Environmental issues

Issues of material fact allow Environmental Legal Actions claim to proceed

September 19, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals is allowing a claim under Indiana’s Environmental Legal Actions statute to move forward, ruling there are many questions for the lower court to examine about the former landlord’s role in the contamination of the soil.
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Lawsuit filed against Wal-Mart after PCB found at Indy facility

September 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A proposed class-action lawsuit alleges Wal-Mart and its corporate entities were negligent after PCB was found at a returns facility located in Indianapolis.
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Omitted information in notice does not bar entry of summary judgment

September 11, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Failure in a notice of dissolution to describe information that must be included in a claim filed against the company does not make the notice invalid, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. Since the notice was valid, a convenience store owner’s lawsuit is time-barred. 
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State can exclude fuel ethanol plants from ‘chemical process plant’ classification

September 3, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court on Tuesday affirmed the decision by state environmental agencies to no longer consider fuel ethanol plants to be a “chemical process plant” under the Clean Air Act. By removing fuel ethanol plants from this classification, those plants may not be subject to stricter regulations.
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7th Circuit declines to overturn mine’s fine for safety violation

August 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the petition for judicial review filed by a company that runs a southern Indiana mine, finding sufficient evidence supports fining the company for violating federal regulation requiring a protective mound along an elevated roadway.
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Appellate panel upholds dismissal in bridge case

August 12, 2014
 Associated Press
The dismissal of a lawsuit over the $2.3 billion Ohio River bridges under construction at Louisville has been upheld.
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Court clarifies ‘known claim’ exclusion applies in insurance coverage dispute

August 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals granted rehearing to a case involving a dispute over coverage for environmental contamination and found that the "known claim” exclusion applies, not the known loss doctrine.
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Mom can’t receive damages based on daughter’s injuries caused by mold

July 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a compensatory damage award of $20,000 to the parents of an adult daughter who was sickened by mold growing in her apartment after finding the facts of the case don’t support the amount awarded.
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COA clarifies and affirms original opinion in environmental cleanup case

July 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals granted the request of the city of Indianapolis and the Department of Environmental Management to take another look at its opinion issued in April that allowed businesses that neighbored a contaminated property to intervene in the cleanup case. But the judges affirmed the court’s original decision in all respects.
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COA: Dispute with camp should be heard in White County

June 25, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The YMCA Camp Tecumseh’s quest to stay a zoning decision that allows a confined feeding operation to set up shop next to the camp’s property should be heard in White County, not Carroll County where the camp is located, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Judge gives final OK of recycling settlement

June 16, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal judge has given his final approval to a class-action settlement calling for the operators of a northern Indiana wood-recycling plant to clean up and shutter the site within five years.
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COA orders trial over 1 issue in contaminated development land suit

June 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a trial on the issue of whether the known loss doctrine would bar coverage of an insurance policy held by the owner of land sold for a housing development that later was found to have been contaminated with toxic waste. A builder sued the landowner, claiming he knew of the potential contamination and failed to inform the builder.
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Lilly to appeal $450M ruling over poisoned workers in Brazil

May 12, 2014
IBJ Staff
Eli Lilly and Co. plans to appeal a ruling from a judge in Brazil that fined the pharmaceutical giant and an Italian firm $450 million for poisoning workers at a manufacturing plant in the South American country.
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7th Circuit affirms rulings for EPA in Bloomington PCB cleanup

May 2, 2014
Dave Stafford
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday turned away a citizen-led appeal of rulings favorable to the Environmental Protection Agency in an ongoing cleanup of a former Westinghouse Electric Corp. plant that polluted the Bloomington site with toxic PCBs.
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Reversal: Neighbors may intervene in environmental cleanup case

April 21, 2014
Dave Stafford
Businesses neighboring an Indianapolis industrial property that was forced to clean up hazardous chemicals were improperly shut out of litigation involving the city and state, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Justices reconcile conflicting trial rules

February 20, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In reversing an order granting a company’s motion to vacate partial summary judgment in an environmental cleanup lawsuit, the Indiana Supreme Court tackled the apparently conflicting Indiana Trial Rules 54(B) and 56(C).
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In pollution suit rehearing, COA rejects fresh arguments

January 28, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed on rehearing a decision that the Allen County Public Library could pursue damages against contractors resulting from a diesel spill during a building project. A panel rejected arguments from defendants that it said violated a “cardinal rule” because they were raised for the first time on rehearing.
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7th Circuit: Marathon owes more for abandoned locations

January 28, 2014
Dave Stafford
Owners who leased properties in Michigan and Indiana that were used as Marathon gas stations – some of which were neglected, abandoned and condemned while Marathon leased them – will be paid more than the $269,000 a District judge in Fort Wayne awarded.
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COA: Insurers have no duty to defend in environmental case

January 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the decision by an Indiana court relying on Maryland law that granted summary judgment and defense costs to a business whose product led to perchlorate contamination in California and Indiana.
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Rockport plant opponents appeal quick permit extension

January 14, 2014
Dave Stafford
Environmental groups opposed to a controversial coal gasification plant proposed for southwest Indiana have asked for state administrative review of a permit that was extended without a hearing on the day it was set to expire.
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Obama appoints McKinney professor to environmental commission

December 23, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law professor Eric Dannenmaier has been appointed to serve as a member of the Joint Public Advisory Committee of the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation by President Barack Obama.
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Appeals court slashes contamination award from $154,632 to $7,383

December 19, 2013
Dave Stafford
Court-ordered environmental damages caused by PCB contamination at a Churubusco industrial site were reduced from a total of $154,632 to $7,383 on Thursday by a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Court affirms insurer must cover environmental cleanup costs

December 19, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed an order that an insurer pay post-notice costs of nearly $34,000 to its insured in an environmental cleanup in Mooresville.
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Supreme Court revives Rockport plant proposal

December 17, 2013
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court revived a controversial state-backed deal that would facilitate construction of a $2.7 billion coal-using synthetic natural gas plant in Rockport. The decision likely sets up another round of state regulatory review if developers choose to move forward.
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Indiana among states wanting SCOTUS to clear the air on pollution standard

December 9, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A coalition of 14 states, including Indiana, are headed to the Supreme Court of the United States Dec. 10 to argue that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has overstepped its authority, again, in trying to regulate air pollution in upwind states.
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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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