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This case was last updated from PACER on 06/22/2021 at 10:16:13 (UTC).

Elkhorn Road Water System #4 v. Dow Chemical Company et al

Case Summary

On April 23, 2021, Elkhorn Road Water System #4 (“Plaintiff”), represented by Seth D. Mansergh of SL Environmental Law Group PC, filed a product liability lawsuit against Dow Chemical Company (“Dow Chemical”), Shell Oil Company, individually and doing business as Shell Chemical Company (“Shell”) & others (collectively, the “Defendants”), seeking damages and other relief, for alleged manufacturing, promotion, and sale of products containing a highly toxic substance (TCP) that caused the contamination of Plaintiff’s well. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California with Judge Nathanael M. Cousins presiding.

In its complaint, the Plaintiff alleged that “Plaintiff ELKHORN ROAD WATER SYSTEM #4 (“Plaintiff”) owns and operates a water system that it uses to provide drinking water to households in Elkhorn, an unincorporated and census-designated community in Monterey County, California. Plaintiff seeks to recover by this action the substantial costs necessary to protect the public and restore its water supply well, located in Monterey County, California, which is contaminated by the chemical 1, 2, 3-trichloropropane (“TCP”).” and that “Defendants Dow and Shell and DOES 1 through 100, inclusive, are referred to collectively herein as “Manufacturer Defendants.” DOES 101 through 200, inclusive, are referred to collectively herein as “Distributor Defendants.”  DOES 201 through 300, inclusive, are referred to collectively herein as “Owner/Operator Defendants.”

The Plaintiff further alleged that “TCP is a highly toxic substance that is an ingredient, component, constituent, contaminant and/or impurity in certain commercial products. In years past, TCP, and/or products containing TCP, were applied, released, discharged and/or disposed of by others in the vicinity of the drinking water production well owned and operated by Plaintiff. TCP has migrated through the subsurface and into the groundwater, and now contaminates the water pumped from Plaintiff’s well. Because of the risks that TCP poses to human health, the State of California has banned TCP in drinking water except at very low levels.”

The Plaintiff also alleged that “The defendants in this action are the manufacturers, distributors and releasers of the TCP and/or TCP-containing products that caused the contamination of Plaintiff’s well. Among other things, the manufacturer defendants knowingly and willfully manufactured, promoted, and sold TCP and products containing TCP, when they knew or reasonably should have known that this harmful compound would reach groundwater, pollute drinking water supplies, render drinking water unusable and unsafe, and threaten the public health and welfare, as it has done with respect to Plaintiff’s water supply.”

There are five claims for relief laid down by the Plaintiff. The first claim is against the Manufacturer and Distributor Defendants for strict products liability based on alleged defective design; the second claim is against the Manufacturer And Distributor Defendants for strict products liability based on the alleged failure to warn; the third claim is against all Defendants for alleged continuing nuisance; the fourth claim is against all Defendants for alleged continuing trespass; and the fifth claim is against all Defendants for alleged negligence.

In its prayer for relief, the Plaintiff has requested the court to grant an award of compensatory damages according to proof; an award of exemplary damages in an amount sufficient to punish Manufacturer Defendants Dow and Shell, and to deter them from ever committing the similar acts and in the alternative or in addition to an award of damages, as appropriate, an order for abatement of the nuisance; an order awarding Plaintiff its litigation costs, including its reasonable attorneys’ fees, together with prejudgment interest to the full extent permitted by law.

