Cohen Milstein’s Environmental Toxic Torts Litigation practice is nationally ranked:
- The National Law Journal, “Winner – Elite Trial Lawyers – Environmental Protection” (2019)
- Law360, “Practice Group of the Year – Environmental” (2018)
- Law360, “Practice Group of the Year – Class Action” (2017)
We represent individuals across the United States who were injured due to exposure to toxic or potentially toxic substances, including purportedly safe substances that may have been released into the environment at toxic levels or substances that may have been improperly labelled. We have dealt with numerous types of chemicals, lead and other alloys, and chemical compound derivatives in our cases. We have extensive experience working with state and federal environmental protection agencies in addressing toxins in drinking water, ground water, soil, and air, as well as associating with subject matter experts on scientific, environmental, medical, and property value issues.
We are frequently court-appointed Lead or Co-Lead Counsel to oversee large class or mass actions. Our experience includes handling two of the largest water contamination class action lawsuits in the United States—In re Flint Water Cases, and Carey, et al., v. E.I. DuPont De Nemours and Co., Inc. We have also successfully litigated toxic tort mass actions in jury trials.
We litigate all types of environmental toxic tort lawsuits, including class actions, before juries and appellate courts, including those that involve:
- Contamination of water, including drinking and ground water
- Pesticide and herbicide aerial drift
- Chemical waste spills and seepage
- Landfill, dumpsite, power plant, industrial odor, gas, ash and dust drift
Our Representative Matters – Environmental Toxic Tort Litigation
We are presently leading or have recently concluded the following high-profile lawsuits:
- Flint, Michigan Water Crisis (E.D. Mich.): Cohen Milstein is Co-Lead Class Counsel in this high-profile consolidated class action, alleging that, beginning in 2014, city officials in Flint, Michigan, including the Governor of Michigan, and the engineering firms under their management, blatantly failed to provide the more than 90,000 citizens and businesses of Flint, Michigan with safe drinking water, instead providing them with poisonous, lead-tainted water. On August 20, 2020, Cohen Milstein, on behalf of Flint residents and businesses, reached an agreement for a $600 million settlement with multiple governmental defendants, including the State of Michigan, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and individual defendants, including former Governor Rick Snyder. Litigation continues against other defendants, including two private engineering firms charged with professional negligence, and separate litigation against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also continues.
- DuPont/Chemours Cape Fear River Water Contamination Litigation (E.D.N.C): Cohen Milstein is Co-Lead Class Counsel in this putative toxic tort class action against DuPont and its former wholly-owned subsidiary, Chemours. Since 1980, DuPont and Chemours have knowingly dumped toxic chemical by-products into the Cape Fear River affecting potentially more than 770,000 residents in North Carolina and have lied to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state regulators regarding their conduct. On April 19, 2019, the court issued an opinion denying in large part Defendants’ motion to dismiss, allowing Plaintiffs to pursue the bulk of their claims, including that Plaintiffs may seek damages for future medical expenses. This case has been reported in as reported in Associated Press, The Washington Post, and Triangle Business Journal.
- Irizarry v. Orlando Utilities Company (9th Jud. Circ. Crt., Fla.): On December 20, 2018 Cohen Milstein and co-counsel filed a putative contamination and property damage class action against Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC), a municipally-owned public utility providing electric and water service to Orlando citizens, for allegedly contaminating the properties of more than 30,000 residents with toxic by-products from the utility’s coal-fired power plant at the Curtis H. Stanton Energy Center.
- Quinteros, et al. v. DynCorp, et al. (D.D.C.): Cohen Milstein represented over 2,000 Ecuadorian farmers and their families in this toxic tort mass action brought under the Alien Tort Statute, who alleged that DynCorp, a U.S. government contractor, illegally sprayed chemical herbicide over the Columbia border into Ecuador, causing them significant health problems and destroying their livestock, fish, and crops. On April 20, 2017, after a two-week bellwether trial, a jury unanimously determined that DynCorp was responsible for the pilots with whom it had subcontracted to conduct the disputed aerial herbicide spraying in Colombia. We were then able to successfully resolve the claims of all Plaintiffs.