News & Analysis as of

In BP Gulf Oil Spill Litigation, the District Court Decided Important Legal Questions that will Likely be Appealed, including the...

On September 4, 2014, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier issued findings of fact and conclusions of law for the trial of the MDL of the Gulf Oil Spill, which included findings that the oil spill was the result of BP Exploration...more

Significant Victory for Defendants in Sierra Club Pollution Suit

In Sierra Club v. Energy Future Holdings Corp., No. W-12-CV-108 (W.D. Tex. August 29, 2014), a Texas federal judge recently awarded $6.4 million in attorneys’ fees and costs to the defendants in a pollution suit brought by...more

NPDES Permits Are Construed Narrowly Against the Permittee

In July, we noted that the Clean Water Act’s permit shield defense would be construed narrowly, applying only where a permittee had clearly disclosed that the relevant pollutant to the agency. This week, in Alaska Community...more

Wisconsin Court Holds Gas Line Explosion Not Covered Under CPL Policy

In its recent decision in Acuity v. Chartis Specialty Ins. Co., 2014 Wisc. App. LEXIS 201 (Wisc. App. Mar. 12, 2014), the Court of Appeals for Wisconsin, District Two, had occasion to consider whether damages resulting from a...more

Fifth Circuit Limits Pollution Liability

In a significant decision issued February 24, 2014, the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that federal laws preempt state laws in the case of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, because the event occurred in federal...more

Taking the Fight to the Ice: Ontario Court of Appeal allows enforcement action against Canadian subsidiary for environmental...

In Yaiguaje v Chevron Corporation, 2013 ONCA 758, the Ontario Court of Appeal held that Ontario has jurisdiction to recognize and enforce a foreign judgment against a Canadian subsidiary that was not a party to the foreign...more

Shutting Down a Capital City: How High Will Business Interruption Claims Go?

On Thursday, January 9, 2014, a major chemical spill into West Virginia’s Elk Rivet cut off water to more than 300,000 people in the Kanawha Valley and surrounding nine counties. The chemical leak was from a facility owned by...more

Violation Notices Issued/Lawsuits Filed in Connection with Charleston Chemical Leak

Following the January 9 leak of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol (MCHM) into the Elk River from Freedom Industries’ storage facility in Charleston, W.Va., the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of...more

Missouri Court Holds Underlying Fuel Tank Release Not Progressive Injury

In its recent decision in Stoddard Equipment Co., Inc. v. American Safety Indemnity Co., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEIS 170701 (W.D. Mo. Dec. 4, 2013), the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri had occasion...more

CERCLA Is Still Constitutional

To paraphrase Shakespeare, United States v. Sterling Centrecorp, Inc., is a great feast of legal argument. The PRP in that case purchased the assets of a mining company whose operations in California had caused releases of...more

A Company Can Be Held Liable As An Owner Under CERCLA Even Though It Does Not Own The Contaminated Property

In EPEC Polymers, Inc. v. NL Industries Inc., Civ. Action No. 12-3842 (D.N.J. May 24, 2013), defendant NL Industries Inc. owned property on one side of the Raritan River, where it produced and discharged waste to the river. ...more

Another Win for Pennsylvania Policyholders Concerning the Duty to Defend and the Pollution Exclusion

Policyholders with pollution-related liabilities in Pennsylvania scored another win in January, in the ongoing litigation battle with insurance companies that argue for the broadest possible interpretation of the "pollution...more

Doing Business in Canada: Environmental Law

Companies doing business in Canada should identify and manage the risks associated with legal liability for harm that has been (or may be) caused to the environment. Environmental legislation (statutes and regulations) in...more

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