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Showing 6 posts in Cancer.

In 2014, we covered the United States Supreme Court’s decision in CTS Corp. v. Waldburger et al., 134 S. Ct. 2175 (June 9, 2014).  In Waldburger, the Court overturned a decision by the Fourth Circuit, and held that while CERCLA preempts state statutes of limitations in toxic tort personal injury and property damage actions, it does not preempt state statutes of repose, like the North Carolina statute of repose at issue, from barring similar actions.    Last week, in Stahle v. CTS Corp., No. 15-1001 (March 2, 2016), the Fourth Circuit addressed an even more basic question, whether the statute of repose at issue in Waldburger is even applicable in such cases.  Read More »

Last week, the Court of Appeals of New York (the state’s highest court) definitively ruled that under New York law, a plaintiff cannot assert an independent cause of action for medical monitoring.  Rather, medical monitoring in New York is only available as an element of consequential damages for another tort where a plaintiff has suffered physical injury or property damage. Read More »

Last Friday, the Sixth Circuit upheld a $250,000 sanction award levied against the attorneys representing a large group of plaintiffs in an Ohio federal environmental contamination suit, on the basis that plaintiffs’ medical monitoring claims were objectively unreasonable.   The case – Baker et al. v. Chevron U.S.A., Inc. et al., Nos. 11-4369, 12-3995 (6th Cir., Aug. 2, 2013) – was on appeal from the Southern District of Ohio, which had granted Chevron’s motion for sanctions after plaintiffs had failed to meet the legal and factual burdens for establishing a medical monitoring claim under Ohio law.  Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 (“Rule 11”) provides litigants with a mechanism to attack claims that are “not well grounded in fact . . . [and/or] not warranted by existing law or a good faith argument for extension, modification, or reversal of existing law.”  Generally, Rule 11 sanctions are limited to those circumstances where an attorney’s conduct was unreasonable under the circumstances.  Read More »

Back in October, we reported on a Complaint filed in California, in the case of Center for Community Action & Environmental Justice v. Union Pacific Corporation, No. CV11-8609 (C.D. Cal.) that contended that particulate matter in diesel fuel combustion exhaust is a hazardous waste which is “disposed of” when emitted and therefore is subject to the requirements of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).  Creative as it might have been, on a Motion to Dismiss, the Honorable S. James Otero threw out the case without leave to amend. Read More »

Plaintiffs continue to struggle in their attempts to obtain class certification in toxic tort cases, the most recent example being the May 14, 2012 decision in Earley v. Village of Crestwood, No. 09-CH-32969 (Cook County Ill).   In Earley, Plaintiffs brought suit ostensibly on behalf of the residents of Crestwood Village, contending that the municipality had been providing them with tap  water from a contaminated well for some twenty plus years.  In an opinion that does not even reach three pages in length, the trial court made quick work of their class action claims, focusing on proximate cause.  Relying on Smith v. Illinois Central RR, 223 Ill, 2d 441 (2006), which rejected class certification in mass toxic torts because of the complex and individual nature of establishing that the alleged contamination proximately caused each class members’ alleged injuries, the trial judge in Earley found that the necessity for each plaintiff “to establish the amount and type of their damages proximately caused by Defendants” would “overwhelm any common issues,” thus dooming certification.

On October 18, the Natural Resources Defense Council filed a lawsuit in California contending that particulate matter in diesel fuel combustion exhaust is a hazardous waste and therefore subject to the requirements of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).  If the Court agrees, then the world of environmental law and regulation is likely to be turned upside down. Read More »