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We have a broad range of experience handling environmental cost recovery, contribution, natural resource damages and citizen suit claims for both plaintiffs and defendants, including large and small companies, municipal entities and individuals, in federal and state courts.  Our cases have involved large and complex sites with claims brought under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA” or “Superfund”), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Oil Pollution Act, Pennsylvania Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act, Pennsylvania Storage Tank and Spill Prevention Act, Pennsylvania Clean Streams Law, Pennsylvania Air Pollution Control Act, New Jersey Spill Act and New Jersey Environmental Rights Act.  We have experience litigating claims with complicating factors such as corporate successor liability, bankruptcy and insolvency, orphan share allocation, condemnation proceedings, statutes of limitation defenses and indemnification obligations.  We also regularly work with our in-house technical staff, outside consultants and experts, as well as our clients’ in-house technical personnel, and have tackled difficult claims involving complex scientific and engineering issues at landfills, contaminated sediment sites, and an array of current and former industrial facilities with historic contamination going back decades. 

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Representative MGKF matters involving Cost Recovery, Superfund, Natural Resource Damages and citizen suit claims include the following:

  • Defending subsidiaries of Tenneco, Inc. as both trial and appellate counsel in action brought by group of parties remediating a contaminated site in New Jersey; plaintiffs asserted statutory claims under the New Jersey Spill Act and common law contract claims; achieved successful summary judgment dismissal of statutory New Jersey Spill Act claims; proceeded to bench trial on remaining contract claims, and received judgment of no cause of action and dismissal of all remaining claims; successful defense of appeal before the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, which affirmed trial court judgment (AGIP USA Inc. et al., v. The Pullman Company et al., Union County, Dkt. No. L-3530-10, Appellate Div. Dkt. No. A-0173-16T1, 2020 WL 1908509, at *1 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Apr. 20, 2020))
  • Serving as lead counsel in one of the first multiple-party Superfund matters to be litigated through the allocation phase to judgment.
  • Representing multiple clients in complex cost recovery litigation involving several hundred third-party defendants and relating to the remediation of contaminated sediment in the Lower Passaic River and adjacent water bodies in New Jersey.
  • Representing the National Solid Waste Management Association in amicus briefing before the United States Supreme Court on successor liability issues under CERCLA.
  • Defending a specialty metals manufacturer as appellate counsel in a CERCLA private cost recovery action, resulting in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit vacating a $13 million verdict entered in favor of the plaintiffs by the trial court. (Agere Systems, Inc. v. Advanced Environmental Technology Corp., 602 F.3d 204 (3d Cir. 2010)).
  • Acting as special counsel in a CERCLA cost recovery action brought by a commercial property owner for contamination resulting from the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
  • Defending a specialty chemicals company in a CERCLA cost recovery action brought by EPA, resulting in the dismissal of the federal government’s claims with prejudice. (United States v. Rohm and Haas, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99585 (D.N.J. Sept. 22, 2010)).
  • Representing a potentially responsible party in connection with compliance and performance of an Administrative Order on Consent and related allocation proceedings involving costs in excess of $30 million.
  • Successfully defending a federal Clean Water Act citizen suit filed against a municipal sewer authority, which was dismissed by the district court and affirmed on appeal. (P.E.D.F. v. Borough of Kennett Square, 175 F. 3d 1011 (3d Cir. Feb. 18, 1999)).
  • Representing a national waste management company in a high profile Superfund case featured on 60 Minutes, and settling the case after 5 years of litigation through a unique consent decree with mixed government funding and the use of an innovative remedial technology.
  • Defending a specialty chemicals company in third-party CERCLA contribution and cost recovery claims against the former owner and operator of a brake manufacturing facility; resulting in the complete dismissal of all third-party claims on summary judgment. (United States v. D.S.C. of Newark Enter., Inc. et al., No. 09-2270, 2013 WL 2658929 (D.N.J. June 12, 2013)).
  • Defending a publicly traded real estate investment trust in cost recovery and natural resource damage claims throughout New Jersey arising out of the company's ownership and/or leasehold interest in gasoline service stations.
  • Obtaining summary judgment for a university in a cost recovery action filed under the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act. 
  • Prosecuting environmental cost recovery actions on behalf of a number of clients, including a large regional convenience store chain and a national retail pharmacy chain, against former owners and owners of neighboring properties.
  • Representing consultants and remedial action contractors involved in remediation activities at contaminated sites, who were sued by the potentially responsible parties at those sites.
  • Representing an international chemical company in actions seeking natural resource damages arising out of the company's alleged disposal of waste at landfills subject to ongoing remediation.
  • Defending multiple clients in private party contribution actions brought under the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act in single site and multi-party litigation.
  • Representing a commercial property tenant in an action brought by a third-party plaintiff seeking contribution for alleged natural resource damages to groundwater.
  • Representing the primary defendant in a natural resource damages action where the government sought more than 800 acres of land in compensation for alleged natural resource damages.
  • Obtaining dismissal of a federal citizen suit claim under the Clean Water Act on behalf of a municipal sewer authority. (Thompson v. Horsham Township, 576 F. Supp. 2d 681 (E.D. Pa. 2008)).
  • Representing a large regional utility in a citizen suit filed by non-profit organizations in federal court in Connecticut for alleged Clean Air Act violations.
  • Defending a national solid waste company in a federal citizen suit filed under the Clean Water Act alleging illegal discharges into the Delaware River.
  • Obtaining dismissal of a Clean Air Act citizen suit filed in federal court against a manufacturing company for alleged unlawful air emissions.

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