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Wilcox v. Homestake Mining Co.

ELR Citation: 38 ELR 20270
Nos. No. 04-534, (D.N.M., 10/23/2008)

A district court dismissed the claims of the three remaining plaintiffs in a toxic tort case arising from the alleged release of radioactive and other hazardous substances from a uranium mill in New Mexico. The plaintiffs, current and former residents of neighborhoods adjacent to the mill, argued that the mill's release of hazardous and radioactive substances into their environment over a 30-year period caused them to develop various cancers. The court ruled that the plaintiffs' experts failed to demonstrate that the facility was the "but for" cause of the claimed injuries. In so doing, the court rejected the more lenient "substantial factor" test for causation under New Mexico law.