environmental defense2

Environmental Defense

We have lawyers and paralegals with outside training and expertise in environmental-related areas. For example, our firm has employed a former Compliance Director for the Puget Sound Air Pollution Control Board, a former supervisor of The City of Seattle’s Environmental Legal Unit, a former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) attorney and individuals schooled in the scientific aspects of remediating contaminated sites.

Our environmental defense practice includes the defense of alleged polluters and innocent landowners in MTCA, RCRA and CERCLA matters as well as the defense of claims alleging "toxic tort" chemical sensitivity and excessive exposure cases.

Representative Matters

In two recent environmental defense cases Forsberg & Umlauf attorneys successfully resolved potential high-value environmental cleanup claims under the MTCA asserted against separate environmental contractor clients by two major public entities, each with significant potential cleanup liability exposure.

In one matter, the firm’s client was released from a multi-party cleanup litigation after we successfully compiled and presented evidence at mediation establishing that expenditures asserted by the plaintiff as costs of remediation were non-recoverable as they were the result of a “private action” which did not meet the statutory conditions that the costs be the “substantial equivalent” of a Department of Ecology remediation.

In the second, our client was released from liability and the exposure to attorney’s fees and other costs of defense by entering into a nominal settlement.  The result was made possible by this firm's aggressive pre-litigation negotiations with representatives of the public owner and its retained environmental consultants.