An important area of the law in which the firm is playing a leading role is environmental litigation. These cases are brought by the firm on behalf of persons whose properties or other rights have been affected by toxic contamination or pollution. Often these cases involve complex scientific issues and thousands of exhibits. They require enormous financial and staff resources and often take the form of class actions brought in the interest of numerous similarly-situated persons.
Levin Papantonio's environmental department is headed by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Mr. Kennedy's reputation as a resolute defender of the environment stems from a litany of successful legal actions. Mr. Kennedy was named one of Time magazine’s “Heroes for the Planet” for his success helping Riverkeeper lead the fight to restore the Hudson River. The group’s achievement helped spawn over 185 Waterkeeper organizations across the globe. Mr. Kennedy serves as Vice Chair and Chief Prosecuting Attorney for Riverkeeper and Chairman of Waterkeeper Alliance. He is also a Clinical Professor and Supervising Attorney at Pace University School of Law’s Environmental Litigation Clinic, Senior Attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, and is co-host of Ring of Fire.
Levin Papantonio's environmental trial team was chosen as finalists for the esteemed Trial Lawyer of the Year Award presented by the Public Justice Foundation for their work on the DuPont Spelter class action, which resulted in a $380 million jury verdicts.
A Sample of Current & Recent Litigation
BP Oil Spill—Levin Papantonio represents more than 2,000 businesses and governmental entities harmed by the April 20, 2010, explosion and subsequent sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, which resulted in the largest accidental oil spill in U.S. history. Levin Papantonio attorney Brian Barr serves as one of only four attorneys in the nation to head up the federal litigation relating to this catastrophe.
Conoco/Agrico Superfund Site – Levin Papantonio represented a class of hundreds of property owners and residents in Pensacola, Florida seeking damages and medical monitoring relating to claims of groundwater contamination attributed to a former fertilizer facility.
Dupont Spelter Contamination—Levin Papantonio represented a class of more than 2,300 persons harmed by heavy metal contamination and zinc smelting in the Spelter, West Virginia area.
Pinecastle Bombing Range—Levin Papantonio represented a class of property owners harmed after bombs and munitions were discovered in a residential and school area in Orlando, Florida. Litigation revealed that in 1943, the U.S. Government leased 12,483 acres of land to be used as a gunnery and demonstration range for testing and troop instruction in methods of tactical bombing and strafing.