Dennis Reich has been involved in many complex and nationally significant cases over his career as a trial attorney. Mr. Reich has served as lead or co-lead counsel in many large-scale environmental and toxic tort injury cases where cancer causation issues were the focus of the litigation. He has also played a key role in numerous MDL proceedings and has been appointed to multiple Plaintiff Steering Committees. Additionally, Mr. Reich has represented refinery, railroad, farmers, agricultural workers, and airplane mechanics who were exposed to various neurotoxic solvents and carcinogens that produced a spectrum of neurological injuries and hematological cancers. He has also represented residential clients residing in close proximity to superfund sites who suffered neurotoxic injuries to exposures from lead, pesticides, and various solvents.
Currently, Mr. Reich serves as counsel for the City of Houston, Travis County, and Nueces County of Texas in MDL No. 18-0358; In Re: Texas Opioid Litigation. He is also the chairman of the Expert Witness Committee in that litigation. Mr. Reich was recently appointed by United States District Judge; Eastern District of Michigan Judith Levy as special subclass counsel in the Civil Action No. 5:16-cv-1044-JEL MKM; Flint Water Cases (settlement pending). Mr. Reich is also an active member of the Taxotere MDL 2740 Settlement Negotiating Team and participates in the Science Committee appointed by the former Chief Judge of the Eastern District of Louisiana. Additionally, Mr. Reich served as a member of the PSC for the Risperdal Litigation: JCCP 4775 in Los Angeles, California. In 2021, Mr. Reich was unanimously approved by the commissioner’s court of Harris County Texas as counsel for Harris county in No. 21- STCV12418; Re: Harris County vs. Juul Labs Product cases in JCCP 5052 in Los Angeles, California.
Other significant litigation involved representing the State of Connecticut in the Armstrong World Floor Tile (asbestos) bankruptcy and representing the City of Houston in BP Oil Spill litigation, School District and the City of Picher Oklahoma in the Tar Creek Superfund Site (the largest environmental bankruptcy in the United States involving superfund sites and neurologic injuries of children living in close proximity to lead mining operations).
Mr. Reich attended the University of Connecticut and graduated with a B.A., magna cum laude, in 1972. After obtaining his undergraduate degree, he graduated from the University of Houston College of Law with a J.D. in 1975. He then completed the Hastings College of Law Advocacy Certification Program in San Francisco, California in 1977. In 1984 he co-founded Reich & Binstock, LLP. In addition to an intense and extensive litigation practice, Mr. Reich actively participates and presents at bar association and law school programs. Examples of some of Mr. Reich’s speaking engagements and writings are identified below.
Reich & Binstock, LLP is an AV Preeminent-rated law firm based in Houston, Texas. Over the years the majority of Mr. Reich’s practice has involved environmental litigation. During Mr. Reich’s environmental practice, he has worked extensively with some of the leading scientists in their respective fields, analyzing the complex exposure and causation issues that inevitably arise. These disciplines include epidemiology, air dispersion modeling, chemical engineering, agronomy, occupational medicine, psychiatry, and neurology. Mr. Reich has enjoyed collegial relationship with lawyers and their law firms throughout the nation in obtaining beneficial outcomes for his clients.
Environmental & Toxic Tort:
Cause No. 95-CVQ01439-D3; Navarro v. Missouri Pacific Railroad Company d/b/a Union Pacific Railroad Company, 341st District Court of Webb County, Texas. Mr. Reich obtained a multimillion dollar jury verdict after a two-week trial for a woman who was employed by the Union Pacific Railroad and was exposed to diesel exhaust fumes causing her to develop multiple myeloma during her employment. It was the first diesel exhaust cancer case tried to verdict against a railroad company in the United States.
MDL 1873;In re: FEMA Trailer Formaldehyde Products Liability Litigation; U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana. Served on PSC and as lead and co-lead counsel in two trials: Lyndon T. Wright v. Forest River, Inc., et al., Docket No. 09-2977 and Castanel, et. al. v. Recreation by Design, LLC, et. al., Docket No. 09-3251. Mr. Reich represented residents of New Orleans, Louisiana who were displaced from their homes by hurricane Katrina and issued (FEMA) trailers. Because of construction quality issues many of the occupants sustained a range of respiratory injuries and were at risk for developing nasal pharyngeal cancer from exposure to the carcinogen formaldehyde. Case disposition: multimillion dollar settlement.
Alicia Acevedo v Union Pacific Railroad Company; Cause No. C-4885-99-F; 332nd Judicial District of Hidalgo County, Texas. Lead counsel representing over two thousand individuals who were exposed to pesticides, including DDT, that were mixed at a facility in close proximity to the residents. Over the years the residents developed neurological and cancer related injuries. Case disposition: multimillion dollar settlement.