 

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Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    5:21-CV-02960

  • Filing Date:

    04/23/2021

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Property - Real Property Product Liability

  • Court:

    U.S. District Courts

  • Courthouse:

    California Northern District

Judge Details

Referral Judge

Nathanael M. Cousins

Presiding Judge

Beth Labson Freeman

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

Elkhorn Road Water System #4

Defendants

Shell Oil Company doing business as Shell Chemical Company

Dow Chemical Company

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

Seth D. Mansergh

Attorney at SL Environmental Law Group PC

175 Chestnut Street

San Francisco, CA 94133

Kenneth A. Sansone

Attorney at SL Environmental Law Group PC

175 Chestnut Street

San Francisco, CA 94133-2405

Defendant Attorneys

Jay Estill Smith

Attorney at Steptoe & Johnson LLP

633 West 5Th Street, Suite 700

Los Angeles, CA 90071

Nicholas Darius Kayhan

Attorney at King & Spalding LLP

101 Second Street, Suite 2300

San Francisco, CA 94105

Bailey J. Langner

101 Second Street, Suite 2300

San Francisco, CA 94105

 

Court Documents

22 #1

Notice of Eligibility for Video Recording

#22

(#22) ORDER REASSIGNING CASE. Case reassigned using a proportionate, random, and blind system pursuant to General Order No. 44 to Judge Beth Labson Freeman for all further proceedings. Notice: The assigned judge participates in the Cameras in the Courtroom Pilot Project. See General Order No. 65 and http://cand.uscourts.gov/cameras. Magistrate Judge Nathanael M. Cousins remains as referral judge assigned to case. Reassignment Order signed by Clerk on 6/9/2021. (Attachments: #1 Notice of Eligibility for Video Recording)(bwS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/9/2021) (Entered: 06/09/2021)

#19

(#19) CONSENT/DECLINATION to Proceed Before a US Magistrate Judge by Elkhorn Road Water System #4.. (Mansergh, Seth) (Filed on 6/8/2021) (Entered: 06/08/2021)

#18

(#18) CONSENT/DECLINATION to Proceed Before a US Magistrate Judge by Dow Chemical Company.. (Langner, Bailey) (Filed on 6/7/2021) (Entered: 06/07/2021)

#14

No Description Available

#13

No Description Available

#9

#Electronic filing error. Incorrect event used. [err101]Please re-file in its entirety as Summons Returned Executed. Re: #8 Certificate of Service, filed by Elkhorn R oad Water System #4, #9 Certificate of Service, filed by Elkhorn Road Water System #4 (sfbS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 5/7/2021) (Entered: 05/07/2021)

#7

(#9) CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by Elkhorn Road Water System #4 re 2 Case Assigned by Intake,,, #7 Summons Issued, #6 Initial Case Management Scheduling Order with ADR Deadlines, #5 Notice (Other), #1 Complaint, #4 Certificate of Interested Entities SHELL OIL COMPANY (Sansone, Kenneth) (Filed on 5/7/2021) (Entered: 05/07/2021)

#6

(#9) CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by Elkhorn Road Water System #4 re 2 Case Assigned by Intake,,, #7 Summons Issued, #6 Initial Case Management Scheduling Order with ADR Deadlines, #5 Notice (Other), #1 Complaint, #4 Certificate of Interested Entities SHELL OIL COMPANY (Sansone, Kenneth) (Filed on 5/7/2021) (Entered: 05/07/2021)

#5

(#9) CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by Elkhorn Road Water System #4 re 2 Case Assigned by Intake,,, #7 Summons Issued, #6 Initial Case Management Scheduling Order with ADR Deadlines, #5 Notice (Other), #1 Complaint, #4 Certificate of Interested Entities SHELL OIL COMPANY (Sansone, Kenneth) (Filed on 5/7/2021) (Entered: 05/07/2021)

#4

(#9) CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by Elkhorn Road Water System #4 re 2 Case Assigned by Intake,,, #7 Summons Issued, #6 Initial Case Management Scheduling Order with ADR Deadlines, #5 Notice (Other), #1 Complaint, #4 Certificate of Interested Entities SHELL OIL COMPANY (Sansone, Kenneth) (Filed on 5/7/2021) (Entered: 05/07/2021)

3 #1

Appendix Attachment #1 to Summons

#3

(#3) Proposed Summons. (Attachments: #1 Appendix Attachment #1 to Summons)(Mansergh, Seth) (Filed on 4/23/2021) (Entered: 04/23/2021)

