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Practices

Toxic/Mass Tort & EnvironmentalView Practice as PDF

BSCR brings a streamlined litigation approach and an in-depth understanding of numerous technical, medical and regulatory issues to toxic tort, mass tort and environmental issues.

We have years of experience managing hundreds of cases on behalf of clients facing claims of alleged injury or misuse of industry substances and chemicals. We have extensive knowledge of the maze of federal and state regulations that govern the business practices of our industrial clients.

Our attorneys are active in leadership positions within defense organizations focused on toxic tort issues, mass tort and environmental issues.  We are particularly sensitive and responsive to the importance our clients place on their reputations and use the utmost discretion in handling high-profile litigation.

Toxic Tort & Mass Tort

Our attorneys have extensive experience in complex toxic tort and mass tort litigation, including multiparty and consolidated proceedings and class actions.  We have handled cases on behalf of companies that manufacture a range of products, including: industrial equipment and materials; chemicals; underground storage tanks; breast implants; building products; consumer items; packaged foods; and, commercial products.  We have been retained to coordinate national and regional defense efforts on behalf of major clients, bringing uniformity, consistency and efficiency to the defense and overall management of these claims. We have acted as national and regional counsel supervising mass tort litigation.

BSCR uses efficient litigation management strategies to handle individual cases or a large volume of cases, including the coordination of discovery responses. Strategically, our lawyers have developed innovative approaches to the use of expert opinions and literature. We are skilled in the use of the alternate causation defense as well as Daubert/Frye evidentiary arguments. Drawing on our extensive experience representing industry clients, we have also developed innovative approaches to analyzing and developing product literature warnings and product testing reports, preparing product and medical expert reports, and, analyzing and developing product literature and warnings.

Our experience includes handling claims involving toxins, hazardous wastes and injurious emissions. We represent companies that handle the following chemicals:
 

  • Industrial chemicals
  • Icocyanates
  • Silicone
  • Petro Chemicals
  • Solvents
  • Talc
  • Asbestos
  • Insecticides
  • Termiticides
  • Pesticides
  • Benzene
  • Dioxin
  • Toluene
  • Toluol
  • PCBs
  • TCE
  • Beryllium
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • PVCs
  • Plastics
  • Mold

Our attorneys have defended a variety of injury claims including those in which serious medical conditions are alleged. In addition to being well versed in the science of chemicals, we are knowledgeable about medical issues and have medical professionals on our staff well versed in the following topics:
 

  • Toxicology
  • Epidemiology
  • Statistics
  • Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Hydrology
  • Analysis
  • Misuse of scientific studies
  • Differential diagnosis
  • Alternate causation
  • Regulatory standards
  • Daubert/Frey issues

Environmental

BSCR attorneys have extensive experience handling environmental and natural resources matters on behalf of commercial and industrial clients in a number of forums, including before the Environmental Protection Agency, state environmental and natural resource agencies, and state and federal courts.

Our environmental litigators are as prepared defending clients in the courtroom as they are handling complex settlement negotiations or discussions of litigation strategy.  We have successfully represented clients in civil and administrative environmental proceedings, including government enforcement actions, CERCLA (Superfund), RCRA claims, insurance coverage disputes, contract and indemnity claims, and property damage and loss of use actions.

We defend clients in litigation involving abatement and remediation, improper storage, solid and hazardous waste management, wastewater and air permitting, rulemaking, standard-setting, environmental site investigation and cleanup, underground storage tanks, release reporting, and compliance auditing. In addition, we are up to date on state and federal regulations and statutes, and advise clients about how best to understand and operate within the regulatory framework.

For more information about our Toxic/Mass Tort & Environmental practice contact Tom Rice or Tom Seigfreid at 816.471.2121.

Results

Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice Wins Defense Verdict in Asbestos-Related Matter

After a week-long trial in a St. Louis area court,Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice won a defense verdict for a flooring subcontractor client in an asbestos-related case in which our client was sued by its general contractor for $1.2 million in damages...

Dismissal entered in favor or BSCR Client in Asbestos Matter

BSCR obtained dismissal for our client, a general contractor, in an asbestos action filed in Madison County, Illinois. Plaintiff alleged the general contractor either manufactured products with asbestos or exposed plaintiff to asbestos fibers during his employment.. . .

Jury Verdict Obtained for Client in Crop Damage Case

BSCR obtained a jury verdict in favor of our client, Northwest Fertilizer, Inc. after a week-long trial. The case involved a misapplication of an herbicide on corn crops that damaged a portion of plaintiffs' corn crop. Plaintiffs claimed that damage from the herbicide was widespread throughout a substantial portion of the farm while Northwest Fertilizer claimed the damage was isolated and any remaining damage was the result of other causes for which it was not responsible. . .

BSCR Obtains Complete Dismissal of Cases Against Pharmaceutical Client

In 2007, Plaintiffs began filing lawsuits against four pharmaceutical manufacturers and sponsors of gadolinium based contrast agents ("GBCAs") alleging that the GBCAs caused or contributed to cause a rare disease now known as nephrogenic systemic fibrosis ("NSF"). Close to 1000 cases were filed in various state and federal courts over a period of four years. . .

Blog Posts

Reports of the Death of Litigation Tourism in Missouri Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

03.01.17 | A recent Missouri Supreme Court decision is good news for out-of-state defendants, rejecting the theory that appointing a registered agent in the state to accept service of process equated to consent to personal jurisdiction, and explicitly adopting Daimler and Goodyear. The decision probably creates more turmoil than it resolves on the “general jurisdiction” front, however, and does not directly stamp out the multi-plaintiff litigation tourism that is presently bedeviling the state.

Mere Designation of an Expert Witness Does Not Waive the Work Product Doctrine Protections

11.02.16 | A Missouri plaintiff did not irrevocably waive the protections of the work product doctrine simply by designating an expert witness and then withdrawing the designation without disclosing the expert’s analysis or conclusions.

The Supreme Court's Jurisdictional Stretch in Resolving the Evidence Needed to Support a CAFA Removal

01.06.15 | A defendant removing a case to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act need not provide evidence proving the jurisdictional amount in controversy in the notice of removal. A “short and plain statement of the grounds for removal” is sufficient.

Frying the Frye Test and Increasing the Caps: New Amendments to Kansas Civil Actions and Civil Procedure

07.11.14 | K.S.A. 60-19a02 has been amended, increasing Kansas's long-standing cap on non-economic damages (pain and suffering) recoverable in personal injury. K.S.A. 60-456(b) has also been amended to mirror the requirements for the admissibility of expert testimony set forth in Fed. R. Evid. 702.