Environmental litigation and toxic tort
Environmental litigation poses a variety of unique challenges. Environmental statutes and regulations are often extremely complicated, so defending companies against environmental claims requires familiarity with the way those statutes and regulations have historically been applied. Because environmental laws can give rise to both civil and criminal litigation over the same underlying claims, the targets of government enforcement must be careful not to implicate themselves criminally. The plaintiffs in these cases are typically state or federal governments (or both), which have significantly greater resources than private parties. Most federal environmental laws also authorize “citizen suits” by private parties, often sophisticated and well-funded environmental organizations. Moreover, the stakes in environmental litigation can be staggering – penalties for even a single day of violations under the Clean Air Act approach $100,000, with the potential for injunctive relief raising stakes even higher.
Porter Wright understands these challenges. We have represented Fortune 50 companies, small family businesses and everything in between in a broad range of environmental and toxic tort cases in federal and state courts. Our experience includes big bet-the-company cases, administrative and judicial litigation, civil and criminal enforcement cases, citizen suits, class action toxic tort claims, private nuisance actions and business-to-business litigation. Porter Wright’s depth of involvement in all aspects of environmental law since the 1970’s, coupled with the depth of our litigation experience in federal and state courts, gives our attorneys an advantage in representing clients in environmental and toxic tort cases.