Love Canal in New York. The historic Pearl Harbor on Hawaii’s island of Oahu. The Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska’s Prince William Sound. All famous names and all with one thing in common – each was or currently is a designated Superfund site.
A recent article from Thompson Coburn LLP that provided tips for environmental due diligence for buyers in business transactions caught our attention. Why? Conducting research into historical environmental problems is one of our specialties at Taylor Research Group.
It’s the New Year and we at Taylor & Hammel LLC are kicking it off in a big way by announcing a new name and look. We hope to magnify the successes of the last decade and focus on the future of our company as Taylor Research Group (TRG).
There are, of course, some big differences. The affected West Calumet Complex in East Chicago falls within an already designated EPA Superfund site where years before companies “smelted, dealt with or processed lead for decades,” according to CNN. The EPA has since sued several of these Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs). But attorneys will now have to determine to what extent governmental agencies share in ongoing remedial efforts.
We’re celebrating our tenth anniversary and what a decade it has been! It’s been fun to think about where we’ve been over the past decade and where we hope to go as well as the changes in our lives and with technology. You may have seen our social media posts as we’ve reflected on this or received postcards announcing this milestone in the mail.
We blogged about the Flint water crisis when class action lawsuits were filed earlier this year.
Product liability is not necessarily an area of law many people immediately associate with the need for conducting historical research. After all, litigation over an injury involving burns from a hot cup of coffee or an exploding soda bottle doesn’t have much to do with dusty old historical documents. Or does it? What about an injury sustained while operating a piece of machinery that came with an inadequate instruction manual? Or an injury from a household product that had a misleading label? And what about the potential successor liability risks involved when acquiring a company that might have manufactured a defective product?
We’ve been closely tracking litigation related to the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan (CPP), which seeks to reduce carbon pollution from power plants and includes state-by-state mandates. Recently, the Supreme Court stayed the implementation of the plan until the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit completes its review.
Last week, citizens of Flint, Michigan filed two class-action lawsuits against Gov. Rick Snyder, Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and other government officials. These follow a declared state of emergency in Flint, a pending investigation from the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Michigan, a declared federal emergency by President Obama, and an emergency order issued from the EPA to the state of Michigan.
As mentioned in a previous case study, much of the work we do in support of environmental law and toxic tort cases involves compiling comprehensive site histories. We work with our clients to come up with cost-efficient research strategies to answer their most pressing environmental and historical questions for litigation. Rarely do we get the chance to work outside our normal realm of legal clients and beyond the scope of a single site history, but that is exactly what happened over the past year in this unique case involving research into fossil fuel disasters in the United States for a non-legal client.