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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

C-8 Plaintiffs Seek Summary Judgment on Duty/Breach, Cite Collateral Estoppel

Plaintiffs with claims remaining in the C-8 water contamination personal injury multidistrict litigation docket have filed a motion for summary judgment on the elements of duty and breach in their negligence claim, saying that collateral estoppel prevents the defendants from challenging the cause of action.


C-8 Water Contamination Parties Exchange Briefing on Trials for Newly Filed Cases

The parties involved in the C-8 water contamination multidistrict litigation docket have exchanged briefing as to future trials for cases filed since a global settlement was reached, with the plaintiffs urging the MDL Court to adopt a multi-plaintiff trial schedule.


Defendant in S.C. Butter Flavorings Lawsuits Moves to Dismiss on Personal Jurisdiction Grounds

Bell Flavors and Fragrances Inc. has filed a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction in two butter flavorings exposure lawsuits pending in South Carolina, contending that it is an Illinois corporation and has not manufactured any products in South Carolina.


Parties in South Carolina Benzene Case Ordered to Mediation

Parties in a benzene case that was originally filed in Pennsylvania but re-filed in South Carolina after defendants successfully challenged the claims on forum grounds have been ordered to conduct mediation before June 14, according to a recent order.


Texas Court Denies Motions for Definite Statement, Lone Pine Order in Chemical Exposure Suit Against BNSF

BNSF Railway Co.’s efforts to obtain a more definite statement or implement a Lone Pine order in a chemical exposure lawsuit have been rejected by a Texas federal court, which concluded in part that the motions were an “improper attempt to shift” the burden of production to the plaintiffs at the pleading stage.


Neb. Court Denies Motion to Dismiss, Allows Benzene Plaintiff Time to Obtain Appointment as Personal Representative

A Nebraska federal court has refused to dismiss a benzene exposure lawsuit, saying that although the decedent’s husband admitted that he had not been appointed the personal representative of his wife’s estate, the plaintiff is permitted a “reasonable time for substitution has been allowed.”


Roundup MDL Court Vacates Second Bellwether Trial Setting, Says Resources Better Spent on Organizing Remaining Cases

A trial setting has been vacated for what was slated to be the second Roundup personal injury bellwether case to proceed to trial in the national multidistrict litigation docket, as the MDL Court found that “the resources of the parties and the Court are better spent organizing the remaining cases in the MDL.”


Parties in Group 1 Roundup Bellwether Case Exchange Briefing on Timeliness of Claims

Parties in a Roundup exposure case scheduled as a bellwether trial have exchanged briefing on the timeliness of the underlying claims, with Monsanto maintaining that the claims are barred under the discovery rule of the state’s two-year statute of limitations.


Calif. Jury Awards More Than $21 Million to 2 Brothers in Benzene Suit Against Union Oil

A California jury has awarded more than $21 million to the families of two brothers who allegedly were exposed to benzene-containing products during their employment at a tire manufacturing company and subsequently developed cancer.


PFOA/PFOS MDL Court Announces Co-Lead Counsel, Liaison Counsel for Docket

The federal court overseeing the PFOA and PFOS foam multidistrict litigation docket has announced organization of the both plaintiffs’ and defense counsel, appointing Michael A. London of Douglas & London, Paul J. Napoli of Napoli Shkolnik, and Scott Summy of Baron & Budd as plaintiffs’ co-lead counsel and Joseph G. Petrosinelli of Williams Connolly and Michael A. Olsen of Mayer Brown as the defendants’ co-lead counsel.


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