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From single plaintiff suits to class actions, mass actions and multidistrict litigation, our team has defended manufacturers, landfill operators, suppliers, service providers and employers against claims for personal injury, death, medical monitoring, property damage and property value diminution resulting from contamination of a variety of environmental media, including air, water and soil.   Our efforts often begin before these claims are even filed, proactively advising our clients on strategies to minimize liability, and continue in challenging the initial filings through trial and appellate proceedings.   We have defended these matters working with both our in-house technical consultants and outside experts in fields such as toxicology, epidemiology, industrial hygiene, hydrogeology, geology and chemistry.

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The firm’s extensive experience in toxic tort defense and class action suits includes the following:

  • Defending a large manufacturing client in all litigation in Pennsylvania involving toxic tort claims, both individual claims and class actions, arising from alleged exposures to hazardous substances emitted into the ambient air from manufacturing activities.  Reported or published decisions include:  Sheridan v. NKG Metals Corp., 609 F.3d 239 (3d Cir. 2010) (affirming summary judgment in medical monitoring class actions against representatives of two classes - residents for ambient air exposures and employees for occupational exposures); Pohl v. NGK Metals Corp., 2007 Pa. Super. 306, 936 A.2d 43 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2007) (granting summary judgment against plaintiffs in medical monitoring claim upon showing that scientific evidence showed exposure to beryllium emissions did not create a significantly increased risk of contracting a serious latent disease); Vitalo v. Cabot Corp., 399 F.3d 536 (3d Cir. 2005) (granting summary judgment because undisputed facts established that plaintiff failed as a matter of law to exercise reasonable diligence to discover his chronic lung condition, and claim was barred by the statute of limitations); Sheridan v. Cabot Corp., No. 02-1212, 2003 WL 22999256 (E.D. Pa. 2003) (granting summary judgment because plaintiff diagnosed with lung disease failed to present evidence of impairment associated with that illness), aff'd, No. 03-1984, 113 F. Appx 444, 2004 WL 2360990 (3d Cir. 2004).
  • Defending a plastics fabricator in putative class action in federal court alleging personal injuries and property damage arising out of a warehouse fire, obtaining complete dismissal of all claims asserted against the company with prejudice, including novel failure-to-warn/products liability claims (Callihan v. Surnaik Holdings of WV, LLC, et al., C.A. No. 2:17-cv-04386) (S.D. W. Va. Dec. 3, 2018) (Johnston, C.J.
  • Representing an operator of municipal waste landfills in numerous individual and class action tort claims, seeking property damage and diminution of property value as a result of operations of a permitted landfill. 
  • Representing a narrow tube manufacturer in claims asserted as a result of alleged emissions of chlorinated volatile organic compounds from manufacturing operations.  The case was dismissed for failure to state a claim under the federal Clean Air Act.
  • Litigating on behalf of a public utility in a lawsuit where plaintiffs sought medical monitoring on behalf of a putative class of residents allegedly exposed to elemental mercury from the removal of regulators.
  • Representing a gasoline supplier in defense of a wrongful death action alleging that exposure to benzene in a private drinking water well caused adenocarcinoma, and obtaining summary judgment after plaintiff’s toxicologist was precluded from testifying about link between ingestion of benzene and decedent’s cancer. (Wack v. Farmland Industries, Inc. 744 A.2d 265 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1999)).
  • Representing a large manufacturing client in litigation in federal court involving claims by two dairy farmers that fluoride emissions from an ore processing facility damaged the productivity of dairy herds over a thirty-year period.
  • Defending a battery company sued by a group of employees who alleged personal injuries as a result of a leaking battery at the work place.


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