here to view the Settlement information.
- Click here to view the Order preliminarily
approving the Settlement.
- More information about the Settlement is available
Berger & Montague, P.C. has served as lead class
counsel and lead trial counsel in what is considered one of the
longest running cases in the United States, filed in 1990.
Plaintiffs allege that Rocky Flats, a former nuclear weapons
facility formerly operated by Dow Chemical Co. and Rockwell
International Corp., dispersed plutonium and contaminated 30 square
miles of property around the facility. Plaintiffs pursued claims of
trespass and nuisance claims under Colorado state law and the
federal Price-Anderson Act, passed in 1957 and relating to nuclear
power and the hazards of radioactive materials.
In February 2006, the firm won a $554 million jury verdict on
behalf of thousands of property owners whose homes were exposed to
plutonium or other toxins. Judgment in the case was entered
by the court in June 2008 which, with interest, totaled $926
million (with proceedings now continuing on appeal).
Recognizing this tremendous achievement, the Public Justice
Foundation bestowed its prestigious Trial Lawyer of the Year Award
for 2009 on Mr. Davidoff, Mr. Sorensen and
the entire trial team for their "long and hard-fought" victory
against "formidable corporate and government defendants." The
jury verdict in that case was vacated on appeal, and proceedings
are continuing in the district court.
In 2015, on a second trip to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals,
Plaintiffs secured a victory in Merilyn Cook et al. v.
Rockwell International Corporation et al., with the case
being sent back to the district court.
The decision by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals provides the
first clear guidance by any court of appeals that the Price
Anderson Act as amended in 1988, after the infamous accident at
Three Mile Island, was never intended to, and does not, destroy all
state law claims, but preserves them. Writing the majority
opinion, Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Gorsuch wrote; "In
two separate appeals spanning many years the defendants have
identified no lawful impediment to the entry of a state law
nuisance judgment on the existing verdict. They have shown no
preemption by federal law, no error in the state law nuisance
instructions, no mandate language specifically precluding this
course. No other error of any kind is even now alleged."
Click here to view the full opinion.
The decision also paves the way for entry of judgement based
upon the special jury verdict handed down on Valentine's Day,
2006 when a Colorado federal jury found against Dow and Rockwell
after a 4-month trial led by Berger & Montague, P.C. Managing
Shareholder Merrill Davidoff, co-trial counsel and fellow Managing
Shareholder David F. Sorensen, and the late shareholder Peter
Nordberg, and supported by attorneys Jenna McNaughton, Caitlin
Coslett and Ellen Noteware.