Environmental Litigation and Counseling

New York State has long been a leader in enacting laws to protect the environment, and our firm has extensive experience litigating and counseling clients under these laws.

We have prosecuted environmental claims against polluters resulting in six- and seven-figure verdicts and settlements that have included compensatory damages, punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.  We also have defended dischargers seeking to limit their liability to the State and/or a private property owner.

Our environmental counseling services include working with dischargers and their consultants in preparing and presenting investigation and remediation plans to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) intended to cleanup various types of environmental contamination while seeking to limit our client’s financial exposure.

Based on our experience and success, we are frequently invited to speak to other lawyers and trade groups about important issues in this area of the law.

Representative Matters

  • Lead counsel in six-week jury trial in Nassau County Supreme Court representing  gas station owner against environmental remediation firm and its principals accused of covering up failure to clean subsurface contamination. Jury found defendants liable for breach of contract and fraud, and awarded station owner 100% of damages claimed plus $2.2 million in punitive damages.
  • Represented property owner in action against ExxonMobil Corporation involving environmental contamination from underground gasoline tanks abandoned in the 1960s, but not discovered until 2005.  After defeating motion for summary judgment and preparing case for trial, action was resolved shortly before trial pursuant to a confidential settlement.
  • Briefed and argued appeal on behalf of factory owner whose property was damaged by petroleum discharge.  Appellate court affirmed trial court’s $1.2 million award of property damage and lost profits to owner and awarded attorneys’ and experts’ fees under New York Navigation Law § 181, the first appellate-level decision to award litigation costs in a private action brought under the New York State Oil Spill Prevention Act.  Click here to read the decision.  
  • Represented former property owner in connection with investigation and cleanup of historic gasoline discharge in Queens, New York.  Assisted client in selecting  environmental consultant, reviewed all submissions to the DEC, and  negotiated significant financial contribution from prior site operator under threat of legal action.

 

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