Jonathan Wells is a partner in the firm's Environmental & Land Development and Toxic Tort Groups, where he concentrates his practice on environmental regulatory, transactional and litigation matters, and toxic tort litigation matters. His regulatory experience includes the defense of clients in federal and state enforcement proceedings, compliance counseling, providing due diligence in transactions, and hazardous site cleanups. In the toxic tort area, his experience includes defending companies from individual, mass joinder and class action claims alleging both personal injury and property damage from exposure to lead, mercury, PCBs, benzene, petroleum products and other chemicals. In transactional matters, Mr. Wells has provided counsel to buyers and sellers in transactions involving closely-held corporations, publicly-traded corporations, partnerships, and private equity funds. With respect to environmental litigation, Mr. Wells has represented clients in a variety of civil and criminal environmental litigation matters in both state and federal courts under RCRA, CERCLA, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, TSCA, and analogous state regulatory schemes.
- Counsel to a textile finishing company in defense of a class action and state and federal investigations concerning a fish kill on the Ogeechee River.
- Counsel to the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia in a class action concerning utility rates charged by member municipality.
- Counsel to an international manufacturer and supplier of petrochemicals with respect to CERCLA, RCRA, and Clean Air Act issues at one of its facilities.
- Counsel to the world’s largest producer of outdoor power products on Clean Air Act, CERCLA, and sustainability issues.
- Counsel to a Fortune 50 worldwide transportation and logistics company on lithium battery shipment issues and in defense of an action for contribution for environmental remediation costs.
- Member of the Toyota defense team in the unintended vehicle acceleration MDL pending in the Central District of California.
- Defense of a Fortune 50 integrated energy company with respect to natural gas regulatory issues in the State of Alaska.
- Defense of a Fortune 1000 company with respect to personal injury claims brought by individuals alleging occupational exposure to benzene.
- Conducted internal corporate audits and investigations of client facilities in Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, and South Carolina and has helped clients voluntarily disclose suspected violations pursuant to EPA’s Voluntary Self-Disclosure Policy as well as develop environmental compliance strategies to mitigate potential liability.
- Successful pre-trial settlement of four lawsuits in Alabama and West Virginia brought by 1,400+ plaintiffs alleging isocyanate exposure against Fortune 50 chemical manufacturer. Settlement was achieved at the conclusion of jury selection for the first bellwether trial involving 20 plaintiffs.
- Two successful appeals to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in defense of a CERCLA claim based on successor liability. New York v. National Service Industries, Inc., 352 F.3d 682 (2d Cir. 2003); New York v. National Service Industries, Inc., 460 F.3d 201 (2d Cir. 2006).
- Secured a key victory in a case of first impression under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA) before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in which the court held that plaintiffs bear the burden of establishing exceptions to CAFA’s grant of federal jurisdiction. Evans v. Walter Industries, Inc., 449 F.3d 1159 (11th Cir. 2006).
- Successful appellate decision concerning a trial court’s failure to sever mass joinder claims brought by over 350 plaintiffs in 10 actions. Lincoln Electric Company, et al. v. Gaither, 649 S.E.2d 823 (Ga. Ct. App. 2007).
The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 9601 et seq., or CERCLA, establishes a broad federal program for remediating contaminated sites. Courts have grappled with the proper relationship between two provisions of CERCLA that authorize suits to recover remediation costs—Sections 107 and 113—since Section 113 was added to the statute in 1986. These Sections have been the subject of continued scrutiny and analysis because the stakes are high.
"Wash. DOT And Stormwater-System Arranger Liability," Law360, August 4, 2010.
August 4, 2010
April 21, 2010
"Nanotechnology and the National Environmental Policy Act," chapter in Nanotechnology: Environmental Law, Policy, and Business Considerations, American Bar Association, Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (Lynn L. Bergeson, ed.), January 2010.