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May 06 2016

Local Attorney Wins Appellate Ruling that Protects Environmental Managers and Employees

Houston (May 6, 2016) – AL Law Group attorney Keith Lapeze secured a potentially far-reaching appellate court decision today that helps protect environmental managers and employees from personal liability for corporate environmental non-compliance. The Texas Court of Appeals for the 3rd District ruled May 6th that the State of Texas failed to estlapezeablish as a matter of law that a corporate representative could be held individually liable for alleged corporate environmental violations.
Specifically, the State had asserted that “when a statute provides for individual liability, as does the Water Code, an individual corporate officer may be held liable for his own violations” and that a company representative could be held individually liable for the “wrongful acts which he directs, participates in, or has knowledge of and assented to.” In rejecting these assertions, the Court called these assertions an “expanded reading” of the law and said that the law would not “seem to support that proposition” nor “compel that type of groundbreaking conclusion.”

“We are elated to help protect businessmen and businesswomen in the State of Texas from unsubstantiated threats of environmental legal liability,” said Lapeze.

“This ruling supports a foundational principle of legal protection,” said Lapeze. “Shielding individual members and environmental managers of corporations from errors, judgments or simple wrongful acts protects an entire industry of environmental managers who are doing their best to execute a complicated morass of environmental regulations.”

According to Jed Anderson, a principal with Lapeze in AL Law Group, the Appellate Court prevented a potentially ground breaking and chilling ruling that could have potentially held environmental managers and other company representatives personally liable as opposed to being liable in their corporate role. Anderson said this ruling protects an entire class of individuals who work each day to do their best to meet environmental laws and regulations.

“This is a big deal for our clients and for every environmental manager and his or her family,” said Anderson. “We are proud that Keith Lapeze fights for individual protections and to uphold the intent of the law. Furthermore, it demonstrates that environmental legal experience and a thorough knowledge of environmental law and regulations is a successful recipe for a winning legal defense.”

al-law-group-adAL Law Group offers a number of environmental legal services to help companies with environmental compliance, regulatory agency submittals and permit authorizations. For more information or interviews with AL Law Group attorneys, visit http://www.allawgp.com/

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