Toxic Tort, Exposure, and Environmental Litigation

Brownson Norby attorneys have significant experience as lead trial lawyers and managing toxic tort and exposure cases throughout the U.S. involving:

  • Air pollution, indoor
  • Asbestos
  • Benzene
  • Ceramic fiber
  • CERCLA (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act) negotiations, cost recovery and remediation cases
  • Chemical exposure sector including benzene, lead, silica, styrene, ceramic fiber, and other chemical and particle toxic exposure
  • Commercial environmental disputes
  • Environmental premises claims
  • Groundwater cleanup
  • Groundwater pollution damage recovery actions
  • Herbicides
  • Insurance coverage
  • Lead litigation
  • Mold litigation
  • Natural resource and wildlife damage litigation
  • Sediment contamination litigation
  • Silica
  • Styrene
  • Train derailments
  • Underground tank remediation

Brownson Norby toxic tort and exposure attorneys are experienced in cases involving personal injury claims and property damage litigation. Our attorneys represent clients in claims of alleged toxic exposures in state and federal courts, as well as regulatory agencies.  These have included major suits by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and state regulatory authorities involving:

  • Administrative rule challenges
  • Permit appeals
  • Enforcement defense
  • Cost recovery claims
  • Trials
  • Arbitration

Members of our firm have spoken to and written for insurance companies, trade groups, symposia, and scientific conferences concerning asbestos, benzene, lead, indoor air pollution, EPA and OSHA regulations, medical monitoring, and emerging trends in toxic tort litigation.

Recognition

Memberships

Representative Cases

  • Represented Arrowood Indemnity Company, f/k/a Royal Indemnity Company in Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London v. Soo Line Railroad Co., d/b/a, Canadian Pacific, Admiral Insurance Co., Hennepin County, Minnesota District Court, Case No. 27-CV-11-16790. This was a declaratory judgment action for insurance coverage for cleanup costs at the CERCLA (EPA lead) site at Ashland, Wisconsin arising from century old coal tar liquification plant on the Lake Superior waterfront. Coverage was sought for over $49M in remediation costs. A dismissal without payment was obtained.
  • Represented Leucadia National Corporation, d/b/a, Conwed Bonded Fiber, in a Remedial Investigation by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection from a closed manufacturing facility in Burlington County, New Jersey, where we obtained a No Further Action (NFA) Order for an underground storage tank, rail spur, sewage pump station, a closed septic system, a surface impoundment area, and a drainage pond (Nellie’s Pond). With respect to Nellie’s Pond, we also obtained a NFO for a claim of natural resource and wildlife damages.
  • Represented Railroad Friction Products Corporation (train brake manufacturing unit of Westinghouse Air Brake Company) in cases arising from the derailment of a 94 car taconite ore train on the north shore of Lake Superior in Twohig v. Railroad Friction Products Corp., No. 98-1683, (U.S.D.C., Minnesota), Korpi v. Railroad Friction Products Corp., Civ. No. 98-1684, (U.S.D.C., Minnesota) and LTV Steel Corp. v. Railroad Friction Products Corp., St. Louis County, Minnesota, District Court.
  • Represented Conwed Corporation in a coverage action arising from a PRP Notice Letter for the BEMS Landfill in Burlington County, New Jersey in Conwed Corp. v. Associated Indemnity Corp., Burlington County, New Jersey, Superior Court, Law Division, Docket No. BUR-L-959-96, where summary judgment was obtained.

