The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has reversed class certification in a case involving claims of alleged environmental contamination. Ebert v. General Mills, Inc.[1] illustrates that class action requirements, like predominance of common issues and cohesiveness of claims, can be difficult to establish in the environmental context because issues of liability, causation, and damages are individualized. Ebert may pose a significant obstacle for class certification in future environmental cases.
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A team of Schiff Hardin attorneys compiled “Recent Developments in Toxic Torts and Environmental Law”  for the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Law Journal originally published in the fall of 2013 (Vol. 49-1) on the evolving landscape of the environmental and toxic tort areas of law. Toxic tort-related topics covered by this article include class action decisions discussing procedural aspects of damage calculations and whether plaintiffs can stipulate to damages to avoid jurisdiction. Key toxic tort subjects covered in this update include “duty to warn” and medical monitoring, punitive damages, and new asbestos-related decisions.
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