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Asbestos and Toxic Tort Defense

Since the first asbestos trials in the early 1970s, Thompson & Knight trial attorneys have tried asbestos cases to juries, and have served as National and Regional Counsel and on National Trial Teams for Fortune 100 companies in asbestos and toxic tort cases throughout the U.S. TK also defends clients in complex toxic tort, mass tort, and class actions in cases involving benzene, silica, herbicides and pesticides, groundwater contamination, and air emissions.


Thompson & Knight trial attorneys have tried asbestos cases to juries since the first asbestos trial in 1971 in Southeast Texas, where we have since handled and resolved some 10,000 asbestos cases for clients.

Asbestos Trials Across the U.S.
Our attorneys serve as members of National and Regional Counsel and as members of National Trial Teams for Fortune 100 companies in asbestos cases, and have served as trial counsel in asbestos trials in Texas, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington State, and elsewhere around the U.S.

Complex Mass Tort Cases
We also defend clients in complex and sophisticated toxic tort, mass tort, class action, and property damage litigation matters, including pesticide and herbicide litigation; multi-party toxic exposure cases and alleged exposure to benzene and other chlorinated solvents; vinyl chloride exposure cases; and groundwater contamination and air emissions.

Scientific Expertise
Our attorneys have developed expertise in epidemiology, pulmonology, pathology, toxicology, neurology, air modeling, hematology, and various other scientific disciplines, and are skilled at debunking junk science claims and handling Daubert issues attacking and defending expert testimony.


Environmental Enforcement Actions
Thompson & Knight’s attorneys handle enforcement actions, Superfund multi-party litigation, and private and governmental cost recovery actions, together with related agency investigations and proceedings.

We handle cases involving environmental torts, which combine elements of toxic tort litigation and environmental litigation in their allegations of contamination of air, soil, groundwater, and surface water.

We have defended environmental class actions and claims of subsurface contamination arising from a variety of oil and gas exploration and leaking underground storage tanks.

We have advised clients about risk of liability and assessment of potential future claims resulting from the release of other hazardous substances.

Asbestos Cases
As a result of our long history and experience, T&K Trial attorneys have achieved significant success in defending asbestos cases, including preparing cases for trial, selecting and seating juries, and trying cases to verdict. We have resolved more than 10,000 claims against national and international manufacturers of asbestos-containing products.

Managing Large Dockets
The Firm regularly manages and aggressively defends dockets of thousands of plaintiffs and cases for our clients. A proprietary database we developed allows our attorneys to compile, store, and instantly access case data such as work history, exposure, case status, and other details. We use efficient, cost-effective document collection processes and cutting-edge technology to provide seamless case management.

Recognized as a “Recommended Litigation Firm” in Texas in Benchmark: Litigation, The Definitive Guide to America's Leading Firms and Attorneys


  • Service as National Counsel – Served as National Coordinating Counsel for an international chemical company in defense of its product liability claims in North America
  • Service on National Trial Teams – Served on a National Trial Team for a Fortune 500 company in wrongful death product liability trials in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Oakland, California; McLean County & Madison County, Illinois; Dallas, Austin, Beaumont, and Orange, Texas; Cleveland, Ohio; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Seattle, Washington; and other cities across the U.S.
  • Service as National Counsel – Served as National Counsel for an international residential and commercial heating and air conditioning company in defense of product liability claims in the U.S.
  • Service as National Counsel – Represented a major manufacturer and importer of chemicals, defending all product liability claims in the U.S.
  • Defense Verdicts in Asbestos Cases – Secured defense verdicts in asbestos cases across Texas and the U.S.; in one Texas trial, TK trial attorneys successfully challenged five of plaintiffs’ six expert witnesses, securing a directed verdict and successfully defending the case on appeal
  • Defense of Asbestos Building Materials – Defended a manufacturer of asbestos building materials and insulation in a four-week trial, securing settlement during jury deliberations
  • Defense of Wrongful Death Cases – Secured resolution of more than 5,000 asbestos cases filed in Beaumont and Orange, Texas by two plaintiffs’ firms with national reputations, after securing a defense verdict against them in rural Southeast Texas after a four-week consolidated trial of two wrongful death and four personal injury claims
  • Asbestos Cases in Madison County, Illinois – TK served as co-counsel in trial against nationally prominent asbestos plaintiffs’ law firms in “judicial hellhole” Madison County, Illinois, until the case was resolved during trial
  • Defense of Release of Asbestos After Plant Explosion – Defended an industrial gas plant in the aftermath of an explosion and fire that released asbestos onto adjacent residential property; developed an emergency response strategy and remediation goals, hired toxicologists and a remediation contractor, negotiated cleanup objectives with the TNRCC, and assisted TK’s client in performing remediation
  • Asbestos Appeals – Handled the appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit of a multi-billion-dollar asbestos verdict
  • Oil & Gas Contamination – Defended a petroleum company against a number of class action lawsuits after a pipeline break spilled more than 50,000 gallons of gasoline into a creek feeding a city’s water supply, resolving the case for less than the cost of trial; in another case, TK defended a major petrochemical company in an environmental tort action by more than 3,000 plaintiffs alleging property damage and personal injury from the startup of a new petrochemical plant manufacturing ethylene and propylene
  • Defense of Silica, Benzene Cases – Represented several national chemical manufacturers and distributors in connection with various multi-party toxic exposure cases, including silicosis cases and cases involving alleged exposure to benzene, chlorinated solvents, and other chemicals