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Pollution Claims Against Industrial Neighbors

Ouellette v. International Paper Co.  We represented over three hundred property owners in three towns along Vermont’s Lake Champlain shoreline, in a federal court class action against International Paper Co.  Our clients’ lakefront properties were polluted by the paper company’s air and water discharges, which negatively affected their property values and their ability to use and enjoy their properties. The case was settled in 1989 for $5 million, just before trial, and after a trip to the U.S. Supreme Court, establishing important new environmental law. [Ouellette v. International Paper Co., 86 F.R.D. 476 (D.Vt., Apr. 24, 1980) ; Ouellette v. International Paper Co.,  602 F.Supp. 264 (D.Vt., Feb. 5, 1985); Ouellette v. International Paper Co., 776 F.2d 55 (2d Cir., Nov. 04, 1985); International Paper Co. v. Ouellette, 479 U.S. 481 (U.S., Jan. 21, 1987); Ouellette v. International Paper Co., 666 F.Supp. 58 (D.Vt., Aug. 3, 1987)]

Allen v. Unifirst.  We represented twenty-six property owners in Williamstown, Vermont, in a state court lawsuit against Unifirst Corp., one of the nation’s largest industrial dry cleaners. Unfirst’s misuse and disposal of toxic chemicals polluted the town’s groundwater, schools, public water and sewer systems, harming our clients’ use and enjoyment, and value, of their properties.  The case settled for a confidential amount after trial and an appeal to Vermont Supreme Court, establishing important new environmental law.  [Allen v. Uni-First Corp. 151 Vt. 229 (1988)]

Lewis v. General Electric Co.  We represented approximately fifty property owners in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in federal lawsuit against General Electric Co., for contaminating their properties with PCB-laden soil during the 1930’s – 1960’s, and then failing to disclose the contamination for decades.  The case settled for confidential amount in 2003, and established important environmental law. [Lewis v. General Elec. Co., 254 F.Supp.2d 205 (D. Ma. 2003)].

Aiken v. General Electric Co.  We represented more than forty property owners and two commercial properties in Fort Edward, NY, in a suit against GE.  In this case the company’s negligent practices contaminated the groundwater under our clients’ properties with toxic chemicals, resulting in soil vapor contamination in their homes, which lowered their property values and interfered with their use and enjoyment of their properties.  The case settled for confidential amount in 2013, after establishing new environmental law. [Aiken v. General Elec. Co., 869 N.Y.S.2d 263 (Dec. 4, 2008)]

Sullivan v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics We represent thousands of property owners in Bennington County, Vermont, whose properties are contaminated with PFOA, a toxic chemical discharged by the company in its air emissions and contaminated groundwater.  This pollution harmed our clients’ properties and, for those who unknowingly drank contaminated well water, harmed their bodies, resulting in the need for medical monitoring.  This case is pending in Vermont Federal Court, and has already established important environmental law.  [Sullivan v. Saint–Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation, 226 F.Supp.3d 288 (D. Vt. 2016); Sullivan v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, Class Certification Decision (D. Vt, Aug. 23, 2019); Sullivan v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation, 431 F. Supp. 3d 448 (D. Vt. 2019)]

Langrock has represented numerous additional individuals and groups of property owners, against gas stations, landfills, and other corporate neighbors, whose discharges resulted in air and/or water pollution which harmed our clients’ properties, resulting in settlements for property diminution and related damages.