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   3Thomas W. DaggettChicago(312) 960-1600TWDaggett@Comcast.netTWDaggett@Comcast.netDaggett Law Firmwww.daggettlawfirm.comwww.daggettlawfirm.comdaggettthomas.jpgEnvironmental LawToxic Torts Defense LawBrownfield TransactionsEPA and OSHA ComplianceCleanup and Cost RecoveryEnvironmental Insurance
Thomas W.
Daggett Law Firm
161 N Clark St Ste 4950
Chicago IL 60601-3238
Ph.(312) 960-1600 Fx.(312) 332-0515Leading Lawyers Magazine story about this lawyer
Recommended by peers in:    Extensive Experience in:
Environmental Law    Brownfield Transactions
Toxic Torts Defense Law    EPA and OSHA Compliance
    Cleanup and Cost Recovery
    Environmental Insurance
County:  Cook
Practice Description:  
Mr. Daggett represents clients in complex technical litigation, in corporate and real estate transactions that involve substantial environmental liabilities, and in enforcement proceedings brought by environmental agencies. He founded the Daggett Law Firm in 2004 to provide environmental legal services to business clients, property owners, governmental entities, and to other law firms that need environmental counsel or co-counsel due to conflicts, a lack of environmental expertise, or the need for a Chicago or Denver local counsel. At his environmental law boutique, he can provide a high level of legal services while controlling costs in ways that are not possible at large law firms. Mr. Daggett moved his practice from a 200-attorney litigation firm in Chicago, where he was a partner in the Litigation Practice Group and a co-leader of its Environmental Practice Group. Before entering private practice, he served as Associate Regional Counsel and Section Chief at the U.S. EPA Region 5 in Chicago, and as an attorney for the Illinois EPA.

Mr. Daggett's technical education, with a B.S. in chemistry, an M.S. in environmental engineering, and additional post graduate study in toxicology, aids his handling of lawsuits and transactions in this highly technical legal field, and in the selection and management of technical experts or engineering consultants. Mr. Daggett has been selected by his peers as a Leading Lawyer in both environmental law and toxic torts defense law. They have also given him Martindale-Hubbell's highest "AV Preeminent" rating in the environmental law field.

Notable Cases and Results:  
Mr. Daggett handles a broad variety of environmental litigation and counseling matters under the numerous federal and state environmental and health & safety statutes, including CERCLA, the CWA, RCRA, the CAA, TSCA, EPCRA and FIFRA.

Representative litigation, for plaintiffs and defendants, includes the following:
  • assisted in defending a manufacturer in a citizen's suit under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act [EPCRA] through appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, where his team won a 9-0 decision and set a constitutional law precedent holding that citizens groups do not have standing to sue for past violations when complete compliance was achieved before the 60-day notice period passed and the complaint was filed. Steel Co. v. CBE, 523 U.S. 83 (1998); he published an article on the significance of this case, cited below.

  • filed a RCRA Citizen's Suit in U.S. District Court on behalf of a bank that had foreclosed on residential property adjacent to a dry cleaner; obtained a Court Order requiring cleanup of dry cleaning fluid "Perc" on the bank's property, and obtained Residential NFR Letter from IEPA, plus reimbursement of all plaintiff-Bank's attorney's fees. Forest Pk. Natl. Bank v. Ditchfield, 10-cv-3166 (NDIL)

  • defended the major party in Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act [CERCLA, a.k.a. Superfund] litigation in Michigan, through appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, and won a summary judgment on the government's liability theory. U.S. v. Cello Foil, et al, 100 F. 3d 1227; he also published an article on the significance of this case, cited below.

  • filed tort suit for negligent misrepresentation in Illinois Circuit Court on behalf of landowner that purchased property in reliance on environmental consultant's report of no environmental problems after it performed Phase 1 and 2 assessments; obtained settlement reimbursing landowners for testing and cleanup costs for contamination missed by consultant. Basran v. Gabriel, 09-L-3471 (Cook Co.)

  • filed a CERCLA cost recovery suit in federal court on behalf of two companies cleaning up a Superfund site under an EPA unilateral administrative order (UAO) against 35 potentially responsible parties (PRPs) that had refused to share the costs; achieved significant interlocutory rulings on CERCLA statute of limitations, and the plaintiff's burden (See Reports at 15 Toxics Law Rptr. 1173 [11/16/00] and 16 Toxics Law Rptr. 68 [1/18/01]); recovered $2,400,000 of plaintiffs' cleanup costs from defendants. Crown Cork & Seal v. CBS, 99-cv-869 (MDNC).

  • defended chemical distributor Univar, Inc., in recurrent litigation asserting contract, toxic tort, and environmental statutory claims arising from the contamination of property at facilities of customers that had purchased Perc, TCA and other chemical products

  • defended American Cyanamid in complex CERCLA private cost recovery litigation in Michigan that set a significant precedent on orphan shares, reported at Charter Twp. Of Oshtemo v. American Cyanamid, 898 F. Supp. 506, and led to a very favorable settlement during the Court ordered ADR proceeding.

