Cases & Investigations
The firm, led by Harold Berger, served as co-lead counsel and obtained a $30 million settlement for damages resulting from a very large oil spill.
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.
Berger Montague served as counsel in a consolidation of wrongful death and other catastrophic injury cases brought against two manufacturers of turkey products, arising out of a 2002 outbreak of Listeria Monocytogenes in the Northeastern United States, which resulted in the recall of over 32 million pounds of turkey – the second largest meat recall in U.S. history at that time.
On September 16, 1994, a jury trial of several months duration resulted in a record punitive damages award of $5 billion against the Exxon defendants as a consequence of one of the largest oil spills in U.S. history.
Through membership on the executive committee in cases brought by Holocaust survivors against the three largest Switzerland-based banks, this litigation was settled for $1.25 billion.
Through Berger Montague’s co-lead counsel role, cases against German industry and banks for the use of slave and forced labor during the Nazi era were ultimately settled in the context of international negotiations which created a fund for victims of $4.5 billion.
As co-lead counsel, Berger Montague successfully litigated a case in which a nationwide class of elementary and secondary schools and school districts suffering property damage as a result of asbestos in their buildings were provided relief.
Berger Montague represented a class of 220 persons asserting injury in a subway crash. Despite a statutory cap of $1 million on damages recovery from the public carrier, and despite a finding of sole fault of the public carrier in the investigation by the National Highway Transit Safety Administration, Berger Montague was able to recover an aggregate of $3.03 million for the class.
Berger Montague was one of three firms to represent the State of Connecticut in a separate action in state court against the tobacco companies. The case was litigated separate from the coordinated nationwide actions. Although eventually Connecticut joined the national settlement, its counsel’s contributions were recognized by being awarded the fifth largest award among the states from the fifty states’ Strategic Contribution Fund.
As lead/liaison counsel, Berger Montague successfully litigated this case and reached a settlement in 1981 of $25 million in favor of individuals, corporations and other entities suffering property damage as a result of the nuclear incident involved.