Alex Robertson, IV obtained one of the few published RCRA decisions in the country involving vapor intrusion of PCE vapors into several hundred homes in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mr. Robertson represented a homeowners who brought a lawsuit in federal court under the citizen suit provision of RCRA, 42 U.S.C. § 6972(a)(1)(B), which permits private citizens to seek injunctive relief against any person “who has contributed or is contributing to the past or present handling, storage, treatment, transportation or disposal of any solid or hazardous waste which may present an imminent and substantial endangerment to health or the environment.” In Voggenthaler, the plaintiffs alleged that a contaminated groundwater plume, which resulted from use of the once-common chemical perchloroethylene (PCE) at a former dry cleaning facility, migrated offsite and beneath their nearby homes. The plaintiffs filed suit against the former owners of the dry cleaners and the owners of the shopping mall property on which the dry cleaners was located, and the defendants filed claims against a number of third-party defendants. Mr. Robertson won summary judgment and attorney’s fees against the shopping mall owners and obtained a permanent injunction forcing the defendants to clean up the contamination.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the plaintiff’s judgment against the shopping mall owners in Voggenthaler v. Maryland Square, 724 F.3d 1050, C.A. 9 (2013). Above is one of the plume maps which outlines the migration of the contamination through the shallow groundwater from the site of the former dry cleaners below the residential neighborhood to the east.
The Firm has handled a diverse type of environmental cases in both California and Nevada, including:
- PCE groundwater contamination class action for 250 homeowners
- Damage to wetlands and nature preserve
- Refinery explosion
- Methane gas explosion involving multiple fatalities