On October 11, 2017, the EPA issued its Record of Decision (“ROD”) selecting the remedy for the San Jacinto River Waste Pits Superfund Site in Harris County, Texas. The proposed remedy calls for excavation and off-site disposal of source materials and contaminated soils from impoundments in and adjacent to the San Jacinto River. The proposed […]Read more "EPA Chooses Removal for the San Jacinto River Waste Pits"
Generally, plaintiffs must prove that their injuries would not have happened, but for the action of the defendant. One notable exception is when multiple factors contribute to the injury. In these exceptional cases, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s act or omission was a substantial factor in bringing about the injury; the plaintiff need […]Read more "Texas Supreme Court Affirms Substantial Factor Test In Multiple Causation Cases"
A suit claiming that an ExxonMobil facility has not adequately planned for severe events such as storm surges, heavy rainfall and flooding can proceed regarding current and near future conditions. The suit cannot proceed as to longer term issues, such as sea levels predicted for 2050 or 2100, according to a federal judge in Massachusetts. […]Read more "Judge Narrows Climate Change Citizen’s Suit, But Allows Key Parts To Go Forward"
At least in the state of New York, the law where the courtroom sits determines the scope or existence of any privilege. Companies should not assume that courts in other locations will respect the privilege rules of their home state. They must also consider the privilege rules in locations where they may face litigation, rules […]Read more "Location of the Courtroom Determines Privilege Rules"
The Texas Supreme Court has begun identifying the cases that it will hear in its 2017-2018 term. One case involves an individual’s personal liability for violating environmental rules; another addresses state pre-emption of local environmental ordinances. Individual Liability of LLC’s Owner and Manager First, the Court agreed to review Morello v. State, where the Austin […]Read more "Texas Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Two Environmental Cases"
Recent action, both governmental and non-governmental, suggests that the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) will be less inclined to include mitigation projects or Supplemental Environmental Projects (“SEPs”) in environmental enforcement settlements. In a prior Alert, I discussed the June 5, 2017 memorandum issued by Attorney General Jeff Sessions (“the Sessions Memo”), which stated that DOJ […]Read more "Mitigation and SEPs Under Increased DOJ Scrutiny"
Baylor University was concerned that it was not in full compliance with federal law relating to complaints of sexual harassment and violence. Baylor also expected litigation. Baylor’s Board of Regents hired the Pepper Hamilton law firm to investigate Baylor’s procedures, policies and other “institutional response” aspects of Baylor’s compliance obligations. Baylor and Pepper Hamilton agreed […]Read more "Baylor Case: Public Statements Can Waive Privilege"