Kingston, TN TVA Coal Ash Spill

Environmental Litigation

Safeguarding our environment

The discharge of toxic chemicals, dangerous pesticides, and hazardous materials into the environment can have a devastating effect on the health, livelihood, and property values of those in the vicinity. In the case of large scale oil spills, tens of thousands of persons living hundreds of miles away can be affected.

Attorney Annika Martin Discusses BP Oil Spill Settlement Claims

Environmental pollution may occur over an extended period -- such as the slow leakage of industrial pollutants into groundwater supplies used by communities for drinking water -- or swiftly and catastrophically from oil spills, transportation carrier accidents, and disasters at coal plants, refineries, and other industrial facilities.

Obtaining compensation for environmental damage

Lieff Cabraser possesses the expertise and financial resources to thoroughly investigate environmental cases and hold the defendants accountable. We have successfully prosecuted cases against many of the world’s most powerful corporations, obtaining compensation for families and property owners harmed by toxic environmental exposures.

Our notable successes include the Exxon Valdez Oil Disaster, in which we served as co-counsel for thousands of fishermen, landowners, and others whose livelihoods were gravely harmed when the Exxon Valdez ran aground in March 1989, spilling 11 million gallons of oil into Prince William Sound, Alaska, and killing tens of thousands of wild creatures and fouling 1,300 miles of beaches and surface waters.

We represent individuals, property owners, and business owners in litigation against BP (formerly British Petroleum) and the other companies involved in drilling at and the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010. A settlement with BP, which was announced in March 2012, requires BP to fully satisfy all qualified claims with no cap on the amount BP will pay.

Current Cases

BP Gulf Oil Spill

We are representing individuals, property owners, and business owners along the Gulf Coast seeking compensation for lost business and decline in property values in litigation against BP.

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Multi-state environmental disaster
Santa Barbara Oil Spill

We are representing individuals, property owners, and business owners in county of Santa Barbara, California seeking compensation for environmental damage and economic losses in litigation against Plains All American Pipeline.

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Pipeline rupture resulting in oil spill


Tennessee TVA Coal Ash Spill

On December 22, 2008, more than a billion gallons of coal fly ash spilled when a dike burst on a retention pond at the Kingston Fossil Plant operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority in Roane County, Tennessee.

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$27.8 million settlement
Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

After a series of appeals, the U.S. Supreme Court set the punitive damages award against Exxon for the Exxon Valdez oil spill at $507.5 million, an amount equal to the compensatory damages. With interest and earlier payments, the total recovery to the plaintiff class was $1.515 billion.

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$1.5 billion in awards and other payments
DuPont Imprelis Herbicide

With co-counsel, Lieff Cabraser represented home and property owners whose trees and other vegetation were damaged by the DuPont Imprelis herbicide.

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Nearly $400 million in claims paid
GCC Richmond Works Toxic Discharge

Lieff Cabraser served as Co-Liaison Counsel and Lead Class Counsel in coordinated litigation arising out of the release of a massive toxic sulfuric acid cloud which injured an estimated 50,000 residents of Richmond, California on July 26, 1993.

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$180 million settlement
Unocal Refinery Toxic Discharge

This action against Union Oil Company of California arose from a series of toxic releases from Unocal’s San Francisco refinery in Rodeo, California.

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$80 million settlement
Louisiana Crawfish

We represented a class of 1,500 Louisiana crawfish farmers. The farmers sued Bayer CropScience LP claiming the pesticide ICON killed their crawfish and caused economic losses.

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$45 million settlement
Sacramento River Toxic Spill

Lieff Cabraser served as Court-appointed Plaintiffs' Liaison Counsel, Lead Class Counsel, and chaired the Plaintiffs' Litigation Committee in coordinated proceedings relating to Southern Pacific's 1991 train tanker car derailment and toxic pesticide spill near Dunsmuir, California.

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$16 million settlement
Kentucky Coal Sludge

We represented over 400 clients in property damage claims, including claims for diminution in the value of their homes and properties, due to a massive coal sludge spill near Inez, Kentucky.

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Settled claims for 400 property owners
Toms River Cancer Incidents

We represented 69 families in Toms River, New Jersey, each with a child having cancer, that claimed the cancers were caused by environmental contamination in the Toms River area.

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Confidential settlement
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"One of the nation's premier plaintiffs' firms." American Lawyer

"Representing the best qualities of the plaintiffs' bar." The National Law Journal