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PRACTICES & INDUSTRIES

While our firm is best known for defending automobile manufacturers, our lawyers counsel an array of Global 500 and internationally-based clients in high-stakes, national litigation in a range of industries.

Toxic Torts and Environmental Litigation

test tubes with clear substance toxic tort

Bowman and Brooke is a toxic tort defense powerhouse, defending corporate clients in state and federal trial and appellate courts coast to coast. From global manufacturers and marketers of premium institutional cleaning and sanitizing products, to manufacturers and suppliers of construction and manufacturing materials and equipment, we defend clients aggressively, bringing to bear our extensive knowledge, skill and resources effectively and efficiently at every stage of the case. 

The cases we defend often involve allegations of cancer, birth defects, and major organ diseases (e.g., diseases of the lungs, liver, kidneys and central nervous system), as well as other chronic and acute injuries allegedly resulting from inhalation, dermal, ocular and ingestion exposures. We have a great deal of experience defending against multiple chemical sensitivity claims. We have argued significant Daubert motions based on “junk science.” We have mastered the law and the science, and exploit them to the benefit of our clients.

The outcome of toxic tort cases turns upon science and reasoned application of the law to the facts of each particular case. Combining our courtroom prowess with the scientific and technical expertise of world-renowned experts, we have defended a wide variety of claims from asbestos to benzene to CERCLA and waste water.

CASE RESULTS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE. CASE RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE.
  • Apr 22, 2015
    Pottawattamie County , IA

    An Iowa trial court granted summary judgment for Navistar, Inc., finding that the vehicle manufacturer did not owe a duty to warn with respect to safe use of replacement vehicle component parts manufactured and sold by others. This case arises out of Plaintiff’s claim that David Foote suffered injuries and eventually died as a result of being exposed to asbestos-containing products.

  • Dec 30, 2013
    New York, NY

    On December 30, 2013, Judge Scheindlin from the Southern District of New York granted summary judgment motions brought by two defendants in this toxic torts litigation.  The Court held that the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico's claims, including environmental claims seeking abatement, were time barred under Puerto Rico's one year statute of limitations on torts—despite plaintiff’s argument that sovereign immunity allowed it to pursue claims beyond the statute of limitations.

  • Oct 14, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA

    A California jury returned an 11-1 defense verdict in favor of Nissan North America, Inc. in the case Steiner v. Nissan. After 35 days at trial, Nissan claimed their first asbestos trial defense verdict, proving that plaintiff Richard Steiner's lung cancer was a result of smoking, not of exposure to asbestos-containing friction products. Judge Thomas Anderle presided over the trial.

  • Jul 05, 2005
    Louisiana

    Judge rules in Ecolab's favor
    On July 5, 2005, Magistrate Alonzo P. Wilson of the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana entered summary judgment in favor of Ecolab Inc. and dismissed the claims of two nurses who alleged that their exposure to fumes of an Ecolab institutional floor wax stripper containing glycol ethers caused their two babies to suffer from the fatal birth defect anencephaly.

  • Jun 19, 2003
    Virginia
    After mounting pressure by the Virginia office of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Tri-City Properties, L.L.C. withdrew consideration of its application to the State Water Control Board for development of a 428-acre multi-use community in Chesapeake, VA. Had the permit been approved, the development would have destroyed 145 acres of protected non-tidal wetlands – in direct and blatant violation of a 2000 Virginia law.
  • July 18, 2016
    Articles

    The recent passage of Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) reform will incentivize the plaintiffs bar to bring more toxic tort suits against chemical manufacturers. TSCA's new testing mandates and relaxed protections for confidential business information will provide plaintiffs with government-generated ammunition to support "toxic soup" cases. Manufacturers must therefore ensure that they are operating in compliance with any new regulatory standards, show that past testing and confidentiality practices reflected a corporate commitment to safety and "playing by the rules," and then communicate all this to judges and juries in a compelling and comprehensible manner.

  • June 13, 2016
    Legal Alert
    The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act ("Lautenberg Act"), designed to modernize the 40-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act ("TSCA"), is close to becoming law. The Act drastically restructures the chemical regulatory world and grants the EPA greater power to regulate both new and existing chemicals. Although the Act's focus is purely regulatory, several of its provisions will undoubtedly prove appealing to plaintiff lawyers, particularly in toxic tort contexts.
  • April 15, 2016
    Articles
    Minneapolis Partner John Sear offered his thoughts on the reputational harm to experts from Daubert exclusions for a Bloomberg BNA article series. John's comments were included in the Toxics Law Reporter, Product Safety & Liability Reporter, and the Class Action Litigation Report.
  • December 21, 2015
    Legal Alert

    Last Thursday, the Senate passed the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (“Lautenberg Bill”), bipartisan legislation designed to modernize the 40-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act (“TSCA”). The Senate’s vote comes five months after the House of Representatives passed its own TSCA modernization legislation, the TSCA Modernization Act. The legislation will now go to conference for reconciliation, a process that could take months to complete, assuming the legislation survives at all. If it survives, several aspects of the legislation could prove a boon for plaintiff lawyers.

  • May 11, 2016
    Webinars
    What is the best recipe for success when combating a Toxic Soup case? Our panel of trial lawyers and experts take you beyond the facts to craft a strong defense strategy to contest "Toxic Soup" cases.

Integrated Services

In addition to providing stellar legal counsel, we integrate our provision of other key services with the work of our legal teams. The result? Highly effective and efficient client service.