Jerry's entire career has been built around environmental and chemical science, including his accomplished legal practice.
Initially, as an undergraduate chemistry major in college, he was the top student in his class and recipient of the American Institute of Chemists Award. After graduation, he spent five years as an environmental research chemist at Monsanto. There, he developed industrial hygiene/waste stream analytical methods and implemented industrial hygiene/sampling programs at Monsanto plants in the U.S. and Brazil. He now puts that knowledge and experience to work as a member of Husch Blackwell's Technology, Manufacturing & Transportation team, where he's worked since graduating from law school in 1990.
For his clients, Jerry handles toxic tort and product liability cases, environmental cost recovery and environmental insurance litigation, and complex commercial litigation matters. He has defended numerous chemical companies in federal and state courts throughout the country in alleged chemical exposure claims in workplace or products cases involving acids, bases, solvents, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), vinyl chloride, radioactive material, electrical and microelectronics chemicals, pesticides and insecticides, benzene, lead, and aluminum. He has represented clients in alleged personal injury, medical monitoring, trespass, nuisance, stigma and diminution in property damage claims from release of these chemicals in the workplace and/or environment.
His experience includes:
•Defending a Fortune 1000 manufacturer in a cost recovery action for potential Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) liability, with a significant portion of the financial responsibility assumed by other defendants.
•Obtaining summary judgment for a microelectronic chemical manufacturer in 18 related lawsuits brought by more than 250 current and former IBM workers and their families.
•Representing a national aluminum recycling firm and its subsidiaries in a putative class action, in which the case settled with the client's insurers paying a minimal amount.
In addition, Jerry manages environmental actions nationwide, providing defense for owner-operators, arrangers and generators facing potential liability under the federal Superfund hazardous-waste legislation and its state counterparts. He also has represented Fortune 500 companies at more than 100 state and federal environmental sites at all stages, including administrative proceedings and cost-recovery actions; and represented chemical companies in environmental pollution insurance coverage against numerous insurance companies resulting in recoveries in excess of $100 million.
Awards and Recognitions
•Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent
•Represented a Fortune 1000 manufacturer of copper alloys, ammunition, chlorine and sodium hydroxide in a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) claim involving a pesticide formulating plant in North Carolina. The case was resolved favorably for client, with significant portion of an otherwise orphan share assumed by other defendants. A significant portion of the client's defense and response costs were subsequently recovered from its insurer.
•Represented a Fortune 1000 manufacturer of copper alloys, ammunition, chlorine and sodium hydroxide in a cost recovery action brought against client for potential CERCLA liability at a former pesticide formulating plant. After extensive discovery and motion practice, obtained summary judgment for client.
•Handled a multiple-site, multiple-carrier environmental insurance recovery litigation resulting in multimillion-dollar recovery of defense costs and pollution property damage. Prior to Husch Blackwell's involvement, the client had received limited recovery.
•Handled more than 20 vinyl chloride lawsuits throughout the country alleging various cancers and civil conspiracy.
•Represented a microelectronic chemical manufacturer in 18 related lawsuits brought by more than 250 current and former IBM clean room workers and their families. Plaintiffs alleged personal injury caused by on-the-job and in-utero exposure to “hazardous toxic chemicals and substances” at an IBM computer chip plants. Obtained summary judgments based on general and specific causation in bellwether cases and summary judgment on more than 90 claimants based on statute of limitations under New York and the CERCLA discovery rule.
•Defeated class certification of medical monitoring and stigma damage claims arising out of chemical plants in New Jersey and Texas.
•Represented a national aluminum recycling firm and its subsidiaries in a putative class action. The insurers initially asserted several policy defenses to the claim for defense of the underlying putative class action. Convinced the carriers to fund the defense of the case. In that case, plaintiffs sought an injunction and damages (for property loss and personal injury) associated with the alleged release of several contaminants into the atmosphere by client at two of its aluminum smelting facilities in Michigan. Subsequent to the court's ruling denying certification, the case settled with the client's insurers paying a minimal amount on behalf of their insured.
•Helped obtain a summary judgment in favor of Monsanto Co. in a three-plaintiff polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) case. Plaintiffs alleged that they suffered from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma as a result of PCBs (which Monsanto ceased manufacturing and selling nearly 40 years ago) in their blood, which they ingested through the food chain.