumina Company.

VI.    CLIMATE CHANGE

Virginia Supreme Court Holds Global Warming Not Covered Under Insurance Policy

In a decision that could give insurers greater leeway to deny coverage for certain environmental claims, Virginia’s highest court upheld a lower court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of an insurance company in a climate change case. 

View Site in Mobile | Classic
Share by: