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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.

  • 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

    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
    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.
  • June 14, 2017

    "The next asbestos is asbestos." David Lutz and Whitney Cruz discussed the future of asbestos litigation in an article published in DRI's For The Defense. Asbestos litigation is already a multi-billion dollar industry with mesothelioma diagnoses at its peak. While mesothelioma case filings are predicted to decline in the coming years, plaintiffs lawyers intend to transfer their focus on cases alleging lung cancer as a result of asbestos exposure. With roughly 200,000 lung cancer diagnoses per year in comparison to 3,000 – 3,500 annual mesothelioma diagnoses, the pool for potential plaintiffs' cases could be considerably larger.

  • March 2, 2017
    Speaking Engagement
    What is the best recipe for success when combating a Toxic Soup case? Minneapolis Partner Rick Morgan will moderate an esteemed panel at DRI Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Seminar to provide the tools necessary to craft a strong defense strategy to contest flimsy causation evidence and the reptile strategy, as well as the impact of the recently amended Toxic Substances Control Act and related EPA regulatory activity.
  • July 18, 2016

    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.
  • May 11, 2016
    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.