Groundwater Contamination Litigation: Proving and Defending Against Liability

Demonstrating Nexus, Causation and Injury to Recover Damages

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A


Conducted on Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will provide environmental counsel with a review of the regulatory structures for groundwater contamination, analyze lessons from recent significant cases, discuss trends for damage recovery, and outline best practices for proving and defending against liability.

Description

Groundwater contamination litigation is on the rise. There has been a string of recent cases, and courts have ordered defendants to pay millions of dollars in damages stemming from groundwater contamination claims. For example, one defendant agreed to pay $20 million to settle a suit over groundwater contamination in San Diego in June 2016. Pennsylvania residents were awarded $4.24 million in their lawsuit for groundwater contamination against an oil and gas company related to its fracking activities in Aug. 2016.

Controversy over hydraulic fracturing and its supposed link to groundwater contamination is also hotly contested. Stanford scientists recently asserted that hydraulic fracturing polluted underground sources of drinking water near Pavillion, Wyo. Environmental counsel must be aware of developing trends in this area and advance appropriate maneuvers in the interests of their clients.

Litigation of such claims is quite arduous. Proving or defending against groundwater contamination liability involves significant documentation, scientific reports and expert testimony. With increasing regulatory and litigation activity related to groundwater pollution, counsel must have the tools necessary to strategize in proving or defending against liability.

Listen as our panel of experts examines the regulatory structures for groundwater contamination, discusses lessons learned from recent cases of significance and the trends for damage recovery, and offers best practices for identifying the sources and proving liability, and defending against such claims.

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Outline

  1. Federal and state regulatory structures
  2. Recent litigation
    1. Lessons learned from recent cases
    2. Trends in damages recovery
  3. Strategies for proving liability
    1. Identifying source
    2. Nexus
    3. Documentation
    4. Science
    5. Experts

Benefits

The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the lessons offered by recent groundwater contamination litigation?
  • How are courts reacting to arguments linking hydrofracking to groundwater contamination?
  • What strategies can counsel employ to prove liability for groundwater contamination? Conversely, what strategies can defense counsel employ to defend against such claims?

Faculty

Byron P. Gee
Byron P. Gee

Partner
Nossaman

Mr. Gee represents clients in trial courts and administrative hearings on all areas of water rights and environmental...  |  Read More

R. Trent Taylor
R. Trent Taylor

Partner
McGuireWoods

Mr. Taylor defends complex toxic tort and products liability cases with an emphasis on public and private nuisance...  |  Read More

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