Experience Fighting Oil Companies

Baron and Budd is a national law firm with decades of experience representing individuals and entities that have been harmed by corporate malfeasance. We have a strong history of leadership in significant environmental cases as evidenced by our role in national asbestos litigation as well as our role fighting oil companies in issues of water contamination.

An article in the National Law Journal recognized Baron & Budd’s prominence as a preeminent law firm, able to hold the oil industry accountable for past misconduct.

Below are some examples of past Baron & Budd successes:

BP MTBE Litigation

In the national MTBE litigation against the nation’s major oil refiners, Baron & Budd attorneys, led by shareholder Scott Summy, compiled the successful liability case against BP/Amoco. Analyzing thousands of company documents and deposing key personnel, we were able to prove exactly what BP did to protect its financial interests while concealing the environmental risks of the fuel additive, MTBE. In this litigation we uncovered evidence that showed:

  • BP knew that a component of its gasoline would leak from underground storage tanks and then contaminate nearby groundwater.
  • BP purposefully kept this information from regulators to conceal the true extent of the MTBE water contamination problem.
  • BP engaged in a single-minded strategy to convince regulators to relax the cleanup standards instead of dealing with the contamination problem.

As a result of the hard work of Baron & Budd and others, a $422 million national settlement was reached in 2008 with the bulk of the major oil companies, including BP/Amoco.

This national settlement is widely recognized as a landmark in the effort to hold major oil companies responsible for contaminating public drinking water.

Halliburton Bankruptcy Trust

In 2002, when a Halliburton subsidiary filed for bankruptcy reorganization, Baron & Budd stepped in to protect the rights of the people who had been harmed by Halliburton’s negligent use of asbestos. In fact, Russell Budd, the firm’s managing shareholder, was the chief negotiator in what became the largest asbestos trust fund of its kind anywhere in the world – a $4 billion national settlement.

This trust fund can now be accessed by individuals all over the United States, even if they are not clients of Baron & Budd, and has provided compensation for countless injured people.

Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

Baron & Budd is not a newcomer to oil spills and water pollution. In fact, former Baron & Budd shareholder Brent Rosenthal represented the National Wildlife Federation in the Exxon Valdez litigation involving the 1989 spill. For his “outstanding contribution to environmental protection and the public interest,” Brent received the 1993 Public Justice Achievement Award from Trial Lawyers for Public Justice.

Similar to the Gulf oil spill, the cause of the Exxon Valdez spill was directly linked to neglect of safety regulations. Due to cost, Exxon failed to repair the tanker’s Raycas radar system, which would have warned the crew of an impending collision with the Bligh reef.

As a result of the Valdez spill, the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) was passed, allowing those who lost income or profits because of an oil spill to recover compensation from the companies’ responsible for the spill. The act also improved the federal government’s ability to respond quickly to spills.