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Benzene & Emerging Toxic Torts Litigation

HarrisMartin's Benzene & Emerging Toxic Torts Litigation Report will track recent developments in litigation stemming from exposure to benzene, as well as a number of other emerging areas of toxic tort litigation, such as talc, silica, pesticides and other chemical exposures.


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Current Issue

Benzene Defendant Defends Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, Maintains Company Never Assumed Operations of Predecessor

A defendant named in an aromatic hydrocarbon exposure suit has filed a reply brief supporting its motion for judgment on the pleadings, maintaining that “there is no basis for liability merely because one company assumed the operations of another company.”


Iowa Federal Court Awards Summary Judgment in Benzene Case in Wake of 8th Circuit Opinion

An Iowa federal court has awarded summary judgment to defendants named in a benzene exposure lawsuit in the wake of an 8th Circuit opinion determining that the court should have originally granted the defendants’ motion since the lawsuit was discharged in bankruptcy.


Illinois Federal Court Revises Discovery Deadlines in Benzene Case Filed by Piano Refurbisher

The Illinois federal court overseeing a benzene action has revised discovery deadlines, pushing back the close of discovery five months to January 2019, according to a recent docket entry.


Roundup MDL Court Oversees Follow-Up Testimony to Daubert Hearings

The federal court overseeing the national coordinated docket for Roundup personal injury claims heard two days of follow-up testimony after hearing several days of Daubert admissibility hearings, according to the court’s docket.


10th Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment Award in Benzene Cause, Finds Questions Regarding Differential Diagnosis Justified

The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has affirmed the dismissal of a benzene suit, finding no error with the District Court’s exclusion of expert testimony after questioning the reliability of the experts’ decision to use the highest hourly average-emission level in assessing causation.


Issue #159, March 2018

N.C. Appellate Court Affirms Denial of Benefits to Refractory Worker Who Said Silica Exposure Caused Asthma

A North Carolina appellate court has affirmed the denial of benefits to a former refractory worker who contended that he developed COPD and asthma as a result of exposure to alumina silicate and silica, concluding that he failed to demonstrate that his employment exposed him to a greater risk of developing the illnesses than the public generally.


Daubert Hearings Underway in Roundup MDL; Plaintiffs Request More Time for Questioning

Plaintiffs with claims pending in the national coordinated docket for Roundup lawsuits have asked the court for additional time in ongoing Daubert admissibility hearings, contending that while the assignment of equal time to both parties appeared equal on its face, it “disproportionally adversely impacts the Plaintiffs.”


Illinois Federal Court Dismisses Benzene Contamination Suit with Prejudice in Wake of Settlement

An Illinois federal court has signed a judgment dismissing a benzene contamination lawsuit with prejudice in light of the “global settlement reached in this case.”


N.Y. Court Tosses Business Interference Claims in Water Contamination Suit, Allows Negligence Claims to Proceed

A New York federal court has tossed the majority of business-related interference claims in a water contamination lawsuit, finding that the plaintiffs had failed to establish that the defendants were aware of the specific business relationship that was allegedly disrupted when the defendants allowed PFOAs to seep into groundwater surrounding their facility.


Ill. Court Reverses Order Dismissing Toxic Chemical Suit Against Motorola, Says In Utero Exposure Claims Separate from Work-Related Injury

An Illinois appellate court has reversed an order dismissing a toxic chemical suit against Motorola Inc., finding that the claims were not, in fact, barred by the exclusive remedy provision of the state’s workers’ compensation laws since the alleged injuries were independent of the employee’s work-related injury.


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