TITLE

FEDERAL COURT ALLOWS MTBE CASES TO PROCEED

PUB. DATE
August 2005
SOURCE
Journal: American Water Works Association;Aug2005, Vol. 97 Issue 8, p23
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The article reports that a U.S. federal judge in April 2005 ruled that most of 56 lawsuits from 15 states involving 136 separate plaintiffs seeking judgments against dozens of methyl tertiary butyl ether producers for contaminating or threatening to contaminate water supplies can proceed. The April 20, 2005 ruling by Judge Shira Scheindlin of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York rejected a motion by the defending oil companies to dismiss all of the suits. The suits had originally been filed in state courts but were consolidated, at the defendants' requests and plaintiffs' objections, into a single federal multidistrict suit. The defendants include most of the major U.S. gasoline manufacturers. They had argued for dismissal on the grounds that the group of plaintiffs, which includes municipal and private water systems, failed to specify which defendant's product was at fault in each instance. Asserting that using the market share liability approach ensures fairness in apportioning liability, Scheindlin remarked that, innocent water providers, and ultimately innocent water users, should not be denied relief from the contamination of their water supply if defendants breached a duty to avoid an unreasonable risk of harm from their products.
ACCESSION #
18013229

 

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