Businesses that make, use or dispose of chemicals and other potentially hazardous substances can face serious liability from claims of unsafe exposure by workers, neighbors or other third parties. Liability can occur even if the claims involve exposure decades ago, when the product may have been widely used and its health effects were not known.
Pepper Hamilton LLP is experienced in defending businesses against such "toxic tort" claims. We represent manufacturers and users of many chemicals and other substances in defense against individual claims and purported class actions for bodily injury and loss of property value due to exposure or proximity to hazardous materials, including hazardous waste sites. The firm defends miners and manufacturers of asbestos-containing products in workplace personal injury claims, and defends against class actions by owners of buildings demanding the removal of asbestos-containing building materials.
Toxic tort litigation frequently is related to state and federal environmental enforcement activity. Pepper is experienced in civil and criminal defense of enforcement actions and citizen suits involving all major federal environmental statutes, such as the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, Superfund, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act, and many state and local environmental laws. The firm also counsels clients about environmental regulatory compliance efforts.