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Toxic Tort & Product Liability Quarterly

EDITORS

Daniel M. Krainin

Principal

(212) 702-5417

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Mackenzie S. Schoonmaker

Associate

(212) 702-5415

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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

Volume 7, Number 1, January 24, 2014

MEDICAL MONITORING

New York High Court Rejects Medical Monitoring Claims Absent Injury

Striking a blow to toxic tort plaintiffs seeking to recover personal injury damages in the absence of physical injury, New York’s highest court ruled on December 17 that medical monitoring is not a separate cause of action under New York law.

Following Daubert Hearing, Federal Court Refuses to Certify Proposed Medical Monitoring Class

Exercising its authority to address Daubert challenges at the class certification stage, the Southern District of West Virginia refused to certify proposed Plaintiff classes in a toxic exposure case because it found the expert testimony on which they relied to be inadmissible.

CAUSATION

PA Court Rejects Testimony Based on Expert's Belief Rather Than Science 

In a decision clarifying the threshold for admissible expert testimony regarding causation, a Pennsylvania court affirmed that a plaintiff’s expert must rely on a scientific basis, not simply his own subjective beliefs, to testify regarding a causal relationship between chemical exposure  and cancer.

JURISDICTION

Federal Court Jurisdictional Minimum Not Met in Chemical Explosion Case

Reinforcing that each individual plaintiff must meet the jurisdictional minimum for federal removal, the Middle District of Louisiana remanded a chemical explosion personal injury case to state court.

HYDRAULIC FRACTURING

Release Agreements Bar Tort Claims in Fourth Circuit Fracking Case

In a victory for hydraulic fracturing operators that underscores the importance of contractual release agreements, the Fourth Circuit found surface owners’ trespass and negligence claims foreclosed by the plain language of such an agreement.

DAMAGES

Missouri Jury Awards Worker $28 Million in Occupational Exposure Suit

Following a two-week trial, a Missouri jury awarded a worker $28 million in damages after finding an employer negligently and fraudulently concealed the dangers of exposure to certain molds, microbes, and bacteria which allegedly caused a debilitating respiratory injury.

NUISANCE

Sriracha Hot Sauce Plant Ordered to Cease Spicy Odors

A California state court recently put a major manufacturing plant for the popular sriracha hot sauce on the hot seat recently, ordering it to cease emitting odors, and the potential for odors, that would violate its facility permit.

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