Hayden v. Atochem North America, Inc., Elf Aquitaine, Ind., Elf Atochem North America, Inc.; C.A. No. H-92-1054; U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division. Lead counsel for certified medical monitoring and property damages class action involving ten thousand residents in Bryan and College Station, Texas who had been exposed to arsenic emissions from the cooling towers of a pesticide manufacturing plant. In addition to substantial monetary compensation, the class received long term medical monitoring, which was one of the first medical monitoring protocols included as an integral component of a complex toxic tort settlement. Case disposition: multimillion dollar settlement.
Simms, Jr., et al. v. Amerada Hess Corporation, et al; Cause No. 93-5767-B; 117th Judicial District Court of Nueces County, Texas. Co-lead counsel in a property damage case that was certified as a class action against 12 oil refining companies for damages arising out of the escape of pollutants benzene and hexavalent chrome into soil and groundwater for approximately 5,000 properties along the Corpus Christi ship channel; a subset of personal injury hematological cancer cases were also brought in a companion case and settled. Case disposition: multimillion dollar settlement.
Rodney Wesley, et al., v. Colonial Pipeline Company; Civil Action No. CV-97-P-0595-W; United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. Co-lead counsel in multistate class action settlement requiring petroleum pipeline to accelerate and upgrade its compliance with Federal regulation and enhanced maintenance practices. Case disposition: Monetary and injunctive relief settlement.
Fisher v. Ciba Specialty Chemicals Corp. 238 F.R.D. 273 (S.D.Ala.2006); Lead counsel for a community living near a superfund site where the residents were exposed to DDT emissions from a pesticide manufacturing facility. Case disposition: multimillion dollar settlement.
In re: MTBE Product Liability Litigation, MDL 1358, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York. Served as co-counsel and as a member of the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee from January 2001 to September 2002 in MDL 1358, during which many of Judge Scheindlin’s seminal opinions regarding standing and concurrent liability, including market share liability, were written. Involvement focused on the behavior and transport of MTBE in groundwater plumes. Case disposition: multimillion dollar settlement.
Jack W. Ainsworth, et al. vs. Colonial Pipeline Company, Texaco, Inc., Texaco Pipeline, Inc., Texaco Chemical Pipeline Company and Lynchburg Shipyard; No. D-151227; 136th Judicial District Court of Jefferson County, Texas. Mr. Reich served as lead counsel for the bellwether plaintiffs. A large storm caused four pipelines owned by Texaco, Inc., Valero Energy Corp, and Colonial Pipeline to rupture releasing gasoline, fuel oil, crude oil, and natural gas causing the largest gasoline spill in U.S. history. The floodwater caught fire creating a river of fire. Large quantities of gasoline, fuel oil, crude, and natural gas were released that enveloped riverbank communities affecting 14,000 persons. Case disposition: multimillion dollar settlement.
New Jersey Natural Resource Damage Litigation – Three actions involving ecology damage to water resources in the State of New Jersey filed in Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division – Essex County: a) NJDEP v. PSE&G, Docket No. CAM-L-3337-07; b) NJDEP v. Mallinckrodt Baker, Docket No. NRN-L-295-07; and c) >NJDEP v. Occidental (Polyone), Docket No. BUR-L 1744-07. Mr. Reich was designated as Special Counsel by the State of New Jersey in raising damage claims brought by the State of New Jersey for damages to natural resources owned by the State. Case disposition: Injunctive relief requiring remediation and multimillion dollar settlement.
In Re Swanson Creek Oil Spill Litigation, Master Case No. PJM-2000-1429, (Williams v. Potomac Elect. Power Co., PJM-2000-1429 [115 F.Supp.2d 561], U.S. District Court District of Maryland, Southern Division). Co-counsel in an early OPA case involving the rupture of a pipeline that released over 100,000 gallons of fuel oil that entered the Patuxent River. Case disposition: Injunctive relief requiring remediation and multimillion dollar settlement.
David Mack Albright v. Aeroquip Corp., et al.; Cause No. B-146,864; 60th Judicial District Court of Jefferson County, Texas. Served as co-counsel on a consolidated action involving more than 100 plaintiffs and multiple defendants stemming from the September 1991 fire at the Imperial Foods Plant in Hamlet, North Carolina, which killed 25 people and injured more than 80. The incident remains the worst industrial accident ever recorded in North Carolina. Case disposition: multimillion dollar settlement.
