Rising Stars

Product liability, mass tort and class action - defense: toxic tort in United States

Arnold & Porter

Combining a core environmental practice headed from Washington DC by Brian Israel , with overarching product liability expertise led by Anand Agneshwar and Daphne O’Connor, from New York and Washington DC, respectively, Arnold & Porter is well-placed to defend high-profile multinational clients from a range of industry sectors, including energy and biotechnology, in toxic tort disputes involving diverse chemicals and other contaminated materials. In this context, as well as regularly guiding clients through large consolidated private litigation, it is also well-equipped to handle any attendant government investigations and enforcement actions and has an excellent insight into regulatory thinking. Washington DC-based Michael Daneker maintains a vibrant environmental law and toxic tort practice that not only defends high-profile clients including Honeywell in private and government-initiated proceedings, but also works with clients regarding strategies for contaminated site resolution. Also based in Washington DC, Elissa Preheim is very adept at working alongside scientific and other technical experts to provide the most robust defense available to clients and alongside Daneker has been involved in a considerable amount of work relating to co-called “forever chemicals”, including for Honeywell in the Hoosick Falls PFAS litigation. In Washington DC, experienced trial and appellate lawyer William Hoffman is skilled at managing large product liability and toxic tort matters, as well as in relation to state attorney general investigations; he continues to serve as national counsel to Bayer in the sprawling litigation involving the legacy Monsanto product Roundup. The firm is also very accomplished at helping clients navigate various state regulations, most notably as it pertains to California’s Proposition 65.

Practice head(s):

Anand Agneshwar; Daphne O’Connor; Brian Israel

Other key lawyers:

Michael Daneker; William Hoffman; Elissa Preheim

Key clients

Altria Group and affiliates, including Philip Morris USA Inc.



California Chamber of Commerce

Honeywell International


Con Edison

Wolverine Worldwide, Inc.

The Chemours Company



Work highlights

  • Advising Chemours on a range of regulatory, enforcement and litigation matters relating to the discovery of chemicals in the Cape Fear River in North Carolina.
  • Representing Honeywell in the defense of a consolidated class action and approximately 54 individual toxic tort suits in federal and state court arising out of the presence of PFOA in the groundwater and municipal water supply of Hoosick Falls, New York.
  • Representing Bayer in the ongoing litigation involving the legacy Monsanto product Roundup.

King & Spalding LLP

With experts located on both coasts, as well as in key Southern cities, including Houston and Atlanta, King & Spalding LLP is well-positioned to represent clients in high-exposure and high-profile groundwater, waste, soil, water, air, and climate cases throughout the country, including in venues considered to be the most plaintiff friendly. Indeed, a particular strength of the firm is its ability and willingness to try cases, working up persuasive narratives to present before juries, in part due to the firm’s familiarity and in-depth underlying knowledge of often highly complex scientific and technical issues. Noted not only for her subject matter expertise and procedural nous, including as coordinating national counsel on large scale consolidated disputes, New York-based partner Kristen Fournier is also highly attuned to jury demographics and trends, tailoring her advocacy before the courtroom to suit on cases involving asbestos and chemical exposure, in particular. In Houston, Tracie Renfroe  is well-versed in effectively developing litigation strategies for clients in the energy, manufacturing, and pharma sectors; she has particular expertise advising clients in relation to groundwater and drinking water contamination. Accomplished senior trial lawyer Robert Meadows is also recommended for his energy-related toxic tort expertise, while at the more junior end of the spectrum  Elizabeth Taber, also based in Houston, continues to thrive on behalf of energy and oilfield clients including in the defense of groundwater contamination lawsuits. San Francisco-based partner Matthew Blaschke co-heads the team alongside Fournier and has expertise across a range of toxic and environmental consolidated private litigation, as well as in relation to government investigations and enforcement actions.



Practice head(s):

Matt Blaschke; Kristen Fournier

Other key lawyers:

Tracie Renfroe; Elizabeth Taber; John Hooper; Morton Dubin; Robert Meadows; Craig Stanfield; Charles Correll; Nick Kayhan; John Ewald; Douglas Henderson; Matthew Bush; Kevin Hynes

Key clients

Boehringer Ingelheim

The Dow Chemical Company

General Motors


Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc.

Mercedes-Benz USA

Mine Safety Appliances


Renco Group

International Paper Company

Shell Oil Company


Viking Group, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Representing Union Carbide Corporation in two putative class actions in West Virginia seeking mass, community wide medical monitoring on the theory that exposure to EtO (ethylene oxide) causes a wide range of cancers.
  • Representing BASF in high-profile lawsuits brought by water purveyors Rio Linda Elverta Community Water District and Sacramento Suburban Water District against the federal government, and manufacturers and suppliers of products alleged to contain the chemical.

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP‘s nationwide offering, which draws upon lawyers with expertise across product liability, environmental law and complex commercial disputes, provides advice to clients facing down a variety of toxic tort private class actions, government investigations, and enforcement actions, as well as in the context of environmental clean-up cases. The firm has been at the cutting-edge of environmental issues for many years and regularly helps major industrial and manufacturing clients respond to high-stakes toxic tort matters, not only from a purely litigious perspective but also in a risk management context. In Chicago, the ‘creative and extremely hardworking’ Mary Rose Alexander  is adept at guiding clients, including energy and chemical companies, through all aspects of multi-plaintiff toxic tort and environmental litigation including case management, expert discovery and trial. As well as handling conventional matters relating to alleged exposure to chemicals, metals and solvents, she has also been active defending clients in cases where plaintiffs have initiated tort litigation as a means of advancing ESG goals. Boston-based partners Gwyn Williams  and Kenneth Parsigian co-head the firm’s  overarching product liability, mass tort and consumer class action group which houses the underlying toxic tort offering. Kegan Brown left the firm in January 2024.

Practice head(s):

Gwyn Williams; Kenneth Parsigian

Other key lawyers:

Mary Rose Alexander


The Latham team is unique in that in makes the collaborative experience with the client seamless, starting with its people, technology, and client service.’

