We are at a turning point in history when people are starting to focus more and more on environmental issues such as climate change and pollution. Growing awareness of the interplay between natural ecosystems and human well-being is prompting demands for stronger action to protect and preserve our planet. We all bear responsibility for building a healthy, sustainable world. But our contributions to environmental degradation are not equal.
Corporations are the biggest polluters in the world today. They produce the bulk of emissions and chemicals that end up in the air, the ground, and the water. Solving environmental problems requires addressing them at their core. And that means taking on the corporations that abuse our planet and our communities.
It takes a big law firm to take on big polluters. For more than 30 years, Morgan & Morgan has fought for the people, against the powerful. In that same spirit, our Toxics and Environmental Litigation Group is proud to fight for the planet.
Growing Public Awareness of Environmental Issues
Since roughly the start of the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, humanity has pursued economic growth at the expense of planetary health. By the mid-20th century, America had the highest standard of living in the world. But around this same time, Americans began to realize that our lifestyle has costs to natural systems, and we began to chart a more balanced and informed course.
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, topics related to pollution entered the public discourse, and a number of early environmental laws were passed. Several important books were published during this period, including Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, that catalyzed the burgeoning environmental movement. Young people led a “back-to-the-land movement” in the late ’60s that reflected an emerging recognition of environmental concerns in popular culture. The first photograph of the Earth taken from space appeared in 1968 and reinforced the idea that we all share one planet. In 1970, the first Earth Day was celebrated.
Over time, environmentalism has gone from a fringe movement to a mainstream value. A majority of Americans surveyed by Gallup in 2021 expressed a “great deal” of worry about the pollution of drinking water, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs; nearly half are worried about climate change, loss of ecosystems, and the extinction of plants and animals.
These views are global and appear to have strengthened during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a poll by Boston Consulting Group, 70% of participants said they were more aware now than before the pandemic that human activity threatens climate, and that environmental degradation in turn threatens humans. Three-quarters of respondents said that environmental issues are as concerning as—or more concerning than—health issues.
Super Polluters Cause Supersized Planetary Harm
A rising tide of public concern about the environment is fueling calls for change, not only at the individual level, but at the top. People want to see aggressive action by businesses and governments on behalf of the planet. Companies have responded by offering sustainable goods and services. However, critics say that this amounts to little more than drops in the bucket when it comes to solving the biggest ecological challenges. What’s more, many companies engage in sophisticated “greenwashing” that allows them to change public perceptions while continuing to harm the environment.
A small number of corporations are responsible for a disproportionate share of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Since human-induced climate change was officially recognized in the late 1980s, over half of global industrial emissions can be traced to just 25 entities, including ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, and Chevron. Shell won over many conservationists when it announced a $300 million fund for “investing in natural ecosystems.” But this is dwarfed by its investments in oil and gas, which will accelerate the climate crisis.
Pollution follows a similar trend. Just 100 industrial facilities produce more than one-third of America’s toxic air emissions. These facilities are owned by multi-billion dollar corporations like BASF, Medtronic, and Huntsman Petrochemical LLC. Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestlé are the biggest producers of plastic waste that end up in the world’s ocean. Agrochemical giants such as Bayer and Syngenta, as well as Tyson and other corporate food producers, are responsible for huge volumes of water contaminants.
Major ecological disasters also have big businesses ’ fingerprints on them. From oil spills and chemical leaks to gas explosions and industrial diseases, multinational corporations have been at the center of events over the last century that have caused significant health, environmental, and economic damages.
About Our Toxics and Environmental Group
Corporations talk a big game about sustainability and environmental stewardship. They cynically position themselves as part of the solution, when in reality they are among the biggest parts of the problem. Real change requires more than talk. It requires action. As Morgan & Morgan founder John Morgan said, “Will we be able to hold corporations’ feet to the fire?”
That is the goal of our Toxics and Environmental Group. Based in Denver, Colorado, the Group is led by nationally-renowned environmental lawyer Kevin Hannon. Kevin has been practicing environmental law for more than three decades. He’s represented individuals, plaintiff classes, government entities, and businesses in landmark cases for personal injury, medical monitoring, property damage, and business losses caused by toxic chemicals, earning numerous awards for his work in these areas.
Kevin knows firsthand what it takes to successfully prosecute environmental claims against corporate polluters that include 3M, Saint Gobain, The Chemours Company, DuPont, ExxonMobil, Suncor Energy Inc., and Lockheed Martin. Building on Morgan & Morgan’s previous work in cases involving matters such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Tangelo Park chemical exposure, the Mosaic sinkhole, Monsanto’s Roundup, and asbestos companies, Kevin is moving Morgan & Morgan’s environmental practice forward with the highest quality legal and science work.
Our growing team of environmental lawyers is focused on presenting cases for clients across the country in the following areas:
- Lead poisoning
- Medical Monitoring
- Toxic Emissions
- Groundwater Contamination
- Soil Contamination
- Property Damage
- Personal Injury
- Citizen Suits
- Class Actions
For the People, for the Planet, for the Future
Morgan & Morgan’s Toxics and Environmental Litigation Group leverages the resources of the nation’s largest plaintiffs’ firm to fight for the victims of environmental harm and toxic exposure. We also recognize the inherent value of nature and the importance of protecting it. There’s only one Planet Earth—and there’s only one Morgan & Morgan.
For the people, for the planet, and for future generations, we’re committed to sustaining the environment that sustains us.