Thomas H. Hannigan, Jr.
Tom focused his litigation practice on two particular areas: (1) representation of religious organizations and other non-profits with respect to litigation matters, in particular the investigation, defense, and settlement of misconduct claims; and (2) environmental litigation, including cases in the areas of hazardous waste, clean air, clean water, and Superfund.
In his representation of religious organizations and other non-profits, Tom has handled the defense and settlement of claims against the institution arising from misconduct by clergy or other employees. He has negotiated several large global settlements of mass tort claims against religious institutions, and is experienced in alternative dispute procedures including mediation and arbitration. In addition to misconduct claims, he also has represented religious organizations in other types of litigation matters, including probate, real estate, employment, and historic landmark cases. Often these cases involve important First Amendment issues.
With respect to environmental litigation, Tom has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in cases under state and federal statutes related to hazardous waste, clean air, clean water, and Superfund. He has negotiated complex settlements with respect to several large Superfund sites, and litigated to a successful conclusion several private cleanup cases.
In addition to these two areas of particular focus, Tom also has maintained a general litigation practice and advised a variety of non-profit and for profit clients regarding a wide range of matters, including probate, real estate, and personal injury cases, at both the trial and appellate levels.
- Archdiocese of Boston. Selected by incoming Archbishop Sean P. O’Malley in July 2003 to take over the defense and settlement of pending cases involving the sexual abuse of minors. Negotiated a global settlement of some 540 claims in September 2003. Also handled related claims against diocesan insurers.
- Society of Jesus. Represented the Society of Jesus of New England (Jesuits) in a First Amendment challenge to the attempted landmark designation by the City of Boston of a church interior. The Supreme Judicial Court invalidated the designation under state constitutional protections for religion.Society of Jesus of New England v. Boston Landmarks Commission, 409 Mass. 38 (1990).
- Diocese of Fall River. Together with diocesan general counsel, negotiated a global settlement in 1993 of over a hundred pending cases alleging clerical abuse of minors, and successfully represented the Diocese in a related case against diocesan insurers to reconstruct and recover against lost insurance policies.
- Iron Mountain Mine Superfund Site. Defended Aventis Cropscience USA in a government filed Superfund case involving an inactive copper mining site in Northern California. Conducted extensive discovery and briefed motions challenging the science underlying EPA’s site remedy selection and the imposition of successor liability, asserting the government’s own liability as a responsible party, and raising other statutory and constitutional defenses. Ultimately, negotiated a consent decree in 2000 that, in return for a one-time settlement payment, forever capped the company’s exposure to cleanup costs and natural resource damages under a “no reopener” covenant not to sue from the government.
- Charles George Landfill Superfund Site. Represented a group of generator defendants as common counsel and liaison counsel in defense of a Superfund cost recovery action brought by the state and federal governments involving an inactive landfill site in Massachusetts. Case involved extensive discovery and motion practice to attack the appropriateness of EPA’s selected remedies, to add other responsible parties (including agencies of the government), and to assert other constitutional and statutory defenses. Negotiated a consent decree in 1992 on behalf of the common defense group with respect to both cleanup costs and natural resource damages.