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Strategic, practical and business-friendly solutions to challenges stemming from contamination, regulation and other environmental disputes – that’s what clients can count on when engaging M&R’s Environmental Practice Group. Our stellar environmental practitioners leverage their expertise, as well as that of the firm’s class action and complex litigation, corporate, health care, insurance and real estate lawyers, to deliver a range of services across several industries.

Whether advising on environmental compliance matters, cleanup obligations, Superfund (CERCLA) litigation, toxic tort disputes, federal and state enforcement proceedings, land use issues, brownfields, California’s Proposition 65 or the environmental risks associated with mergers, acquisitions or real estate transactions and financings, our representation seeks to minimize the impact that environmental issues have upon our clients’ business operations and objectives, all the while maximizing opportunity.

Without question, as the drumbeat of environmental awareness and sustainability has become increasingly pervasive, so too has the prevalence of environmental litigation and environmental sensitivity in transactions. On both fronts, our Environmental Practice Group has our clients’ interests covered.

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Areas Of Expertise

CERCLA Summary Judgment: Successfully argued that our client sued in federal court for allegedly causing water pollution could neither be considered a proper “arranger” under CERCLA, nor liable for damages under the law of nuisance.

Environmental Defense: Negotiated a first of its kind $400 million joint water supply/contaminant cleanup project on behalf of a manufacturer alleged to have contributed to the contamination of a large Superfund site. Parties to the yearlong negotiation included the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Attorney General’s Office, several water supply companies and various alleged contaminators, and the resulting cleanup project now serves as a model for EPA-driven Superfund settlements.

Environmental Response: Litigated an environmental response case arising out of mandated cleanup costs for toxic chemicals allegedly disbursed by a dry cleaning business. Avoided liability for cleanup payments on behalf of our client by convincing the plaintiff that other parties were responsible for polluted waters.

Insurance Coverage: Represented product manufacturers in lawsuits with their liability insurance companies arising out of environmental and toxic tort claims. Obtained a favorable resolution on behalf of our client by overcoming insurers’ assertions that underlying layers of coverage were not exhausted and occurrences did not take place in particular policy years.

Municipality Toxic Tort/Legislative Investigation: Obtained dismissal of a toxic tort case filed against a municipality after successfully launching a legislative investigation into environmental conditions at a prominent local high school, which investigation (and case) arose out of allegations that the operation of an oil well immediately adjacent to the high school posed serious health risks to teachers, students and neighboring property owners.

Proposition 65 Cases: Successfully defended several product manufacturers in California Proposition 65 cases, including a bicycle manufacturer facing claims that cables on its bikes were subject to Proposition 65 disclosures.

Toxic Tort Defense: Jointly represented a multinational corporation in the defense of a toxic tort case filed by more than 1,500 residents claiming injuries due to the ingestion of contaminated drinking water. Obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of our client after protracted litigation and numerous appeals, including one before the California Supreme Court.

Whistleblower Litigation: Successfully defended an environmental consultant in an employment retaliation and discrimination lawsuit and a Qui Tam whistleblower case involving a related criminal investigation. 

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