Environmental and Toxic Tort
Our lawyers have defended and prosecuted dozens of toxic tort and environmental claims brought by hundreds of litigants throughout North Carolina. These litigations include class actions, as well as lawsuits involving from one to hundreds of plaintiffs. Jury trials in such cases have been subject to bifurcation, summary presentation, and other treatment under rules applicable to complex litigation, and have lasted as long as six weeks. We have experience with claims arising from exposure to suspected and known carcinogens, solvents, and petroleum hydrocarbons including BTEX and MTBE, asbestos, e. Coli, manganese, TCE, TCA, 1,4-dioxane, and other compounds.
Representative environmental litigation matters include:
- Defense of a manufacturer in a $1.3 billion toxic tort action brought by 22 North Carolina residents who alleged air and groundwater contamination by carcinogenic compounds emitted from the client’s facility, and resulting personal injuries. Obtained summary judgment in 11 out of 12 related cases. A jury trial in the remaining case resulted in a verdict for only $44,000.
- Defense of an oil company in a five-week federal jury trial in a case in which 180 trailer park residents alleged that UST leaks and spills at a gas station contaminated they’re well water.
- Defense of a developer against numerous claims of moisture intrusion and mold growth in a substantial townhome development, including personal injury claims arising from alleged exposure to mold.
- Defense of an HVAC contractor in a class action alleging that construction defects caused mold growth in public schools and resulting in personal injuries to students.
- Prosecution of a federal lawsuit under the Clean Water Act and state tort law against a rest home that had knowingly contaminated a family’s well with e. Coli. A six-week jury trial resulted in an award of $2.5 million.
- Prosecution of a state court action on behalf of 75 subdivision residents who purchased from a private utility company water containing excessive amounts of manganese, iron, and hardness. The action was resolved against the two primary defendants by a confidential settlement agreement.