London Fischer LLP has a national practice specializing in toxic and environmental litigation, including significant Multi-District Litigations (MDLs), and the complex litigations involving asbestos, silicone, latex products and environmental contamination. We have acted as both coverage and defense counsel for the insurers, and directly for the involved companies and manufacturers. Our experienced and diverse team of litigators defend cost recovery actions under CERCLA, and claims of bodily injury due to “sick-building” syndrome, and ingestion of lead based paint.
Our extensive experience in this arena makes us uniquely qualified to defend toxic tort and environmental liability suits on behalf of our clients. We have the experience and resources to handle the most sophisticated and complex matters. The firm’s dedicated team of attorneys continues to keep abreast of emerging trends in toxic tort and environmental litigation. We are frequently contacted by industry publications for comment on pertinent issues: Read a Business Insurance article on Asbestos Coverage Ruling. Read a Business Insurance article on Voluntary Cleanups Coverage. Read a Business Insurance article on Washington Expanding CGL.
Our objective is to resolve each case in the most expeditious and cost-effective manner possible. We ensure that each matter is evaluated at the earliest opportunity to facilitate development of effective defense strategies. This approach enables our clients to make well-informed decisions regarding the ultimate disposition of each case. We have created and maintain a considerable legal and factual database relating to causation, exposure and liability issues frequently involved in toxic tort arid environmental litigation.
Our practice has developed a proven expertise in successfully defending numerous property owners and managing agents in lead based paint litigation. These eases typically involve allegations that an infant plaintiff sustained cognitive defects and/or behavioral problems as a result of ingesting lead based paint. We are experienced in the application of the relevant statutory requirements, including the New York City Administrative Code and other pertinent state and governmental regulations, which impose certain obligations upon property owners. Through intensive investigation and discovery, we have achieved many dismissals of actions, having found alternative sources of lead causing the child’s injuries, and alternative reasons for the alleged cognitive and behavioral problems.
We have established strong relationships with a network of prominent and renowned experts in this field, including pediatric neurologists and neuropsychologists. These relationships, coupled with our extensive knowledge of lead paint issues, have often allowed us to successfully conclude cases early resulting in significant costs savings for our clients.
London Fischer LLP has established cutting edge law in New York favorable to managing agents against which lead claims are frequently asserted. Spellman v. Trea Estates is a decision we obtained on behalf of a managing agent in which the court ruled that a managing agent could not be held liable for omissions unless the landlord delegated to the managing agent absolute and total control over the premises. This decision has since become a benchmark for the analysis in New York of a managing agent’s liability in lead paint cases.
In the asbestos arena, we have successfully represented manufacturers of asbestos products, contractors whose employees have claimed serious injury or death while being exposed to asbestos, and owners and tenants of buildings in which asbestos has been found. Our asbestos expertise has expanded into frequent consultation and representation of employers in the preparation of work-place safety programs, policies and manuals to ensure compliance with the strict dictates of the OSHA asbestos safe-work regulations. We are regularly litigating these issues before the OSHA Review Commission. We have obtained numerous voluntary discontinuances for our asbestos clients, thereby avoiding extensive litigation costs and potentially catastrophic verdicts. Attached is a successful and unusual asbestos case we won on behalf of NBC, Rockefeller Center and McCann Construction.
We have litigated and/or consulted on a wide range of silicone products, including breast and penile implants, gels, caulkings and prosthetic devices. We were consulted and participated in the preparation of the global settlement agreement for the Silicone Breast Implant and Silicone Product MDL. We have worked on thousands of the breast implant claims representing the interests of Union Carbide and their excess insurer XL Insurance Co. We have also successfully defended other silicone product manufacturers, including GE, frequently obtaining summary judgment before trial. In one case, in which the plaintiff allegedly swallowed silicone, we convinced the court that there was no scientific evidence that the silicone product at issue could have caused the alleged ingestion injuries, thus failing the increasingly scrutinized expert standards of Daubert and Kumho Tire. Our fingertip familiarity with the technical standards and our relationships with world-renowned experts provide our clients with a key headstart advantage in today’s litigation environment.
The firm represents one of the leading latex glove manufacturers in multiple cases in the latex glove litigation. We defend the “fast track actions” involving latex glove claims to be tried in New York State. We represent manufacturers of latex and other plastics in the “inhalation” cases arising from melting and heating of plastics.
We are at the forefront of the “sick building” litigation. We have successfully represented our clients in a major litigation arising out of one of the largest Boston-area hospitals. We successfully handled the multiple claims arising out of the renovation and construction of the Staten Island College.
We litigate environmental contamination cases involving State and Federal law claims. We are experienced in solid and liquid contaminants. Our clients include governmental entities and private companies.
The firm has a national litigation practice involving sophisticated insurance and reinsurance disputes involving environmental claims. We represent insurers in large multi-party declaratory relief actions in several jurisdictions throughout the United States. We represent domestic and foreign insurers and reinsurers in pollution coverage matters. We are U.S. coverage counsel in national litigation arising from allegations of property damage caused by environmental contamination at many of the nation’s largest airports. We are expert in the different State’s interpretations of common coverage defenses, including late notice, failure to comply with policy conditions, and the application of various types of pollution exclusions.
We are fully conversant with the intricacies of the pertinent statutes, including New York Navigation Law, Environmental Conservation Law, CERCLA, and RCRA. Our unique knowledge and experience in this highly specialized and technical area allows us to aggressively assert many of the statutory defenses to these claims, including the petroleum exclusions under CERCLA, and the inability to maintain a private cause of action under RCRA.
Our clients have available to them our Emergency Catastrophe Response Team that on a moment’s notice can assemble to conduct attorney-client protected fact-finding and evidence securing missions to protect any future litigation concerns. Clients utilizing the Team have twenty-four hour access to our Partners and, in turn, we have access to the key experts and investigators on a twenty-four hour/seven day a week basis. We can investigate, secure evidence, and preserve witness testimony, all within the protection of the attorney-client privilege umbrella anywhere in the world within twenty four hours of our notice of the loss.
We regularly counsel our clients with preparation of OSHA approved guidelines and employee safety manuals. We represent clients in defending against OSHA violations.
Most recently there has been a rise in “mold” litigation. Commonly, these cases emanate from construction defect claims involving large co-op and condominium hi-rise buildings and include ancillary property damage and personal injury actions. Among the frequently alleged injuries are severe respiratory ailments, neurological deficits and psychological harm.
We have successfully defended Developers, Exclusive Sales Agents and Property Managers brought into these litigations. At present, our representation includes a prominent Manhattan real estate concern in the highly publicized 515 Park Avenue matter. Thus far, the court, on pre-answer motion, has dismissed all the causes of action (including property damage), with the exception of the personal injury claims. We have already mounted an aggressive attack on these remaining claims based upon various legal theories. Should these claims survive future motion practice, we shall be prepared to raise Frye and Daubert objections. In this regard, London Fischer has established excellent working relationships with prominent microbiologists, engineers and medical professionals in the field.
We have developed a tri-tiered proactive strategy in this evolving area to achieve the goal of early resolutions by dismissal or beneficial settlements when economically prudent to do so.