Legal team formed to represent Guam in PFAS litigation
Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero on Wednesday approved the Office of the Attorney General’s contract a legal team, comprising six law firms, that will represent Guam in PFAS-related litigation.
The litigation team is made up of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, Taft Stettiniuis & Hollister LLP, Kennedy & Madonna, LLP, Douglas & London, P.C., SL Environmental Law Group PC, and Levin Papantonio Thomas Mitchell Rafferty & Proctor, P.A.
“The PFAS Litigation Team has represented approximately eight states and territories in environmental litigation, including currently representing Ohio, New Hampshire and New Jersey in PFAS-related litigation,” OAG said in a press statement.
The legal team selection was made three weeks after the Prutehi I Hanom Act became law.
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“I want to thank Governor Leon Guerrero for making this a priority and our Senators for recognizing the benefit of swift action,” Attorney General Leevin Taitano Camacho said. “They trusted us to find the best experts to help recover for damage caused by the use of PFAS, and we were able to do just that with terms that are good for Guam.”
The terms of the contingency fee were finalized in a retainer agreement setting a contingency fee of 15 percent which is half of the 30 percent authorized by the law if the case settles before trial. If trial takes places, the contingency fees will increase by only 2.5 percent.
Under the retainer agreement, the PFAS litigation team would only receive payment if they are successful, and will pay upfront for all expert witnesses.
The PFAS Litigation Team brings expertise that includes acting as lead counsel in the first PFAS exposure case filed in 1999, involvement in complex multidistrict litigations such as Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf, and recovering billions of dollars in settlements on behalf of states through environmental litigation.
Deputy Attorney General Fred Nishihara and Assistant Attorneys General Janice Camacho and Joseph Perez handled the solicitation on behalf of Office of the Attorney General.
Read more in the August 2019 issue of the Pacific Island Times.