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 #169, January 2019

Newly Appointed PFOA MDL Court Issues First Case Management Order; Status Conference Set for Feb.

The South Carolina federal court assigned to the newly created PFOA and PFOS foam lawsuit multidistrict litigation docket has issued its first case management order, noting that it will take up the appointment of liaison counsel at the initial status conference.

Parties in Utah Benzene Exposure Suit Stipulate to Dismissal of CML Case

Parties remaining in a benzene exposure lawsuit have stipulated to the dismissal of the case without prejudice, just months after the court refused to toss expert testimony proffered on behalf of the plaintiff.

Former Guitar Repairman Files Complaint, Says Exposure to Benzene Caused ALL

A former guitar repairman developed Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia as a result of exposure to benzene-containing products used during the course of his employment at a music shop, according to a recently filed complaint in Washington federal court.

South Carolina Federal Court Orders Parties to Conduct Jurisdictional Discovery in Butter Flavorings Suits

A South Carolina federal court has ordered parties in several butter flavorings personal injury lawsuits to conduct “limited discovery on the issue of personal jurisdiction,” in the wake of a defense motion to dismiss the claims on jurisdiction grounds.

Ala. Court Allows Benzene Plaintiffs to Amend Complaint in Wake of Jurisdictional Discovery Revelation of Affiliate Company

An Alabama court has allowed plaintiffs asserting benzene claims to file a second amended complaint to substitute as a defendant an in-state company revealed during the course of jurisdictional discovery to be an affiliate of a prior defendant, according to a recent docket entry.

Settlement Conference in Benzene CLL Suit Scheduled for March

A settlement conference scheduled to take place this month in a benzene exposure suit has been continued to March at the request of the parties, with a status hearing to take place in its stead, according to a recent court document.

Plaintiffs Exchange Briefing on Deposition Testimony, Expert Reports in Ortho-Toluidine Exposure Case

Plaintiffs in a ortho-toluidine exposure action have filed a brief in an ongoing dispute over the production of deposition testimony and expert reports, arguing in part that documents sought by the defendants are “beyond the scope of permissible discovery.”

Monsanto Moves for Summary Judgment in Roundup Bellwether Cases, Says Claims Preempted, Untimely

Monsanto has moved for summary judgment in the three bellwether cases slated to begin trial next month in the federal multidistrict litigation docket for Roundup personal injury claims, attacking the plaintiffs’ claims on a number of grounds, including FIFRA preemption and timeliness.

Monsanto Moves to Exclude Testimony from Economist in Upcoming Bellwether Roundup Trials

Monsanto has filed a motion to exclude the testimony of an economist proffered on behalf of the plaintiffs in upcoming bellwether Roundup trials, arguing that the expert “lacks any identifiable expertise that he could bring to bear on Monsanto’s ability to pay punitive damages.”

Roundup MDL Court Orders Bifurcation of 3 Bellwether Trials, Says First Phase to Address Causation

The federal court overseeing the national multidistrict litigation docket for Roundup personal injury claims has ruled that it will bifurcate three bellwether trials, concluding that, while this type of bifurcation is unusual and should be done with caution, it is warranted in the underlying circumstances.

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