RAWLE & HENDERSON is a leader in the defense and litigation of environmental and toxic exposures. Unlike many areas of litigation practice, individuals, corporations, current and former land owners, non-profits, and trade associations all have potential exposure in this area of the law practice. In response to diverse client needs, the Firm has assembled a multi-disciplinary team of attorneys with substantial experience in scientific, medical, epidemiological, hazardous waste and environmental areas to handle complex and cutting-edge environmental and toxic tort claims. Rawle's attorneys handle cases locally as well as nationally. In many cases RAWLE & HENDERSON serves as regional and national coordinating or trial counsel. The Firm's clients include corporations, insurance companies, private individuals, landlords and homeowners as well as state and local governmental agencies.

A sampling of the Firm's inventory of work includes mutagenic, teratogenic and carcinogenic chemical exposures, sick building issues, ionizing and non-ionizing radiation exposure, asbestos personal injury, silica, fiberglass, multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), formaldehyde, mold and other (JAQ) issues, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, heavy metal exposure, beryllium, chromium, nickel, benzene MTBE, thorium, adult and childhood lead poisoning, aqua ammonia, tobacco, prescription drugs, latex gloves and other medical drug and device cases, including orthopedic bone screw litigation. The Firm also is involved in class actions and has significant experience in handling claims for medical monitoring or 'fear of' cases resulting from exposure to toxic substances.

Rawle's lawyers have also successfully handled numerous cases involving claims of property damage, diminution of property value and/or condemnation cases including contaminated water and product related claims including latent construction defects such as fire resistant plywood, exterior building facing and polybutelyne piping.

On the environmental side, the Firm has been engaged to handle personal injury, property damage and nuisance claims in the context of State and Federal hazardous waste litigation, including disputes involving Superfund, CERCLA, petroleum and petroleum by-product releases, underground and above ground storage tank releases and land transfer issues. The Firm has also assisted in preparing several emergency response programs for clients in order to address the release of petroleum or other hazardous substances during transportation.

In cases involving an impact to waterways or vessel responses from a pollution incident, the Firm draws upon the substantial experience of RAWLE & HENDERSON'S maritime and admiralty practice to respond around the clock in coordinating remediation activities and facilitating interaction between state and federal agencies and its clients.

By drawing on the diverse background, experience and knowledge of its attorneys, the Firm is able to provide its clients with effective, targeted and efficient representation either in negotiations, litigation or preventive counseling in a cost-effective manner. This includes the ability to handle complex multi-party litigation by utilizing, where appropriate, a tailored team of attorneys, paralegals and consultants to help realize the client's desired goals.

Representative Cases

Environmental

  • Underground Storage Tank Litigation
  • Above Ground Storage Tank Litigation
  • Tank Failures
  • Landfill /Ground Water Contamination
  • Superfund/CERCLA/RCRA
  • Hazardous Waste Site Clean-up Act
  • Clean Streams Law
  • Brown Fields Issues
  • Mis-deliveries/ Spills of Petroleum Products
  • Emergency Response Issues
  • Haz-Mat Responses
  • Multi-District and Class Action Litigation
  • State and Federal Evironmental Compliance Litigation
  • Regulatory and Agency Hearings
  • Nuclear Power Plant and Generation Issues
  • Sick Building Syndrome

Toxic Tort

  • Asbestos
  • Child and Adult Lead Poisoning
  • Lead Coatings/ Paint
  • Coal Tar Pitch and Coal Tar Pitch Volatiles
  • Benzene
  • Chromium
  • Formaldehyde
  • Thorium
  • DES
  • Beryllium
  • Aqua Ammonia
  • Pesticides
  • Pharmaceuticals/ Drugs Cosmetics
  • Orthopedic Bone Screw
  • Legionnaire's Disease
  • Latex Glove
  • Fire Retardant Treated Plywood Litigation
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
  • Heavy Metal Exposure
  • Electromagnetic Fields
  • Multi-District and Class Actions
  • Daubert Issues
  • Polybutelelyne Pipe Litigation
  • Tobacco
  • Silica
  • Grain Dust
  • Fiberglass

