Navigating Environmental Litigation and the Cost Recovery Process
Clients rely on our team for effective environmental liability management and legal support
Complex environmental litigation usually begins with a client request for an assessment of their responsibility for a portion of an environmental cleanup’s total cost, as well as preparation of an independent cost opinion. In certain cases, Langan may be asked to assist with cost recovery. Effective environmental liability management and legal support must begin with the knowledge that every site is unique. We take the time to research the site history and have meetings and interviews with the clients and legal counsel to assure that we understand the client’s perspective, goals, legal issues, and technical considerations. Many of the factors may be difficult to quantify, such as the degree of cooperation of the responsible party with government officials to prevent harm, or the relative toxicity of the waste, and this requires both technical expertise and sensitivity to the legal issues.
Langan’s team also comes into play supporting legal counsel with data compilation and review, evaluation of historical operations and present conditions, estimation of remediation costs, preparation of expert reports, and participation in mediation and trial. As part of this process, we also assess the selection and implementation of remedial actions, including their compliance with the National Contingency Plan (NCP). Often our role is to educate each of the involved parties in a way that is easy to absorb, but which maintains technical integrity.
Meeting this objective requires senior technical expertise, an articulate and convincing presentation and a strong grounding in science such as human health and ecological risk assessment and groundwater modeling. Visualization of physical and site sampling data is vital to communication of complex subject matter. Langan has embraced the power of 3D animation to add clarity to sites with complex surface and subsurface conditions that two-dimensional maps and plans are unable to accomplish.
When looking for legal support it is important to confirm that the firm has the depth of senior technical expertise and experience required to support the technical needs and to take the time to assure that the background and legal objectives are thoroughly understood.