Toxic Tort / Asbestos and Environmental Litigation

Preg O’Donnell & Gillett lawyers play a major role in protecting the rights and interests of clients sued for toxic torts, environmental contamination and asbestos exposure in Washington and Oregon.  Preg O’Donnell has also provided clients with strategic national coordination of asbestos claims to manage litigation risks and costs. Among the many clients we have successfully defended are:

  • manufacturers and distributors of automotive products and cranes,
  • manufacturers of industrial products, including strainers, steam pumps and valves, industrial brake mechanisms, and gaskets,
  • manufacturers of construction products, including drywall joint compounds, ceiling textures and vinyl floor tiles,
  • large electrical power generation and distribution companies,
  • gasoline station and tire store owners and operators, and
  • other products used in the construction trades, industrial settings, or in the home.

David Chawes and Jennifer Loynd have years of experience in environmental and asbestos defense, with prior real world experience in fields such as industrial hygiene, environmental engineering and environmental and public health. With our strong roots in product liability and construction defect claims, we understand how products and materials are used in the industrial, commercial and residential environments.

Asbestos litigation has evolved over the years.  The mass filings of asbestosis claims of the recent past have given way to a focus on fewer, but singularly more serious cancer cases, like mesothelioma. While we prepare each case for trial, we also aggressively pursue innovative and creative strategies to achieve early dismissals or encourage timely and favorable settlements.

Preg O’Donnell & Gillett has successfully defended clients such as a tire manufacturer and gas station lessees being sued for alleged past releases of environmental contaminants.  Our understanding of the sciences and regulations affecting the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Washington’s Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA), asbestos abatement, Phase I site investigations, subsurface soil and groundwater contamination and hazardous waste site remediation allows our attorneys to effectively represent clients in environmental matters.

In a major recent victory in an asbestos wrongful death lawsuit, on October 13, 2011, Bill Fitzharris and David Chawes obtained a defense verdict from a Pierce County jury following a three-week trial in which the plaintiff asked the jury to award $28.4 million.  Preg O’Donnell & Gillett represented an electric power utility which had contracted for construction of a large power plant in the early 1970s.  The plaintiff/decedent, an electrician involved in the construction of the plant, alleged that the utility had failed to warn about, or protect him from exposure to asbestos dust, which he claimed caused his mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer.

The utility did not take possession of the plant until after construction was complete.  The jury determined that the utility was not negligent, because the plaintiff had failed to prove the utility knew about the human health hazards posed by asbestos in the early 1970s, and also failed to prove the utility was responsible for jobsite control during the construction project before taking possession of the plant.

We continually seek opportunities to improve the substantive law for our clients.  For example, in Claire v. Saberhagen Holdings, Inc., 129 Wn. App. 599, 123 P.3d 465 (2005), we successfully helped shape reasonable limits for the accrual of the statute of limitations for asbestos claims.

Please contact us to learn more about how our lawyers can assist in complex toxic torts, asbestos or environmental claims.

Lawyers Practicing Toxic Tort / Asbestos and Environmental Litigation

Also Licensed and Practicing in Portland: