Environmental & Natural Resource Damage
The lawyers of Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman have extensive experience investigating and litigating instances of water contamination and environmental degradation, often on behalf of governmental entities.
RPWB has served lead roles in successfully litigating dozens of natural resource damage cases on behalf of the State of New Jersey, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and United States Virgin Islands. The majority of these cases involved groundwater and/or surface water contamination from industrial facilities, plants, factories, oil refineries and gas stations. RPWB lawyers worked extensively with experts in the fields of hydrogeology, chemistry, resource valuation, and economics to fully evaluate the extent and damage caused by contamination of valuable water resources. RPWB’s representation resulted in the recoveries of millions of dollars to compensate the various governmental agencies and to assist in cleanup and preservation efforts.
This included bringing justice to the residents and government of the U.S. Virgin Islands for contamination of the primary aquifer used by St. Croix to supply the island’s drinking water and surface pollution to sites surrounding an oil refinery and alumina refinery. In total, RPWB attorneys recovered financial compensation and environmental remediation efforts between $166.5 million and $189.5 million against large and powerful corporate interests.
In May 2014, Commissioner Department of Planning & Natural Resources v. Century Alumina Company settled for an estimated $140-$160 million, an amount that varies based on the cost of environmental remediation. In the settlement, responsible parties associated with the two refineries – Hess Oil Virgin Islands, Hovensa and Lockheed Martin – agreed to make cash payments of $67.25 million and clean up damage to the aquifer and contaminants still present on the site surrounding the refineries.
Two years prior, in 2012, three other defendants who had ownership stakes in the alumina refinery at various points over its 30 years of operations settled, agreeing to address long-standing environmental contamination on the island by embarking on a comprehensive project with government oversight to cover red mud contamination and plant vegetation to curtail erosion. That work was estimated to cost between $26.5 million and $29.5 million.
RPWB is recognized by The Legal 500 as one of the top toxic tort firms in the country. In addition, we are a U.S. News & World Report 2019 Best Law Firm and are the top-listed class action and mass tort law firm in the Best Lawyers in America.
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Jan 22, 2024
Gordon Rhea Wins USVI Bar Association’s Highest Honor
RPWB of counsel attorney Gordon Rhea was honored with the highest award during the Virgin Islands Bar Association’s annual meeting on December 8, 2023. The award ceremony highlighted Rhea’s dedication to the legal profession and his commitment, dedication and valuable contributions to the people of the Virgin Islands. The Winston A. Hodge Award for Public […]READ MORE
Nov 27, 2023
RPWB Represented a Whistleblower who Helped the Federal Government Recoup $1.7 million
ORLANDO, Fla. – The federal government has recouped $1.7 million from a healthcare provider who fraudulently billed Medicare and TRICARE for medical procedures that were not deemed necessary and were performed by an unqualified technician. In the settlement agreement, Jena Medical Group LLC, as well as several individuals associated with the company, have agreed to […]READ MORE
Oct 17, 2023
Local Non-Profit to Receive $500,000 to Help Low Income Households Save Money on Power Bills
CHARLESTON, S.C. – A local energy conservation non-profit will receive nearly $500,000 to help low income residents in Berkeley, Georgetown and Horry counties conserve energy and save money on energy bills. The Sustainability Institute will receive $484,345.89 in unclaimed monies from the 2021 settlement of the class action lawsuit Hearn v. Santee Cooper. The case […]READ MORE
Oct 02, 2023
RPWB Announces the Passing of J. David Butler
It is with great sorrow and heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our friend, colleague and law partner, J. David Butler on September 30, 2023, after a valiant three-year battle with cancer. He was a friend to all and was, quite simply, the nicest guy one could have the pleasure of knowing. Dave […]READ MORE
Aug 21, 2023
17 RPWB Attorneys Selected for Best Lawyers in America List
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C – Seventeen RPWB attorneys were selected for the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in America® list for numerous practice areas including personal injury, product liability, mass tort, class action, qui tam and medical malpractice litigation. This marks the seventh consecutive year in which RPWB is the top-listed plaintiff law firm in […]READ MORE
