Our Toxic Tort Experience is National in Scope
We have served as trial counsel, national and regional coordinating counsel, and appellate counsel for Fortune 500 clients coast to coast throughout the United States. We handle the defense of air, ground and drinking water contamination litigation, citizen suits, class actions, government enforcement matters and other complex environmental, toxic exposure and products liability litigation in both state and federal courts.
Our toxic tort experience involves a wide range of chemicals and alleged “toxic” substances:
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We Provide the Interdisciplinary Approach That Toxic Tort Litigation Demands
Our approach to toxic tort litigation is interdisciplinary, integrating core knowledge in areas that many firms either lack or cannot effectively bring together as a team. Our resources include:
- experienced toxic tort trial lawyers with national reputations for success in some of the most challenging jurisdictions;
- premier class action specialists who understand the particular challenges posed by major toxic tort cases;
- environmental regulatory lawyers who know how to handle plaintiffs’ lawyers’ misuse of regulatory investigations and cleanup activities as leverage in toxic tort cases; and
- science-oriented lawyers with a proven track record of effectively bringing scientific principles to the courtroom and successful Daubert challenges of plaintiffs’ experts.
We Have Represented Some of the Biggest Companies in Their Biggest Toxic Tort Cases
- Isocyanate Litigation: Served as national litigation and trial counsel for a chemical company, defending a more than 1,600-plaintiff lawsuit in Alabama and a 30,000-plaintiff nationwide putative class action involving a variety of diseases caused by alleged isocyanate exposures.
- Dioxin Litigation: Represented a national building products company in mass tort litigation involving more than 1,300 plaintiffs in nine lawsuits alleging personal injuries caused by air and surface water emissions from a former wood treatment site where the principal chemicals of concern were dioxin, arsenic, creosote and chromium.
- Asbestos Litigation: Served as the national trial team for a Fortune 50 chemical company in the defense of its asbestos matters in jurisdictions around the country, including many “judicial hellholes;’ Also served as regional counsel and supervising local counsel in the management of dockets comprising hundreds to thousands of cases. We also serve as local counsel in Georgia.
- Asbestos Litigation: Served as co-national counsel to a major auto parts supplier of friction products in its asbestos litigation and served on the national trial team, as well as managed local counsel nationwide.
- PCE Litigation: Served as national counsel for a global appliance manufacturer in lawsuits involving alleged perchloroethylene (PCE) contamination in soil, sewer system and drinking water supplies.
- Fish Kill Litigation: Represented the only industrial discharger on a river in defense of hundreds of property damage claims alleging ammonia, formaldehyde and other chemical contamination in matters including the removal of a putative class action to federal court, motions practice in a related Clean Water Act citizen’s suit brought by a local environmental organization, and successful settlements with the majority of claimants.
We Excel at “Bet-the-Company” Litigation
We understand the impact toxic tort litigation, or even the threat of such litigation, can have on clients’ businesses. Our experience with a wide range of corporate clients gives us special insight into how litigation can affect day-to-day and long-term business needs and company exposure. This allows us to conduct litigation with the entire business picture in mind and to ensure that you win “the bet.”
From public relations priorities to shareholder concerns; from the intersection of litigation with regulatory and reporting requirements to sensitive relationships with upstream and downstream business constituents who may also be co-defendants; from the intrusion on executives and other key employees caused by discovery demands to the need for regular updates and realistic assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of your case; we keep your business’ priorities in the forefront during both any litigation planning and the conduct of the litigation itself. Most importantly, we do all of this while placing a premium on client service, cost effectiveness, teamwork and diversity.
Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business notes that according to clients, Alston & Bird is “virtually unbeatable in terms of the depth, range and scope of the skills it offers.” Seven partners on our team have been recognized among the foremost legal practitioners in the field of environmental law by Chambers USA and Who’s Who Legal. In addition, one of our partners is a former chair of the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy & Resources and another is the immediate past director of California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control. Our team includes former senior enforcement officials from the Environmental Enforcement Section and Environmental Crimes Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as the Office of General Counsel for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.