Representative Cases

Arnold et al. v. Scepter Greeneville, Inc. (2016)

Clean Air Act citizen suit and property damages claims brought on behalf of property owners to address secondary aluminum processing facility’s illegal releases of smoke, particulates, noxious vapors, and other toxic chemicals, including dioxin.  Settlement of claims resulted in complete replacement of facility’s hoods, which capture the emissions from the furnaces used in the secondary aluminum production process, ensuring that all emissions from the facility’s operations are properly routed to air pollution control devices prior to release into atmosphere.  Davis & Whitlock also recovered attorneys’ and expert fees, along with property damages for Plaintiffs, from Scepter Greeneville, the amounts of which are confidential.

Brillisour v. Jenish, Inc., et al. (2016)

Action for property damages under North Carolina’s Oil Pollution and Hazardous Substances Control Act brought on behalf of property owners whose property and private water supply well was severely contaminated as a result of leaking Underground Storage Tank (UST) at neighboring gas station.  Settlement of claims resulted confidential settlement for Plaintiffs.

Mauldin et al. v. ExxonMobil Pipeline Co. et al., (2015)

Mass environmental tort action brought on behalf of property owners and others impacted by the catastrophic March 29, 2013, failure of a portion of ExxonMobil’s Pegasus Pipeline in a residential neighborhood in Mayflower, Faulkner County, Arkansas.  This pipeline failure resulted in the release of thousands of gallons of toxic Canadian tar sands crude oil onto nearby residential and commercial properties and into waterways in the vicinity of the pipeline failure. Results are confidential at this time.

Lovelace et al. v. City of Shelby, North Carolina (2015)

Clean Water Act citizen suit and property damage claims brought on behalf of property owners to address chronic and prohibited sanitary sewer overflows (“SSOs”) from defendant’s wastewater collection system.  Settlement of claims resulted in requirement that defendant conduct a Flow Monitoring Assessment in order to determine cause(s) of the SSOs, payment of property damages to Plaintiffs, as well as reimbursement of Plaintiffs’ litigation costs, including attorney and expert fees.

Tennessee Riverkeeper, Inc. v. Hensley-Graves Holdings, LLC, (2014)

Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act citizen suit brought to address illegal discharge of pollutants to Cypress Creek, a tributary of the Tennessee River, from closed municipal landfill in Florence, Alabama.  Settlement of claims resulted in requirement that current owner of landfill submit an NPDES Permit application for discharge at issue to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, and comply with any and all permit conditions, fund a Supplemental Environmental Project to benefit water quality in Cypress Creek, and reimburse Plaintiffs’ litigation costs, including attorney and expert fees.

In re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig “Deepwater Horizon” in Gulf of Mexico (2010-2016)

On April 20, 2010, a massive offshore oil rig known as the Deepwater Horizon, operated by oil giant BP and owned by Transocean, exploded and caught fire in the Gulf of Mexico killing 11 workers and ultimately leaked more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf.  Litigation against BP, Transocean, and other defendants was consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana in New Orleans, and, over the last six years, Davis & Whitlock, along with other firms involved with the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, has been working on holding BP accountable. We have partnered with law firms in Alabama and Florida to bring claims on behalf of impacted governments, businesses and property owners, and have recovered millions of dollars for our clients throughout the Gulf to date, including the City of Key West, Florida, Keys Energy Services, the electric utility for the Lower Keys.

In re: Tennessee Valley Authority Ash Spill Litigation (2012)

Mass environmental tort action brought on behalf of property owners and others impacted by the catastrophic release of over 1 billion gallons of toxic coal ash sludge from a failed coal ash impoundment at TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant into the Emory River on December 22, 2008.  Davis & Whitlock, along with five other firms, tried the issue of TVA’s negligence in a month long bench trial in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Knoxville.  Following the court’s ruling that TVA was negligent in its handling of coal ash at the Kingston facility, the case settled for an aggregate amount of $27.8 million following a complex, multiparty mediation.

Sullivan v. County of Dickson, Tennessee (2011)

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act imminent and substantial endangerment citizen suit and property damage claims to address TCE groundwater contamination and contamination of private wells caused by disposal of industrial waste in county landfill.  Settlement of claims resulted in, amongst other things, payment of property damages to Plaintiffs.

Tennessee Clean Water Network and Charles McMillan, et al. v. Babelay Farm, LLC, et al. (2010)

Clean Water Act citizen suit and property damage claims on behalf of environmental group and landowners in Knox County, Tennessee to address illegal discharges of sediment and stormwater from construction site and contamination of private drinking water well.  Settlement of claims resulted in, amongst other things, improved operation of stormwater detention ponds on construction site and stricter stormwater compliance standards for the site.  Settlement also provided for granting of easement and payment for connection of residence to city water, as well as reimbursement for Plaintiffs’ litigation costs, including attorney and expert fees.

Association Concerned Over Resources and Nature v. Tennessee Aluminum Processors, Inc. (2010)

Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act citizen suit to address surface and groundwater contamination caused by the maintenance of an aluminum slag waste stockpile in Maury County, Tennessee.  Settlement of claims resulted in complete removal of stockpile and mandatory groundwater sampling in vicinity of stockpile location, as well as reimbursement of Plaintiff’s litigation costs, including attorney and expert fees.

