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Toxic Torts & Environmental

Toxic Torts

Semmes’ attorneys have historically been among the vanguard in developing sophisticated defenses to the ever-evolving universe of toxic tort claims related to chemical spills, releases and discharges. Building on that experience, Semmes’ attorneys have developed a similar niche in engineering the successful defense of toxic tort claims arising out of exposure to allegedly harmful products and conditions.

Such claims include asbestos bodily injury and property damage claims, occupational lead exposure and lead paint premises suits, latex allergy claims, multiple chemical sensitivity claims, “sick building” claims, industrial solvent and construction material toxicity claims, and a host of other “toxic product” claims. Semmes’ broad trial and appellate experience has proven invaluable to its clients in this “cutting edge” class of cases so demanding of both general expertise and creative defense.


The Firm’s environmental practice represents clients on a broad range of environmental issues at the federal, state, and local levels. The scope of this representation includes counseling on environmental compliance and risk management; litigation and enforcement; and government relations. Through the conduct of environmental audits and other means, we assist in enhancing clients’ environmental management systems to reduce waste and inefficiency, avoid fines and penalties, minimize remediation costs, improve public image, achieve and sustain competitive advantage, and avoid natural resource and third-party claims. We have experience in litigation involving OPA ’90, environmental hazards and toxic torts. We also represent insurance companies on environmental coverage questions.

Our attorneys represent clients before the Maryland General Assembly, as well as executive agencies, working with them to take advantage of the opportunities and deal with the challenges posed by environmental issues. The combination of our litigation and legislative capabilities makes us particularly effective in cases involving judicial review of agency regulatory actions.

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