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Wilcox v. Homestake Mining Co.

ELR Citation: 40 ELR 20250
Nos. No. 08-2282, (10th Cir., 09/08/2010) Aff'd

The Tenth Circuit affirmed a lower court decision dismissing individuals' Price Anderson Act lawsuit against a mining company for injuries allegedly caused by their exposure to radiation from the company's uranium mill in New Mexico. The district court correctly granted summary judgment to the mining company based on the individuals' failure to make a sufficient showing of but-for causation. Under New Mexico law, plaintiffs in toxic tort cases must show that they would not have been harmed "but for" exposure to the defendants' emissions. Here, expert opinions concluding the defendants' operations were merely a significant factor contributing to the individuals' injuries were insufficient as a matter of law to meet this standard.

[A prior decision in this litigation can be found at 38 ELR 20270.]