Cases

Environmental / Toxic Tort Litigation

Below are representative examples of the Firm’s environmental and toxic tort litigation cases.

Monsanto Co., Solutia, Inc., and Pharmacia LLC ($650 Million Pending)
Mayor and City Council of Baltimore v. Monsanto Co., et al.

District of Maryland 

G&E represented the City of Baltimore, Maryland and Baltimore County, Maryland, in litigation against Monsanto Co. arising out of its production, marketing, distribution, and sale of carcinogenic industrial chemicals (polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs), resulting in environmental contamination as well as contamination of Baltimore’s and Baltimore County’s municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4) and other public water systems, including substantial impairment of the Inner Harbor and Lake Roland. Baltimore and Baltimore County asserted common-law environmental claims seeking monetary damages for injury to public resources and other relief. Both Baltimore and Baltimore County elected to serve as class representatives in a proposed nationwide class action settlement on behalf of similar MS4 owners/operators. Monsanto has agreed to pay $650 million to the class. The settlement remains in process and subject to court approval.

Columbia Gas and NiSource ($143 Million)
In re Columbia Gas Cases

Essex County Superior Court

G&E served as court-appointed Co-Lead counsel representing residents and businesses harmed by the catastrophic gas explosions in Merrimack Valley, Massachusetts, caused by the negligence of Columbia Gas and NiSource. In September 2018, a series of gas explosions and fires impacted as many as 80 homes and businesses, affected thousands of families, injured dozens of people, and killed one man. G&E asserted claims against Columbia Gas and NiSource, seeking compensation on behalf of residents that were injured in the explosion or have suffered property damage or other economic harm. The Firm achieved a settlement of $143 million in July 2019.

Monsanto Co., Solutia, Inc., and Pharmacia LLC ($52 Million)
The District of Columbia v. Monsanto Co., et al.

Superior Court of the District of Columbia Civil Division

G&E represented the Attorney General for the District of Columbia in litigation against Monsanto Co. arising out of its production, marketing, distribution, and sale of carcinogenic industrial chemicals (polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs), resulting in environmental contamination, including substantial impairment of major District of Columbia waterbodies. The District of Columbia asserted statutory and common-law environmental claims seeking cleanup costs and other damages for injury to natural resources. In 2020, a settlement for $52 million was reached.

Monsanto Co., Solutia, Inc., and Pharmacia LLC ($23.6 Million Pending)
New Mexico ex rel. Hector Balderas, Attorney General v. Monsanto Co., et al.

First Judicial District Court, New Mexico

G&E represented the Attorney General for the State of New Mexico in litigation against Monsanto Co. arising out of its production, marketing, distribution, and sale of carcinogenic industrial chemicals (polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs), resulting in statewide environmental contamination, including substantial impairment of major New Mexico waterbodies. New Mexico asserted common-law environmental claims and a statutory claim for unfair trade practices seeking monetary damages for injury to its natural resources and other relief. In 2020, a settlement for $23.6 million, plus other non-monetary relief, was reached.

Pacific Gas & Electric Company (Settlement Approved, Claims Processing)
Cesena, et al. v. PG&E Corporation, et al.

Sacramento County Superior Court

G&E represents residents harmed by the devastating November 2018 Camp Fire in Northern California, allegedly caused by the negligence of Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). The Camp Fire was the deadliest and most devastating wildfire in California’s history, where 85 people died and more than 19,000 structures, including residences and commercial properties, were destroyed or damaged. G&E is asserting claims against PG&E, seeking compensation on behalf of residents that were injured or died in the fire or have suffered property damage or other emotional distress. PG&E reached a $13.5 billion settlement with all wildfire victims in December 2019, and a court-supervised claims process is underway to compensate residents and businesses.

3M Company and Others (Active)
Ohio ex rel. Dave Yost, Attorney General v. 3M Co., et al.

Northern District of Ohio

G&E represents the Attorney General for the State of Ohio in litigation against a variety of chemical companies that manufactured and distributed aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), including toxic PFAS chemicals known as PFOA and PFOS. PFAS compounds are the root cause of a nationwide drinking water quality crisis. The primary manufacturers of PFAS-laced AFFF products include the 3M Company, Tyco Fire Products, Chemguard, Inc., Buckeye Fire Equipment, Kidde-Fenwal, Inc., and National Foam, Inc. Ohio asserts that these and other manufacturers, including PFAS manufacturers such as DuPont and Chemours, developed early knowledge of the toxicity and environmental hazards associated with the routine use of their products, which—when used in firefighting exercises—inevitably contaminate groundwater, seeping into public drinking water supplies and private wells. Ohio’s lawsuit has been consolidated in multidistrict litigation centralized in the District of South Carolina. Ohio asserts common-law environmental claims seeking both monetary damages for injury to its natural resources and abatement of the drinking water crisis.

