Hazardous Materials (HazMat) Transportation: Representative Matters

Representative Matters

Regulatory Counseling and Defense

  • Counseled a Fortune 500 global technology and specialty materials company on its comments to the PHMSA "high-hazard flammable trains" rulemaking directed at crude oil transportation by rail.
  • Advised a multinational engineering and electronics conglomerate on the response, negotiation, corrective actions, and settlement of an FAA civil penalty action arising out of its shipment of drilling samples from fracking operations.
  • Developed a corporate compliance program for HazMat transportation for a Fortune 200 company.
  • Advised a Fortune 100 corporation on compliance with security-related provisions including Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS), the Maritime Transportation Security Act, and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regulations.
  • Counseled a major international corporation on participation in PHMSA's Systems Integrity Safety Program and the formulation of a new DOT HazMat compliance pilot program for certain classes of shippers.
  • Create HazMat transportation training materials and regularly conduct compliance seminars for a major manufacturing company.
  • Advised numerous major corporations on the response, negotiation and settlement of PHMSA and FAA civil enforcement actions relating to packing, shipping and labeling requirements for transportation of a wide variety of products containing HazMat by ground and air, including the implementation of remedial measures.
  • Represented multiple U.S. airlines in connection with their responses, remedial measures, negotiation, and settlement of several FAA civil penalty actions relating to the transportation of HazMat by air.
  • Advised a major aerospace and defense manufacturer on the application of DOT HazMat Regulations and IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations to the international commercial shipment of fighter jet components.
  • Counseled a major international retailer and a Fortune 200 manufacturing company on the implementation and integration into their business processes of new DOT HazMat Regulations for the transportation of lithium batteries and products containing lithium batteries.
  • Advised a global helicopter services concern in connection with its application for exemption from PHMSA regulations pertaining to the carriage of HazMat as external load cargo for construction operations.
  • Advise a Fortune 100 company on the risks and regulations associated with its HazMat protective gear.
  • Advise numerous chemical and manufacturing companies on chemical security regulation compliance, including compliance with the CFATS.


  • Defended a major railroad entity in a wide range of separate putative class action litigations in federal and state courts in Florida, Illinois, Michigan, West Virginia, Ohio, South Carolina, and Louisiana.These cases range from rail yard tanker spill actions to mass environmental neighborhood suits to Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) occupational actions. In none of these cases has a class ever been certified against the company, nor has the company ever suffered an adverse verdict or judgment. Class efforts in Louisiana and Illinois involving alleged noise and contaminants from various rail activities were promptly abandoned by plaintiffs after aggressive removal and briefing by our defense team. West Virginia class efforts by plaintiffs were abandoned after the company prevailed on motions to dismiss in the federal court. A Michigan attempt at a class action was settled after the federal court ruled that he would not certify the class sought. A Florida environmental toxic tort class litigation was dismissed on a threshold motion, with plaintiffs being offered a chance to re-plead. An Ohio putative class action was defeated on summary judgment, and affirmed on appeal, before plaintiffs sought class certification. All were the subject of media attention.
  • Represented a major railroad in a case alleging that a benzene railcar spill in the 1960s produced an array of health effects in children and adults 40 years later. Our strategy included bringing in a national birth defects expert to meet with families free of charge to help them understand the source of their children’s conditions. The strategy limited the actual litigation to one case, which the court then dismissed based on Alabama's statute of repose (on a theory the U.S. Supreme Court eventually adopted years later).
  • Retained by a Class I Freight Railroad as national coordinating counsel for litigation arising out of alleged exposure to benzene and several other chemical substances, including cases arising under FELA, state law-based tort claims, and class actions. Our representation includes advising the Class I Freight Railroad on its overall litigation strategy, developing its expert case, coordinating discovery, monitoring legal and scientific developments, briefing key legal issues such as removal and class certification, and preparing dispositive motions. We successfully represented the railroad in a putative class action filed in Louisiana, which involved a residential evacuation resulting from a leaking tank car. We also served as counsel of record in a class action suit filed in an Illinois state court, a FELA medical monitoring class action case filed in a Florida state court, and two environmental exposure cases pending in Florida and Michigan courts. In a FELA case brought in West Virginia state court by former railroad workers who alleged that they suffered neurological injuries stemming from exposure to chlorinated solvents, we represented the railroad in a four-day Daubert hearing. Our flexible approach to coordinating these dockets has allowed us to tailor our response – and involvement – to each particular litigation, maximizing our effectiveness as well as that of the client’s network of local counsel.
  • Successfully defended a Class I Freight Railroad in multiple actions arising from a collision with a commuter train in Massachusetts that injured hundreds of passengers. On the eve of the trial, the owner and operator of the commuter lines, faced with potential spoliation sanctions, settled the case on favorable terms to the client.