They do not simply say yes, but push back and give counsel, as they should.’

Mary Rose Alexander is the best! She is creative and extremely hardworking.’

Key clients


DTE Energy

Endo Pharmaceuticals


FMC Corporation

General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems, Inc.

Marathon Oil Corp.




Owens Corning

SK Sawgrass L.P., SK Second Reserve L.P.

Paddock Enterprises, Inc.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Principally based out of its East and West coast offices, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has a well-established toxic tort offering which represents energy and manufacturing sector clients across the gamut of asbestos, chemical and environmental exposure cases. As well as benefiting from access to excellent legal technology and a very flexible approach to fees, the firm also stands out for its ability to handle big-ticket mandates often involving regulatory challenges, government enforcements actions and investigations, and aggregated private litigation. In this context, the team regularly acts as coordinating national counsel on major multi-party and multijurisdictional cases. A fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Los Angeles-based partner David Schrader exemplifies this approach, including recently representing oil and gas companies in separate high-profile toxic tort matters. Also based in Los Angeles, Yardena Zwang-Weissman continues to gain market recognition as a result of her ability to handle large-scale multi-party and multi-faceted environmental toxic tort cases relating to alleged soil, water, and groundwater contamination where her advice includes a compelling combination of subject matter, strategic and procedural expertise. Washington DC-based partner Paul Zevnik co-heads the team alongside Zwang-Weissman and has developed a market-leading reputation in relation to insurance recovery and coverage issues relating to toxic tort liabilities.

Practice head(s):

Paul Zevnik; Yardena Zwang-Weissman

Other key lawyers:

Brady Edwards; Nagwa Hultquist; Daniel Chefitz; David Schrader; David Schrader; Teri Diaz

Key clients

SoCalGas and Sempra Energy


Work highlights

  • Representing SoCalGas and Sempra Energy in handling more than 394 individual and government complaints arising from the natural gas leak at the Aliso Canyon storage facility.
  • Represented Shell USA as plaintiff in obtaining a unanimous $133m jury trial verdict in an environmental cost recovery lawsuit brought against real estate developer Barclay Hollander Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dole Plc.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

Noted for its ability to try and win high-stakes litigation throughout the country, an approach which was recently further enhanced by the arrival of William Oxley  and Meghan Rohling Kelly in June 2022 from BakerHostetler, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is a popular choice among many high-profile clients facing down potentially reputation-threatening toxic tort litigation. As well as handling more conventional and settled law relating to toxic poisoning, drugs and disasters, the team, which is centred primarily out of its East and West coast offices, has also been at the vanguard of new claims brought by the plaintiffs’ bar, including regarding climate change litigation. In this regard, New York-based partner James Stengel continues to serve as national coordinating counsel for Marathon Oil with respect to various complex and high-profile claims related to climate change involving the states of Rhode Island and Delaware, the cities of Baltimore and Annapolis, Maryland, and Anne Arundel County in Maryland, and a group of private fishermen’s associations. As part of his versatile litigation offering, New York-based trial lawyer Peter Bicks has had successes in private and government-initiated litigation across a range of toxic tort matters, including as it relates to asbestos contamination and PFAS exposure.

Practice head(s):

Jessica Perry

Other key lawyers:

Peter Bicks; James Stengel; Meghan Rohling Kelly; William Oxley; Lisa Simpson; Anne Malik

Key clients

Johnson & Johnson

National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)

China National Building Material Company (CNBM)

Union Carbide Corporation


Marathon Oil


Work highlights

  • Representing the NCAA in its student-athlete concussion litigation.
  • Representing Marathon Oil with respect to various complex and high-profile claims related to climate change involving the States of Rhode Island and Delaware, the Cities of Baltimore and Annapolis, Maryland, and Anne Arundel County in Maryland, and a group of private fishermen’s associations.
  • Representing the China National Building Material Group in a multi-district litigation and series of class actions stemming from allegedly defective gypsum-based drywall.

Baker Botts L.L.P.

Leveraging the expertise of litigators and environment specialists primarily based out of its Houston headquarters, as well as from Washington DC, Baker Botts L.L.P. is particularly accomplished at representing energy and utilities clients in toxic tort issues arising in the course of their business. The scope of this work is broad and includes consolidated private litigation alleging personal injury and property damage as a result of groundwater and soil contamination, as well as regularly responding to major high-profile environmental incidents –  where the firm is able to provide a tailored crisis response service aimed at minimizing reputational damage and to efficiently respond to attendant regulatory investigations, as well as resulting litigation. In Houston, Russell Lewis excels in handling multi-faceted mandates and is often front-and-centre in assisting major manufacturing and energy companies respond in the aftermath of major environmental incidents; he continues to represent Intercontinental Terminals Company in crisis response, governmental enforcement defense, and multiple class actions and private party lawsuits arising out of Deer Park terminal fire. As well as providing regulatory compliance advice, Washington DC-based partner Kent Mayo also regularly handles class action litigation arising from environmental issues, as well as responding to governmental enforcement actions – an area that he is able to provide particular insight as a result of his previous tenure as a trial lawyer at the Environmental Enforcement section of the DOJ. Joshua Frank and Ty Buthod co-head the team alongside Mayo from Washington DC and Houston, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Ty Buthod; Joshua Frank; Kent Mayo

Other key lawyers:

Kevin Jacobs; Russell Lewis; Louie Layrisson; Benjamin Gonsoulin

Key clients

Assertio Therapeutics

BASF Corporation

CenterPoint Energy

Dixie Chemical Company


Intercontinental Terminals Company

Orlando Utilities Commission

Tenaris Global Services USA

TPC Group

Tennessee-American Water Company

West Virginia-American Water Company

Work highlights

  • Representing Intercontinental Terminals Company in the legal proceedings arising out of a fire at its Deer Park terminal in March 2019, including defending over 100 private party lawsuits, including multiple class actions, alleging personal injury, property damage, or business interruption.
  • Representing TPC Group in a variety of matters arising out of two explosions at its chemical plant in Port Neches, TX. Including defending TPC more than 7,000 private party claims brought by individuals and businesses that have been consolidated into a multi-district litigation proceeding in Orange County, Texas.

