The Texas Supreme Court will hear arguments Thursday over whether the state’s environmental agency has the authority to decide internally who can challenge water discharge permits, in a case closely watched by businesses that say the decision could potentially add significant cost and delay to the permitting process. >>
A team of Haynes and Boone, LLP lawyers, working with attorneys from Shearman & Sterling LLP, assisted Citigroup and Goldman Sachs on state regulatory and environmental aspects of two exchange offers for Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH) and Energy Future Intermediate Holding Company (EFIH) for $1.3 Billion in New Notes and an Unsecured Exchange Offer for $124 Million. >>
Purchasers and lessees of commercial or industrial properties know to obtain Phase I environmental site assessments to identify the presence of contamination - so-called recognized environmental conditions (RECs) - because of the very substantial liabilities these conditions may create. >>
In September 2013, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality updated its guidance on the use of the Texas Environmental, Health, and Safety Audit Privilege Act to reflect changes recently made by the 83rd Texas legislature to allow prospective purchasers of facilities to take advantage of the protections afforded by the Act. >>
A major energy company
Our client was sued in Texas state court by approximately 40 families who claimed that a refinery waste disposal pit in their neighborhood caused personal injuries and property damages. At trial, plaintiffs sought in excess of $170 million dollars for six families chosen as representative “trial plaintiffs” thought to have the most compelling cases.
The Haynes and Boone Solution
Our environmental litigators crafted a trial strategy based on their experience handling complex claims over exposure to benzene, hydrocarbons and many other hazardous substances. Relying on sophisticated trial strengths and expert witness knowledge, we were able to persuade the plaintiffs’ counsel to drop their personal injury claims before trial. When the cases of the “trial plaintiff” families were presented at the jury trial, our defense strategy was to use scientific fact to counter the emotional appeals made by opposing counsel.
The jury returned a verdict in favor of our client, and the untried claims of the remaining plaintiff families were settled for a token sum.