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Overview

Jerry’s entire career has been built around environmental and chemical science, including his accomplished legal practice.

Initially, as an undergraduate chemistry major in college, he was the top student in his class and recipient of the American Institute of Chemists Award. After graduation, he spent five years as an environmental research chemist at Monsanto. There, he developed industrial hygiene/waste stream analytical methods and implemented industrial hygiene/sampling programs at Monsanto plants in the U.S. and Brazil. He now puts that knowledge and experience to work at Husch Blackwell, where he’s worked since graduating from law school in 1990.

For his clients, Jerry handles toxic tort and product liability cases, environmental cost recovery and environmental insurance litigation, and complex commercial litigation matters. He has defended numerous chemical companies in federal and state courts throughout the country in alleged chemical exposure claims in workplace or products cases involving acids, bases, solvents, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), vinyl chloride, radioactive material, electrical and microelectronics chemicals, pesticides and insecticides, benzene, lead, and aluminum. He has represented clients in alleged personal injury, medical monitoring, trespass, nuisance, stigma and diminution in property damage claims from release of these chemicals in the workplace and/or environment.

His experience includes:

  • Served as trial counsel representing a major chemical company in lengthy dispute over payment of defense and environmental remediation costs at sites across the country. Multiple jury verdicts resulted in settlements and judgments in excess of $250 million from its insurance carriers. Prior to Husch Blackwell’s involvement, the client had received limited recovery.
  • Served as trial counsel for corporate client in a six week jury trial in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Case involved complex environmental expert testimony and insurance coverage for remediation costs at five environmental sites, which resulted in a judgment for the client of more than $87 million.
  • Defending a Fortune 1000 manufacturer in a cost recovery action for potential Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) liability. After resolution of the underlying case and shifting the vast majority of otherwise joint and several liability to other defendants,  successfully enforced the client’s rights against its insurance carrier.
  • Obtaining summary judgment for a microelectronic chemical manufacturer in 18 related lawsuits brought by more than 250 current and former IBM workers and their families.
  • Representing a national aluminum recycling firm and its subsidiaries in a putative class action, in which the case settled with the client’s insurers paying a minimal amount.

In addition, Jerry manages environmental actions nationwide, providing defense for owner-operators, arrangers and generators facing potential liability under the federal Superfund hazardous-waste legislation and its state counterparts. He also has represented Fortune 500 companies at more than 100 state and federal environmental sites at all stages, including administrative proceedings and cost-recovery actions; and represented chemical companies in environmental pollution insurance coverage against numerous insurance companies resulting in recoveries in excess of $250 million.


Industries

Services

Recognition

  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent

Education

  • J.D., Saint Louis University School of Law
    • magna cum laude
      • Order of the Woolsack
      • Alpha Sigma Nu
      • Saint Louis University Public Law Review, Editor
  • B.A., University of Missouri-Saint Louis
    • magna cum laude
    • Chemistry
      • Outstanding Senior Chemistry Award

Admissions

  • Missouri
  • Illinois

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • The Missouri Bar
Experience
  • Represented a Fortune 1000 manufacturer of copper alloys, ammunition, chlorine and sodium hydroxide in a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) claim involving a pesticide formulating plant in North Carolina. The case was resolved favorably for client, with significant portion of an otherwise orphan share assumed by other defendants. A significant portion of the client’s defense and response costs were subsequently recovered from its insurer.
  • Represented a Fortune 1000 manufacturer of copper alloys, ammunition, chlorine and sodium hydroxide in a cost recovery action brought against client for potential CERCLA liability at a former pesticide formulating plant. After extensive discovery and motion practice, obtained summary judgment for client.
  • Handled a multiple-site, multiple-carrier environmental insurance recovery litigation resulting in multimillion-dollar recovery of defense costs and pollution property damage. Prior to Husch Blackwell’s involvement, the client had received limited recovery.
  • Handled more than 20 vinyl chloride lawsuits throughout the country alleging various cancers and civil conspiracy.
  • Represented a microelectronic chemical manufacturer in 18 related lawsuits brought by more than 250 current and former IBM clean room workers and their families. Plaintiffs alleged personal injury caused by on-the-job and in-utero exposure to “hazardous toxic chemicals and substances” at an IBM computer chip plants. Obtained summary judgments based on general and specific causation in bellwether cases and summary judgment on more than 90 claimants based on statute of limitations under New York and the CERCLA discovery rule and positioned the client for a favorable de minimis settlement of the remaining claims.
  • Defeated class certification of medical monitoring and stigma damage claims arising out of chemical plants in New Jersey and Texas.
  • Represented a national aluminum recycling firm and its subsidiaries in a putative class action. The insurers initially asserted several policy defenses to the claim for defense of the underlying putative class action. Convinced the carriers to fund the defense of the case. In that case, plaintiffs sought an injunction and damages (for property loss and personal injury) associated with the alleged release of several contaminants into the atmosphere by client at two of its aluminum smelting facilities in Michigan. Subsequent to the court’s ruling denying certification, the case settled with the client’s insurers paying a minimal amount on behalf of their insured.
  • Helped obtain a summary judgment in favor of Monsanto Co. in a three-plaintiff polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) case. Plaintiffs alleged that they suffered from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma as a result of PCBs (which Monsanto ceased manufacturing and selling nearly 40 years ago) in their blood, which they ingested through the food chain.
Community Leadership

Jerry is a Certified Missouri Master Naturalist. In that capacity, he participates in community-based natural resource education and volunteer service for Missouri Department of Conservation (MDEC), Missouri Department of Natural (MDNR), Operation Clean Stream and other local entities dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within the state of Missouri.