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Root Cause Analysis Must Be Produced Where Not Substantively Different from Analyses Prepared in Ordinary Course of Business

An Arizona federal court granted a motion to compel production of a Root Cause Analysis Report (“Report”) prepared by a third party at the request of the owner of an electric power station generator that failed.  Following the generator’s failure, the owner’s general counsel emailed two senior managers in the company instructing them to retain a third-party investigator to conduct a...

New OSHA Reporting Rule Takes Effect January 1, 2017

Earlier this year, OSHA issued its final rule requiring some employers to electronically submit workplace safety information.  Some of this information will subsequently be made public, meaning that employers and the public will have access to employer-specific data to compare safety performance.  In addition, the final rule expressly contains anti-retaliation measures for workers who...

Third Circuit Reverses Summary Judgment in Asbestos Exposure Case

The Third Circuit partially reversed a grant of summary judgment in favor of a manufacturing company in an asbestos exposure case after finding that a reasonable jury could find the manufacturer may have exposed the worker to asbestos.  The Plaintiff (the estate of a deceased pipefitter) alleged that the pipefitter’s terminal lung cancer was caused to forty-five years of...

Key Considerations for Post-Incident Media Response

In today’s world, news of a corporate disaster or fatal injury travels fast.  In less than a minute from the time an incident occurs, media phone calls begin.  There are countless recent examples of how companies have botched initial post-incident communications in such a way that their actions have led to devastating consequences, from inviting political attacks or litigation to...

OSHA Requiring Engineering Controls To Minimize Workers’ Silica Dust Exposure

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final rule targeting silica dust exposure.  The rule reduces the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an 8-hour shift.  The rule also requires employers to use engineering controls to limit worker exposure, provide respirators when...

Negligence Limitations Period Not Triggered By Date of Explosion in Arkansas Nitric Acid Case

Following a 2012 explosion at a nitric acid plant in Arkansas, the owner of the plant brought suit against two subcontractors alleging that their negligence caused the explosion.  The subcontractors had performed their work in 2011.  Specifically, the owner alleged that the subcontractors “(1) failed to properly and thoroughly clean the interior of replacement oxygen piping...

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