Attorney Kevin S. Hannon

Kevin S. Hannon

Kevin Hannon serves as the Head of Morgan and Morgan’s Toxics and Environmental Litigation Group.

Biography Overview

Kevin was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan.  He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Duke University, his Masters’ Degree in Environmental Management from Duke University, and his Juris Doctorate Degree from Georgetown University. Before and during law school, Kevin worked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the Office of Toxic Substances in Washington, D.C.  Kevin authored significant portions of EPA’s initial premanufacture review regulations pertaining to the manufacture of all new chemicals in the United States.
        
Kevin has represented individuals, classes, government entities, and businesses in landmark cases for personal injury, medical monitoring, property damage, and business losses caused by toxic chemicals.  Kevin has successfully brought to trial and settled numerous cases for toxic and environmental harm nationwide.  He has pioneered groundbreaking approaches to protect and compensate clients at trial and in appellate courts.  He has authored numerous articles and has served as a panelist on numerous seminars relating to environmental litigation and class actions.  Kevin serves as an officer and co-chair on American Association of Justice committees related to environmental harm and toxic exposure.  He has been recognized by Martindale-Hubble, Best Lawyers and SuperLawyers for his success and commitment to his clients.

In 1993, Kevin and his co-counsel in Escamilla et al. v. Asarco received the 1993 "Trial Lawyer of the Year" award given by the Public Justice Foundation in Washington, D.C. for service in the public interest.  In 1996, Kevin received the first Outstanding Young Trial Lawyer Award from the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association (CTLA) for service to his clients and the Association.  In 2000, Kevin received the Case of the Year Award from CTLA for his work in NWIS v. Public Service; the award recognizes a unique challenge and contribution to the law.  In 2014, Kevin, along with his co-counsel, again received the Case of the Year Award from CTLA, this time for their work in Doyle et al. v. Fluor Corporation et al, a 13-year property damage class action battle for a lead-contaminated community that survived four appeals.  Kevin’s cases and service to the public have been the subject of articles in the DENVER POST, the ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, the ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, and stories on Denver’s Channel 4 News. 

Current PFAS Litigation

Kevin is dedicated to achieving remedies for harm from toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) contamination, including PFOA, PFOS, and replacements such as GenX, known as “the forever chemicals.”

Kevin filed the second class actions in the country for toxic contamination from the use of PFAS-laden AFFF fire fighting foam.  Bell et al. v. 3M Company et al., seeks property damage from the release of PFC contamination in groundwater as a result of the use of AFFF at Peterson Air Force.

Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and a companion Bell case seeks medical monitoring damages for exposure to the PFAS contamination in groundwater as a result of the use of AFFF at Peterson.  Kevin is co-counsel in Security Water District and Pikes Peak Community Foundation v. USA, et al., in a case for costs and impact on water rights to a municipal water supply due to AFFF contamination, and farming and water right losses to a private farm. 

As a result of his work in the Bell cases, Kevin was appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee in In Re: Aqueous Film-forming Foams Products Liability Litigation, the national multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for South Carolina for all AFFF fire fighting foam cases in the country.  As a member of the Executive Committee, Kevin is helping guide all lawsuits filed for toxic AFFF contamination in the country. 

Kevin is co-lead counsel in Brown et al. v. Saint Gobain et al.,
a consolidated class action for property damage and medical monitoring as a result of use of PFOA-based surfactants in the Saint Gobain manufacturing plant in Merrimack, New Hampshire.  Over 600 private drinking wells and a public water supply have suffered contamination by PFOA. 

Kevin is also co-lead counsel in Hermens v. Textiles Coated, Incorporated, a class action for property damage and medical monitoring damages from releases of toxic PFOA from the Amherst, New Hampshire TCI site.  In March 2018, the court ruled that New Hampshire law recognizes a claim for medical monitoring damages. In August 2019, the court ruled that the cases for medical monitoring and property damages would proceed as class actions.