Publications

Rawle’s Reports, May 2015: Pennsylvania, Toxic Torts—Application of Statute of Repose

PENNSYLVANIA: Toxic Torts—Reversing Course: Application of the Statute of Repose. By Natalie M. Kreter. Since asbestos litigation began in Cambria County in the late 1980’s, the jurisdiction has been a formidable one for defendants. Most of these lawsuits have involved retired steelworkers who previously worked at the Bethlehem Steel facility in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and who have alleged exposure to asbestos from a variety of suppliers, outside contractors and products allegedly present at that former worksite, including asbestos-containing pipe covering, gaskets, packing, protective clothing, pumps, valves, turbines, motors, and large overhead cranes, among others.

  RRV19N5.pdf

Rawle’s Reports, October 2014: Pennsylvania, Toxic Tort—Howard v. A.W. Chesterton: Causation

PENNSYLVANIA: Toxic Tort—Howard v. A.W. Chesterton: Causation. By Eric K. Falk. In May 2012, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued what should have been a momentous decision in Betz v. Pneumo Abex, et al. 44 A.3d 27 (Pa. 2012).

  RRV18N10.pdf

DRI Toxic Tort & Environmental Law Newsletter, Howard v. A.W. Chesterton

In May 2012, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued what should have been a momentous decision in Betz v Pneumo-Abex, et al. 44 A.3d 27 (Pa. 2012). In Betz, the Court rejected the often used “every exposure above background counts” theory of causation.

  DRI_April_2014_Hwd_v_AW_Chesterton_-_Falk.pdf

Law360: Pennsylvania College Beats Cleanup Claim In Heating Oil Spill

A Pennsylvania federal judge said Thursday there was no evidence that a heating oil leak Ursinus College’s campus posed an imminent threat to health or the environment and shot down a proposed injunction aimed at forcing the school to study the course of the material’s seepage.

  LAW_360_PA_College_Beats_Cleanup_Claim.pdf

Law360: Pennsylvania Justices Clarify Reimbursement Rule For Fuel-Tank Fees

Indemnification fees paid into a state fund used to compensate property owners for the removal of underground fuel storage tanks must be current for the entire site before a reimbursement claim can be processed, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled on Monday.

>

Neeson selected as top Environmental Lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell

Peter J. Neeson, Chair of Rawle & Henderson’s Environmental Law and Toxic Torts sections, has been selected as 2013 Top Rated Lawyers for Energy, Environmental and Natural Resources by Martindale-Hubbell.

>

Dorfzaun presenting at NBI Asbestos Seminar on March 4

Aaron M. Dorfzaun, Of Counsel to the firm in the Pittsburgh office, will present “The Asbestos Case: Proving Liability and Damages” at the NBI seminar on Asbestos: Current Issues and Effective Litigation Tactics at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center on March 4, 2013.

>

Environmental Claims Jnl: “Stigma Damages and Diminution of Property Claims in Envir. Class Actions”

John C. McMeekin II, John Ehmann & Aaron S. Mapes. One of the less documented effects of the 2008 U.S. housing collapse has been the rise in lawsuits seeking to recover damages for diminution of value and stigma to property. Many of these suits involve properties with little to no actual “diminished” value and simply look to collect on homes that are “underwater” or less valuable due to the depressed market, unrelated to perceived, alleged environmental conditions.

  Environmental_Claims_Jnl_2012.pdf

Rawle’s Reports, Volume 16, Number 9

PENNSYLVANIA: ASBESTOS LITIGATION - “Every Exposure” Theory Rejected. by Peter J. Neeson. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently issued a unanimous opinion ruling that an expert’s testimony that “any exposure” or “every exposure” to asbestos substantially contributes to an asbestos-related disease, which in this case was mesothelioma, is in irreparable conflict with the same expert’s testimony that the asbestos-related disease is dose-responsive and, therefore, it was properly excluded under the Frye test.

