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ditch and factory
Matson & Associates, Inc.
331 East Foster Ave.
State College, PA 16801
814 / 231-5253

Representative Cases: Property Damage

Predicting Benzene Levels in Buildings via Vapor Intrusion from Hydrocarbon Plumes
A residential neighborhood and nearby commercial area were found to be situated above two petroleum hydrocarbon plumes resulting from buried, leaking pipelines. Subsurface investigations revealed the hydrocarbon plumes were floating on the ground water table and volatilizing into the overlying soil pore space.

Our client, representing property owners, had filed suit against the oil company using the pipelines alleging benzene contamination in the homes and businesses located above the plumes. M&A was retained to investigate whether benzene migrated from the plumes into the properties owned by the plaintiffs resulting in a dangerous condition. M&A utilized EPA modeling tools for vadose zone transport, site specific data and peer-reviewed literature to predict the amount of benzene entering the homes and businesses over time. We submitted an expert report containing opinions on the concentrations of benzene likely entering the properties. M&A provided trial testimony in one case in state court that received a favorable jury verdict and deposition testimony in another case that settled prior to trial.

Evaluating PCB Contamination of Big Spring Creek, Lewistown, Montana
Big Spring Creek, famous for its fly fishing and scenery, runs almost twenty six miles before joining the Judith River. In the early 2000s PCBs were found in the creek sediments and trout. Catch and release signs were then posted along a number of fishing access sites along the creek. Subsequent investigations conducted by Montana Department of Environmental Quality revealed the contamination came from PCB-based paint applied to the concrete troughs at the Big Springs trout hatchery located upstream.

Our client, representing property owners living along the creek, filed suit against Montana’s Fish Wildlife and Parks Division (FWP) who operated the hatchery, the supplier of the PCB-based paint, and Monsanto over the contamination in Big Spring Creek. M&A was retained to explain how the PCBs entered the stream from the hatchery and to evaluate whether Monsanto, the sole U.S. producer of PCBs, met a reasonable standard of care in the formulation, marketing and ultimately withdrawing of PCBs for certain uses, particularly those applications with direct contact with the environment. We relied on materials from our own extensive collection of documents concerning Monsanto and PCBs, our expertise on the chemistry of PCBs and documents produced during discovery as a basis for the expert report. M&A provided expert opinions on the fate and transport of PCBs from the hatchery and that Monsanto did not meet a reasonable standard of care. M&A gave deposition testimony; the case settled prior to trial.

One year later, FWP filed suit against Monsanto for the cost of the remediating the sediments which was estimated at 12 million dollars. M&A was retained on behalf of FWP to provide expert opinions similar to the opinions provided in the previous case. M&A testified at a jury trial in state court. The case settled during the trial.

Other Representative Cases:

Litigation Support


Expert Witnessing