1 #1

Civil Cover Sheet

#1

(#9) CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by Elkhorn Road Water System #4 re 2 Case Assigned by Intake,,, #7 Summons Issued, #6 Initial Case Management Scheduling Order with ADR Deadlines, #5 Notice (Other), #1 Complaint, #4 Certificate of Interested Entities SHELL OIL COMPANY (Sansone, Kenneth) (Filed on 5/7/2021) (Entered: 05/07/2021)

14 More Documents Available
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Docket Entries

  • 06/11/2021
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  • Docket(#24) NOTICE of Appearance by Nicholas Darius Kayhan as Counsel for Defendant The Dow Chemical Company (Kayhan, Nicholas) (Filed on 6/11/2021) (Entered: 06/11/2021)

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  • 06/10/2021
  • Docket(#23) CLERK'S NOTICE RESETTING CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE AFTER REASSIGNMENT. Case Management Statement due by 10/7/2021. Initial Case Management Conference set for 10/14/2021 11:00 AM in San Jose, Courtroom 3, 5th Floor. (This is a text-only entry generated by the court. There is no document associated with this entry.) (tshS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/10/2021) (Entered: 06/10/2021)

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  • 06/09/2021
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  • Docket(#22) ORDER REASSIGNING CASE. Case reassigned using a proportionate, random, and blind system pursuant to General Order No. 44 to Judge Beth Labson Freeman for all further proceedings. Notice: The assigned judge participates in the Cameras in the Courtroom Pilot Project. See General Order No. 65 and http://cand.uscourts.gov/cameras. Magistrate Judge Nathanael M. Cousins remains as referral judge assigned to case. Reassignment Order signed by Clerk on 6/9/2021. (Attachments: #1 Notice of Eligibility for Video Recording)(bwS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/9/2021) (Entered: 06/09/2021)

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  • 06/08/2021
  • Docket(#21) CLERK'S NOTICE OF IMPENDING REASSIGNMENT TO A U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE: The Clerk of this Court will now randomly reassign this case to a District Judge because a party has not consented to the jurisdiction of a Magistrate Judge. You will be informed by separate notice of the district judge to whom this case is reassigned. ALL HEARING DATES PRESENTLY SCHEDULED BEFORE THE CURRENT MAGISTRATE JUDGE ARE VACATED. This is a text only docket entry; there is no document associated with this notice. (lmh, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/8/2021) (Entered: 06/08/2021)

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  • 06/08/2021
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  • Docket(#20) CONSENT/DECLINATION to Proceed Before a US Magistrate Judge by Shell Oil Company.. (Smith, Jay) (Filed on 6/8/2021) (Entered: 06/08/2021)

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  • 06/08/2021
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  • Docket(#19) CONSENT/DECLINATION to Proceed Before a US Magistrate Judge by Elkhorn Road Water System #4.. (Mansergh, Seth) (Filed on 6/8/2021) (Entered: 06/08/2021)

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  • 06/07/2021
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  • Docket(#18) CONSENT/DECLINATION to Proceed Before a US Magistrate Judge by Dow Chemical Company.. (Langner, Bailey) (Filed on 6/7/2021) (Entered: 06/07/2021)

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  • 05/25/2021
  • Docket(#17) CLERK'S NOTICE RE: Consent or Declination. All parties are requested to file a consent or declination to proceed before a magistrate judge by 6/8/2021. Note that any party is free to withhold consent to proceed before a magistrate judge without adverse substantive consequences. The forms are available at: http://cand.uscourts.gov/civilforms. (This is a text-only entry generated by the court. There is no document associated with this entry.) (lmh, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 5/25/2021) (Entered: 05/25/2021)

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  • 05/25/2021
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  • Docket(#16) Certificate of Interested Entities by Dow Chemical Company identifying Corporate Parent Dow Inc. for Dow Chemical Company. (Langner, Bailey) (Filed on 5/25/2021) (Entered: 05/25/2021)

