Mining and Metals

We defend mining and minerals companies in individual and class action environmental toxic tort litigation in which plaintiffs seek recovery for alleged releases of toxic or hazardous materials.  Mining companies have typically been in operation for many decades in a number of different locations, including locations that ceased operations prior to the enactment of modern-era environmental laws.  This can result in complex legacy environmental issues that span long periods of time.

Through our representation of mining companies in legacy toxic tort litigation, Copeland & Rice attorneys have acquired a deep understanding of the potential liability and damages issues, including:

  • Public and private nuisance
  • Trespass
  • Statutory environmental liability
  • Negligence
  • Ultrahazardous activity
  • Strict Liability
  • Liability issues unique to related and successor corporations

Examples of our work for Mining and Metals industry companies include:

  • Represented a major international mining company in a class action and companion personal injury case arising from a smelter located near a small Oklahoma community that ceased operations 40 years ago.  The cases involved claims of air, soil and groundwater contamination and allegations of nuisance, trespass, and strict liability; remedies sought included damages to real property and injunctive relief in the form of additional environmental remediation and a court established medical monitoring fund.
  • Represented a major international mining company in a case filed by a public entity asserting property damage to a road system allegedly arising from the historical use of byproducts taken from a nearby smelter (that ceased operations decades before suit was filed) over a long period of time for the construction and maintenance of roads and bridges.  The case involved claims of soil contamination from arsenic, lead, and cadmium, and allegations of nuisance, trespass, and strict liability, and plaintiff sought damages and injunctive relief.  The mining company obtained a significant victory on dispositive motions and the case was subsequently resolved prior to trial.
  • Successful prosecution of a breach of contract claim at trial in Kentucky against a major coal producer related to a contract mining agreement.

Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.