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THE court adopted a bellwether approach to consolidated multidistrict litigation (MDL) asserting groundwater contamination by use of the fuel additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE). Trial in the instant case alleging MTBE contamination of New York City’s groundwater well system in Jamaica, Queens, focused on the as yet incomplete “Station Six” facility. The court’s Oct. 19, 2009, Station Six verdict left unresolved the city’s claim under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The TSCA claim was stayed pending conclusions of appeals of the Oct. 19, 2009, judgment. The court entry of final judgment on the Station Six claims pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b), deeming the TSCA claim separable from the city’s various Station Six claims including nuisance, trespass and negligence. Further, the TSCA claims involved at least one issue—Exxon Mobil’s actual knowledge that the Environmental Protection Agency was “already informed of” substantial risk information—outside the scope of the Station Six claims. The court further determined that failure to provide appellate review of the bellwether trial would work an injustice on all MDL parties and that appellate review of Station Six clams would promote district court efficiency.

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