Profirio Lopez, et al vs. Hoechst-Celanese Chemical Group, et al; Cause No. 96-41205-A; 28″ Judicial District, Nueces County, Texas. Lead counsel in this case involving the representation of a child born with multiple birth defects, including spina bifida, paralysis, blindness, mental retardation, and seizures caused by her parents’ exposure to organic solvents while the father worked at a Celanese plaint in Bishop, Texas. Case disposition: multimillion dollar settlement.
Olachukwu Nnadili, et al. v. Chevron U.S.A., Inc.; Civil Action No. 02-1620 (ESH); U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Co-counsel in the longest BTEX and MTBE plume in the nation impacting a residential neighborhood due to the release of gasoline from a leaking Chevron station underground storage tank. Several hundred consumers, businesses, and property owners sued for property damage and anxieties associated with living above a contaminated area. Case disposition: multimillion dollar settlement.
Elzina Avalos, et al. vs. Atlantic Richfield Company, et al., Civil Action No. H-89-3487; U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division. Co-counsel on a case that involved two Superfund sites emitting hazardous chemicals as a result of dumping activities by major petrochemical companies between 1961 and 1972. Plaintiffs’ causes of action were based upon negligence, gross negligence, nuisance, trespass and CERCLA. Case disposition: multimillion dollar settlement.
Maurice L. McIntire, et al. v. Motorola, Inc.; Civ 91-2067 PHX WPC; United States District Court for the District of Arizona. Co-counsel on a case involving approximately 1,000 individuals instituting litigation against Motorola’s facilities, which had been designated as either a state or Federal superfund site resulting from the disposal of organic solvents into the groundwater. A group of children developed non-Hodgins lymphoma from exposure to the contaminated water. Case disposition: multimillion dollar settlement.
James Peters; et al. v. Amoco Oil Company; et al.; CV-96D-940-N; United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama Northern Division. Co-lead counsel in a nationwide Class Action lawsuit for compensatory and punitive damages brought on behalf of property owners whose properties were damaged as a result of petroleum products leaking from Defendants’ underground storage tank (UST) systems at service station sites located in the United States. Case Disposition: Many cases that comprised this litigation settled.
Babich v. Montrose Chemical Corp.; CV 95-1786 KN, CV 96-4588 KN (Consolidated); United States District Court Central District of California. Co-lead counsel in this case which involved contamination of property and exposure of residents to organic solvents and halogenated compounds from a series of generators in the neighborhood in Torrance, California. Case disposition: multimillion dollar settlement.
Adams et al, v. Texas Dept. of Transportation, et al; 239th Judicial District Court of Brazoria County Texas. There were approximately 50 defendants in this case (mostly upstream developers and governmental entities). Lead counsel in the inverse condemnation case against Texas Dept. of Transportation and other governmental entities for the flooding of hundreds of residential and commercial properties during the construction of Texas State Highway 288 as a result of not providing proper detention facilities during the construction of the highway. The court certified property damage classes and denied summary judgement motions. Case disposition: multimillion dollar settlement.
Russel G. Thompson, et al, on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated vs. Walter M. Mischer Col, et al; Cause No. 39988; 284th Judicial district Court of Montgomery County, Texas. Lead counsel for owners of 500 residential homes in several subdivisions who were subject to weather related flooding that was exacerbated by faulty engineering and subdivision design. Court granted class certification. Case disposition: multimillion dollar settlement.
Civil Action No. H-84-2524; Gloria Chaplin, et al vs. Exxon Company, et al; In the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division. Chaplin involved representation of several hundred individuals who claimed property damage and personal injury as a result of living near a toxic waste site. Chaplin was probably the first toxic waste disposal case actually tried in Harris County, Texas. (Tried to successful verdict and settled).
Civil Action No. CIV-87-561-R; Sandra K. Beall, et al vs. Senoret Chemical Company, Inc., In the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. This case involved the representation of 200 postal workers who were exposed to ortho- and paradichlorobenzene, which was an ingredient in a deodorizer that was used as a cleaning solution by janitors at the downtown post office in Oklahoma City. (Tried to successful verdict and settled).
Civil Action Cause No. C95-1004-D1; Alfredo Flores, et al vs. RSR Corporation, et al. In the 49th Judicial District of Webb County, Texas. Co-lead counsel 1,200 children and adults who resided in El Florido, Mexico who lived near a smelter owned by a company that received unmanifested shipments of lead slag, dross and waste materials from the United States. Case disposition: multimillion dollar settlement
Civil Action No. 17573*JG01; Madonna Evans, et al v. The Dow Chemical Company and McBride, Ratcliff & Associates, Inc., Defendants, In the District Court of 239th Judicial District, Brazoria County, Texas. Mr. Reich was lead counsel in this case involving compensatory and punitive damages brought on behalf of property owners whose properties have been damaged as a result of releases or spills of hazardous substances from Dow’s operations in Freeport, Texas and as a result of negligently conducted investigations of said releases.