  • defended manufacturing client against CERCLA private cost recovery claims that it should pay more of a $47 million Superfund cleanup in Indiana than the $160,000 it already paid; achieved a settlement in which the plaintiffs agreed not only to dismiss their claims against our client, but also reimburse our client on its counterclaim out of funds recovered from other defendants. Ninth Ave. Remediation Group v. Allis Chalmers, (NDIN).

  • defended a local governmental entity that owned part of an NPL Superfund site in a number of private party and government lawsuits, and achieved a novel "extraordinary circumstances" settlement with EPA that also barred the private claims. Reports on the settlement were published at 13 Toxics Law Rptr. 1151 [2/17/99]; then filed an insurance coverage action with co-counsel that successfully recovered the settlement payment and the legal fees.

  • Representative legal counseling services include the following:
  • serves as environmental counsel for the City of Waukegan, Illinois, addressing complex environmental liability issues involved in the City's efforts to redevelop its historically industrial Lake Front and harbor area, in its participation in ongoing cleanup actions under several judicial consent decrees, and in its day-to-day operations.

  • handled a major "Brownfield" project for the Waukegan Park District, the development of the Waukegan SportsPark, with 14 soccer fields, four baseball diamonds, and associated facilities; handled environmental assessment and related negotiations on asbestos issues when initially proposed as a redevelopment of the former Johns Manville manufacturing site, and on pesticide residue issues when changed to the redevelopment of an older public Golf Course.

  • serves as Chair of the Executive Committee and legal counsel for a Potentially Responsible Party group (PRPs) at an NPL Superfund site; led negotiations with U.S. EPA, the state, and adjacent property owners on cleanup action; negotiated all contracts for construction and oversight of the remediation project.

  • counseled numerous business entities on environmental liability management in real estate and corporate transactions, and on regulatory compliance under the CWA, RCRA, TSCA, EPCRA, and the ban on uses of CFCs, particularly in the manufacturing and chemical industries, including Bombardier, BRP, Clark Equipment, DuPont, Ingersoll Rand, United Technologies, Univar, Wilson Sporting Goods, and many smaller companies.

  • Bar Admissions:  
    U.S. Supreme Court
    U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Sixth and Seventh Circuits
    U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Central Districts of Illinois, the District of Colorado, the Northern District of Indiana, and the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan, with pro hac vice admissions in others.

    Year of Birth:  1951

    Law School:  University of Illinois College of Law, J.D., 1976
    Law School Honors/Involvement:  
    Obtained approval to simultaneously pursue an individually directed joint degree program and obtained master's of science degree in environmental engineering, 1977

    Undergraduate School:  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, BS, chemistry, 1973

    Representative Clients:  
    Large and small businesses, local governmental entities, and other law firms that need environmental counsel or co-counsel for their clients due to conflicts, a lack of environmental expertise within their firms, or the need for local counsel in Chicago or Denver.

    Employment History:  
    Wildman, Harrold, Allen and Dixon, Chicago, equity partner, June, 1990 to 2003, associate, 1988 to 1990.

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, Chicago, 1979 to 1988; attorney, Associate Regional Counsel, and Section Chief, litigating, counseling and supervising other attorneys in the 6 state Midwest region; Simultaneous appointment as Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, No. District of IL, for prosecution of environmental crime, 1982; Simultaneous appointment as Expert Advisor to U.S. State Dept., for negotiations over major expansion of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, 1987; Awarded 3 Bronze Medals (highest award granted by Region.)

    Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, Springfield and Chicago, 1977 to 1979; Regional Attorney; Simultaneous appointment as Special Assistant Illinois Attorney General, 1978, to represent state on NPDES Program delegation negotiations.

    Bar/Professional Association Involvement:  
    American Bar Association
    Illinois State Bar Association
    Colorado Bar Association
    Denver Bar Association
    American Chemical Society

    Community Involvement:  
    Alliance for the Great Lakes, pro bono, counseling

    DGP Youth Hope Foundation, pro bono, incorporated as non-profit corporation and obtained federal 501 (c) (3) status; and obtained authorization for fund raising as a charitable organization in five states.

    Former Commissioner, Oak Park, Ill., Environment and Energy Commission; drafted Lawn Chemical Signage Ordinance adopted as a Village ordinance.

    Published Legal Writing:  
    "Steel Co. v CBE; The U.S. Supreme Court Holds Citizens Suits for Past Violations Unconstitutional," Environmental Litigation Committee Newsletter, American Bar Association, Vol. 9, No. 1 (1998).

    "The Intent Element of a CERCLA Arranger Claim After U.S. v. Cello-Foil," Toxics Law Reporter, Vol. 11, No. 38, 2/26/97.

    Firm Description:  
    The Daggett Law Firm was founded in January 2004, as a spin-off of the environmental practice of Wildman Harrold, a 200 attorney Chicago litigation firm that has since merged into the 1,000 attorney global firm Locke Lord Edwards. Daggett Law provides environmental legal services to business clients and local governmental entities, and to other law firms that need environmental counsel or co-counsel for their clients due to conflicts, a lack of environmental expertise within their firms, or the need for a Chicago or Denver local counsel. As an environmental law boutique, Daggett Law can provide a high level of legal services while controlling costs in ways that are not possible at large law firms.

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