Toxic Tort & Product Liability Quarterly

Volume 10, No. 1, February 27, 2017

Preemption

California Court Blocks Local Measure Banning Ground Application of Biosolids

In a victory for municipalities that recycle biosolids to farmland, Los Angeles’ sanitation district prevailed in its suit against a Kern County initiative banning land application of biosolids.

Parens Patriae

Applying Product Liability Theory, Washington State Sues for PCB Damages

In an effort to use product liability theories to hold manufacturers culpable for environmental releases, the Attorney General of Washington State sued PCB manufacturer Monsanto in state court in December. 

Statute of Repose

Statute of Repose Bars Maryland Claims Arising From Exposure to Contaminated Fill

Exemplifying the power of the statute of repose as a defense to claims based on decades-old conduct under Maryland law, the Fourth Circuit held that claims stemming from hazardous improvements to real property were barred by the state’s 20-year statute of repose. 

No Exception for Latent Disease in N.C. Statute of Repose

Highlighting an area of unsettled law in North Carolina toxic tort litigation, a federal district court in the Eleventh Circuit held that the pre-2014 North Carolina statute of repose contained no exception for latent disease, barring disease-based toxic tort suits ten years after they accrue.

Duty to Third Parties

D.C. Remediation Contract Can Trigger Duties to Third Party at Construction Site

In a case highlighting common-law tort duties that can arise from contractual relationships, an environmental contractor at a construction site may be liable to a subcontractor's employee who claims he was injured when exposed to petroleum contamination, according to a federal court in Washington, D.C. 

Georgia Supreme Court Limits Duty to Warn Third Parties

Affirming limits on the duty to warn third parties of toxic exposure risks, the Supreme Court of Georgia held that a manufacturer of asbestos-laden pipes had no duty to warn the daughter of a worker who serviced the pipes about the dangers of asbestos dust inhalation. 

Punitive Damages

Connecticut Common-Law Rule Limiting Punitives Does Not Apply to Statutory Damages

Drawing a distinction between punitive damages based on statutory and common law claims, the Connecticut Supreme Court held that a common-law rule limiting punitive damages does not apply to an award of statutory damages under Connecticut’s Product Liability Act.  See Biflock v. Philip Morris, Inc., 324 Conn. 402 (2016).     

EDITORS

Eric L. Klein

Principal

(202) 789-6016 Send e-mail

Graham C. Zorn

Associate

(202) 789-6024 Send e-mail

CONTRIBUTORS

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 .

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