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Toxic Tort & Environmental Law

The Toxic Tort & Environmental Law Practice at Murchison & Cumming has established a national reputation as a premier provider of legal defense and counseling services on matters that range from litigation and class actions, to claims of personal injury and wrongful death, to government actions and regulatory compliance. 

Murchison & Cumming’s reputation for providing stellar legal defense is underscored by the respect we have earned from our peers and colleagues working in this area. Toxic substance and environmental experts often consult with our attorneys for assistance and advice, especially on complex scientific issues. In turn, we are honored that these experts frequently refer attorneys and defendants seeking top-quality representation to our firm.

We defend both large and small corporations and insurance companies in litigation and provide counsel related to regulated chemicals, toxic waste, federal and state regulations, whistleblower actions and other environmental issues. Our clients include bulk and finished chemical manufacturers, distributors and retailers; oil refiners; trade associations; and pharmaceutical, medical device and dietary supplement manufacturers, distributors and retailers. Murchison & Cumming also provides national counsel coordination of defense in nationwide litigation.

We are committed to providing cost-efficient legal services designed to help our clients avoid time-consuming, drawn-out litigation. Murchison & Cumming attorneys use a surgical, rather than shotgun, approach to each matter. Because we get in front of major scientific and legal issues in the earliest stages of cases, we are able to forecast the probability of outcomes early in the litigation process. This time-saving, effective strategy helps save our clients money.

Our attorneys are frequent lecturers and presenters at professional forums and have authored numerous articles, papers and books dealing with aspects of environmentally-based laws and their impact on business operations and compliance efforts.

Toxic Torts

In the area of toxic torts, Murchison & Cumming defends clients in cases involving a wide range of products alleged to have contributed to bodily injury or death, including:

  • Asbestos
  • Silica
  • Benzene
  • Welding fumes
  • Hard metals
  • Mold
  • Prescription drugs
  • Pharmaceutical products
  • Medical devices
  • Dietary supplements
  • Fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides
  • Trichloroethylene
  • Formaldehyde
  • Lead paint
  • Petroleum hydrocarbons
  • Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE)
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

Our attorneys are experienced in defending parties involved in individual litigation as well as mass torts alleging exposure to chemicals or pharmaceutical drugs at work, at home, from the environment or from products they have used or consumed. We have been involved with a variety of bodily injury claims, including liver damage, cancer, burns, cognitive disorders, heart and lung injury, immune disorders, skin disorders, stroke and psychological disorders, as well as wrongful death cases. In the area of brain injury toxic torts, Murchison & Cumming is widely viewed as one of the most prominent law firms in the field.

The strong working relationships we have established with experts in the fields of industrial hygiene, toxicology, allergy and immunology, neurology, neuropsychology, nuclear medicine, pulmonary medicine and other disciplines are extremely valuable in helping us develop the appropriate strategy for our clients.

Environmental Law

Murchison & Cumming’s vast experience in environmental law encompasses all aspects of federal and state statutes and regulations, including:

  • Superfund - the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)
  • Clean Water Act
  • Clean Air Act
  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
  • California Proposition 65
  • California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
  • California Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989
  • California Public Resources Code
  • California Health and Safety Code

Our attorneys have represented owner-operator defendants in hazardous waste matters involving federal "Superfund" sites and claims by state and federal agencies, including the U.S. and California Environmental Protection Agencies and the California Attorney General’s Office.

We have extensive experience in cases involving hazardous and solid waste landfills; underground tanks used for storage of petroleum and other regulated substances; and matters related to the recycling, waste diversion and general operations of solid waste transporters, transfer stations, material recovery facilities, and landfills for solid and hazardous waste.

We provide legal services to clients involved in a variety of complex environmental issues, such as:

  • Litigation
  • Government actions and investigations
  • Contaminated property investigations
  • Remediation
  • Legislative and regulatory issues
  • Compliance counseling
  • Strategic environmental planning
  • Administrative matters
  • Defense of enforcement actions
  • Municipal Contracting
  • Real Estate Transactions

For more information about the Toxic Tort & Environmental Law Practice Group of Murchison & Cumming LLP, its attorneys and services, please contact:

Scott L. Hengesbach, Chair