Litigating the environmental problems of today requires expertise in complex scientific issues and medical causation. Hausfeld lawyers have worked closely with leading independent scientists including environmental health physicians, toxicologists, and epidemiologists in preparing and trying environmental health threat cases. Our highly skilled attorneys have prevailed in matters involving lead poisoning, chemical poisoning, contamination from genetically modified crops, and air and groundwater pollution.
Hausfeld recently concluded a massive settlement in South Africa to recover compensation for tens of thousands of South African goldminers who suffered occupational lung disease. The settlement is on behalf of a class of goldminers going back 50 plus years to 1965 against the entire goldmining industry in South Africa. Bongani Nkala and 69 others v. Harmony Gold Mining Co., Ltd., et al., In the High Court of South Africa, Johannesburg (May 13, 2016).
Currently, Hausfeld’s environmental law matters also include Clean Air Council v. USA et al., No. 17-4977 (E.D. Pa.), pro bono litigation on behalf of Philadelphia’s oldest environmental non-profit, Clean Air Council, and two Pennsylvania children, against the federal government to prevent it from rolling back critical climate change protections based on junk science. The case focuses on the federal government’s knowledge (dating back over fifty years) that climate change presents a clear and present danger to life and represents an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to human societies and the planet. Hausfeld also represents one of the largest public water suppliers in the country, the Suffolk County Water Authority, in two water contamination cases, Suffolk County Water Authority v. The Dow Chemical Company et al., 17-6980 (E.D.N.Y.) and Suffolk County Water Authority v. The 3M Company et al., 17-6982 (E.D.N.Y.). The cases are filed against the manufacturers of toxic chemicals that have polluted the Authority’s public supply wells. Both complaints allege that the defendants, who knew or should have known of the environmental risks of their defectively-designed products, must bear responsibility for the costs of treating the contaminated water and protecting the public from harm. Hausfeld also currently represents residents in a California community in the Porter Ranch Gas Leak cases, who suffered chronic exposures to methane from a gas line leak, and seek compensation for injuries to property, business losses, and personal injury.
Hausfeld's successes have also led to our work on behalf of foreign plaintiffs in public health litigation, including international environmental litigation regarding chemical contamination in Bhopal, India and property contamination claims in Barbados.
Led by Rich Lewis, our Environmental Threats practice group is capable of handling complex cases anywhere around the globe.