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 Mike Papantonio. Mr. Papantonio is one of the very 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 teamed with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., the Hudson Riverkeepers, and Water Keeper Alliance to establish 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 the waterways of Northwest Florida.
In 2001, Mr. Papantonio filed two lawsuits against Agrico and Conoco, which led to a $70 million settlement. In 2007, as lead trial counsel in the environmental class action case of Perrine v. Dupont, Mr. Papantonio received a jury verdict award for a West Virginia community with an estimated value in excess of $380 million. In 2015, Mr. Papantonio became the first lawyer in the country to get a personal injury verdict against DuPont arising out of it polluting rivers with the chemical C8, which DuPont uses in creating Teflon.
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 C8 Contamination—Levin Papantonio is currently pursuing an action against Dupont resulting from its release of the chemical perfluorooctanoate (aka PFOA or C8) in Parkersburg, West Virginia.
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.
Hurricane Katrina Disaster --Hurricane Katrina was the costliest natural disaster, and one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. The storm is currently ranked as the third most intense United States hurricanes, behind only the 1935 Labor Day hurricane and Hurricane Camille in 1969.
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.