Dechert LLP

Primarily centred out of New York but also gaining traction on the West Coast, exemplified by the work of Los Angeles based Kimberly Branscome, Dechert LLP regularly handles high-profile toxic tort-related class actions and MDLs, both in the environmental space, as well as in cases involving harm caused by pharma products. In these matters the team, which includes many accomplished trial lawyers, regularly acts as national counsel, coordinating and presenting the key arguments and motions to the courts. Douglas Fleming has a strong grounding in environmental toxic torts and is a key member of the team alongside Rachel Passaretti-Wu defending  Saint-Gobain in high-profile civil litigation and regulatory matters relating to alleged damage caused by exposure to forever chemicals in drinking water. An expert in toxic torts, Sheila L. Birnbaum  has deep expertise in the space and co-heads the overarching product liability and mass torts team alongside Branscome and Mark Cheffo . All named practitioners are based in New York, unless otherwise noted.

Practice head(s):

Sheila L. Birnbaum; Kimberly Branscome; Mark Cheffo

Other key lawyers:

Douglas Fleming; Paul LaFata; Rachel Passaretti-Wu; Marina Schwarz

Key clients

Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics

Work highlights

  • Representing Saint-Gobain in putative class actions in New York, New Hampshire and Vermont alleging the company’s use of materials containing perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) contaminated the groundwater and asserting medical monitoring and property damage as a result of exposure.

DLA Piper LLP (US)

Housed within the firm’s broad-based overarching product liability and mass torts group, which is led out of Atlanta by Christopher Campbell , DLA Piper LLP (US) has a strong and increasingly active presence throughout the country across a range of toxic tort matters. The firm has been at the vanguard of market trends in the space and has consequently picked up some key instructions in relation to many issues, including as it relates to toxic forever chemicals and climate change-related suits. San Francisco-based partner George Gigounas has been at the forefront of many of these environmental disputes, including his work alongside Los Angeles-based Angela Agrusa for a food and beverage manufacturer in litigation brought by a non-profit environmental advocacy group attempting to hold manufacturers responsible for plastic pollution in the California beaches and waterways.


Practice head(s):

Chris Campbell

Other key lawyers:

Loren Brown; James Brogan; Buffy Mims; George Gigounas; John Phillips; John Wellshclager; Adam Baas; Jayme Long; Saher Valiani; Alexander Giraldo; Daniel Larkins

Key clients


Helena Agri-Enterprises, Inc.



Nurture, Inc.


Work highlights

  • Representing BASF in a federal MDL in the District of South Carolina involving allegations that Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF), a foam used to suppress large gasoline fires, contains per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), including perfluorooctanoate sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which plaintiffs allege are hazardous to human health.
  • Representing Sanofi in litigation and regulatory issues relating to Zantac.
  • Representing Nurture, Inc. (a subsidiary of Danone NA) in claims that heavy metals such as inorganic arsenic and lead were present at dangerous levels in baby food.

Greenberg Traurig LLP

With a sprawling presence throughout the country, including in key offices in Florida, New York and Chicago, Greenberg Traurig LLP is well-positioned to defend chemicals, manufacturing and energy clients against alleged toxic tort and environmental infractions, irrespective of geographical location. Able to mobilize resources utilizing core environmental and litigation practitioners, as well as frequently drawing upon the expertise of practitioners in other key practice areas, including real estate and construction, the team is particularly effective at handling large-scale multi-pronged matters involving regulatory enforcement actions, criminal and private class actions. The team, which is led out of Tampa by seasoned trial lawyer David Weinstein, is adept and has achieved significant victories over the years, at trial and appeal, in cases involving alleged soil, water, and air pollution. Key to these successes is the firm’s in-depth understanding of the underlying scientific and technical issues and ability to develop expert analyses to best serve their clients’ objectives.

Practice head(s):

David Weinstein

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Torres; Francis Citera; Gretchen Miller; Steven Russo; Libretta Stennes; Keith Smith; Kaitlyn Maxwell; Ryan Hopper; Brian Porter; Raymond Jackson; Christopher White; Adam Kirschbaum

Key clients

Lockheed Martin Corporation

Union Pacific Railroad

The Mosaic Company

National Foam, Inc. and other related entities

Empire State Development

PSEG Long Island and the Long Island Power Authority

Ovivo Water, LLC

Orlando Utilities Commission

Work highlights

  • Representing Orlando Utilities Commission in a high-stakes toxic-tort class action in which plaintiffs allege, among other things, that particulates from a coal-fired power plant “have contaminated [more than 15,000] properties with carcinogenic radionuclides” and caused children in the class area to develop fatal “paediatric brain and blood cancers.”
  • Representing 8701 Collins Development, LLC and related entities in a consolidated class-action arising from the Champlain Towers South building collapse on June 24, 2021 in Surfside, Florida.
  • Representing Lockheed Martin in five separate but related high-profile toxic tort actions.

Jones Day

Jones Day‘s strength in the toxic tort arena lies in its core ability to try big-ticket cases irrespective of subject matter, as well as to take the lead as coordinating counsel on large scale class actions and MDLs. The team, which is led from Atlanta by seasoned trial lawyer Stephanie Parker , excels in handling multi-pronged civil and government actions throughout the litigation continuum, with teams combining industry regulatory expertise and trial experience. The scope of the toxic tort work is broad and includes claims brought in relation to alleged air and groundwater contamination, both in terms of personal injury and property damage. A key recent area of focus has been the firm’s cutting-edge work relating to forever chemicals, an area that vastly experienced New York-based of counsel Theodore Grossman has been particularly active, including on behalf of Daikin, in class actions, attorney general actions, and individual cases challenging its manufacture and sale of PFAS.

Practice head(s):

Stephanie Parker

Other key lawyers:

Sharyl Reisman; Leon DeJulius; Theodore Grossman; Rebekah Blake; Katrina Caseldine

Key clients

Chevron USA, Inc.

