Environmental Litigation Successes
Attorneys in Keller Rohrback’s Complex Litigation Group have successfully represented individuals, class members, municipalities, and nonprofit organizations in complex and critical environmental litigation. In cases involving oil spills, mishandled hazardous waste, contaminated consumer products, and industrial pollution, Keller Rohrback works to protect human health and the environment. The firm combines its unparalleled experience in consumer protection and its deep knowledge of environmental law, making Keller Rohrback a worldwide leader in litigation to safeguard our environment and the people and animals that rely on it.
Representative Cases & Successes
Meeker v. Bullseye Glass Co.
(Multnomah Cnty. Cir. Ct., Oregon) Keller Rohrback successfully negotiated a settlement with Bullseye Glass Company for contaminating a residential neighborhood in Portland, Oregon, by emitting hazardous levels of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, and other toxic materials from its glass-making facility for years. Despite using thousands of pounds a year of dangerous heavy metals, Bullseye Glass had used no pollution control technology for more than four decades. Using innovative air and soil monitoring, Keller Rohrback helped this neighborhood to protect itself and hold Bullseye accountable for the harm it caused. The settlement includes a two-year air monitoring program, the company agreeing to only operate furnaces with pollution control devices as long as they remain in operation, and monetary payments to class members, including reimbursement for air emissions-related expenses.
In re Exxon Valdez
(D. Alaska). Keller Rohrback was trial counsel representing fishermen, landowners, and businesses located in Prince William Sound in their action against Exxon to recover damages caused by the Exxon Valdez oil spill. A federal jury awarded a $5 billion judgment in favor of Keller Rohrback clients. At the time, it was the largest punitive damages verdict in U.S. history. Additional claims against the pipeline owner were settled for $98 million. More than twenty-five years after the tragic spill, the Exxon Valdez spill is still considered one of the most devastating human-caused environmental disasters. In addition, Keller Rohrback Managing Partner Lynn Sarko was appointed to serve as the Administrator of the Exxon and Alaska Qualified Settlement Funds.
Mapleton Groundwater Litigation
(D. Utah). Keller Rohrback attorneys successfully litigated a series of groundwater contamination suits against multiple international defendants accused of releasing hazardous chemicals into the watershed over six decades. The suits were brought on behalf of individuals and their families against defendants who owned a former explosives plant in Mapleton, Utah. The plaintiffs alleged that improper waste disposal caused contaminants to seep into the groundwater and that the chemicals caused property damage and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancers affecting numerous residents. The matter involved complex scientific issues related to hydrogeology, chemical migration pathways, aquifer dynamics, clean-up methods, and contaminant degradation. The litigation resolved prior to trial after lengthy evidentiary hearings at which plaintiffs received favorable Daubert rulings.
Wishtoyo Foundation v. Magic Mountain LLC
(C.D. Cal). Keller Rohrback Attorney Daniel Mensher worked with a team of environmental lawyers on behalf of Los Angeles-based clients who successfully negotiated a groundbreaking settlement with Six Flags Magic Mountain to address its stormwater pollution discharged to the Santa Clara River. The settlement significantly reduced the amount of heavy metals and other pollutants entering the river from the amusement park by requiring the facility to install state-of-the-art technology, develop and implement a comprehensive site management plan, and fully comply with the Clean Water Act. Additional monetary payments made by Six Flags as a result of the case are being used to perform critical habitat restoration and mitigation projects along the Santa Clara River.
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