Protecting Our Environment: Contamination & Pollution Lawyers
Everyday it is revealed that a new water source or air space is contaminated.
In today’s America, political whims often dictate the protection given to our water, air and natural resources. Elected officials, who are guided by party affiliation and donors, determine the force of our environmental laws. Both federal and state environmental protection agencies charged with enforcing those laws are likewise steered by the elected administrations they serve. This system is further complicated by lobbyists who influence both individuals and agencies. Worse still, when governmental agencies attempt to establish standards limiting pollution and contamination, they lack the resources to test every chemical that pollutes our environment, and must rely on science developed by the very companies that profit from the activity and products causing the environmental harm. These companies’ extensive resources, combined with the governmental agencies’ limited manpower and revenues, undermine attempts to pass and enforce environmental regulations.
In addition, our system allows companies to mass produce new chemicals whose ill effects are unknown until someone establishes years later that they are in fact dangerous. This perfect storm places our water, air, natural resources, and most importantly, American citizens, under constant attack.
While large chemical and petrochemical companies thrive in this system, controlling the science and any attempts to curtail their practices, our cities and citizens suffer the consequences. Public Entities who serve public drinking water and operate stormwater and wastewater systems often find themselves left holding the financial responsibility to address the harm caused by this system. The water resources that are relied on by Public Entities are often contaminated before they are ever drawn and served to the public or used for replenishment. Because no one holds Corporate America responsible for the contamination, those facing the contamination must find their own remedies. Everyone from individuals who own their own wells to schoolchildren who breathe unsafe air due to contamination emanating from the groundwater underneath the school building are left to endure the contamination, leaving them feeling frustrated, desperate, and isolated.
Introducing the Environmental Law Group (“ELG”)
“We are not traditional environmental lawyers, we are trial lawyers pursuing environmental torts on behalf of our clients.”
Those facing contamination must carefully select legal counsel. These cases are unlike any other legal case. There are often issues involving very technical environmental regulations and laws as well as complicated legal issues involving preemption and limitations. While most pure environmental lawyers focus on technical environmental laws as a basis for recovery, that is not our primary strategy. And while many of our clients have either inside or outside counsel, they are not equipped to litigate these types of cases. The ELG works hand in hand with our client’s everyday lawyers to secure proper monitoring and support.
The ELG exists to serve both Public Entities and individuals who have been harmed by Corporate America. Despite the political influence on our natural resources, the American Courtroom is still open for business. Courts are the ONLY fair forum left to keep the political influence on our environment in check. Our strategy is to apply proven common-law tort theories that allow us to show a jury a company’s bad acts leading to contamination. The ELG is a unique combination of highly skilled trial lawyers whose abilities are only matched by their passion to protect the environment and seek redress for those who have been harmed. It takes skill, experience and a well-funded group of lawyers to navigate the web of political influence and take on the riches of Corporate America in a court of law.
The ELG is led by Scott Summy, one of the most successful environmental lawyers in the country. Summy often says, “water is the essence of life and we are so fortunate to have the opportunity to represent and assist clients who are impacted by contaminated water.” Under Summy’s leadership, the ELG has achieved unprecedented results. The ELG has recovered well in excess of a billion dollars for its clients. It led the fight against the entire oil industry who contaminated much of the nation’s drinking water with MTBE. ELG successfully took on giant Syngenta to address nationwide water contamination of atrazine. It successfully represented thousands of clients in the BP oil spill. The ELG has represented hundreds of Public Entities and individuals whose drinking water was contaminated. As a result of its work, approximately 42 million Americans drink from water systems who have received compensation through ELG’s representation. No other firm in the country has achieved these results.
Our Track Record of Success
Baron & Budd’s commitment to safeguarding the environment has continued for nearly 40 years with many notable and iconic successes. For example, in 2008, the firm represented 153 public water providers over drinking water contamination caused by the gasoline additive Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE), resulting in a $422 million settlement. In addition, Baron & Budd’s work representing both individuals and businesses harmed by the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill has given hope for justice to thousands who were adversely affected.