Westlaw Journals weekly round-up

June 18, 2014

Westlaw Journals Weekly RoundupKeeping it sunny, highlights from the past week’s litigation headlines over at the Westlaw Journals blog are all stories based out of courts in California on insurance coverage, expert evidence and toxic tort issues:

No coverage for policyholders accused of aiding kidnapping, California court says: A homeowners’ policy did not provide coverage for a couple defending a civil claim that they aided a friend in abducting her son from his father, a California appeals court has ruled. Coverage did not apply because the insurance company established that none of the causes of action asserted against the policyholders alleged accidental conduct on their part, the 4th District Court of Appeal said in a June 6 opinion. (Insurance Coverage)

9th Circuit revives Pomona water pollution suit, expert’s methodology: The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has reinstated a lawsuit brought by the city of Pomona, Calif., against a company that allegedly contaminated the city’s water supply with perchlorate it imported to the United States and used in fertilizer. On May 2, the 9th Circuit panel said the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California abused its discretion when it disallowed the testimony of the city’s expert witness who had traced the sodium nitrate that was the most dominant source of the perchlorate to the Atacama Desert of Chile. (Expert & Scientific Evidence)

Chevron wins dismissal of $5 billion suit over Nigeria oil rig fire: A federal judge in San Francisco has dismissed a $5 billion tort suit filed by a group of Nigerian citizens who seek to hold Chevron Corp. liable for injuries and environmental damage from a 2012 oil rig explosion and fire. On May 19 U.S. District Judge Samuel Conti of the Northern District of California said the complaint fails to show how defendants Chevron, Chevron Investments and Chevron USA are responsible for the actions of nonparty Chevron Nigeria Ltd., which allegedly managed the oil rig’s operation. (Toxic Torts)