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 #180, December 2019

DuPont Appeals C-8 MDL Court’s Order on Collateral Estoppel, Says Decision ‘Strips DuPont of Basic Defenses’

DuPont has appealed a recent court order issued by the federal court overseeing the national multidistrict litigation docket for C-8 personal injury claims awarding plaintiffs summary judgment on the application of collateral estoppel to certain issues, arguing that it “strips DuPont of its basic defenses in impending trials and all current and future cases in this MDL and purports to foreclose DuPont’s rights of appeal.”

Md. Court Denies Summary Judgment in Benzene Case for U.S. Steel, Says Discovery Rule Applies

A Maryland federal court has denied summary judgment on statute of limitations grounds for U.S. Steel in a benzene exposure case, opining that while the plaintiff knew that he had been exposed to solvents and inks, he did not have sufficient information to prompt an investigation into the cause of his unspecified bone marrow failure disorder.

Fleurchem Moves to Dismiss Flavorings Exposure Claims Against It, Says Jurisdiction Lacking

Fleurchem Inc. has filed a motion to dismiss a flavorings complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction, maintaining that it is not “at home” in Iowa and did not sell any products to the production plant at which the plaintiffs worked.

Parties in Diacetyl Personal Injury Suit Exchange Briefing on Jurisdiction, Diversity of Parties

Defendants named in a diacetyl personal injury lawsuit have defended their removal of the case to federal court, maintaining that the plaintiff has confused the Kraft Heinz Company with Kraft Heinz Ingredients Corp. in attempting to prove that complete diversity does not exist between the parties.

Butter Flavorings Lawsuit Back in South Carolina, Where Illinois Court Says Venue is Proper

A butter flavorings personal injury lawsuit is back in South Carolina after an Illinois federal court determined that the former state was the most appropriate venue to oversee the claims.

Ohio Court Grants Motion to Compel Discovery Responses from Marathon Petroleum in Hydrogen Sulfide Complaint

An Ohio court has weighed in on a discovery dispute in a chemical exposure case, ruling that the plaintiff was entitled to information from Marathon Petroleum Company relating to testing and monitoring of hydrogen sulfide.

Neb. Court Dismisses Chemical Exposure FELA Lawsuit Against Union Pacific as Time-Barred

A Nebraska federal court has dismissed a chemical exposure suit, contending that the plaintiff had been put on notice of his potential claim against Union Pacific Railroad Co. more than five years before he filed the underlying complaint.

La. Court Tosses Benzene Exposure Suit, Says Plaintiffs Haven’t Established Issue of Fact as to Causation

A Louisiana federal court has tossed a benzene exposure lawsuit, finding that the plaintiff’s reliance on an MSDS report on benzene and an informational paper on vinyl chloride was insufficient to meet the burden of either general or specific causation.

Issue #179, November 2019

C-8 MDL Court Awards Plaintiffs Summary Judgment on Application of Collateral Estoppel to Certain Issues

The federal court overseeing the multidistrict litigation docket for C-8 personal injury claims has awarded plaintiffs summary judgment on the application of collateral estoppel to certain issues, saying the move was justified given, in part, that DuPont settled the only remaining bellwether cases, therefore leaving no bellwether cases unresolved.

Married Couple in Roundup Case Set for Feb. 2020 Trial Withdraw Request to Try Roundup Cases Together

A married couple whose Roundup personal injury claims are set to be tried at a Feb. 2020 trial setting have withdrawn a letter brief in which they had indicated their wishes to conduct discovery on newly discovered potential claims.

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