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Showing 9 posts in Trespass.

Last week, in the case of Maroz v. Arcelormittal Monessen LLC, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140660 (W.D. Pa. Oct. 15, 2015), a judge of the Western District of Pennsylvania declined to dismiss a proposed class action in which residents living near ArcellorMittal’s coke plant in Monessen, Pennsylvania alleged that noxious odors and air particulates from the plant polluted their properties.  After allowing the residents to amend their original complaint, U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab found that the residents adequately pled the state common law tort claims for private nuisance, negligence, and trespass, despite the judge’s acknowledgement that there was “not a large number of detailed facts” set forth in the amended complaint.   However, the Court did dismiss claims for public nuisance and punitive damages. Read More »

In New Jersey, a property owner affected by a release from an underground storage tank cannot succeed on a private nuisance or trespass action absent demonstration of the tank owner’s intentional, negligent or reckless conduct.  Moreover, neither the tank owner’s insurer’s agreement to remediate the affected property nor the migration of the leaked substance onto the affected property conveys the affected property owner third party beneficiary status such that the property owner can maintain a bad faith action against the insurance provider.  In Ross v. Lowitz, No. A-101-13 (N.J. Aug. 6, 2015), the New Jersey Supreme Court recently issued a decision narrowing the avenues to recovery of property owners affected by a release from a neighboring underground storage tank by clarifying these two rules. Read More »

In November 2009, a group of 44 plaintiffs, including the Ely family, filed suit against Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. for personal injuries and property damages that allegedly resulted from Cabot’s hydraulic fracturing operations in Dimock Township, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. The case is pending in the Middle District of Pennslyvania, captioned as Ely et al. v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., et al., Dkt. No. 3:09-cv-2284 (M.D. Pa.) (J. Carlson). After a number of parties settled out of the lawsuit, Cabot filed a motion for summary judgment on the Elys’ claims for breach of contract and lost royalties on an oil and gas lease, fraudulent inducement, negligence and negligence per se, medical monitoring, and violations of the Pennsylvania Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act (“HSCA”).   On Monday, nearly all of the Elys’ claims were dismissed. Read More »

Last summer we reported on Bell v. Cheswick Generating Station, 903 F. Supp. 2d 314 (3rd Cir. 2013), a Third Circuit decision which held that the Clean Air Act does not preempt state law claims for personal and property damage caused by air pollutants.  And in March, we noted, not unsurprisingly, that defendant GenOn Power had filed a Petition for Cert to the U.S. Supreme Court.  On June 2, that Petition was denied, which may have been the impetus for the Supreme Court of Iowa to release its decison in Freeman v. Grain Processing Corp., No. 13-0723 (June 13, 2014), holding that neither the Clean Air Act nor Iowa's analogous state act pre-empted similar state law claims.  The decision is a hefty one, providing a historical overview of the Clean Air Act and preemption law and an in-depth discussion leading to the Court's final determination.  Put this one aside for one evening when you're sitting in the recliner with a glass of wine at your side.   

Yesterday, a three-judge panel of the Third Circuit issued a unanimous precedential opinion in Bell v. Cheswick Generating Station, No. 12-4216 (3d Cir. Aug. 20, 2013), holding that the federal Clean Air Act (“CAA”) does not preempt state common law tort claims.  In doing so, the Court reversed the Western District’s dismissal of the Complaint, and remanded the case for further proceedings. Read More »

Counsel and courts continue to adapt to the “new world” of class certification following the United States Supreme Court decision in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, and the recent case of Ratner v. Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products, LP, Case No. SU11CV343-W (Effingham County Ga. July 5, 2012), is a good example.  Read More »

This week, the Supreme Court of the State of Montana took a look at statute of limitations issues in the context of state law claims for trespass and nuisance in contamination cases in the case of Burley v. Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co., 2012 MT 28 (Feb. 7, 2012).  The issue, which was certified to the Court from the United States District Court for the District of Montana was the following: Read More »

We previously reported on Powell v. Tosh, No. 5:09-CV-121-R (W.D. Ky. Oct. 12, 2011), a case in which the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky certified a class action filed on behalf of a group of homeowners for damages allegedly suffered as a result of odors migrating from a nearby hog farm.   As Suzanne suggested in her previous post, Powell quite possibly may have been the first decision granting class certification in an environmental toxic tort case since the Supreme Court’s June 2011 decision in Wal-Mart v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011) – a decision that many speculated would be the death knell to class actions in this arena.  Read More »

In light of the recent decisions in Wal-Mart v. Dukes, 131 S.Ct. 2541 (2011) and, thereafter, Gates v. Rohm & Hass Co., 655 F.3d 255 (3rd Cir. 2011), one might have wondered whether there would ever be another federal environmental tort class certified. Well, the wait is over as on October 12, 2011, just such occurred in the Western District of Kentucky. Read More »