3M Company and Others (Active)
City of Ocala v. 3M Company et al.

Circuit Court of the Fifth Judicial Circuit, Marion County

G&E represents the City of Ocala in PFAS litigation concerning the use and disposal of AFFF products at a fire training facility, which resulted in high PFAS concentrations in drinking water wells and public water supplies. Ocala asserts common law and statutory claims under Florida law against the manufacturers of AFFF products, including the 3M Company, Tyco Fire Products, Chemguard, Inc., Buckeye Fire Equipment, Kidde-Fenwal, Inc., and National Foam, as well as PFAS manufacturers such as DuPont and Chemours, for causing this extensive contamination. Ocala’s AFFF litigation has been centralized in multi-district litigation proceedings in the District of South Carolina for pretrial purposes.

Monsanto Co., Solutia, Inc., and Pharmacia LLC (Active)
Ohio ex rel. Dave Yost, Attorney General v. Monsanto Co., et al.

Court of Common Pleas, Hamilton County, Ohio

G&E represents the Attorney General for the State of Ohio in litigation against Monsanto Co. arising out of its production, marketing, distribution, and sale of carcinogenic industrial chemicals (polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs), resulting in statewide environmental contamination, including substantial impairment of major Ohio waterbodies. Ohio asserts common-law environmental claims seeking both monetary damages for injury to its natural resources and an abatement plan to be funded by Monsanto. G&E defeated Defendants’ motion to dismiss in its entirety and the case is currently proceeding through discovery.

Monsanto Co., Solutia, Inc., and Pharmacia LLC (Active)
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ex rel. the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection et al. v. Monsanto Co., Solutia Inc., and Pharmacia LLC

Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

G&E represents the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in litigation against Monsanto Co. arising out of its production, marketing, distribution, and sale of carcinogenic industrial chemicals (polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs), resulting in statewide environmental contamination, including substantial impairment of major Pennsylvania waterbodies. Pennsylvania asserts common-law environmental claims seeking both monetary damages for injury to its natural resources and an abatement plan to be funded by Monsanto.

The Sherwin-Williams Co. (Active)
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection et al. v. The Sherwin-Williams Company

New Jersey Superior Court, Camden County

G&E represents the State of New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection in litigation against the Sherwin-Williams Company, relating to environmental injuries resulting from the company’s 100+ year abuse of terrestrial, wetland, stream, and lake habitats in Camden County, New Jersey. That litigation concerns the unlawful release and disposal of hazardous substances such as lead, arsenic, PCBs, and other constituents of concern, resulting in severe environmental damage.

Sterigenics U.S., LLC, Sotera Health Holdings LLC, Sotera Health LLC, Sotera Health Company (Active)
New Mexico ex rel. Hector Balderas, Attorney General v. Sterigenics USA, LLC, et al.

Third Judicial District Court, County of Doña Ana, New Mexico

G&E represents the Attorney General for the State of New Mexico in litigation against Sterigenics U.S., LLC and related companies for misconduct resulting in excessive atmospheric concentrations of a toxic air pollutant known as ethylene oxide (EtO) that contributed to a statistically significant increased cancer risk for local communities, and diminished local air quality. Specifically, the State’s lawsuit alleges certain common law claims, including that the companies’ misconduct created a public nuisance to New Mexicans in Santa Teresa and surrounding areas and a statutory claim for unfair trade practices seeking monetary damages and disgorgement. The lawsuit also demands that the companies modify their sterilization process and seeks a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to halt continued unauthorized, uncontrolled releases of EtO.

$14.7 Billion in Settlements

In this litigation surrounding the Volkswagen and Audi “clean diesel” emissions scandal, G&E helped reach an unprecedented settlement as part of the plaintiffs' steering committee.

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$650 Million in Recoveries

On behalf of municipalities dealing with longstanding PCB contamination issues

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$143 Million Settlement
For residents and businesses harmed
by Merrimack Valley gas explosions
 

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