Toxic Tort Claims Successfully Settled

  • Client: Electric Utility
  • Date: 2004 to 2007
  • Location: Indiana


Schiff Hardin represented a coal-fired electric utility in a mass tort lawsuit involving groundwater contamination allegedly arising from the historic placement of coal ash in and near a northwest Indiana town. In 2004, 85 residents initiated a state court lawsuit asserting public nuisance claims against the utility for alleged exposure to groundwater contamination. The plaintiffs sought damages for emotional distress and diminution in property value, and the establishment of a medical monitoring fund.

After extensive fact and expert discovery, including approximately 100 depositions and the development of numerous scientific and medical expert opinions relating to the risk associated with the alleged exposures, the plaintiffs settled their claims in 2007 at a fraction of their initial demand and a fraction of the estimated cost to try the case.