In Priselac v. The Chemours Company, Kevin is leading a medical monitoring class action for exposure PFAS and GenX released from Chemours’ and the Dupont Companies’ contamination of the Cape Fear Public Utilities drinking water system in Wilmington, North Carolina by releases from their Fayetteville Works Facility.  In  Kinlaw v. The Chemours Company, Kevin represents neighbors of the Fayetteville Works Facility for medical monitoring damages.  In Lohr v. The Chemours Company, Kevin represents the neighbors of the Fayetteville Works Facility for property-related damages.

Kevin was added as co-counsel in Lindsey et al. v. 3M Company, Dyneon, L.L.C and Daikin America, Inc., an Alabama class action for property damage and battery arising out of exposure to PFAS in the Tennessee River from releases from manufacturing facilities of defendants.  Over 10,000 class members have received PFAS contaminated water through their municipal water supplier. 

Kevin is co-counsel in Gaston v. State of Alaska, bringing class action claims for property-related damages and medical monitoring costs for residents homeowners of the State of Alaska contaminated by toxic AFFF foam.

As part of preparing these PFAS cases, Kevin attends national conferences on the science and remediation of PFAS contamination.  Kevin also works with international experts on PFAS science.  Kevin also co-chairs the American Association of Justice PFAS Litigation Group.

Claims for Medical Monitoring Damages

Kevin has committed himself to establishing law supporting claims for the cost of diagnostic testing for the early detection of disease-related to toxic exposure, often called medical monitoring.

In Wilks v. Inspiration, a case for groundwater contamination for property and well owners impacted by mining waste in Globe, Arizona, Kevin, and his co-counsel negotiated the establishment of a medical monitoring program for those using the contaminated water in October 2000.  The program was implemented to the conclusion.  Property owners also received compensation for their contaminated properties and wells.

Kevin’s Meyer, et al. v. Fluor, et al. medical monitoring class action established groundbreaking standards for medical monitoring.  The Missouri Supreme Court held that Missouri allowed a claim for medical monitoring damages, and upheld class certification for those claims.

In March 2018, the Hermens v. Textile Coated, Incorporated, the Hillsborough Superior Court in New Hampshire ruled for the first time that New Hampshire law supports a claim for medical monitoring damages.  In August 2019, the Court upheld class certification for the medical monitoring claim.  In Brown et al. v. Saint Gobain et al., Kevin was successful in defeating Saint-Gobain’s Motion to Dismiss plaintiffs’ medical monitoring claim.

In Bell et al. v. 3M Company et al., Kevin twice briefed the successful defeat of 3M’s motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s claims for medical monitoring damages from exposure sustained from the release of AFFF contamination in groundwater as a result of use of defendants’ AFFF at Peterson Air Force Base.

In Giovanni v. United States Dep't of the Navy, 906 F.3d 94 (3d Cir. 2018), Kevin authored an Amicus Curiae brief for the Toxics Action Center supporting plaintiffs seeking the cost of medical monitoring as damages.  The court gave special recognition to the helpfulness of the brief in the opinion.   

Kevin has lectured and published on the law supporting claims for medical monitoring damages.

Climate Alteration Litigation

Kevin is co-counsel in the Board of County Commissioners of Boulder County et al. v. Suncor Energy (USA), Inc. et al., seeking property-related tort damages and economic losses due to the impacts of climate alteration caused by fossil fuel activities of Suncor and Exxon-Mobil on behalf of Boulder County, the City of Boulder, and San Miguel County in Colorado.     

Toxic Lead Litigation

Kevin has a special interest in protecting those who have been exposed to lead.  Kevin served as co-counsel in representing individuals whose properties were damaged by air, dust and soil contamination from the Doe Run Lead Smelter in Herculaneum, Missouri.  St. Joe Lead Corporation, Fluor Corporation, and The Doe Run Corporation and Renco Inc. operated a primary lead smelting plant there.  The smelter poisoned hundreds of children, contaminated over 700 properties and put its workers at risk.