Cause No. 1993-04644; Mike Adalis, et al vs. Neighborhood Development Corporation, et al; In the 269th Judicial District Court, Harris County, Texas. Mr. Reich was lead counsel in a suit against Exxon for personal injuries and property damages caused by the contamination of the water supply in Three Lakes in Northwest Harris County. The Plaintiffs were exposed to dangerously high levels of benzene and other chemicals from the Municipal Utility District (MUD) No. 1 water well because of Exxon’s negligent failure to properly case an oil and gas well. The case was tried and a jury verdict in excess of $7,000,000.00 was received by 6 of the 450+ plaintiffs. Case disposition: multimillion
Cause No. 99-1485-E; Agustina Reyna Gonzalez, et al. vs. CITGO Petroleum Corp, et al.; and consolidated cases; In the 148th Judicial District Court of Nueces County, Texas. Mr. Reich was lead counsel in this case involving the negligent exposure of thousands of residents near the refinery to hydrofluoric acid released from the plants Alkylation unit during a refinery explosion. Case disposition: multimillion dollar settlement.
Cause No. 99-1485-E; Agustina Reyna Gonzalez, et al. vs. CITGO Petroleum Corp, et al.; and consolidated cases; In the 148th Judicial District Court of Nueces County, Texas. Mr. Reich was lead counsel in this case involving the negligent exposure of thousands of residents near the refinery tohydrofluoric acid released from the plants Alkylation unit during a refinery explosion. Case disposition: multimillion dollar settlement.
Civil Action No. 1:02CV01620; Olachukwu Nnadili in Her Own Right and On Behalf of Her Minor Children, et al vs. Chevron USA, Inc., et al; In the United States District Court For the District of Columbia; before the Hon. Ellen Segal Huevelle; Reich & Binstock are co-lead counsel in this mass action seeking injunctive relief, medical monitoring, compensatory and punitive damages for wrongful death, personal injuries, property damage and other claims for losses suffered by Plaintiffs as a result of the release of petroleum products from a gas station which has created one of the largest underground plumes of petroleum product contamination from a retail gasoline station in the United States.
Pharmaceutical Litigation Involving Addiction Habituation:
Lydia S. Perez, et al vs. Schering-Plough Corp. et al.; Cause No. 00-221-H; 347th Judicial District Court of Nueces County, Texas. Co-lead counsel in the proposed class action suit against the stimulant laxative industry and distributors for failure to inform purchasers that the ingredients in their laxatives are under investigation by FDA as potentially unsafe for human consumption. Case disposition: multimillion dollar settlement.
Moeller, et al v. Farmers Insurance Company of Washington and Farmers Insurance Exchange; Cause No. 99-2-07850-6; Superior Court of the State of Washington, Pierce County. Co-lead counsel in a Court certified multi-state class which was comprised of purchaser of first party insurance coverage for automobile for thousands of consumers. Case disposition: multimillion dollar settlement.
Natasha Claybrook, et al. v. BRK Brands, Inc., f/k/a First Alert; Sunbeam Corporation a/k/a Sunbeam Products, Inc.; CV-98-P-1546; United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Western Division. Co-counsel in a consumer class action involving an education and rebate program for users of residential smoke detectors. Case disposition: Injunctive relief and cost of replacement settlement.
Managed Care Class Action:
In re: Blue Cross Blue Shield Antitrust Litigation (MDL No. 2406); Master File No. 2:13-cv-20000- RDP; United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Southern Division. Chairman of the Damage Committee for the medical providers in the national antitrust litigation brought as a class action of hospitals and medical providers against Blue Cross and Blue Shield entities for monopolistic and monopsonist practices. Case disposition: Ongoing
Timothy N. Kaiser, M.D. and Suzanne LeBel Corrigan, M.DS. v. CIGNA Corporation et al; Third Judicial Circuit Court of Madison County, Illinois. Co-counsel in a certified national class action involving in excess of 750,000 health care providers consisting of physicians and hospitals who sued their PPO insurer over bundling, down coding, and exclusionary fee service. Case disposition: multimillion dollar settlement, including extensive injunctive remedies.
In re: BP Oil Spill Litigation (MDL 2179); United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, City of Houston, Texas v. BP, PLC, et al, Civil Action No. 2:13-cv-2968. Lead counsel for Harris County, City of Houston, and Metropolitan Transit Authority regarding the oil spill by the Oil Rig “Deepwater Horizon” in the Gulf of Mexico. Case disposition: multimillion dollar settlement.
