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.



Issue #171, March 2019

Roundup MDL Court Rejects Monsanto’s Motion for Summary Judgment on Preemption Grounds

Monsanto’s efforts to obtain summary judgment in three bellwether Roundup personal injury complaint has been rejected by the court overseeing the national multidistrict litigation docket, which opined in part that the plaintiffs had presented enough evidence to support a finding that Monsanto had not taken a “responsible, objective approach to the safety of its product.”

3M Co. Files Motion to Dismiss Benzene Complaint, Says Suit Fails to State a Claim

3M Company has filed a motion to dismiss a benzene exposure personal injury lawsuit, saying the plaintiffs have failed to state a claim for which relief can be granted and that some of the claims are superseded by the Washington Products Liability Act.

Roundup MDL Court Sanctions Plaintiffs’ Counsel at Start of Bellwether Trial

The court overseeing the bellwether Roundup personal injury trial in the national multidistrict litigation docket has sanctioned counsel for the plaintiff, saying that she “committed several acts of misconduct during her opening statement.”

Issue #170, February 2019

Motion for Summary Judgment on Preemption Grounds in Benzene AML Case Denied as Moot

A Pennsylvania court has denied as moot a motion for summary judgment filed by Radiator Specialty in a benzene case, in which the defendant maintained that the plaintiffs’ claims are preempted.

The Pep Boys Files In Limine Motions in Pa. Liquid Wrench Benzene Case

The Pep Boys –– Manny, Moe & Jack have filed several in limine motions in preparation for trial in a benzene lawsuit pending in Pennsylvania state court, seeking in part to preclude evidence relating to punitive damages.

Pa. Appellate Court Affirms Dismissal of Benzene Suit on Forum Grounds

A Pennsylvania appellate court has affirmed a trial court’s decision to dismiss benzene claims on forum grounds, concluding that the trial court was within its discretion to weigh some private and public factors heavier than others.

Roundup MDL Court Issues Pretrial Order on In Limine Motions in Upcoming Trial

The federal court overseeing the national multidistrict litigation docket for Roundup personal injury claims has issued a pretrial order addressing motions in limine, excluding in part the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s classification of the herbicide from a bellwether trial set to start in the coming days.

New Study Says Glyphosate Herbicide Exposure Raises Cancer Risk by 41 Percent

A recent study has linked exposure to glyphosate-based herbicide exposure to an “increased risk of NHL in humans,” with the authors concluding that “the overall evidence from human, animal, and mechanistic studies presented here supports a compelling link between exposures to GBHs and increased risk for NHL.”

Parties in Chemical Exposure Action Trade Briefs Regarding Deposition of Plaintiff

Parties in an ortho-toluidine exposure action have exchanged briefing regarding the deposition of the plaintiff, with the defendants maintaining that the plaintiffs have failed to show that they are entitled to a protective order in the proceedings.

Ariz. Court Rejects Low Level Causation Testimony in Benzene Case, Awards Summary Judgment to Defendants

An Arizona court has awarded summary judgment to two defendants in a benzene case, concluding that the expert proffered by the plaintiffs to testify on specific causation had failed to pass Daubert admissibility standards.

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