In Doyle, et al v. Fluor, et al., Kevin filed a property damage class action for the harm from the Doe Run Smelter in 2001.  The trial court allowed the claims to proceed as a class action. Kevin argued and successfully protected the class certification decision at the Missouri Court of Appeals.  After 13 years of litigation, including four appeals, the case settled on the eve of trial as pretrial rulings were issued.  The property owners of Herculaneum finally achieved some measure of justice as a result of a $55 million settlement with Doe Run. Kevin distributed compensation to over 97% of class members.  The Doe Run Smelter ceased operations the last day it could under its settlement agreement with EPA on December 31, 2013. 

Kevin has successfully prosecuted personal injury claims for children in Herculaneum and St. Francois County, Missouri as a result of the damage from toxic lead.  Also, Kevin has prosecuted lead paint exposure cases for individual children in several states.

Other Cases Addressing Toxic and Environmental Harm

Kevin is lead counsel in Grayson et al. Lockheed Martin Corporation, a class action for harm from toxic releases from Lockheed’s Orlando, Florida weapons manufacturing facility including methylene chloride, trichloroethylene, PCBs, DDT, among other toxic chemicals. The suit seeks compensation for property damage and the costs of medical monitoring.

In 2006, Kevin, with co-counsel, filed Jackson et al. v. Unocal et al., a Colorado lawsuit on behalf of approximately 500 property owners against Unocal Corporation and others for asbestos contamination caused by the removal of a pipeline and salvage operations connected with the pipeline.  The court approved the case proceeding as a class action in March 2009.  In October 2011, based on Kevin’s argument and briefing, the Colorado Supreme Court upheld the class certification decision and in doing so reaffirmed law supporting class certification.  Kevin then negotiated a settlement that included a $32.5 million payment to class members and additional cleanup and testing requirements. 

In 2003, Kevin obtained a landmark decision from the Colorado Supreme Court establishing the law of continuing trespass in toxic contamination cases.  The case arose out of Kevin’s commitment to represent an individual homeowner for the groundwater contamination in the East Montclair Neighborhood coming from the Lowry Air Force Base.  In Hoery v. USA, on referral from the United States 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Colorado Supreme Court stated: 

“ ... the ongoing presence and continued migration of toxic chemicals on the plaintiff’s property, allegedly caused by toxic chemicals released by the United States, each constitutes a continuing trespass and nuisance. ... [T]he tortious conduct of the United States is not limited to its initial release of those chemicals into the ground, but also includes its failure to remove the toxic chemicals and to abate the spread of toxic pollution onto the plaintiff’s property.”

This decision protects those who are initially misled by the polluter that the contamination is of no concern and that they will take steps to clean it up, to the detriment of those contaminated, allowing the statute of limitations to pass.  The court’s holding was consistent with an interpretation of the law Kevin wrote over ten years before.

Kevin was co-trial counsel in Escamilla et al. v. Asarco, one of the largest verdicts in Colorado in an environmental damage case at the time of the verdict.  In Escamilla, Kevin represented the Denver community of Globeville in a class-action suit for contamination of its air and soil by cadmium and arsenic.  The six-week trial resulted in a jury verdict and the court entering judgment for $28.1 million.  This case was the first jury trial in Colorado to award the cost of cleaning up contamination as part of the damage award and was pioneering nationally for that remedy.  The settlement reached after trial provided for the remediation of the Globeville community, and payment of money damages to the residents.  Kevin was part of the team that oversaw the implementation and completion of the five-year soil cleanup plan. 

In Allen et al. v. Burlington Northern Railroad, Kevin and his co-counsel successfully obtained class certification and then a settlement for property damage as a result of groundwater contamination from a railroad engine maintenance facility in La Crosse, Wisconsin.  Kevin later successfully brought a case for leaking underground storage tanks at a Milwaukee gas station. 

In 1998, Kevin won a $1.8 million jury verdict on behalf of an owner of industrial property located next to the Leyden Underground Natural Gas Storage facility in Jefferson County Colorado operated by Public Service Company.  The award, which included punitive damages, proved a total loss in value of this 70 acre property due to the migration of natural gas from the Leyden storage facility.  When Public Service then sought to take his client’s property away by condemning the property, Kevin also successfully defeated that action.  In January, 2000, the verdict was affirmed in its entirety by the Colorado Court of Appeals based on Kevin’s argument and briefing.  As a result of the publicity surrounding that decision, Public Service admitted to the leaks it had not previously disclosed and agreed to drop the operating pressure of the facility to reduce the migration of gas.  Public Service eventually decommissioned this dangerous facility because of the publicity surrounding the case.  