Daikin America/Daikin Industries

Sherwin-Williams Company, The

Steris Corporation

Work highlights

  • Representing Chevron USA, Inc. and Chevron-related entities in paraquat-related lawsuits.
  • Representing Daikin America and Daikin Industries in class actions, attorney general actions, and individual cases challenging Daikin’s manufacture and sale of PFAS.
  • Representing STERIS subsidiary Isomedix Operations, Inc., in multiple lawsuits brought by dozens of personal injury plaintiffs in Cook County, Illinois alleging cancer and other diseases caused by exposure to Ethylene Oxide emissions from a medical device sterilization facility formerly owned by STERIS.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Noted for its trial-ready approach and ability to run large-scale teams in resource intensive MDLs, Kirkland & Ellis LLP is a popular choice among clients seeking to defend toxic tort allegations in federal and state courts throughout the country. The team has developed particular expertise defending pharmaceutical companies in relation to consolidated personal injury claims initiated by consumers of their products, as well as those sustained by former employees of production facilities and nearby residents. Washington-DC based partner Mike Brock is one of many acclaimed trial lawyers at the firm, and excels in trials involving complex scientific issues, particularly within the pharma space.

Other key lawyers:

Mike Brock; Jennifer Levy; Leslie Smith; Renee Smith; Donna Welch; Jay Lefkowitz

Key clients

Abbott Laboratories

Allergan plc

Amneal Pharmaceuticals

Barrett Minerals, Inc.

Dow Chemical Company

E.I. Dupont de Nemours & Company, Inc.


Hilco Redevelopment, LLC

Syngenta Corporation

The Boeing Company

Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

Mayer Brown

Combining strong trial and appellate capabilities with a deep knowledge of the scientific and technical issues underpinning product liability and toxic tort fields cases in the space, Mayer Brown is a popular choice among high-profile clients to defend them in high-stakes national class actions/MDLs, including as it relates to emerging torts relating to greenhouse gas emissions and forever chemicals. Chicago-based trial lawyer Michael Olsen has gained a particularly strong reputation in the mass torts space and has lead roles on many of the firm’s highest-profile mandates, including in the NCAA Student-Athlete Concussion MDL and for core client 3M in varied causes of action and claims brought by plaintiffs in relation to alleged PFAS contamination. Also based out of the firm’s Chicago headquarters, Daniel Ring  regularly works alongside Olsen on large-scale MDLs, including the aforementioned mandates, and is noted for his strategic expertise through the litigation process, including as it relates to developing fact and expert witnesses, trial preparation and  in evaluating settlement and conducting mediations. New York-based Henninger Bullock  co-heads the team alongside Olsen and Ring.

Practice head(s):

Henninger Bullock; Michael Olsen; Daniel Ring

Other key lawyers:

Craig Woods

Key clients


Veolia S.A.

Union Carbide

Weyerhaeuser Company

Whirlpool Corporation

Nicor Gas Company

The Dow Chemical Company

National Association of Manufacturers

American Petroleum Institute

American Farm Bureau Federation

Work highlights

  • Representing 3M in significant high-stakes litigation, which includes representing 3M Company in over 1,500 suits in nearly 20 states filed by individuals, water suppliers, and units of government at the state and local level.
  • Representing Veolia against unwarranted allegations of wrongdoing regarding the Flint, Michigan water crisis.
  • Representing The Big Ten Conference, Inc in several pending putative class actions seeking recovery on behalf of classes of former college football players for alleged concussion-related injuries.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP

Drawing upon the expertise of product liability and mass tort litigators spread throughout the country, including many with first-chair trial credentials, McDermott Will & Emery LLP is well-positioned to defend high-profile clients in the energy, agro-chemical and life sciences sectors, against a diverse array of litigation, including those involving groundwater contamination, glyphosate-based product claims and claims involving mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure. Miami-based team head Anthony Upshaw  is frequently at the forefront of the highest-stakes matters handled by the team, including its ongoing representation for Bayer in relation to legacy Monsanto PCB products, as well as in numerous claims brought in state and federal courts in the long-running Roundup litigation. In New York, James Pardo  is also a key member of the team by virtue of his skill at handling both private and government-led enforcement actions relating to a myriad toxic tort infractions. Pardo remains particularly active in the oil and gas sector, and has led the firm’s efforts for the industry in relation to MTBE product liability claims.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Upshaw

Other key lawyers:

James Pardo

Key clients

American Petroleum Association




DECRA Roofing Systems

Honeywell International Inc.

IKO Manufacturing



Work highlights

  • Representing ExxonMobil in more than 500 class action, mass tort, environmental and product liability cases litigated in state and federal courts across the country.
  • Representing Monsanto in relation to multiple venue products liability mass tort actions related to the manufacture, sale and distribution of polychlorinated biphenyl.

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

Housed within its overarching product liability practice group, South Carolina-headquartered firm Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP regularly acts as local and regional counsel, as well as being increasingly well-positioned to act as national counsel, on behalf of clients seeking to defend themselves from consolidated claims alleging a wide range of toxic tort infractions. As well as continuing to handle asbestos-related claims associated with talc products, the firm has also handled some newer torts including as it relates to contamination claims relating to forever chemicals. As two of the most experienced trial lawyers at the firm, Mike Brown and David Dukes  have had considerable success over the years in relation to toxic tort mandates, particularly within the pharmaceuticals space. In Los Angeles, Jahmy Graham  is also gaining some visibility in the space, particularly by dint of his pro bono representation of a public interest objector to a $641m settlement relating to residents’ exposure to lead in drinking water in Flint, Michigan. South Carolina-based Mark Jones and Minneapolis office head Alana Bassin co-head the team.

