Practice Areas & Industries: Hill, Farrer & Burrill LLP

 





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Practice/Industry Group Overview

The firm has enjoyed an active practice in environmental law for over three decades, concentrating its efforts in two categories which have been and continue to be very active - contaminated soil and groundwater, and toxic torts.

The firm's extensive litigation experience in cases arising out of contamination of soil and groundwater includes Federal Superfund Actions, private cost recovery actions, crop loss actions, and leaking underground storage tank actions.  The firm has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in such cases.  Contaminants at issue in these cases have run the gambit from pesticides and herbicides through chlorinated solvents and petroleum hydrocarbons.  While often taking these cases to trial, the firm also prides itself in negotiating innovative settlements which expedite the clean up of clients' properties and their return to profitable economic use.

As regulators, consultants, private parties and their attorneys have become more sophisticated in dealing with contaminated property, the practice has evolved beneficially.  Today, cooperative efforts to restore contaminated real property to productive use are far more common than they were twenty years ago, when more money was spent litigating than remediating.  Today, the firm is proud of its record in assisting its clients in negotiating with responsible parties, regulators and owners to achieve expeditious and cost efficient site remediation culminating in a “no further action letter.”

The environmental practice group counts among its regular clients a major national railroad, the largest pest control operator in the world, a major private water company, a major distributor of agricultural chemicals, and many prominent real estate developers.

Representative Matters

  • Represented major chemical distributor in several complex litigation cases alleging claims for strict products liability, breach of implied warranty, and negligence.  After protracted litigation, successfully negotiated settlements involving nominal monetary amounts when damages alleged by the Plaintiffs for toxic exposure to chemicals exceeded millions of dollars in each case.

 

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