By Andrew H. Perellis, Alex W. Karasik, and Patrick D. Joyce

Seyfarth Synopsis: In a toxic tort class action stemming from automotive and dry cleaning facilities’ alleged contamination of groundwater near Dayton, Ohio, the Sixth Circuit affirmed an Ohio federal district court’s grant to certify seven common issues for classwide treatment under Rule 23(c)(4). Shortly thereafter, the four
Continue Reading Sixth Circuit Holds Class Certification on Issues is Appropriate in Toxic Tort Action

By Andrew H. Perellis, Patrick D. Joyce, and Craig B. Simonsen

iStock_000042612884_MediumSeyfarth Synopsis: The Eighth Circuit found that a class action could not be sustained in an environmental pollution case because “the class lacks the requisite commonality and cohesiveness to satisfy Rule 23.”

In Karl Ebert v.  General Mills, Inc., No. 15-1735 (8th Cir. May 20,
Continue Reading 8th Circuit Court Finds Class Action Inappropriate to Resolve Neighborhood Claims for Damages Arising From Environmental Contamination

The 2014 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business ranked 63 Seyfarth Shaw attorneys as leaders in their fields, across each of the firm’s ten U.S. offices, including Philip L. Comella and Andrew H. Perellis, partners in the Environmental, Safety & Toxic Torts Group.
Continue Reading Environmental Group Partners Recognized in Chambers USA 2014 Rankings

By Andrew H. Perellis

Where individual questions overwhelm questions common to the class, a class action cannot be maintained. This simple concept has met with mixed results when applied to the question of whether a class action can proceed for claims based on contaminated groundwater underlying the property of putative class members.

The determination of whether individual questions overwhelm often
Continue Reading Parko v. Shell Oil – Seventh Circuit Douses Class Action Where No One is Drinking Contaminated Groundwater

By Andrew H. Perellis and Craig B. Simonsen

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday resuscitated a proposed class action alleging the release of toxic emissions from a coal-fired power plant, finding that the Clean Air Act does not preempt certain state law claims brought by property owners. Bell, et al., v. Cheswick Generating Station, No. 12-4216 (3rd Cir.
Continue Reading Third Circuit Holds That Clean Air Act Does Not Preempt State Tort Claims

By Andrew H. Perellis and William R. Schubert

A recent Government Accountability Office report (GAO-13-252) called on EPA to improve its management of alternatives to National Priorities List placement.

The report found that at most sites that EPA deems eligible for NPL placement, EPA uses an alternative approach so that the site can be remediated without being placed on the
Continue Reading GAO Report Criticizes Inconsistency Among EPA Regions For Alternate Cleanups Managed Outside of Superfund

By Andrew H. Perellis

Can a toxic tort class action be maintained where class certification was denied in a materially similar case?

As noted in an item posted by our partners in The Workplace Class Blog, in Baker v Home Depot USA, Inc., No 11-CV-06768 (N.D. Illinois, Jan. 24, 2013), the court granted a motion striking the class


Continue Reading Under Principle of Comity, Plaintiff Lacks Class When Other Courts have Denied Class Certification in Similar Cases

Philip L. Comella recently published an article in the American Bar Association’s Environmental Litigation and Toxic Torts Committee Newsletter (July 2012) 13:2, entitled “Nine Tips for Taking an Effective Deposition in an Environmental Case.”

The article contains practical tips on how to get the most out of a deposition involving environmental claims, though the tips can apply to virtually any


Continue Reading Nine Tips for Taking an Effective Deposition in an Environmental Case

By Andrew H. Perellis and Ilana R. Morady

After the U.S. Supreme Court issued its transformative decision in Dukes, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. 10–277 (June 20, 2011), holding that plaintiffs alleging employment discrimination had failed to demonstrate the existence of common questions sufficient for class certification under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a)(2), we wrote


Continue Reading Kieta Alexander v. Norfolk Southern: Another Toxic Torts Class Denied Certification in the Wake of Dukes

By Andrew H. Perellis and William R. Schubert

The Montana Supreme Court recently held that the statute of limitations provided no defense to a defendant even though the plaintiffs had not asserted their nuisance and trespass claims until decades after the initial discovery of contamination.

In Burley v. Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co., Mont., No. 11-0021 (Feb.
Continue Reading Burley v. BNSF: Montana Supreme Court Rules that Continuing Tort Doctrine Applies to Nuisance and Trespass Claims Involving Groundwater Contamination