Presentations and Publications

  • Asbestos Claims and Litigation: Update and Review: 2013 and 2014 New Case Filing Summary and Analysis, Asbestos Liability Risk Analysis Group, June 1, 2015, Robert D. Brownson Author, with ALRA Group, http://www.alragroup.com/whitepapers.html
  • Asbestos Claims and Litigation: Update and Review: 2012 New Case Filing Summary and Analysis, Asbestos Liability Risk Assessment Group, December 1, 2013, Robert D. Brownson Author, with ALRA Group, http://www.alragroup.com/whitepapers.html
  • Current and Historical American Asbestos Regulations; 2015 Update, Brownson Norby, PLLC, Robert D. Brownson and Kristi K. Brownson
  • Asbestos Claims and Litigation: Pfizer v. Law Offices of Peter G. Angelos Case Analysis: Parent Company Asbestos Liability, Asbestos Liability Risk Assessment Group, 2013, Robert D. Brownson Author, with ALRA Group, http://www.alragroup.com/whitepapers.html
  • Asbestos Claims and Litigation: Update and Review: 2011 New Case Filing Summary and Analysis, Asbestos Litigation Risk Analysis Group, October 15, 2012, Robert D. Brownson Author, with ALRA Group, http://www.alragroup.com/whitepapers.html
  • Hidden Asbestos Liabilities in Corporate Transactions, Asbestos liability Risk Analysis Group, April 15, 2012, Robert D. Brownson Author, with ALRA Group, http://www.alragroup.com/whitepapers.html
  • Asbestos Claims and Litigation: Update and Review: 2010 New Case Filing Summary and Analysis, Asbestos Liability Risk Assessment Group, 2011, Robert D. Brownson Author, with ALRA Group, http://www.alragroup.com/whitepapers.html
  • Asbestos Claims and Litigation: Update and Review: 2009 New Case Filing Summary and Analysis, Asbestos Liability Risk Assessment Group, 2010, Robert D. Brownson Author, with ALRA Group, http://www.alragroup.com/whitepapers.html
  • The Price of Asbestos Litigation Today, Hamline University School of Law Spring Symposium March, 2008, Thomas J. Norby
  • Asbestos Claims and Litigation: Update and Review: 2008 New Case Filing Summary and Analysis, Asbestos Liability Risk Assessment Group, 2009, Robert D. Brownson Author, with ALRA Group, http://www.alragroup.com/whitepapers.html
  • Asbestos Claims and Litigation: Effects of the 2008 Elections: Summary and Analysis, Asbestos Liability Risk Analysis Group, June 20, 2008, Robert D. Brownson Author, with ALRA Group, http://www.alragroup.com/whitepapers.html
  • eDiscovery… Not Just for Nerds Anymore, Defense Research Institute (DRI), February, 2007, Thomas J. Norby
  • Asbestos Claims and Litigation: Update and Review: 2007 New Case Filing Summary and Analysis, Asbestos Liability Risk Assessment Group, 2008, Robert D. Brownson ragroup.com/whitepapers.html
  • Asbestos Claims and Litigation: Update and Review: 2006 New Case Filing Summary and Analysis, Asbestos Liability Risk Assessment Group, 2007, Robert D. Brownson Author, with ALRA Group, http://www.alragroup.com/whitepapers.html
  • Asbestos Claims and Litigation-Issues and Strategy: An Analysis of the Cases Against a Historical Context, Asbestos Liability Risk Assessment Group, Dec. 1, 2006, Robert D. Brownson Author, with ALRA Group , http://www.alragroup.com/whitepapers.html
  • Benzene State of the Art; The Defense Perspective, Mealey’s Benzene Litigation Conference, Phoenix, Arizona, October 17-18, 2005, Robert D. Brownson
  • Presentation and Paper; Recent Developments in the Light Cigarette Litigation, Andrews Publications; Tobacco Litigation 2001; New Orleans, Louisiana, April 26-27, 2001, Robert D. Brownson
  • Invited Panelist, The Tobacco Defense in Asbestos Litigation: A Short Course, South Miami Hospital, Miami Florida, January 3, 2001, Robert D. Brownson
  • Proceedings, Technical Issues: The Migration of Toxins to Surrounding Areas of People, Mealey’s Daubert & Expert Admissibility Conference, pp. 401-28, Mealey’s Publication, 1999, Robert D. Brownson
  • Technical Issues: The Migration of Toxins to Surrounding Areas of People, Mealey’s Daubert and Expert Admissibility Conference, pp. 401-28, Mealey’s Publications, 1999, Robert D. Brownson