In re: Armstrong World Industries, Inc., et al.; Case No. 00-04471 (RJN); United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. Chairman of Property damage committee and lead counsel for the State of Connecticut in a case involving asbestos contamination of buildings caused by vinyl asbestos floor tiles manufactured by Armstrong. Also acted as co-counsel for numerous homeowners, commercial building owners and governmental entities. Case disposition: multimillion dollar settlement.
Harris County Texas v Juul Labs, Inc et al; Case No. 21STCV12418; Superior Court of the State of California County of San Francisco. Co-Counsel for Harris County, Texas in a case regarding the cost and rehabilitation of the teenagers who became addicted to nicotine while vaping and using Juul. Case disposition: Ongoing
MDL Cause No. 18-0358, Texas Opioid Litigation; Master File No. 2018-63587. Counsel for City of Houston and numerous Texas counties. Currently the Chairman of the Expert Witness and Damages Committee for Texas Opioid MDL; case disposition: Ongoing.
Written Works And Presentations
2014 Mason Judicial Education Program on The Economics of Access to Civil Justice. “Whether Public Nuisance Claims are Good for Public Policy.” Law and Economics Center, George Mason University School of Law, Dana Point, California.
2012 Judicial Symposium on Scientific Evidence in the Courts. “Neighborhood Environmental Exposure Cases (including Hexavalent Chromium).” Law & Economics Center, George Mason University School of Law, Fairfax, Virginia.
2011 Washington Legal Foundation, “On the Merits” Dissenting View on No. 10-3135, City of New York v. Exxon Mobile Corp, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
2007 Mealey’s MTBE Litigation Conference, Santa Monica, CA.
2006 When Bad Things Happen to Good Property by Robert Simons; Chapter 8, Environmental Contamination Treaties: Overview of the Litigation Process. Mr. Reich’s contributing chapter discusses calculating property damages and handling property damage cases as a mass action or a class action.
2006 Mealey’s MTBE Litigation Conference, New York, NY.
2001 “Underground Storage Tank Litigation;” Panelist, South Texas College of Law’s Energy Law Institute for Attorneys and Landmen.
2000 Former Co-Editor, Mealey’s Toxic Tort Reporter; Co-Chairman Mealey’s UST and Fossil Fuel Litigation Conference, Phoenix, Arizona.
1999 Houston Bar Association Energy & Environmental Law Institute. “After the Dust Settles: Clearing the Air in the Debate over the Carcinogenicity of Diesel Exhaust to Humans.” Houston, Texas.
1998 “Product Lability Law in Texas;” Mealey’s Underground Storage Tank Litigation Conference, Amelia Island, Florida.
1995 “Toxic Tort After Daubert and Beyond;” State Bar of Texas 11th Annual Advanced Personal Injury Law Course, Fort Worth, Texas.
1995 South Texas College of Law Seminar: 5th Annual Environmental Law Symposium. “What Works and What Doesn’t in Settling Mass Tort Claims – Problems and Pitfalls in Initiating an Environmental Cause of Action.” Houston, Texas.
2007 “Environmental Contamination Treatise: Overview of the Litigation Process,” Mason, Migliaccio, Reich and Howell, 37 Environmental Law Reporter 10057.
“After the Dust Settles: Clearing the Air in the Debate over the Carcinogenicity of Diesel Exhaust to Humans.”
“Problems and Pitfalls in Initiating an Environmental Cause of Action.”
New York 2008
Federal District Courts:
Southern District of Texas 1976
Eastern District of Texas 1982
Western District of Texas 2002
Central District of California 2014
Northern District of California 2015
District of Columbia 2018
Eastern District of Michigan 2018
Federal Appellate Court:
Fifth Circuit 1981
Eleventh Circuit 1981
Tenth Circuit 1997
Houston Bar Association
American Association for Justice
Houston Trial Lawyers Association
Texas Trial Lawyers Association
The Association of Trial Lawyers of America
The American Bar Association
Texas Bar Foundation
Honors And Accomplishments
University of Houston Law Center, Member of the Order of the Barons
Past member of Editorial Board of Mealey’s (Lexis-Nexis) Toxic Tort Law Reporter
Adjunct Professor and Lecturer at the University of Houston Law School
Frequent speaker at various State Bar of Texas and other legal seminars
Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Personal Injury
Martindale Hubble AV Preeminent Rated (Highest)
Board Certified in Personal Injury Law: Texas Board of Legal Specialization
University of Houston Law Center, Houston, Texas
J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence magna cum laude – 1975
University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut
B.A., Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude – 1972
Phi Alpha Delta