Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation

Baker Botts has long-standing experience handling sensitive and complex environmental and toxic tort litigation. Our lawyers have a combined strength in environmental issues, litigation and energy.

Baker Botts offers one of the leading toxic tort practices in the country. We are regular trial counsel for a major chemical company’s asbestos litigation nationwide, which has our lawyers trying serious injury and death cases in courts in many jurisdictions. We serve as national counsel to two leading refineries and a chemical company in numerous products liability claims involving chemical exposure, wrongful death and survivorship claims. Our experience covers the spectrum from individual plaintiff cases to mass tort litigation, including cases in which entire communities have filed suit. Mass tort cases involving hundreds if not thousands of plaintiffs can create practical and logistical challenges for defendant companies. Our lawyers have tremendous experience meeting those challenges and preventing the mass tort claims from becoming mass tort judgments. We have tried and won benzene exposure cases, other chemical exposure cases, and managed dockets from dust exposure to hearing loss. What sets our lawyers apart is that we regularly try toxic tort and environmental cases to verdict throughout the country.

Our industry-specific knowledge serves as one of Baker Botts’ key strengths. We have represented energy, technology and manufacturing clients for decades, which has allowed us to learn their unique operating environments and challenges. Having a strong industry knowledge helps us better coordinate strategic approaches to litigation that align with our clients’ overarching business objectives.

We regularly defend large energy corporations in Clean Air Act litigation involving the New Source Review provisions, New Source Performance Standards and hazardous air pollutant standards, and we represent clients in litigation involving key regulatory initiatives such as the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR). In 2008, we challenged the CAIR in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and won a remand of the rule with respect to our challenge.

Our team of lawyers includes former high-level federal and state regulators who can assist and interact with key government personnel. We are also aware of our clients’ interests in managing environmental litigation efficiently. We frequently serve as common counsel to multiple defendants with common objectives. With one of the largest Environmental Practices in the country, we are able to match subject matter knowledge with each task at hand to avoid “learning curve” costs and promote lean staffing on client matters.

Our environmental and toxic tort litigation experience includes:

  • Air, water and waste enforcement actions
  • Toxic tort lawsuits involving chemical exposures, dust exposures and industrial accidents
  • Environmentally-related products liability cases
  • Insurance coverage actions over pollution issues and toxic tort claims
  • Citizen suits under RCRA, CERCLA and the Clean Air Act
  • Superfund disputes
  • International arbitration
  • Bankruptcy matters
  • Climate change litigation
  • Natural Resource Damages (NRD) claims
  • Endangered Species Act (ESA) cases