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The U.S. Supreme Court has put to rest a longstanding legal question affecting the deadline for plaintiffs to bring toxic tort and contamination claims stemming from certain contaminated sites.
Striking a blow to defendants seeking to limit the scope of toxic tort claims based on air emissions, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that a putative class action filed by residents asserting tort claims against a corn milling facility was not preempted by the federal Clean Air Act (CAA) or Iowa state law.
Although the torrent of toxic tort litigation related to hydraulic fracturing that many predicted has not materialized, the first jury award for toxic tort claims relating to hydraulic fracturing operations has now been handed down.
In a decision that reaffirms the importance of expert testimony, New York’s highest court ruled that a plaintiff’s expert had failed to establish either general or specific causation such that the plaintiff could withstand summary judgment.
A recent ruling by New York’s highest court may make it somewhat easier for toxic tort plaintiffs to survive early motions practice in New York. The New York Court of Appeals ruled that lead-based paint plaintiffs were not required to have a medical professional causally connect their injuries to lead exposure in order to bring a claim.
Reinforcing the importance of standing and causation in toxic tort cases, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia affirmed the entry of summary judgment in favor of Defendant DynCorp on key claims arising from the aerial spraying of herbicides on illegal coca crops in Colombia.
Underscoring the importance of evidence to support exposure-based injury claims, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit rejected Plaintiffs’ bid to secure medical monitoring because they did not demonstrate that they had suffered subcellular damage.
While a homeowner would normally be shielded from liability based on an independent contractor’s actions, a homeowner who hired a contractor to spray herbicide on his property may be held liable for damages to his neighbor’s trees because spraying is an “inherently dangerous activity,” according to the Supreme Court of Wisconsin.