Practice Areas & Industries: Hill, Farrer & Burrill LLP


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Practice/Industry Group Overview

In Hill Farrer & Burrill LLP’s toxic tort practice, the firm represents only defendants in all types of toxic tort cases including chemical exposure, asbestos in buildings, and California Proposition 65 cases. The members of the environmental practice group have a great deal of jury trial experience in single and multiple claimant cases arising out of alleged exposures to a wide variety of hazardous substances including solvents, pesticides including fumigants and organophosphates through all of the pathways of exposure, ingestion, inhalation, and dermal absorption. The practice group has achieved exceptional successes in the defense of cases involving new age medical conditions such as reactive airway dysfunction syndrome (“RADS”), multiple chemical sensitivity (“MCS”) and the like.

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

  • Successfully defended some of the largest pesticide applicators in the United States in jury trials with claims arising out of alleged exposures to a large variety of hazardous substances including pesticides, such as fumigants and organophosphates, and herbicides. Also, successfully defended cases involving various claims of medical conditions such as “multiple chemical sensitivity,” “chronic fatigue immune deficiency syndrome” and “reactive airway dysfunction syndrome.” Successful defense of clients on asbestos claims concerning mesothelioma.
  • Defended pest control company against homeowner claims for damage arising from various alleged causes, including poria infestation and pest inspections.
  • Action by more than 30 plaintiffs against approximately 20 chemical companies and their employer, a major defense contractor, alleging injuries from use of top-secret chemicals to construct the Stealth Fighter: obtained summary judgment on behalf of the employer despite highly publicized Congressional hearings highlighting the alleged serious injuries.
  • 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.