Product Liability Monitor

June 9, 2017
New Developments
Lung Cancer Without Asbestosis? The Effects of Smoking
By Mark Zellmer

In the medical and scientific literature, a finding of asbestosis is clear evidence that asbestos at least contributed to cause a person’s lung cancer. Many medical experts regard a finding of asbestosis as essential to any finding that asbestos

environment chemicalsOn August 30, 2016, after two years of rulemaking, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), the agency that administers California’s Proposition 65, adopted amendments to the Proposition 65 regulations that govern the “safe harbor” language deemed to be “clear and reasonable” and thus Proposition 65-compliant. The new standards provide consumers with more detailed information regarding potential chemical exposures.  The new standards go into effect August 30, 2018.  Until the effective date, warnings may use either the current warning language under existing 2008 regulations or the new warning language.  Products manufactured prior to the effective date will not be subject to the new requirements, and warnings set forth in court-ordered settlements or consent judgments prior to the effective date will continue to be deemed “clear and reasonable” for the exposures covered by those judgments.

Continue Reading

Product Liability Monitor

November 8, 2016
New Developments
Does Talc Cause Cancer? Scientific Evidence in the Courtroom
By Alan Hoffman

This year juries returned verdicts totaling nearly $200 million in three Missouri cases claiming that ovarian cancers is caused by using talcum powder products. By contrast, in September a New Jersey Superior Court excluded expert opinions offered to

Toxic Tort Monitor

September 2, 2016
New Developments
Toward a Defense of Mesothelioma Cases on Causation: Low Doses and Genetics
By Mark Zellmer

Today’s defendants in asbestos litigation often face plaintiffs’ claims that they have contracted mesothelioma from exposure to low or even doubtful doses of asbestos. If the mesothelioma looks to be spontaneous (idiopathic) or the result

The Environmental Working Group (“EWG”), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, issued a report on July 21, 2016 recommending the ten chemicals it thinks should be assessed first under the amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

chemical chart
“10 Chemicals EPA Should Act on Now” Source: EWG, via EPA’s 2014 TSCA Work Plan


Continue Reading

Toxic Tort Monitor

July 1, 2016
New Developments
Fifth District Ordered to Hear Ford Motor Company’s Appeal on Personal Jurisdiction Motion
By Jenna Marie Stupar and Nicho Kelly

In November, the Madison County Circuit Court denied a motion by Ford Motor Company to dismiss an asbestos case for lack of personal jurisdiction. The court found that Ford’s “substantial”

Toxic Tort Monitor

May 2, 2016
New Developments
Northern District of Illinois Decision on Take-Home Exposure Liability has Limited Application
By Lindsay McClure-Hartman

The Northern District of Illinois in Neumann v. Borg-Warner Morse Tec LLC, No. 15-C-10507, 2016 WL 930662 (N.D. Ill. March 10, 2016), recently granted a motion to dismiss on the basis that a product

On December 17, 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that its Environmental and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) will increase efforts to work with the mining U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to investigate and prosecute crimes related to workplace violations. According to the DOJ’s Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates, “On an average day in America, 13 workers die on the job, thousands are injured and 150 succumb to diseases they obtained from exposure to carcinogens and other toxic and hazardous substances while they worked.” As such, Ms. Yates said the DOJ is “redoubling its efforts to hold accountable those who unlawfully jeopardize workers’ health and safety.”

Continue Reading

Toys -462170281Update to the TMT Industry Insider article, “New Federal Safety Standard Proposed for Phthalates in Children’s Toys and Certain Child Care Articles,” which was posted on February 12, 2015. The deadline to submit comments on the proposed CPSC rule on phthalates has been extended to April 15, 2015.

If you would like

On Sunday, March 1, 2015, CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes” ran a lengthy piece reported by Anderson Cooper regarding accusations that Lumber Liquidators imported laminated flooring products that did not meet the standards set by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for levels of formaldehyde. The focus of the story was on Lumber Liquidators, but the issue is likely to affect almost every importer of flooring and other wood products from China.

During the segment, Cooper referenced various lawsuits that are pending against Lumber Liquidators alleging that the company failed to meet CARB standards in California for formaldehyde. Cooper interviewed the CEO of Lumber Liquidators, Robert Lynch. Lynch said the company has a good system in place and checks carefully to make sure that CARB standards are met.

After making this statement, Lynch was shown a video interview of the plant manager of a Chinese plant that manufactures products for Lumber Liquidators. In the video, the plant manager plainly states that the flooring did not meet CARB standards. The journalist narrating the video adds that visits made to two other plants that manufacture flooring for the company revealed that the company’s flooring failed to meet the standards.


Continue Reading