Toxic Tort & Product Liability Quarterly

Volume 8, No. 3, August 4, 2015

EXPERTS

Michigan Court Finds Expert Testimony Not Necessary to Show Link Between Chemical Exposure and Injury

Issuing an opinion that could lower the bar for proving toxic tort causation, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that direct expert testimony may not be necessary to prove causation in a toxic tort case and that a plaintiff may rely on circumstantial evidence and reasonable inferences to withstand summary judgment.

Louisiana Federal Court Rejects Expert Testimony Tying Gasoline to AML

Underscoring the importance of the distinction between a product and its component parts, a federal court in Louisiana refused to allow expert testimony that exposure to gasoline caused acute myeloid leukemia (“AML”) in a former gas station attendant and mechanic.

PRODUCT LIABILITY

DuPont Wins Partial Summary Judgment in Drinking Water MDL

An Ohio federal district court gave E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Co. a partial victory in litigation over ammonium perfluorooctanoate (“C-8”) drinking water contamination in Ohio and West Virginia by granting partial summary judgment on several of Plaintiffs’ product liability and consumer protection claims.

District Court Limits Nuisance Claims Against Chemical Manufacturer in Elk River Spill

Finding only public interests at issue from contamination of public drinking water supplies, a West Virginia federal court dismissed a private nuisance claim, but not a public nuisance claim against a chemical manufacturer.

CLASS ACTIONS

Ninth Circuit Interprets CAFA Exception Narrowly, Facilitating Removal in Environmental Tort Cases

Creating a Circuit split, the Ninth Circuit held that a tort case against a Washington corporation did not fall under the so-called “local event” exception to the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”) and, therefore, had been properly removed to Federal District court.

DEEP-WELL INJECTION

Oklahoma Supreme Court Finds Subject Matter Jurisdiction Over Earthquake Claims

Potentially opening the door for litigation that seeks to tie deep-well injection of hydraulic fracturing flowback and other wastewater to damage caused by earthquakes, the Oklahoma Supreme Court unanimously held that state district courts have jurisdiction to hear such complaints.

DAMAGES

Ninth Circuit Reverses Dismissal of Damages Claim in San Diego Contamination Suit

In a decision that may reopen the door to significant damages in a California soil and groundwater contamination suit, the Ninth Circuit reversed a trial court’s dismissal of the City of San Diego’s restoration and real estate damages claims stemming from petroleum releases.

PARENT LIABILITY

West Virginia Federal Court Finds Personal Jurisdiction Over Out-of-State Parent Company in Elk River Spill

In a ruling that could broaden parent company exposure to suit in West Virginia, the Southern District of West Virginia found that it had personal jurisdiction over the out-of-state parent company of an in-state water company in a putative toxic tort class action arising from the January 2014 chemical release at Freedom Industries, Inc.

EDITORS

Daniel M. Krainin

Principal

(212) 702-5417 Send e-mail

Graham C. Zorn

Associate

(202) 789-6024 Send e-mail

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Viktor A. Pashchenko
  • Hayley Carpenter
    (Summer Associate)
  • Toren M. Elsen
    (Summer Associate)
  • Neel Sheth
    (Summer Associate)

Beveridge & Diamond’s 100 lawyers in seven U.S. offices focus on environmental and natural resource law, litigation and dispute resolution. We help clients around the world resolve critical environmental and sustainability issues, including the defense of toxic tort and product liability claims. Learn more at www.bdlaw.com .

Washington Office
1350 I Street, N.W.
Suite 700
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 789-6000

View Site in Mobile | Classic
Share by: