Environmental Litigation


The Dust Bowl of the 1930s caused a large migration of families from the Midwest to the West and represented one of the first times the country faced a large-scale environmental disaster that claimed many peoples’ properties and livelihoods. Most families during this time lost their farms and homesteads due to the severe environmental conditions.

Since the 1930s, the country has faced many environmental disasters, several of which were exacerbated or even caused by companies, individuals, or local/federal governments.


Wildfires have ravaged the West caused by dry conditions throughout this part of the country. While many fires are natural in their origins (often caused by lightning), others may be caused by the negligent actions of individuals. Recently, a fire in Arizona was caused by an individual who shot a target as part of a gender reveal party, leading to an explosion, which caused a 47,000-acre wildfire. This individual was held responsible for his actions in causing the fire, although no properties were destroyed.

Other fires have been caused by campers and hikers in the backcountry of national and state parks. Fires can quickly spread in the right conditions, and while most are unintentionally started, states still have provisions which enable a property owner to bring an action against the responsible party after damage to their property, or loss of life.


The country was glued to their news reports last year witnessing the destruction of Houston, Puerto Rico, and Florida as hurricanes ravaged the Gulf of Mexico. These disasters were unprecedented in size and scale, particularly Hurricane Harvey which dumped more than 50 inches of rain across some parts of Texas. The loss of property was staggering during the last hurricane season, and sometimes resulting injuries or even loss of life was caused by the failure of federal and local governments to work together to combat the disaster.

Some floods may be caused by the lack of infrastructure in a part of the city which has long required oversight. For example, in Houston, the city allowed hundreds of homes to be built in an area near two reservoirs although the federal government warned that this area was prone to flooding. The resulting flooding after Hurricane Harvey was certainly unprecedented, but the homeowners of these homes built near the reservoir have initiated action against the localities for their role in building and selling houses in this vicinity.

Oil Spills

While most environmental disasters involve the negligent behavior of individuals in mitigating the damage, oil spills are directly caused by a company. The consequences of oil spills can be devastating to the community nearby and can lead to permanent property loss. Oil spills lead to extreme environmental and health concerns and often the company responsible will be forced to pay property owners and others impacted by the spill.


If you have suffered damage or injuries as a result of environmental disasters, do not hesitate to contact an attorney to determine if you are able to bring a claim against a company which might have contributed to your damages.