Environmental Litigation

Many business are exposed to liability for environmental issues, whether the result of a one-time event or a long-term business practice. Sometimes, the liability exposure is recognized only years after the underlying event or events that give rise to the exposure. Whatever the cause or nature of the exposure, we are prepared to help our clients deal with it. Our environmental litigation team is experienced in handling complex environmental litigation and pre-litigation matters by employing a straightforward approach. We work closely with our clients to assess the situation and develop a plan to reach a favorable resolution. 

Our team has the knowledge and experience to assess the specific environmental laws and science involved in each matter. But we also are advocates and advisors for our clients. We help our clients reach the best possible solution, whether through hard-fought litigation or early resolution. Furthermore, because non-environmental law issues often surface in environmental law matters, our clients have the benefit of the knowledge and depth of Melick & Porter’s other practice areas.

Some of our representative environmental litigation matters include the following:

  • Carolyn Miller and Matthew Welnicki recently obtained a defense verdict in a multi-party environmental cost recovery action brought under G.L. c. 21E (Massachusetts’ CERCLA equivalent).  Plaintiff demanded approximately $12.5 million for costs incurred removing PCB contaminated sediment from Mother Brook, a Neponset River tributary in Hyde Park. Carolyn and Matt secured a defense verdict following a six week jury trial before Judge William Young in U.S. District Court in Boston. Melick & Porter represented a paint manufacturing company. The Plaintiff and co-defendants sought to hold the company responsible for contamination found on its former property decades after it moved, claiming that the PCBs had migrated to the brook and contributed to the contamination. Contested issues involved the statutory distinctions for the liability of present as opposed to former owners, corporate successor liability and the impact of one party’s prior bankruptcy. Trial witnesses included several experts who testified about the historic use of PCBs, PCB testing and “fingerprinting” methods, PCB migration in soil and water, and environmental remediation practices and methods.  
  • We have worked with clients to resolve claims arising out of their alleged oil and chemical spills.
  • We have represented environmental professionals and firms against allegations of failing to provide adequate remediation services.
  • We are representing a company seeking to recover funds from the Oil Spill Liability Trust.
  • We routinely represent construction companies accused of causing or contributing to the release of toxic chemicals.
  • We work closely with our toxic tort practice group in providing advice to our clients on a variety of issues ranging from changes in environmental law to corporate structure and insurance coverage.