Environmental Litigation

Practice Contacts

James C. Morriss III
Partner
512.469.6130
713.654.8111
James B. Harris
Partner
214.969.1102
Jonathan B. Shoebotham
Partner
713.653.8668
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Environmental tort matters, which are private actions for damages and injunctive relief, often blur the traditional line between toxic tort and environmental litigation and involve allegations of contamination of environmental media such as air, groundwater, and surface water. To handle such matters effectively and efficiently, we draw on expertise from both our environmental and trial practices.

Thompson & Knight represents a number of Fortune 100 clients in environmental and toxic tort cases. We are proud that Thompson & Knight received a top national ranking for Environmental Litigation in the 2018 edition of "Best Law Firms," the preeminent listing of the nation's top legal practices from U.S. News - Best Lawyers®.

Issues in this area encompass personal injury and property damage litigation regarding the impact of releases from exploration and production of oil and gas, crude and product pipeline operations, petroleum refineries, chemical plants, steel mills, and cement plants. We regularly obtain early dismissals of suits through procedures requiring plaintiffs to first prove damage and/or causation.

Other examples of cases our attorneys have handled include pesticide and herbicide litigation; multi-party toxic exposure cases, including alleged exposure to benzene and other chlorinated solvents; vinyl chloride exposure cases; and groundwater contamination and air emissions. Our attorneys have developed expertise in toxicology, epidemiology, neurology, air modeling, hematology, and various other scientific disciplines and are skilled at debunking junk science claims and handling Daubert issues involving admissible expert testimony.

We have advised clients about liability resulting from the release of other hazardous substances (including those to which the client did not contribute). We tackle the toughest cases, such as securing a jury verdict in favor of our rubber factory client in a major case involving the so-called "chemical soup" theory, and defending class actions brought against a petrochemical company by 800 downwind neighbors.