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In a decision that may make it easier for certain plaintiffs to maintain a toxic tort case in Colorado, a Colorado appellate court ruled that a trial court could not order a small number of plaintiffs in a toxic tort case to present prima facie evidence before discovery begins in support of their claims of exposure due to hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) operations.
Refusing to require plaintiffs in a state-wide action to identify specific sites at issue, a California Superior Court judge denied summary judgment to certain paint manufacturers in a pending nuisance action for abatement of lead-based paint in homes and buildings throughout the State of California.
In a decision that may facilitate certain nuisance suits against municipalities, a California appellate court held that the County of Los Angeles may pursue its nuisance claim against two municipalities for discharging a “toxic soup” of urban and stormwater runoff into County waters.
Testimony by a coworker that he personally observed Plaintiff’s husband using Defendant’s products at work was sufficient to survive a summary judgment motion in an action alleging that a worker’s exposure to such product caused leukemia, according to a California appeals court.
Compliance with federal pesticide law and state labeling requirements entitles a pesticide registrant to a presumption that the product is not defective under Indiana law, according to the Indiana Court of Appeals.
Continuing a spate of rulings against plaintiffs claiming injury from climate change, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on May 14 affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit brought by a group of Mississippi Gulf Coast residents and property owners who alleged that greenhouse gas emissions from defendant energy companies’ facilities contributed to global warming, which intensified Hurricane Katrina, which, in turn, damaged their property.
Striking a blow to plaintiffs trying to remand an action back to state court, the Northern District of Georgia found that office address information from a state’s corporation website is not sufficient to establish citizenship of corporations or partnerships for the purposes of showing class members’ residency under the “local controversy” provision of the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA).
In a victory for plaintiffs seeking to keep their mass tort actions in state court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held the continuous release and dispersal of hazardous or toxic chemicals qualifies as an “event or occurrence” under the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”), allowing a federal District Court to remand a mass action to a state trial court.
To the chagrin of tort reform advocates, the Oklahoma Supreme Court found, by a 7-2 majority, a comprehensive tort reform law unconstitutional on the grounds that the 90-section law violated the state single-subject rule, which prevents the legislature from crafting “veto-proof” bills that combine unrelated subjects.
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