May 01, 2023
Trial Lawyer Deon Tedder Joins RPWB
Trial attorney Deon Tedder has joined Rogers, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman, LLC, where he will focus on personal injury, mass torts and criminal defense work out of the firm’s Mount Pleasant and Columbia offices. Tedder joins RPWB after working at David Aylor Law Offices for the past five years, where he helped many clients in […]READ MORE
Feb 03, 2023
Johnson & Johnson Talc Bankruptcy Petition Dismissal is a Win for Mesothelioma and Ovarian Cancer Victims
By Dave Butler In a significant victory for injured consumers, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the bankruptcy petition of a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary that holds the company’s liabilities for claims brought by thousands of consumers injured by exposure to asbestos-contaminated talc in Johnson & Johnson products. The dismissal, on January 30, 2023, […]READ MORE
Nov 03, 2022
U.S. News & World Report: RPWB is a Top National Law Firm for Mass Torts & Class Actions
CHARLESTON, S.C. — RPWB is incredibly proud to be selected as one of the top national law firms for mass torts and class actions by U.S. News & World Report. RPWB is officially listed as a Tier 1 law firm for such cases, the highest possible designation. In addition to the national selection, RPWB also […]READ MORE
Oct 12, 2022
How Do Camp Lejeune Lawsuits Actually Work?
You’ve no doubt seen the ads on television, but did you ever wonder how Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits actually work? Our team breaks it down for you. RPWB has filed its first administrative claims with the Navy JAG, the first step in the litigation process under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. The JAG is tasked […]READ MORE
Aug 18, 2022
With Sixteen Attorneys Named to Best Lawyers List, RPWB is the Top-Listed Product Liability and Class Action Law Firm in the State
Sixteen RPWB attorneys were selected for the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America® list for numerous practice areas including personal injury, product liability, mass tort, class action and medical malpractice litigation. This marks the sixth consecutive year in which RPWB is the top-listed plaintiff law firm in South Carolina for both product liability […]READ MORE
Aug 10, 2022
With a New Law, Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Victims Finally Have Legal Recourse
For more than 30 years, the drinking water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune was contaminated with a cocktail of dangerous toxins linked to cancer, leukemia, Parkinson’s disease and other serious medical conditions. Now after intense lobbying by veteran’s groups and others, victims of Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water have legal recourse for compensation. On Wednesday, […]READ MORE
Aug 03, 2022
Congress Passes Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Law
Over a 34-year period, many thousands of Marines and their families were exposed to dangerous water contamination at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. After a long wait, justice may finally be in sight. Congress approved bi-partisan legislation on Tuesday night that will clear the way for veterans and their families to seek compensation in federal […]READ MORE
Jul 05, 2022
Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Law Close to Passing, Would Finally Bring Justice to Veterans and their Families
A bill that is close to becoming law could finally provide justice and financial relief to veterans and their families for health problems caused by water contamination at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. The bi-partisan Honoring our PACT Act of 2021 has passed both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. It was sent […]READ MORE
Jun 21, 2022
RPWB Helped Doctors Get Refunds for Non-Conforming Records Software
RPWB attorneys played a leading role in more than 5,000 doctors’ offices receiving refunds for being misled about their electronic medical record software qualifying for Medicare and Medicaid incentives. For years, Greenway Health sold software it claimed was certified under the federal government’s “Meaningful Use” program. That program includes financial incentives designed to reward physicians […]READ MORE
Apr 28, 2022
Federal Court Certifies Fair Labor Standards Act Collective Action Against Las Vegas Restaurant
A federal district court has authorized notice to current and former employees of the Boiling Crab restaurant in Las Vegas, Nevada who were employed at any time between March 23, 2018 and October 26, 2020. The notice permits current and former workers to opt-in to the pending litigation alleging that employees were improperly denied compensation […]READ MORE