An important area of the law in which our firm is playing a leading role is environmental litigation. We file these cases on behalf of individuals who have been physically injured or suffered property damage as a result of toxic contamination. We also file claims on behalf of governments required to remediate public property and waterways.
These type of 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.
Protecting the Environment and the Public
Levin Papantonio Rafferty's environmental department is headed by Mike Papantonio. Mr. Papantonio is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He is listed in the publications Best Lawyers in America and Leading American Attorney.
In 1998, Mr. Papantonio established a Riverkeepers program in Northwest Florida known as the Emerald Coastkeepers, Inc., a full-time organization that serves the community as a public advocate for its waterways.
In 2001, our firm filed a lawsuit against Agrico and Conoco for polluting a waterway in Pensacola, Florida, and causing extensive property damage. The case resulted in a $70 million settlement.
In 2007, we received a $380 million jury verdict for residents in a West Virginia community whose property was contaminated by pollutants discharged from a DuPont plant. As a result of our efforts, the law firm's environmental team was chosen as a finalist for the Trial Lawyer of the Year Award presented by the Public Justice Foundation.
In 2011, we were chosen by a federal judge in Louisiana to serve as one of only four law firms in the country to head up the federal litigation relating to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which was the largest accidental oil spill in U.S. history.
In 2017, we reached a $670 million settlement with DuPont to compensate 3,500 individuals injured by the chemical C8, which had been discharged into the Ohio River.
A Sample of Our Environmental Litigation
BP Oil Spill—We represented 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. We served as one of the lead counsel in the national litigation against BP, which resulted in a multi-billion dollar settlement.
Camp Lejeune -- We represent individuals who were exposed to volatile organic compounds at Camp Lejeune and have been diagnosed with cancers.
Conoco/Agrico Superfund Site -- We 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. The case resulted in a $70 million settlement.
Dupont C8 Contamination—We reached a $670 million settlement on behalf of 3,500 individuals injured when Dupont released the chemical perfluorooctanoate (aka PFOA or C8) into the Ohio River and the air around Parkersburg, West Virginia.
Dupont GenX Contamination—We represented individuals injured by Dupont and Chemours releasing the chemical GenX into the Cape Fear River in North Carolina.
Dupont Spelter Contamination—We represented a class of more than 2,300 persons harmed by heavy metal contamination in the Spelter, West Virginia area. The case resulted in a settlement valued in excess of $350 million.
Ethylene Oxide Contamination—We represent individuals who suffered exposure to ethylene oxide from a manufacturing plant or facility in their community and suffered from cancer or cancer or blood disorders.
Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)—Our firm is assisting public and private entitites in recovering costs involved in the removal and remediation of PFAS.
Pinecastle Bombing Range—We 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.