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Environmental Litigation

in Personal & Class Action

DiCello Levitt has years of experience representing governmental entities, individual consumers, and corporate clients, all with the primary goal of ensuring the protection of human health and the environment. The firm’s environmental practice and its attorneys have represented individuals, communities, and entire states in holding some of the largest companies in the world responsible for polluting the environment and endangering human health. The firm leverages it relationships with environmental experts in multiple disciplines to thoroughly investigate and develop cases, resulting in significant victories for its clients.

The firm has expertise under several environmental regulations and statutes, including the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Clean Air Act (CAA), the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Some of DiCello Levitt’s relevant environmental work includes:

  • Litigating citizen suits under various environmental statutes;
  • Litigating landfill and natural gas pipeline permitting matters;
  • Litigating state environmental agency solid waste regulations;
  • Litigating matters related to chemical safety under various EPA regulations and OSHA standards;
  • Ensuring that companies meet EPA’s regulations and OSHA’s standards designed to protect communities and workers from chemical hazards, including the Clean Air Act’s Risk Management Plan and Process Safety Management;
  • Advising clients on air, water, and waste permitting applications, draft permits, and final permits and counseling clients on how to comply with applicable regulatory requirements and their permit requirements, and
  • Counseling clients on obtaining relief under EPA’s and state voluntary audit programs.

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    Representative Cases

    • PFAS Litigation

    DiCello Levitt’s environmental litigation team has been retained by several states to investigate and litigate those states’ claims regarding widespread pollution from a group of contaminants known as PFAS (per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances). This group of ubiquitous and harmful contaminants has been used in thousands of applications globally, including well-known consumer goods such as Teflon and Scotchgard, a multitude of industrial applications, and certain fire-fighting foams (AFFF). DiCello Levitt’s litigation efforts seek to hold some of the largest chemical companies in the world accountable for their culpable conduct and to recover on behalf of its state clients the funds and resources necessary to address contamination caused by PFAS and AFFF contaminants and protect public health, natural resources, and the environment.

    • In re Imprelis Herbicide Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2284 (E.D. Pa.)

    Served as Co-Lead Counsel representing homeowners, golf course operators, and other property owners in a nationwide class action lawsuit against E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company (“DuPont”), alleging that its Imprelis turf herbicide Imprelis killed millions of trees and other non-targeted vegetation across the United States. Plaintiffs alleged that DuPont knew or should have known of the dangers that Imprelis posed. Following aggressive deposition and document discovery that uncovered and confirmed Imprelis’ dangers and the damages arising therefrom, the parties reached a nationwide settlement, with an aggregate settlement value of close to $600 million, reimbursing property owners the full market value for their damaged trees and foliage, or, at the property owner’s option, actually replacing their damaged trees and foliage.

    • In re Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, No. 15-md-2672 (N.D. Cal.)

    Appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, which was characterized as the “dream team” prosecuting this high-profile emissions scandal, this landmark multidistrict class action case resolved claims against Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche for almost $17 billion—the largest automotive class action recovery in U.S. history—in connection with the widely-reported news that those companies had installed emission systems created to avoid regulator detection and defraud customers who believed they were buying Volkswagen and Audi vehicles with “clean diesel” engines. VW admitted that it installed these “defeat devices,” which eliminated the emissions reduction during normal driving, and only allowed for reduced fuel emissions when the automobiles were being tested. More than 500 federal lawsuits were filed and consolidated into one complaint against the automaker for its “dirty diesel” vehicles.

    • State of New Mexico, ex rel. Hector H. Balderas v. Volkswagen Group of America, et al., No. D-101-CV-2016-00131 (Santa Fe 1st Jud. Dist., N.M.)

    Successfully represented the State of New Mexico against Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche, asserting state Unfair Practices Act and False Advertising Act claims, arising out of those companies’ false representations and omissions relating to certain diesel vehicles that those companies sold in the State of New Mexico containing “defeat devices” that those companies admittedly installed in those vehicles to evade emissions standards. DLG’s comprehensive and aggressive litigation efforts in this action enabled it to obtain a settlement for the State for far more on a per-vehicle basis than any other state received from those defendants.

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