Mass Tort / Toxic Tort

Ward Greenberg successfully defends numerous clients in complex, multi-plaintiff mass tort cases involving product liability, environmental exposure, and commercial claims, in numerous federal and state jurisdictions. We have extensive experience defending clients in complex toxic tort, environmental, and “cancer cluster” cases seeking damages for personal injury or medical monitoring due to alleged exposure to toxic substances. Our attorneys are mindful of each client’s unique circumstances and objectives, and we work closely with them to develop and pursue the most suitable strategy – whether litigation, pre-trial motion practice, or settlement.

We immerse ourselves in the relevant scientific, medical, epidemiological, and legal issues. Our experience over the years has allowed us to develop relationships with a variety of experts – in medicine, oncology, genetics, epidemiology, industrial hygiene, and toxicology – who we have used to build successful liability, product identification, and causation defenses.

We understand that mass tort cases can be a burden on clients' time and resources, and we proactively seek out ways to streamline cases through phased-discovery orders that address product identification and medical causation at the earliest possible stage. This includes the use of Daubert/Frye challenges to successfully attack the reliability and admissibility of expert testimony on issues of exposure and general and specific causation. Our attorneys also understand the importance of working with co-defendants to shape collective defenses under joint defense agreements.

Representative Experience

  • Defending chemical company and two manufacturers of specialty chemical products in multi-state litigation brought by hundreds of clean room workers claiming exposure to scores of chemicals while employed by major semiconductor computer chip manufacturer.
  • Defending large manufacturer in litigation brought by national plaintiff’s law firm involving several families claiming children living in a “cancer cluster" developed brain cancer from exposures to industrial chemicals allegedly released from manufacturing facility.
  • Representing one of the largest farms in New York State in litigation brought by multiple neighbors grounded in trespass, nuisance, and federal citizen suit provisions of the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act.
  • Defending Fortune 100 company in class action claiming personal injuries, property damage, medical monitoring, and fear of cancer as a result of alleged exposure to chemicals emanating from a manufacturing facility.
  • Representing Fortune 500 corporation in action brought by a worker alleging that his lung cancer was caused by exposure to product containing chromium. The case was dismissed after we successfully precluded the plaintiffs’ experts’ opinions on general and specific causation.
  • Representing Fortune 500 corporation in multiple actions brought throughout the country alleging exposure to products containing benzene.
  • Representing corporations in the nuclear energy and environmental remediation industry in lawsuits alleging injurious exposure to radiation in violation of the Price-Anderson Act and various common law tort claims.
  • Defending public nuisance action brought by municipality and state environmental authority to enjoin operation of a meat rendering plant. We coordinated client’s contacts with the news media, governmental regulators, zoning authorities, and neighborhood organizations, and successfully defeated plaintiffs’ attempts to preliminarily enjoin the operation of the business. Ultimately, plaintiffs dropped the suit.
  • Serving in many different roles representing manufacturers and premises owners embroiled in asbestos litigation throughout the United States.
  • Successfully defending largest producer and supplier of beryllium and beryllium products against a medical monitoring class action.
  • Successfully prosecuting Section 107 and 113 CERCLA action against more than ninety potentially responsible parties on behalf of a corporate client which had been named the principal responsible party at a Superfund site, leading to settlements totaling in excess of $10 million.
  • Representing large corporation with respect to putative class action consisting of thousands of persons seeking medical monitoring and damages for personal injury arising from their alleged exposure to PCBs.
  • Representing multinational pharmaceutical manufacturer in HRT litigation in mass tort programs in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
  • Representing large pharmaceutical wholesaler as national counsel in PPA litigation, including in the MDL and Philadelphia’s Mass Tort Program.
  • Assisting in successful defense of tire manufacturer against consumer fraud class action filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.
  • Representing major medical research institution and individual researcher in the so-called “diet drug litigation,” a consolidated multidistrict litigation venued in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.