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Mass Tort and Toxic Tort Defense

When businesses or manufacturers and their insurers are confronted with their most challenging and potentially costly controversies, they turn to the Mass Tort and Toxic Tort Litigation Group at Bowles Rice for help. By leveraging the considerable resources of the firm’s broad litigation practice and by applying knowledge and experience gained from decades of handling complex tort cases, the Mass Tort and Toxic Tort Litigation Group has the capability to successfully manage and resolve the most complex cases and bet-the-company litigation.

Our Experience
Several Bowles Rice litigators are recognized in the 2016 Best Lawyers in America ®, Chambers USA's America's Leading Lawyers for Business and Super Lawyers.  Our firm holds an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, as do several members of our group.

Our clients have included major chemical manufacturers, prominent insurance companies, leading drug manufacturers and other product manufacturers, as well as a host of local businesses and individuals, including employers, premises owners, manufacturers, contractors and suppliers.

Our lawyers have experience handling complex litigation involving issues such as toxic tort exposure, defective products, major industrial accidents, and a wide variety of environmental litigation. The Group has experience in substantive areas related to toxic tort litigation, including chemical fate and transport, epidemiology, risk assessment and toxicology. 

We have defended numerous toxic tort cases which included claims of personal injury/death, product liability, deliberate intent, breach of express and implied warranties, negligent infliction of emotional distress, medical monitoring and property damage. We have a close working relationship with many of the top experts in their field in toxic tort litigation

Our litigation experience enables us to provide effective risk management and preventative measures advice to our clients thereby reducing the chance of future disputes.

Our Successes
Our firm began a long tradition of handling major toxic tort litigation in the 1980s, when Bowles Rice was involved in defending one of the world's largest chemical companies in a large-scale chemical exposure case. The trial involved seven representative plaintiffs out of more than 100 claimants.  After an 11-month trial, Bowles Rice obtained a defense verdict on all claims raised by all plaintiffs except for one nominal exposure claim on behalf of one plaintiff. 

Since that time, we have successfully handled a myriad of chemical exposure cases involving dioxin, pesticides, benzene, trichloroethylene, chlorine, phenols, polyacrylamide, PCBs and many others.  We handled a toxic tort class action involving thousands of plaintiffs and an entire township.  We also are representing several defendants in asbestos litigation in West Virginia and western Pennsylvania.

Highlights of our group’s past representations include:

  • Defending a respirator manufacturer in several silica civil actions throughout West Virginia.        
  • Defending an international crane manufacturer in hearing loss mass litigation of over 300 plaintiffs. 
  • Defending a major tobacco company in the West Virginia portion of the tobacco lawsuits brought nationally by state agencies as well as a large scale medical monitoring case.
  • Defending large scale pharmaceutical mass tort cases.
  • Defending some of the state's largest mass torts and class action dioxin lawsuits.
  • Defending clients in matters involving asbestos-related illnesses, including mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis.
  • Counseled national, regional and local clients in asbestos litigation.

Our Commitment
Attorneys in the Bowles Rice Mass Tort and Toxic Tort Group strive to carefully and comprehensively analyze the issues and work closely with our clients to identify reasonable solutions and goals and develop sound strategies for achieving them. In any complex litigation matter for which we provide representation, we assemble a team of lawyers and support staff with a skill set matched to the tasks at hand, conduct research and manage data using first class technology and seek out the experts and consultants who are best able to assist us in analyzing the issues and effectively presenting them in court.

We work diligently to keep our clients fully informed.  We listen carefully and respond promptly to their questions and concerns. We efficiently manage the often-substantial cost of complex litigation while meeting the client’s goals and the needs of the case.

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