- New Litagion agent profiles for acetyl tributyl citrate and propyzamide
- New climate liability disaster scenarios for extreme heat, dengue epidemic, and microplastic
- New blog content: "We just lived through the hottest month in recorded history: Greater frequency of extreme heat events likely to accelerate climate change litigation"
- Litigation tracking now available for gas stoves
- Portfolio visualization tool released in CoMeta's new D&O underwriting feature
- Acetyl tributyl citrate (emerging interest). Acetyl tributyl citrate (ATBC) [CAS No. 77-90-7] is a plasticizer that enhances the flexibility, durability, and workability of various polymers, including polyvinyl chloride, rubber, and cellulosic resins. A phthalate substitute, ATBC is used in manufacturing vinyl flooring, wall coverings, wire and cable insulation, automotive interiors, and many other plastic and rubber-based products, including children’s toys. ATBC is also commonly used in cosmetic and personal care products such as nail polish, eye makeup, perfumes, and lotions to improve texture, enhance emulsion stability, and provide moisturizing effects. ATBC is approved for use in food packaging materials and as a flavoring agent.
- Propyzamide (emerging interest). Propyzamide [CAS No. 23950-58-5] is a benzamide selective herbicide widely used for the post-emergent control of perennial grasses and broadleaf weeds. Crops commonly treated with propyzamide include lettuces, berries, grapes, and oilseed rape. Propyzamide is also used to control weeds in landscaping.
- Extreme heat: U.S. regional heat waves. There is broad scientific consensus that anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gasses are increasing the frequency, severity, and duration of extreme heat events. Exposure to excess heat during a heat wave can cause severe injury including kidney impairment, heat stroke, and death. Children and the elderly are particularly susceptible to the ill effects of excess heat as are outdoor workers and socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals with limited access to air conditioning. In these scenarios, heat waves in the central U.S., northeastern U.S., and Southern California lead to large numbers of heat-related illnesses and deaths. In the wake of each heat wave, individuals residing in nursing homes and substandard housing, children in daycare centers, and hospital patients file lawsuits against nursing homes, residential real estate companies, daycare centers, and hospitals and injured outdoor workers file claims for Workers’ Compensation benefits.
- Extreme heat: Rising death toll. The number of deaths caused by excess heat has risen significantly over the past few decades along with the attendant cost of treating heat-related illness. In this scenario, state attorneys general file suit against oil and gas companies and other major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions seeking to recover the costs of treating individuals suffering from heat-related illness under public health insurance programs.
- U.S. dengue epidemic. Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection that has the potential to develop into lethal disease. Models suggest that with climate change, much of the southeastern United States will be suitable for dengue transmission by 2050. In this scenario, a dengue epidemic spreads throughout the United States affecting residents of 39 states and the District of Columbia. Outdoor workers who contracted the virus at work claim Workers’ Compensation benefits, while residents of nursing homes and substandard housing units sue under traditional third-party tort claiming owners failed to maintain buildings in a manner that would prevent the transmission of mosquito-borne dengue.
- Microplastic: Water contamination. Microplastic has become a ubiquitous pollutant throughout the world contaminating ecosystems, food supplies, and water sources. Plastic production is also a growing source of carbon emissions. While the human health effects of microplastic contamination are just beginning to be understood, pressure is already mounting for governments to protect public health by setting limits on the permissible level of microplastic in drinking water systems. In this scenario, state and federal authorities establish standards for microplastic in drinking water and wastewater effluent that require publicly- and privately-owned water systems to install and operate costly new water treatment technologies. As in the ongoing litigation over per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in drinking water, these water systems sue a wide-range of potentially responsible parties seeking to recover the cost of removing microplastic to levels that meet new standards.
- Indoor natural gas combustion. Scientists agree that poorly ventilated gas stoves generate significant levels of indoor air pollution and research suggests that this pollution increases the incidence of asthma and other chronic illness. Gas stoves along with the infrastructure needed to deliver gas to the home are also a significant source of methane, a potent greenhouse gas contributing to climate change. CoMeta's litigation tracker has recorded the first set of consumer class action lawsuits alleging consumers would not have purchased their gas stoves had manufacturers properly disclosed the human health and the environmental risks. Bodily injury litigation might not be far behind.
D&O portfolio visualization
In June, we released new D&O underwriting analytics that evaluate the likelihood publicly traded U.S. companies will face shareholder litigation in the coming 12 months due to idiosyncratic and systemic risk factors. We've now added a portfolio visualization feature whereby users can examine the distribution of risk scores within a D&O book and filter that visualization by industry segment. Contact your account manager to learn more!