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  • 05/25/2021
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  • Docket(#15) Rule 7.1 Disclosures by Dow Chemical Company identifying Corporate Parent Dow Inc. for Dow Chemical Company. (Langner, Bailey) (Filed on 5/25/2021) (Entered: 05/25/2021)

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5 More Docket Entries
  • 05/07/2021
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  • Docket#Electronic filing error. Incorrect event used. [err101]Please re-file in its entirety as Summons Returned Executed. Re: #8 Certificate of Service, filed by Elkhorn R oad Water System #4, #9 Certificate of Service, filed by Elkhorn Road Water System #4 (sfbS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 5/7/2021) (Entered: 05/07/2021)

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  • 05/07/2021
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  • Docket(#9) CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by Elkhorn Road Water System #4 re 2 Case Assigned by Intake,,, #7 Summons Issued, #6 Initial Case Management Scheduling Order with ADR Deadlines, #5 Notice (Other), #1 Complaint, #4 Certificate of Interested Entities SHELL OIL COMPANY (Sansone, Kenneth) (Filed on 5/7/2021) (Entered: 05/07/2021)

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  • 05/07/2021
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  • Docket(#8) CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by Elkhorn Road Water System #4 re 2 Case Assigned by Intake,,, #7 Summons Issued, #6 Initial Case Management Scheduling Order with ADR Deadlines, #5 Notice (Other), #1 Complaint, #4 Certificate of Interested Entities THE DOW CHEMICAL COMPANY (Sansone, Kenneth) (Filed on 5/7/2021) (Entered: 05/07/2021)

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  • 04/26/2021
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  • Docket(#7) Summons Issued as to Dow Chemical Company, Shell Oil Company. (sfbS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/26/2021) (Entered: 04/26/2021)

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  • 04/26/2021
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  • Docket(#6) Initial Case Management Scheduling Order with ADR Deadlines: Case Management Statement due by 7/21/2021. Initial Case Management Conference set for 7/28/2021 10:00 AM in San Jose, Courtroom 5, 4th Floor. (sfbS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/26/2021) (Entered: 04/26/2021)

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  • 04/23/2021
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  • Docket(#5) NOTICE by Elkhorn Road Water System #4 of Pendency of Other Actions (L.R. 3-13) (Mansergh, Seth) (Filed on 4/23/2021) (Entered: 04/23/2021)

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  • 04/23/2021
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  • Docket(#4) Certificate of Interested Entities by Elkhorn Road Water System #4 (Mansergh, Seth) (Filed on 4/23/2021) (Entered: 04/23/2021)

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  • 04/23/2021
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  • Docket(#3) Proposed Summons. (Attachments: #1 Appendix Attachment #1 to Summons)(Mansergh, Seth) (Filed on 4/23/2021) (Entered: 04/23/2021)

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  • 04/23/2021
  • Docket(#2) Case assigned to Magistrate Judge Nathanael M. Cousins. Counsel for plaintiff or the removing party is responsible for serving the Complaint or Notice of Removal, Summons and the assigned judge's standing orders and all other new case documents upon the opposing parties. For information, visit E-Filing A New Civil Case at http://cand.uscourts.gov/ecf/caseopening.Standing orders can be downloaded from the court's web page at www.cand.uscourts.gov/judges. Upon receipt, the summons will be issued and returned electronically. Counsel is required to send chambers a copy of the initiating documents pursuant to L.R. 5-1(e)(7). A scheduling order will be sent by Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) within two business days. Consent/Declination due by 5/7/2021. (asS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/23/2021) (Entered: 04/23/2021)

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  • 04/23/2021
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  • Docket(#1) COMPLAINT against Dow Chemical Company, Shell Oil Company ( Filing fee $ 402, receipt number 0971-15879584.). Filed byElkhorn Road Water System #4. (Attachments: #1 Civil Cover Sheet)(Mansergh, Seth) (Filed on 4/23/2021) (Entered: 04/23/2021)

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