Practice head(s):

Mark Jones; Alana Bassin

Other key lawyers:

Jahmy Graham; Mike Brown; David Dukes

Key clients

American Optical

Johnson & Johnson

Work highlights

  • Representing American Optical in product liability matters involving underground mine respirators.
  • Representing a public interest objector to a $641m settlement relating to residents’ exposure to lead in drinking water in Flint, Michigan.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Led from Houston by Brett Young , Norton Rose Fulbright is particularly adept at representing energy and chemical companies in multifaceted toxic tort contamination cases, as well as in the aftermath of major incidents and disasters. The firm’s skill at handling such cases is predicated on its ability to effectively knit together regulatory and litigation expertise, as well as to manage any attendant reputational issues and to effectively deal with media enquiries. An increasing volume of work for the practice includes personal injury and property damage claims arising from the  contamination of groundwater. In this regard, Young has been active defending clients in relation to claims based on forever chemicals as well as dioxane exposure.

Practice head(s):

Brett Young

Other key lawyers:

Justin VandenBout; Devin Wagner

Key clients


Vulcan Materials Company

Illinois Tool Works

Energy Transfer Partners

Kuraray America Inc.



Work highlights

  • Representing Vulcan in over two dozen separate cases brought in the Eastern District of New York and New York State by various water districts and municipalities over the alleged contamination of groundwater by the chemical compound and suspect carcinogen 1,4-Dioxane for several years.
  • Represented Energy Transfer LP following a May 10, 2018 crude oil pipeline release near Oklahoma City.

Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP

Headed from Kansas City by David Erickson, Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP‘s ‘professional and attentive’ environmental and toxic tort litigation team has a strong national reputation defending clients from a range of industries, including chemicals, energy, pharmaceuticals and mining, against personal injury and property damage caused by groundwater and surface water contamination, as well as in the context of workplace exposure. Leveraging a deep understanding of the medical and environmental science, as well as strategic expertise at a procedural level, the firm has a long track record of success throughout all phases of the litigation continuum whether through preliminary injunction, summary judgment, trial or appeal. Many of the group are also extremely well-versed across myriad federal and state environmental statutes, including Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and CERCLA, handling private and government enforcement actions but also in the context of regulatory compliance.  



Practice head(s):

Dave Erickson

Other key lawyers:

John Barkett; Tom Grever; Brent Dwerlkotte; Richard Campbell; Jad Davis; Jamie Thompson; Tom Goutman; Adam Miller; Susan Werstak; Kirk Marty


They are professional and attentive, communicative and provide good legal advice and strategy.’

Key clients

The Doe Run Company

Huhtamaki Inc.

SPG (Passaic River Court Litigation) and SPLG (CERCLA Cost Recovery Litigation in Federal Court)

Mallinckrodt, LLC

DuPont / The Chemours Company

Sanmina Corporation

1428 Santa Anita Avenue, LLC

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Noted in particular for its trial skills, both at first instance and appellate level, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is a popular choice to represent high-profile clients from a range of industries, including energy, consumer products, manufacturing and chemicals, in their highest-stakes, often reputational threatening disputes. The scope of work in the space is broad, covering pharma-related infractions, including its work for retailers in the opioid MDL, as well as environmental issues, including chemical contamination and plastics pollution. Eminent New York-based litigator Diane Sullivan has significant experience trying cases in the space, regularly being brought in for bellwether trials as a result of her skill in the courtroom, honed over many years’ practice. Alongside Miami-based Edward Soto , she continues to represent Spanish energy company, Repsol, in litigation related to clean up costs in connection with the pollution of the Passaic River in New Jersey, one of the EPA’s largest superfund projects in history. New York-based Theodore Tsekerides also regularly handles toxic tort and product liability matters throughout the litigation continuum and has niche experience in the defense of claims in a bankruptcy context, as well as litigating insurance coverage disputes relating to environmental clean-up obligations. Sullivan co-heads the overarching products liability and mass torts team alongside Silicon Valley-based David Singh.

Practice head(s):

Diane Sullivan; David Singh

Other key lawyers:

Theodore Tsekerides; Edward Soto

Key clients

Giant Eagle



General Electric

Johnson & Johnson


Procter & Gamble

ExxonMobil Corp.


Keith Lindner, Former Executive of Chiquita

Work highlights

  • Representing Repsol, S.A. in a series of complex environmental and business disputes involving allegedly more than a billion dollars in liabilities in connection with the pollution of the Passaic River.
  • Representing ExxonMobil in a New Jersey state court in an action brought by the New Jersey Attorney General, on behalf of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, regarding PCB contamination of property in Gloucester County, NJ.
  • Representing PepsiCo in a major “public nuisance” action filed in California Superior Court, which alleges that PepsiCo and many other major consumer products companies have misled the public about the recyclability of their products.

Winston & Strawn LLP

Drawing upon a deep bench of litigators, including many prolific first-chair trial lawyers, Winston & Strawn LLP is a popular choice for clients seeking a robust, yet highly strategic defense, against high-stakes toxic tort-related matters. The scope of the work is broad, encompassing mandates in the pharmaceutical space, including as it relates to the opioid MDL and the infant formula litigation; environment and energy, including cases involving the release of hazardous substances and groundwater contamination; and the transportation sector. Spearheaded by Chicago-based George Lombardi and practice chair Sandra Edwards in San Francisco, the firm’s role as trial counsel to Bayer in relation to the legacy Monsanto product Roundup continues to be one of its highest-profile mandates and continues to elicit successes in various jury trials throughout the country. Denise Scofield in Houston has an excellent track record handling environmental and toxic tort disputes involving allegations of groundwater, soil and air contamination; she has particular expertise representing clients in the energy sector where she is able to bring added insight to bear as a result of former in-house role at a global oil and gas company.


Practice head(s):

Sandra Edwards

Other key lawyers:

George Lombardi; Dan Webb; Denise Scofield; Bryce Cooper; Sarah Krajewski

Key clients

Monsanto Company (now Bayer AG)

Schlumberger Technology Corporation

Abbott Laboratories

Motorola Mobility LLC

Glasshape Manufacturing


Decra Roofing Systems, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Representing Monsanto Company as trial counsel for the Roundup® product liability matters, including the first US jury trial, defending against allegations that the herbicide causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
  • Representing Schlumberger Technology Company and affiliates in a mass tort groundwater contamination lawsuit at a Superfund site in Midland, Texas.
  • Representing Schlumberger Technology Corporation in a long-running dispute regarding the failure of multiple subsurface safety valves used in deepwater oil and gas wells in the Gulf of Mexico.

