Environmental, Toxic Tort, and Habitability

We have a broad reaching, well-respected, and multi-faceted environmental law practice, focusing on Toxic Tort defense, Habitability defense, and Stormwater regulation and litigation matters.

Environmental Contamination and Clean-Up Actions

We have extensive experience litigating environmental contamination and clean-up actions. We have defended matters arising out of Superfund sites as well as other contaminated properties. We have defended cost recovery claims arising under CERCLA, RCRA, HSAA, OPA, and other environmental statutes and have pursued such claims against Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs).. We have handled cases involving numerous contaminants, including PCE, TCE, DCE, Perchlorate, PCBs, and other Volatile Organic Compounds, along with petroleum hydrocarbons, nutrients, and heavy metals. We also have extensive experience litigating CEQA matters relating to the permitting of large scale development projects.

Toxic Tort Defense

We specialize in defending companies whose products or operations have been alleged to have caused harm to workers and other individuals exposed to alleged toxins. We defend companies (and often multiple companies at one time) accused by plaintiffs alleging numerous different diseases and conditions, including various forms of cancer such as Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML), Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia (APL), Multiple Myeloma, and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL); various forms of lung disease including Bronchiolitis Obliterans (stemming from exposure to Diacetyl and/or other chemicals), Lung Cancer, Interstitial Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), Mesothelioma, Asbestosis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Systemic Vasculitis, including Churg-Strauss Syndrome (CSS), and Asthma; and numerous other maladies such as heart, kidney, and liver disease, diabetes, neurological disorders including Peripheral Neuropathy, and immunological disorders.

We have defended cases brought by plaintiffs alleging exposure to various harmful chemicals and/or other toxins, including Benzene, Toluene, Diacetyl, Asbestos, Metal Dust, Toxic Mold, Formaldehyde, Acetone, N-Propyl Bromide, and many others.

We represent multiple defendants in toxic tort matters, and have served as defense liaison counsel for numerous multi-party toxic tort matters, coordinating defense efforts among multiple defendants. Our representation of multiple defendants provides us with increased leverage in negotiations with plaintiffs' attorneys, and allows us to obtain more favorable settlement terms than would otherwise be available to a sole defendant.

Habitability Defense

We have a successful Habitability practice, including defense of various landlord/tenant disputes, including those mold contamination, involving vermin infestation (including bedbugs), sewer gas, and asbestos contamination. We also have expertise in defending cases claims against apartment building owners, home-owner and condominium-owner associations (HOAs and COAs). We are also well-versed in the laws and regulations impacting mobile homes and mobile home park operators, including the defense of suits brought under the California Mobile Home Residency Law (MRL).

We have also successfully handled multi-unit, multi-plaintiff cases arising out of Section 8/Government Assisted housing. We also regularly defend property owners in premises liability claims.

Stormwater Practice

We represent private entities, including manufacturers, trucking companies, recyclers, construction companies, wineries, and others facing enforcement actions brought by federal, state, local regulatory agencies, and non-governmental organizations. We have represented a broad variety of clients, ranging from Northern California wineries to Southern California auto and scrap metal recyclers, and have represented clients in enforcement actions brought by local agencies to the US Environmental Protection Agency, with many of California's Regional Water Quality Control Boards in between.

At the 2005 California Bar Association Environmental Conference in Yosemite, Jason Booth participated in a 2005 panel discussion on the issue of numeric effluent limits on stormwater dischargers, representing the interests of the regulated communities. Mr. Booth has also appeared before the California State Water Resources Control Board and given testimony on numerous occasions on behalf of industry members subject to California's stormwater regulations, arguing in favor of a more practical, financially feasible approach to stormwater regulation, and against the imposition of unworkable/unachievable numeric effluent limitations.