  RRV16N9.pdf

DRI Toxic Tort, July 2012: Are Chromosomal Aberrations Trump Card in Toxic Tort Causations?

By Eric K. Falk, Julie Nord Friedman, and Howard M. Sandler. Science does not know the precise mechanisms involved in carcinogenesis for most cancers. By definition, cancer is uncontrolled cell proliferation, i.e. abnormal cell growth which escapes the “regulatory process” of the body’s defense mechanisms.

  DRI_Toxic_Torts_Newsletter_-_July_2012.pdf

Rawle’s Reports, Volume 16, Number 7

Rawle & Henderson LLP is proud to announce that 15 attorneys were named 2012 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers by Law & Politics and the publishers of Philadelphia Magazine.

  RR_V16_N7.pdf

Litigation Management: The Impact of MDL 875 on Asbestos Litigation

By Michelle Leslie Stegmann and John C. McMeekin II
The Federal Asbestos MDL, MDL 875, was established by the Joint Panel on Multi-District Litigation in 1991 for the express purpose of adjudicating millions of asbestos personal injury claims. MDL 875 became the model for subsequent state asbestos MDLs and has influenced the management of mass torts programs around the country. Asbestos litigation was already a mature tort.

  Litigation_Management_Spring_2012.pdf

The Legal Intelligencer, Mar 5, 2012: Neeson honored at ABA meeting

Peter J. Neeson, a partner in the Philadelphia office of Rawle & Henderson LLP, was honored at the American Bar Association's midyear meeting February 4 in New Orleans.

  LI_Neeson.pdf

Rawle’s Reports, Volume 15, Number 2

TOXIC TORT - IN A CLASS ALL BY THEMSELVES - By: Elizabeth Johns. Are all toxic exposures at any level harmful? Is each and every breath of a toxin potentially a substantial contributing factor to the development or progression of a disease in the future? If so, is a person entitled to medical monitoring for such exposure and can groups of people qualify for class status in state and federal courts?

  RRV15N2.pdf

Rawle’s Reports, Volume 14, Number 4

Environmental Law -- Class Actions - By: John C. McMeekin II and John Ehmann. In times of economic crisis and property foreclosures, the free flowing transaction of real estate is constrained. While this truism can be attributed to a myriad of economic factors unrelated to environmental conditions, litigants are now seeking to recover monetary damages for diminished property value and delayed sales premised on the mere possibility of future damages or harms resulting from subjective concerns over environmental contamination.

  RRV14N4.pdf

News & Events

Pennsylvania: Frye Motion Granted in Toxic Torts Case, Allegheny County

10/05/15

Read more »

Michael R. Lobick joins Rawle & Henderson LLP in Pittsburgh office

03/11/13

Read more »

2011 Super Lawyers

08/11/11

2011 Super Lawyers, 07/21/11. Rawle & Henderson LLP is proud to announce that 16 attorneys were named 2011 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers by Law & Politics and the publishers of Philadelphia Magazine.

Read more »

Falk to participate at ABA Toxic Tort Seminar

04/01/12

Eric K. Falk, partner in the firm's Pittsburgh office, will chair the Benzene Mock Trial Panel at the 2012 ABA Toxic Tort Seminar on March 30-31 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Read more »

Griffith to Co-Chair ACI’s Annual Forum on Asbestos: Claims & Litigation in Philadelphia

01/26/12

Scott F. Griffith, Partner in the Firm’s Philadelphia office, will Co-Chair the American Conference Institute’s 12th Annual Advanced Forum on Asbestos: Claims & Litigation. The conference will be held January 26-27, 2012 at the Union League in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Read more »

Dorfzaun to speak at NBI October 20 seminar on Asbestos

10/20/11

Dorfzaun to speak at the National Business Institute October 20 seminar on Asbestos: Current Issues and Effective Litigation Tactics at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center.

Read more »