Bowman and Brooke LLP

Mid-sized national product liability focused litigation firm Bowman and Brooke LLP regularly secures lead and national counsel roles involving a wide range of toxic torts, including chemical exposure, soil and water contamination, mold, benzene and others that involve allegations of cancer, birth defects, and major organ diseases. The firm has, however, gained most recognition for its asbestos-related work, handling matters for clients from a range of industries, including in the automotive space – one of the firm’s core industry areas of expertise – in courts throughout the country. Minneapolis-based Roshan Rajkumar regularly secures national coordinating or lead trial counsel roles for manufacturers and chemical companies in the defense of toxic tort claims, including as it relates to allegations of asbestos contamination. Los Angeles-based partner Larry Ramsey has developed a strong reputation in California for his trial work in the toxic tort arena, including handling cases relating to alleged exposures to asbestos, benzene and chlorinated solvents. Ramsey co-heads the team alongside Phoenix-based partner William Auther, who is noted for his asbestos-related work.

Practice head(s):

Larry Ramsey; William Auther

Other key lawyers:

Roshan Rajkumar; William Purnell; Lauren Miller; Carmen Bickerdt; Vanessa Merassaint

Key clients

Ford Motor Company

Daikin Applied Americas Inc.

W.M. Barr & Company, Inc.

Hitachi Construction Truck Manufacturing Ltd. Euclid Hitachi)

Mack Trucks, Inc.

Resolute Management, Inc.

Allianz Insurance Company

Paramount Global (formerly ViacomCBS)

Navistar International Corporation

Wayne Combustion Systems, a Scott-Fetzer Company

Work highlights

  • Representing Ford Motor Company in personal injury or wrongful death matters where plaintiffs allege injuries due to exposure to asbestos at a Ford facility.
  • Representing Daikin Applied Americas Inc in toxic tort cases.
  • Representing W.M. Barr & Company in defending product liability and toxic tort litigation nationwide.

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

Richmond-headquartered firm Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP is particularly active in single plaintiff and consolidated toxic tort actions with a nexus to the south of the country, a particularly fertile location for work in the space in light of the concentration of large energy and industrial companies headquartered in the region. Although the scope of the claims are broad, running the gamut from personal injury and/or property damage caused by exposure from a range of chemicals and natural occurring substances, the ‘results oriented’ team remains most active in the asbestos arena. Alexandra Cunningham, who co-heads the products liability and mass tort litigation practice alongside Houston-based Georgia Lucier, who ‘knows the law and medical science’, is key to much of the success the firm has had in the asbestos arena, whether it be in relation to direct occupational exposure cases, bystander claims or “take-home” cases. Benefiting from ‘good relationships with judges and adversary counsel’ developed over his many years in private practice, Houston-based partner Thomas Taylor  is also a key member of the team and is popular among oil and gas companies to defend them in big-ticket toxic tort cases. The firm has also been at the vanguard of disputes arising in the aftermath of Covid-19, and has established a nascent interdisciplinary group which combines mass tort litigators with OSHA and employment law lawyers to good effect, both from a risk management perspective and in any attendant tort litigation which may ensue, including wrongful death and personal injury defense and public nuisance claims.

Practice head(s):

Alexandra Cunningham; Georgia Lucier

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Taylor; Tom Waskom; Merideth Daly


The firm provides mass tort expertise in the handling of solvent exposure, asbestos, and personal injury matters.’

They are results oriented, but at the same time, always client focused and collaborative in setting case strategies and budgets.’

The deceptively smart Georgia Lucier is a good lawyer and a fighter, and knows the law and medical science. She is a good strategic thinker and a good writer.’

The client-focused Thomas Taylor provides sound advice and counsel when assessing risks. He can try a lawsuit and is good at it, and has developed good relationships with judges and adversary counsel. He knows the law and medical science and is also a team player with counsel from other defense firms that make up a virtual team.’

Key clients

Smithfield Foods, Inc.

Alfa Laval Inc.

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII)

Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (SEA) and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (SEC)

Balfour Beatty and related companies, including AMC West

Atotech USA, LLC

Culpeper Wood Preservers

Work highlights

  • Representing Alfa Laval Packinox in an International Chamber of Commerce arbitration brought by Drivetrain LLC, the litigation trustee, for the now-bankrupt US subsidiaries of Abengoa, a now-defunct Spanish infrastructure and energy company.
  • Represented Alfa in an asbestos personal injury case pending in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.
  • Representing Huntington Ingalls as national strategic and trial counsel for its asbestos cases arising out of the Newport News Shipyard.

Husch Blackwell LLP

Traditionally very strong out of its St Louis headquarters, and continuing to broaden its geographic reach,  Husch Blackwell LLP is increasingly taking on national roles in toxic tort matters, alongside more regional mandates. Although the scope of the firm’s toxic tort workload is broad, the team which is co-headed by J.Y Miller and Brandon Mueller , remains particular effective in handling asbestos litigation where it is noted for its ability to provide ‘strategic solutions that are innovative and practical’. Oakland-based partner Lisa Oberg , who is ‘exceptional at delivering client based solutions’, excels in managing the mass tort liabilities of clients involving asbestos and benzene, where she is noted for her ability to co-ordinate and oversee local counsel law firms.

Practice head(s):

J.Y. Miller; Brandan Mueller

Other key lawyers:

Jen Dlugosz; Jennifer Lee; Francis LoCoco; Melissa Merlin; Frederic Norris; Lisa Oberg; Joseph Orlet; Mark Zellmer


The Husch Blackwell team works collaboratively and implements strategic solutions that are innovative and practical in the mass tort arena.’

‘The team is good at assessing risk and designing solutions to minimize risk in order to provide added protection to its clients.’