In Crawford et al. v. Hamilton Sundstrand, Kevin successfully brought a multi-plaintiff case for property damage from groundwater contamination by industrial solvents from aircraft part manufacturers.  Twelve years later, Kevin sued Sundstrand again because they had not cleaned up the solvent plume.  This time, Kevin successfully obtained certification of a class action in King et al. v. Sundstrand Corp., and a settlement for the class.

In 1996, Kevin served as co-counsel in claims on behalf of the Eagle County School District against Paramount Communications which owned the environmental liabilities at the Eagle Mine in Minturn, Colorado.  The case resulted in a payment of $1.5 million and indemnification for environmental liabilities to the school district.  In 1995, Kevin obtained a $1.1 million dollar payment, six-year clean-up plan, and penalties for non-compliance with the plan, in settlement of a case arising out of groundwater contamination from an above-ground storage tank farm operated by a subsidiary of Amoco Oil.  In 1994, Kevin represented the owners of the historic Denver Gas and Electric Building in downtown Denver in an action against Public Service Company for PCB contamination of the Building.  The case resulted in a $5.325 million settlement for the building owners.  In Sanchez v. Troilo, Kevin won a plaintiff’s verdict in a property damage case for groundwater contamination from a gas station’s leaking underground storage tanks (LUSTs).

In Orjias et al. v. Louisiana-Pacific, Kevin and co-counsel represented families who lived next to a waferboard facility that emitted formaldehyde, MDI, and wood particulates in Olathe, Colorado.  The three-week trial resulted in a March 1992 jury verdict for $2.3 million, including $1.8 million in punitive damages.  Evidence from that trial was used as part of the basis for action by the federal government against Louisiana-Pacific, which included the largest fine imposed by the U.S. EPA at the time, and criminal charges.  Kevin successfully argued the case before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Orjias verdict was upheld in its entirety through the United States Supreme Court. 

In Kramer et al. v. Wyco Pipeline, Kevin successfully settled a case for property and farm-related damages caused by groundwater contamination from over-filling and leaking above-ground jet and other fuel storage tanks.

Kevin has successfully concluded a number of other toxic and environmental damage cases concerning leaking underground storage tanks at gas stations, groundwater and soil contamination cases from petroleum products; residential asbestos contamination, contamination from drilling and fracking operations; and a case involving an anhydrous ammonia spill against Arkansas Valley Co-op.  Kevin has also successfully brought cases for workers exposed to toxic chemicals in their jobs. At Trial Lawyers for Public Justice in Washington D.C., Kevin prepared Citizen Suit lawsuits against polluters under the Clean Water Act.

Kevin has served as class action counsel in numerous other class actions not involving environmental contaminants and has successfully prosecuted defective products, medical malpractice, low head dam and insurance bad faith cases and auto and trucking crashes. Kevin’s first trial was over a stolen ‘57 Chevy; he won that trial.

Practice Areas

Awards & Recognitions

  • "Trial Lawyer of the Year,"  Public Justice Foundation in Washington, D.C., 1993
  • "Outstanding Young Trial Lawyer",  Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, 1996
  • "Case of the Year", Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, 2000
  • "Case of the Year", Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, 2014

Bar Admissions

  • Colorado, District of Columbia, Missouri, New Hampshire,
  • Wisconsin, Wyoming State Courts
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona
  • U.S. District Court for Eastern District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court for Western District of Missouri
  • First Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Third Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • United States Court of Federal Claims
  • United States Supreme Court

Memberships

  • Bar and Trial Associations for Colorado
  • District of Columbia, Missouri, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and Wyoming
  • Section on Toxic Environmental and Pharmaceutical Torts (STEP)

Education

  • Duke University, A.B.
  • Duke University, M.A. 
  • Georgetown Law