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In re Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether Products Liability Litigation

ELR Citation: 44 ELR 20033
Nos. 1:00-1898, (S.D.N.Y., 02/06/2014) (Scheindlin)

A district court dismissed New Jersey's claims against an oil company for groundwater contamination stemming from the company's use and handling of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE). The state failed to allege that the company supplied gasoline at the site at issue. In light of the importance of site-specificity in this case, the court concluded that the omission of a defendant’s name in an interrogatory identifying defendants with trial sites is material. The omission was no mere procedural technicality, and advancing a new theory of liability after the close of discovery is not presumptively harmless. In re Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether Products Liability Litigation, No. 1:00-1898, 44 ELR 20033 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 2, 2013) (Scheindlin, J.).