‘The team has deep experience and a reputation that is admired and respected.’

Lisa Oberg is exceptional at delivering client based solutions that align with the business goals of their clients.’

‘Frank LoCoco is able to take over complex legal matters where others have failed.’

Key clients



Work highlights

  • Represented Bayer/Monsanto in a month-long trial in state court in Medford, Oregon, when a 12-person jury unanimously rejected the plaintiff’s claims that Roundup, which he had used around his house since the 1970s, caused his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or that Bayer/Monsanto was negligent.

McGuireWoods LLP

Primarily centred from its Richmond headquarters but also able to add additional bench strength from other offices, including Chicago, should the need arise, McGuireWoods LLP has a strong grounding in the defense of clients in class actions and MDLs arising in the context of product liability/toxic tort infractions. Team head Diane Flannery  has deep experience in the field and has over many years in practice had lead counsel and trial counsel roles in toxic tort cases relating to asbestos, lead paint and chemicals. She recently concluded a long-running MDL litigation involving more than 140 class actions alleging excessive levels of formaldehyde in Chinese manufactured laminate flooring. A highly regarded litigator in Virginia, Stephen Busch also has a very strong track record handling toxic tort cases, particularly with an environmental complexion.

Practice head(s):

Diane Flannery

Other key lawyers:

Mark Anderson; Terrence Bagley; Candace Ali Blydenburgh; Stephen Busch; Perry Miles; Samuel Tarry; Trent Taylor

Key clients

Lumber Liquidators, Inc.

Swedish Match NA

Universal Corp. and Universal Leaf Tobacco Company

Work highlights

  • Represented Lumber Liquidator more than 140 class actions alleging excessive formaldehyde in Lumber Liquidators’ laminate flooring in one MDL, and another 40 class actions in a separate MDL that involved durability and false labeling claims against Lumber Liquidators totalling more than $1bn.
  • Representing Swedish Match in a high-profile product liability action brought by plaintiffs who alleged that smokeless tobacco products caused one plaintiff’s tonsil cancer.
  • Represented Universal Corp as lead trial counsel and co-ordinating counsel in litigation filed by more than 406 plaintiffs, including 153 children born in Argentina with birth defects, such as spina bifida and other serious medical problems.

Morrison Foerster

San Francisco-headquartered Morrison Foerster is particularly effective at helping clients navigate the onerous legal and regulatory burdens facing them as a result of California’s position as an environmental standard bearer. The state’s Proposition 65 law accounts for much of the work flow, both from a compliance as well as litigation perspective. Indeed, the firm has over the years secured a number of high-profile successes in enforcement actions brought under the Act, including the only unanimous Proposition 65 decision ever reached by the California Supreme Court. In San Francisco, William Tarantino  has been central to much of this work, effectively liaising with regulators on behalf of his clients, as well as providing robust defense strategies in pursuant enforcement actions, in addition to private actions. San Diego-based Erin Bosman  co-heads the class actions and mass torts group alongside New York-based partner David Fioccola .

Practice head(s):

Erin Bosman; David Fioccola

Other key lawyers:

Julie Park; Tiffany Cheung; Purvi Patel; Alexis Amezcua; William Tarantino; Grant Esposito; Jessica Grant; Alexandra Preece Barlow; Krista deBoer;

Key clients


McKesson Corporation

MicroPort Orthopedics Inc.

Northrop Grumman

Prelude Fertility, Inc.

Thinx Inc.


Work highlights

  • Advising Northrop Grumman in its $1bn+ environmental and toxic tort litigation alleging personal injury and property damage claims from alleged environmental contamination in Bethpage, New York arising from work during WWII building fighter planes for the Navy.
  • Representing McKesson in multidistrict litigation and state court proceedings comprising thousands of cases arising out of plaintiffs’ allegations that they suffered permanent hair loss after being treated for breast cancer with Taxotere.
  • Representing Clorox Company in relation to highly publicized claims that the Clorox-owned prenatal vitamins contained excessive levels of heavy metals.

Nixon Peabody LLP

Nixon Peabody LLP is well-equipped to represent consumer goods manufacturers, chemicals and pharmaceutical clients across a range of toxic tort and environmental litigation. Able to draw upon the expertise of litigators on both coasts as well as the Midwest of the country, the firm is adept at handling large-scale MDLs and class actions and benefits from strong trial credentials, as well as high levels of success in the early resolution of cases through the formulation of compelling dispositive motions. As well as handling private litigation, San Francisco-based counsel Lauren Michals is well-versed in Proposition 65 matters, both from a risk management, as well as enforcement perspective.  ‘Very professional and efficient’ counsel Kevin Saunders is adept at handling all phases of litigation and regularly handles toxic tort exposure cases alleging negligence, product and design defects and failure to warn, including as it relates to asbestos. As part of his broad trial practice, Joseph Ortego regularly handles toxic tort matters, including those relating to pesticide and asbestos exposure, as well as AFFF contamination. Ortego co-heads the team alongside Vivian Quinn, who takes on regional and national cases. All named practitioners are based in New York unless otherwise noted.

Practice head(s):

Joseph Ortego; Vivian Quinn

Other key lawyers:

Laurie Bloom; Santo Borruso; Jeffrey Brenner; Samuel Goldblatt; Daniel Hurteau; Jennifer Kuenster; Jonathan Lively; Lauren Michals; Ross Petty; Susan Roney; Tracey Scarpello; John Weinholtz; Kevin Saunders; William Wynne; Michael Testa; Marissa Muscarella


‘The very professional and efficient Kevin Saunders is an expert in his field. We rely on Kevin for all of needs in the area of asbestos litigation.’


Key clients


Brookhaven National Laboratories

Work highlights

  • Representing Brookhaven National Laboratories in a contamination class action, where hundreds of plaintiffs were seeking property and personal injury damages related to alleged migration of various chemicals and other toxic material from the Lab.
  • Advising a subsidiary of a Fortune 500 company in responding to a subpoena and developing a defense to claims of negligence, strict liability, and nuisance regarding a product liability MDL action pending in South Carolina concerning Aqueous Film-Forming Foam.

