Jack McDermott specializes in complex environmental litigation, products liability claims, and toxic torts. He represents companies in the petroleum, chemical and other industries facing claims for all forms of response and cleanup costs, natural resource damages, and economic, property and personal injury damages. Jack has experience in all phases of litigation, with particular experience litigating technical and expert issues in complex multiparty matters, and has participated in lengthy jury trials with significant risk. He is also a member of Archer Discovery Strategies, the firm’s electronic discovery initiative.
- Represents clients at contaminated sites throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and other states in the defense of state and federal enforcement actions, and cost recovery and contribution claims among responsible parties.
- Represents clients, including refiners, gasoline distributors, and manufacturers of consumer and industrial products, in the defense of products liability claims alleging personal injuries resulting from exposure to petroleum solvents.
- Defended mass tort action asserted by hundreds of residential and commercial plaintiffs relating to a service station release. Consolidated jury trial lasted 6 months.
- Defended claims seeking damages for personal injury and wrongful death allegedly caused by vapor intrusion from a municipal sewer system. Involved novel questions of supplier liability and jury trial resulted in a complete defense verdict.
- Defended multi-billion dollar action brought by New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for cleanup and removal costs and other damages associated contamination of the Passaic River in Newark, NJ.
- Defended claims brought in federal court under product liability theories relating to alleged contamination of water supplies by MTBE.
- Advised client’s in-house counsel, public affairs staff and remediation personnel during emergency response to environmental release.
- Defended claims brought by hundreds of plaintiffs alleging contamination of a drinking water aquifer with MTBE and benzene. Consolidated jury trial lasted 5 months and involved testimony from more than 150 witnesses.
- Defending claims brought by state natural resource trustee seeking NRD allegedly resulting from contamination of groundwater at hundreds of locations in New Jersey.
- Defended class action alleging diminution in value of residential and commercial property resulting from historical service station releases.
Professional and Community Involvement
- American Bar Association (2014-2018: Chair of Energy and Natural Resources Litigation Committee, Section of Environment, Energy and Resources)
- New Jersey State Bar Association
- Camden County (N.J.) Bar Association
- Pennsylvania Bar Association
- Defense Research Institute
- Coach, Cherry Hill West High School Mock Trial Team
- Coach, Haddonfield Youth Lacrosse Club
Awards and Recognition
- Named to the New Jersey Super Lawyers List as a “Rising Star” for Environmental Litigation (2014- 2021)
- Named “Top Attorney” for Environmental Law by SJ Magazine (2021)
Articles and Presentations
- Toxic Soup: Unregulated Contaminants in Drinking Water & Future Litigation Challenges, Chemistry Council of New Jersey Annual Spring Conference, May 2014
- Recent Developments in E-Discovery, Camden County Bar Association, October 2015
- Premises, Products, and Problems with Discovery, HarrisMartin’s National Benzene Litigation Conference: Recent Developments in Solvent Litigation, November 2018