Association Concerned Over Resources and Nature v. City of Mount Pleasant, Tennessee (2010)

Clean Water Act citizen suit to address chronic violations of municipality’s NPDES permit arising out of operation of sewage treatment plant and spray fields in Maury County, Tennessee.  Settlement of claims resulted in, amongst other things, mandatory water quality testing by defendant in affected waters and reimbursement of Plaintiff’s litigation costs, including attorney and expert fees.

Patricia Stephens, et al. v. Koch Foods, LLC and City of Morristown, Tennessee (2009)

Clean Water Act citizen suit and property damage claims to address pretreatment violations by industrial discharger and NPDES permit violations by municipality in its operation of municipal sewerage system, resulting in the release of noxious gases and odors from sewerage system into residential neighborhood.  Following three-week jury trial, both defendants were found to have violated the Clean Water Act, and post-trial settlements resulted in complete rehabilitation of sewer line and pump stations in affected community, improved pretreatment practices by industrial discharger, payment of civil penalties by both defendants, and award of significant litigation costs to Plaintiffs.

Watauga Watershed Alliance and Tennessee Clean Water Network v. Radford Quarries of Boone, Inc. (2009)

Clean Water Act citizen suit to address violations of defendant’s NPDES permit arising out of quartzite mining operation in Johnson County, Tennessee along Doe Creek.  Settlement of claims resulted in mandatory relocation of an asphalt plant from the site and restrictions on future discharges of pollutants from site, as well as reimbursement of Plaintiffs’ litigation costs, including attorney and expert fees.

Metheny v. Prime Carolina, LLC, et al. (2008)

Clean Water Act Citizen suit and property damage claims on behalf of landowners in Asheville, North Carolina adversely impacted by discharges of sediment and increased surface water runoff caused by development of residential subdivision.  Settlement of claims resulted in reimbursement of Plaintiffs’ litigation costs, including attorney and expert fees, and payment for restoration of stream on Plaintiffs’ property and compensation for property damages.

Blair, et al. v. T&K Construction, et al (2008)

Clean Water Act citizen suit and property damage claims for riverfront property near Birmingham Alabama damaged by discharges of mud from construction of subdivision. Settlement of claims resulted in substantial confidential payment for restoration of stream and compensation for property damages.

Breathe Clean Air Action Team v. Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and Tate & Lyle Ingredients Americas, Inc. (2005)

Challenge to air pollution construction permit for expansion of corn products processor in Loudon, Tennessee, resulting in settlement for new air pollution controls on whole plant.

Citizens Against the Pellissippi Parkway Extension v. U.S. Department of Transportation (2002)

NEPA challenge to construction of new four-lane highway through rural area of Blount County, Tennessee, resulting in preliminary injunction stopping construction of highway. TDOT then prepared a Draft EIS and a draft Final EIS, which has not yet been issued as of 2016.

Friends of Shelby Farms Park v. U.S. Department of Transportation (2000)

NEPA and Transportation Act challenge to construction of six-lane highway through large public park in Memphis; resulted in redesign rerouting most roads around park.

Parker v. Maggoteaux Corp. (1998)

Citizen suit under Clean Water Act and RCRA, combined with toxic tort action, against operator of industrial waste landfill that contaminated ground water with lead. Achieved substantial confidential settlement for adjoining owner of antebellum estate.

Robert Orr/Sysco Food Services Co. v. Laidlaw Environmental Systems (1994)

Successful challenge on behalf of food distributor to air pollution operating permit for neighboring hazardous waste treatment facility in Nashville, Tennessee, resulting in order by County Health Board to close the hazardous waste facility.

Residents Against Industrial Landfill Expansion v. Diversified Systems, Inc. (1992)

Clean Water Act citizen suit against industrial waste landfill site in McMinn County, Tennessee, that resulted in ruling by federal district court requiring NPDES permits for landfill sediment ponds.

Conatser v. Ashland Chemical, et al. (1989)

Products liability suit against manufacturers of solvents on behalf of screen printing plant worker who suffered neurological effects, resulting in substantial confidential settlement.

Champion International Corporation v. EPA (LEAF, NC Clean Water Fund, Intervenors) (1986)

Objections by citizens group to inadequate wastewater permit issued by North Carolina to paper mill resulted in U.S. EPA veto of permit and ultimate issuance of stronger permit by EPA. Champion sued EPA to contest permit veto, and LEAF intervened. Federal district court dismissed challenge.

Legal Environmental Assistance Foundation v. Hodel (1984)

Citizen suit under Clean Water Act and RCRA to enforce hazardous waste and water pollution control regulations at U.S. Department of Energy nuclear weapons facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Federal district court found that DOE nuclear weapons facilities are not exempt from federal and state environmental regulations. The suit resulted in application of federal and state environmental regulations to all nuclear weapons facilities nationwide.


The cases listed above are representative and illustrative of the types of matters handled by Davis & Whitlock.  The descriptions above are meant to provide information about the activities and experience of our attorneys, and are not intended as a guarantee that the same or similar results can be obtained in every matter undertaken by our firm.  You should not assume that a similar result can be obtained in a legal matter of interest to you, as prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome in future cases.  Further, the outcome of a particular matter can depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, including the specific factual and legal circumstances of the case and unexpected developments beyond the control of any client or attorney.