  • Presentation, The Use of Experts to Mount a Daubert Challenge to the Plaintiff’s Case, Mealey’s Daubert & Expert Admissibility Conference, Amelia Island, Florida, February 25-26, 1999, Robert D. Brownson
  • Mealey’s Toxic Torts: New Exposures Conference 1997, The Mechanics of Environmental Health Surveillance and Medical Monitoring, Proceedings, pp. 315-26, Mealey’s Publications, 1997
  • Proceedings, Current and Historical American Asbestos Regulations, 1st Italy – USA Conference on Malignant Mesothelioma and Other Asbestos Related Neoplasms, May 30, 1997, Monaldi Archives for Chest Diseases, Robert D. Brownson
  • Invited Speaker, Current and Historical American Asbestos Regulations, 1st Italy – USA Conference on Malignant Mesothelioma and Other Asbestos-Related Neoplasms, Belgirate, Novava, Italy, May 29-30, 1997, Robert D. Brownson
  • Presentation, SV-40-Contaminated Polio Vaccine Litigation, Mealey’s Toxic Torts: New Exposures Conference 1997, Amelia Island, Florida, January 20-22, 1997, Robert D. Brownson
  • Presentation, Problems, and Pitfalls in Medical Monitoring: Recent Developments, Mealey’s Toxic Torts: New Exposures Conference 1997, Amelia Island, Florida, January 20-22, 1997, Robert D. Brownson
  • Mealey’s Toxic Torts: New Exposure Conference 1997, The Mechanics of Environmental Health Surveillance and Medical Monitoring: A Checklist and Outline, Proceedings, pp. 315-26, Mealey’s Publications, Inc., 1997, Robert D. Brownson
  • Participant, Workshop, Simian Virus 40 (SV 40): A Possible Human Polyomavirus, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, January 27-28, 1997, Robert D. Brownson
  • Invited Participant, Workshop on Recent Advances on Pleural Mesothelioma, Department of Clinical Science and Biology, University Turin (Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche e Biologiche-Universita di Torino) Turin, Italy, May 7-8, 1996, Robert D. Brownson
  • Invited Speaker, Natural Resources/Restoration Damages, Mealey’s Toxic and Mass Torts: New Exposures Conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, March 21-22, 1996, Robert D. Brownson
  • Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association (MDLA), Toxic Tort/Environmental Law Committee, GET THE LEAD OUT – The Toxicology of Lead Exposure, Cross Examination of the Plaintiff’s Expert, Robert D. Brownson and Dr. Daniel Keyler, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 29, 1995,
  • IAQ Publications, Inc., Indoor Environment ’95 Strategies for the New Era of Regulation, IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) Litigation: A Mock Trial, Parts I & II, Baltimore, Maryland, May 1-3, 1995, Robert D. Brownson
  • IAQ Publications, Inc., Lead Poisoning Report, Vol. 4, No. 1, Mock Trial Demonstrates Uncertainty In Childhood Lead Poisoning Cases, November, 1994, Robert D. Brownson
  • IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) Publications, Inc., Lead Tech ’94 Conference, A Mock Trial, Robert D. Brownson and Steven Hays, Chairman, Gobbell Hays Partners, Washington, D.C., October 19, 1994

Articles

Malignant Mesothelioma Mortality on the Rise in U.S. 1999-2015

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now reports that the number of annual malignant mesothelioma deaths increased in the United States between 1999 and 2015 (find the CDC report here). The past projection indicated that the number of mesothelioma deaths was expected to increase to 3,060 annually by 2001 to 2005. Following 2005, the number of mortalities was Continue Reading

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SV 40 Database Completed

Robert D. Brownson of Brownson Norby, PLLC has compiled the pre-eminent comprehensive database of materials related to Simian Virus 40 (SV-40) a viral contaminant in polio vaccines from the first polio vaccine trials in 1954 to the present. The database, comprising private, public, and published data, includes over 5,000 items indexed and searchable, including polio vaccine production and distribution data Continue Reading

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