O'Melveny & Myers LLP

Drawing upon the expertise of litigators adept at handling private class actions and MDLs, as well as many in the team who leverage former governmental experience to good effect in relation to state investigations and enforcement actions, O'Melveny & Myers LLP is a popular choice for clients in the defense of large-scale mass torts involving multi-pronged plaintiff activity. Much of this work relates to toxic tort and product liability claims within the pharma industry, where the firm has had considerable success advising healthcare companies as defendants in the sprawling opioid litigation, including in relation to public nuisance theories which are currently gaining traction among the plaintiff’s bar. Washington DC-based partner and former DOJ lawyer Steven Brody is at the forefront of most of this work, where client’s benefit from his vast industry knowledge as well as his impressive trial skills. Los Angeles-based Sabrina Strong co-heads the product liability and mass torts team alongside Brody and as part of her wide-ranging expertise has recently defended an energy company in personal injury and business claims triggered by a major gas leak in California.

Practice head(s):

Steven Brody; Sabrina Strong

Other key lawyers:

Richard Goetz; Amy Laurendeau; Jonathan Schneller; Carlos Lazatin; Esteban Rodriguez

Key clients

Sempra Energy and its subsidiary Southern California Gas Company

Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals

Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon, Inc.

AstraZeneca and Amylin Pharmaceuticals

Ford Motor Co.

Travis Scott


Colgate-Palmolive Co.

Chubb Group


Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

Drawing upon considerable expertise in the product liability and mass tort space, litigation-focused heavyweight Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP has a strong reputation acting as national and trial counsel for defendants in toxic tort matters. As well as handling more contemporary matters including climate change issues, the firm continues to be involved in a number of asbestos-related cases. Most notably this work includes San Francisco-based partner Morgan Tovey‘s ongoing defense of Colgate Palmolive in which he has successfully obtained orders excluding plaintiffs’ key experts, paving the way for a raft of victories at summary judgment. Based in Washington DC, Michael Lyle co-heads the team alongside Tovey and as part of his broad trial practice regularly handles mass tort defendant work; he continues to represent defendants in relation to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and clean-up effort in the Gulf of Mexico.

Practice head(s):

Morgan Tovey; Michael Lyle

Key clients

Colgate Palmolive Co.

Express Scripts, Inc.

Seacor Holdings Inc., O’Brien’s Response Management LLC, National Response Corporation

Koch Industries, Inc.

Brake Parts Inc. LLC

Work highlights

  • Representing Colgate Palmolive in matters filed around the country in state and federal courts where the plaintiffs claim that Colgate’s cosmetic talcum powder product contained asbestos that caused the plaintiffs to develop mesothelioma.
  • Representing Seacor, O’Brien’s, and NRC in thousands of claims related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and clean-up effort in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Representing First Brands in various asbestos cases brought across the country in connection with its newly acquired indirect subsidiary, Brake Parts Inc.

Reed Smith LLP

Reed Smith LLP is well-positioned to defend clients from a range of sectors, including pharma, industrial machinery and manufacturing, infrastructure safety and retail in relation to a myriad toxic tort matters, including as it relates to environmental contamination and asbestos disputes. In Houston, Stan Perry has, over the years, scored numerous victories for energy companies in toxic tort matters, including securing orders excluding plaintiffs’ key experts under Daubert and Frye challenges. Melissa Geist and Robert Roth co-head the overarching product liability team from Princeton and Chicago, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Melissa Geist; Robert Roth

Other key lawyers:

Stan Perry

Tucker Ellis LLP

Primarily centered out of its Cleveland, Chicago and San Francisco offices, Tucker Ellis LLP provides cost-effective and measured advice to clients defending themselves against allegations of toxic tort infractions, including as it relates to cases involving benzene and formaldehyde. The team has significant market visibility in relation to asbestos-related matters where it frequently takes on national, regional, and local defense roles in relation to MDLs and class actions. Much of the firm’s success in the area is predicated on its willingness and ability to try cases, a trait which Cleveland-based team head Laura Kingsley Hong continues to exemplify, leading to some notable recent successes before juries.

Practice head(s):

Laura Kingsley Hong

Other key lawyers:

Brian Huelsmann; Monica Williams Monroe


‘Laura Hong is extraordinarily capable to do whatever she puts her mind to.’

Key clients

AB Electrolux

Otis Elevator Company

Rockwell Automation, Inc.

United Technologies Corporation

Edward Orton Jr. Ceramic Foundation

Eagles Nest Outfitters, Inc.

Wilkinson Stekloff

Litigation boutique Wilkinson Stekloff has secured victories before judges and juries, across a range of high-stakes litigation, including many within the toxic tort arena. Most notably, it secured a high-profile role as national trial counsel for Bayer in the ongoing Roundup litigation, a position which has elicited a number of landmark successes, including the first-ever jury victory for the client in litigation alleging that the pesticide causes Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. Founding partner Brian Stekloff was pivotal to this success and brings considerable advocacy skills to bear, both from his work as a public defender and in private practice. Beth Wilkinson is the other name partner at the firm and is also noted for her ‘excellent trial skills’, with notable toxic tort matters including her work for 3M in its PFAS litigation.

Practice head(s):

Beth Wilkinson; Brian Stekloff; Kosta Stojilkovic; Rakesh Kilaru; James Rosenthal

Other key lawyers:

Kieran Gostin; Cali Cope-Kasten

Key clients

3M Corporation

Altria Group Inc.

Bayer and Monsanto

Work highlights

  • Representing 3M in the first bellwether trial in PFAS litigation focused on aqueous film-forming foams (AFFF), City of Stuart, FL v. 3M Co., et al., and also directing 3M’s trial strategy in both the MDL and litigation in state courts throughout the country.
  • Representing Monsanto in federal litigation arising out of claims that its popular herbicide Roundup causes Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
  • Representing Altria in consolidated civil litigation by direct purchasers, indirect purchasers, and indirect resellers of Altria’s JUUL e-cigarette products.