Working closely with the lawyers in our Environmental practice, the lawyers in our Environmental Litigation practice regularly defend clients in federal and state court from claims based on environmental harms and noncompliance. We represent businesses, individual landowners, developers and municipal agencies in proceedings involving claims by the federal and state governments, other landowners, and other potentially responsible parties. In addition to defending clients on claims for environmental harm, we also represent clients seeking recovery from claims caused by activities on neighboring parcels.
Our experience covers the entire range of environmental claims, allowing us to make sense of the alphabet soup of federal statutory claims under RCRA, CERCLA, CWA, etc. in which potential liability can exceed $100 million. Because of the enormous risks involved, we believe that early and effective compliance counseling can avoid costly litigation. When litigation is unavoidable, however, we have the experience to try these cases to a successful conclusion.
Members of our group have:
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of industrial client in case involving stormwater management. A neighbor had alleged that our client had caused substantial erosion to its property by virtue of its management practices. The decision was upheld on appeal.
- Successfully represented property owner against long time tenant and prior owner in federal court litigation to require the defendant to take responsibility for cleaning up historic PCB contamination. After obtaining summary judgment in our client’s favor, the case was settled favorably.
- Defended an industrial client from claims by a neighboring property owner that it had contaminated the neighbor’s property, thereby allegedly causing a substantial loss in property values. After filing a motion for summary judgment related to the remedial work which had been conducted on our client’s property, we were able to negotiate a very favorable settlement.
- Obtained final sign off on order to abate pollution and order to provide potable water in connection with significant spill of gasoline. This matter took in excess of fifteen years to ultimately resolve. During this timeframe, we worked with the client to obtain insurance coverage under its CGL policy, successfully defended litigation brought by the neighboring property owner, oversaw the consultant conducting the remediation, assisted in the sale of the property and negotiated with DEEP to get a final release of the orders.
- Successfully settled private cost recovery litigation related to remediation of property which had been sold by our client after an environmental consultant had represented that the property met DEEP’s cleanup standards. The purchasers sued our client, who in turn sued the consultants. The litigation involved probate, indemnification and insurance issues. A favorable settlement was reached after our lawyers filed a motion in limine attacking the plaintiff’s damage theories.