Environmental & Toxic Tort


Eleanor has settled multiple large, complex, multi-party environmental cases involving cleanup of soil and groundwater under CERCLA, RCRA, and California’s Superfund law. These cases often involve complex technical remediation and a myriad of participants, including past and present landowners, industrial site operators, governmental regulators, lawyers, insurance carriers and environmental technical consultants. Eleanor utilizes her decade-long experience as an environmental lawyer, along with her seasoned problem-solving and dialogue skills, to assist all parties involved in reaching an effective and sustainable resolution of these matters.

Prior to becoming a mediator, Eleanor practiced environmental law for nearly a decade, during which she litigated large complex federal and state Superfund cases, as well as CEQA and Prop 65 matters. She co-authored (under her maiden name, Oths) The California Environmental Law Handbook, published by Government Institutes. This experience is critical in her ability to settle large, multi-party clean-up disputes.

Representative cases include:

  • Claims by a regulatory agency against a manufacturer for alleged violations of pollution control laws;
  • Superfund (CERCLA) allocation disputes involving third party PRPs for soil and groundwater contamination caused by thirty years of industrial activity at the site; and
  • CERCLA and common law claims for contribution by landowners against operators of a dry cleaning facility.

Asbestos and Toxic Tort

Eleanor has mediated numerous, complex toxic tort disputes involving wrongful death or personal injuries, such as cancers (acute myelogenous leukemia, multiple myeloma,and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma) and lung diseases (mesothelioma, interstitial pulmonary fibrosis, asthma and pneumonia) brought by plaintiffs against land owners and manufacturers, distributors and retailers of chemical products.

Prop 65

Eleanor has mediated and litigated Prop 65 matters in the following areas:

  • Claims by a consumer rights group against a national clothing retail chain and clothing manufacturers for Prop 65 warning and exposure violations; 
  • Claims by various consumer rights groups against various manufacturers and distributors of nutritional supplements for Prop 65 warning and exposure violations; and
  • Claims by an environmental group against a city-wide parking garage company and oil companies for Prop 65 warning and exposure violations.

To obtain references for environmental and toxic tort matters, please contact Eleanor's case manager, Sue Housh, at 310-282-0800 or mediation@eleanorbarr.com