Environmental, Natural Resources, & Energy

Environmental Litigation

Stites & Harbison has a long history of toxic tort and environmental litigation. In the early 1970s, Johns-Manville Corporation selected the late Lively Wilson, a well-known trial lawyer, to defend the growing threat of asbestos litigation. Our firm tried many of Johns-Manville's subsequent cases across the country, and to this day we continue to defend against asbestos claims of all kinds.

This tradition of hard work and technical insight is why Stites & Harbison provides risk management and litigation defense to many industrial, manufacturing, chemical, coatings, and other companies. We combine interdisciplinary teams of attorneys, many with technical backgrounds, from the firm's business litigation, class action, construction, environmental, complex insurance coverage, and products liability groups. We have defended serial lawsuits, mass torts, class actions, and other high-stakes litigation and have addressed toxic pollutants in every pathway, including indoor and outdoor air, surface water, and ground water.

We have advised clients on matters related to a broad variety of products and processes, including:

Acid Mine Drainage

Mold

Ammonia

Oleum

Asbestos

Paints

Benzene

PCBs

Chromated Copper Arsenate

Pentachlorophenol

Creosote

Phenol Formaldehyde

Cyanide

Trichloroethylene

Fuming Sulfuric Acid

Vinyl Chloride

Landfill Leachate

Welding Fumes

Lead

Xylene

Stites & Harbison is also a member of the DuPont Network. As a DuPont Primary Law Firm, we represent DuPont's interests in environmental and toxic tort actions as well as other claims involving various products.

Significant Representations:

  • Won summary judgment for a Fortune 500 company in a multi-million dollar environmental remediation lawsuit by arguing that an assumption of liabilities agreement compelled a successor company to pay all environmental permitting and clean-up costs at the site.
  • Favorably settled a mold contamination case on behalf of a general contractor following several rulings on motions for summary judgment, which included the dismissal of plaintiff’s negligence and punitive damages claim.
  • Currently advising an insurer in a coverage matter for nuisance claims involving noise and coal dust from mining operations.
  • Provided defense of than 2,500 claims brought by individuals alleging exposure to silica and/or coal dust.
  • Defending a battery manufacturer from contract workers’ claims alleging injuries caused by on-the-job lead exposure.
  • Successfully resolved a citizen suit alleging releases of hazardous substances and air pollutants from animal agricultural operations.
  • Obtained numerous orders requiring product identification and/or causation evidence from plaintiffs prior to general discovery on liability and damages in cases involving exposure to benzene, oleum, toluene, and xylene.
  • Successfully dismissed a dozen state court cases alleging exposure and injury from welding fumes following hearing on a Rule 12 motion to dismiss the complaints for failure to state a claim.
  • Provide ongoing representation of an asbestos-related, complex insurance coverage matter involving policies spanning decades.
  • Won summary judgment in several asbestos cases based on the government contractor defense, and many more where we argued that plaintiffs could not prove exposure.
  • Helped companies favorably resolve actions by federal, state, and local enforcement agencies as well as personal injury/wrongful death/property damage claims due to industrial accidents and subsequent chemical releases.
  • Assisted two large bourbon distilleries with immediate response actions and negotiations with state and federal enforcement agencies after warehouse fires released hundreds of thousands of gallons of bourbon into adjoining waters.
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Events

28th Annual Business & Industry’s Sustainability & Environmental, Health and Safety Symposium

Date: 3/26/19 - 3/27/19

Sharonville Convention Center, 11355 Chester Road, Cincinnati, OH 45246

The 28th Annual Sustainability and EHS Symposium is the one conference you’ll want to attend. Attendance will give you the competitive edge in meeting today’s complex regulatory challenges and help you manage differently in the changing business world.

Jennifer J. Cave and W. Blaine Early III January 07, 2019
Press Releases

Jennifer Cave Appointed to GLI's Environment and Energy Committee

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Greater Louisville Inc. (GLI) recently appointed Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney Jennifer Cave as Chair of its Environment and Energy Committee.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC December 13, 2018
Press Releases

Kentucky Super Lawyers Honors 42 Stites & Harbison Attorneys for 2019

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The 2019 edition of Kentucky Super Lawyers recently honored 42 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys in the Covington, Frankfort, Lexington and Louisville, Ky., offices. The publication named 33 attorneys to the Super Lawyers list and nine attorneys to the Rising Stars list.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC December 07, 2018
Press Releases

Benchmark Litigation 2019 Honors 15 Stites & Harbison Attorneys

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The 2019 edition of Benchmark Litigation names 11 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys as “Litigation Stars” and four as “Future Stars” in Kentucky. The guide honors the firms and attorneys who have demonstrated...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC November 07, 2018
Press Releases

Kentucky Chamber Appoints W. Blaine Early, III as Chair of Energy & Environment Council

LEXINGTON, Ky.—The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce recently appointed Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney W. Blaine Early, III as Chair of the Energy & Environment Council. He will serve a two-year term.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC November 02, 2018
Press Releases

Best Lawyers names eight Stites & Harbison attorneys as "Lawyer of the Year" for 2019

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Best Lawyers in America©, one of the oldest and most respected peer-review publications in the legal profession, has named eight attorneys from Stites & Harbison, PLLC as “Lawyer...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC August 16, 2018
Press Releases

Jennifer Cave selected to Leadership Louisville Class of 2019

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Leadership Louisville Center has selected Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney Jennifer Cave to participate in the Leadership Louisville Class of 2019. The 60-member class will spend 10 months of training and hands-on...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC July 26, 2018
Client Alerts

Waters of the United States Forecast: Continued Cloudiness, No End in Sight

In previous alerts we addressed the continued national confusion about the nature and extent of federal jurisdiction over properties exhibiting “waters of the United States” asking, “What Are Waters of the United States” and “Why It Matters.”

by William T. Gorton III March 19, 2018
Client Alerts

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Opens the Door for Energy Storage Development

On February 15, 2018, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) unanimously issued Order No. 841¹ which has the potential to dramatically alter the electricity grid and wholesale energy market in large parts of the United...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC February 23, 2018
Press Releases

Benchmark Litigation honors 16 Stites & Harbison attorneys for 2018

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The 2018 edition of Benchmark Litigation names 11 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys as “Litigation Stars” and five as “Future Stars” in Kentucky.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC January 26, 2018