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 #182, February 2020

Plaintiff Asserts Claims in Texas Federal Court, Says Exposure to Chemicals at Frito-Lay Caused Lung Cancer

A new chemical exposure lawsuit has been filed in Texas federal court, with the plaintiff contending that exposure to chemicals at a Frito-Lay North America Inc. facility caused the decedent to develop lung cancer.

Neb. Dismisses Asbestos, Chemical Exposure Suit, Says Claims are Time-Barred

A Nebraska federal court has dismissed a chemical and asbestos exposure suit, finding that the decedent knew he had been exposed to hazardous materials at work at the time he was diagnosed with colon cancer.

6th Circuit Denies Petition Seeking Review of C-8 MDL Court’s Order on Collateral Estoppel

The 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has denied E.I. duPont de Nemours and Company’s petition for writ of mandamus of an MDL Court order awarding C-8 plaintiffs summary judgment on the application of collateral estoppel to certain issues, finding that mandamus remedy is not a substitute for appeal and that “DuPont will have a right to appeal after trial and can raise these legal arguments in that appeal.”

Parties in Ongoing C-8 Water Contamination Trial Exchange Briefing on Admissibility of 2002 Leach Order

Parties in an ongoing C-8 water contamination trial have exchanged briefing on whether a 2002 order entered in the Leach proceedings is relevant to the current cases, with DuPont contending that it will confuse and mislead the jury and the plaintiffs maintaining that withholding the contents of the order from the jury will result in an “incomplete narrative.”

Monsanto Files Opening Brief in Appeal of $2 Billion Roundup Verdict

Monsanto has filed its opening brief in the appeal of a $2 billion verdict that was later reduced to $86.7 million, maintaining that not only were the plaintiffs’ claims preempted by federal law, but also that there was insufficient evidence to support “any liability theory or causation.”

Roundup MDL Judge Pushes Back Deadlines, Next Trial Date ‘At Request of Settlement Master’

The Roundup personal injury products liability multidistrict litigation has extended all deadlines in the MDL at the “request of the settlement master,” according to a recent pretrial order.

JPML Rejects Transfer of PFOA/PFOS Water Contamination Suit to AFFF MDL Docket

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has declined to transfer a water contamination lawsuit to the Aqueous Film-Forming Foams Product Liability Litigation MDL docket, explaining that the lawsuit does not make any allegations or claims relating to AFFF use.

Calif. Appellate Court Seeks Supplemental Briefing on Preemption in Appeal of $289 Million Roundup Verdict

The California appellate court overseeing the appeal of a $289 million Roundup personal injury verdict has requested supplemental briefing from the parties on the issue of preemption, noting Monsanto’s position that precedent may have changed since jurors reached their verdict two years ago.

J&J Defendants Seek Summary Judgment on Misleading Advertising Claims Relating to Baby Products

Johnson & Johnson defendants have challenged a lawsuit alleging that their Baby products were misleading labeled as hypoallergenic, maintaining that the plaintiffs’ interpretation of the term is implausible and “precludes any triable issues on their claims.”

Michigan Townships and Wolverine World Wide Reach $69.5 Million in PFOA, PFOS Water Contamination Suit

Michigan Townships and Wolverine World Wide Inc. have reached a settlement agreement regarding water contamination claims, with the company agreeing to pay nearly $70 million to cover costs related to remediation work.

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