Louis A. Ferreira

Experience

Lou Ferreira is a partner of Stoel Rives LLP, where he has practiced for the last 23 years as a trial lawyer. He has handled a broad range of high-stake cases and builds upon that experience to counsel clients on risk management, risk transfer and insurance issues. In addition to litigation, Lou assists clients in understanding the risks they face and advises them on procurement of a wide range of insurance products necessary to deal with their unique risks. 

Before joining the firm, Lou served as law clerk to the Honorable Stephen S. Trott, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1989-1990, and as an honors intern in the U.S. Department of Justice's Environmental and Occupational Disease Litigation Section, 1987. Before that he was a special forces medic in the U.S. Army.

Representative Work

Insurance Matters:

  • Represented national daycare operator in successfully suing insurers for coverage for serious injuries, alleged child abuse cases and coverage for punitive damages.
  • Represented clients in establishing and operating captive insurance companies.
  • Represented car dealerships, gas station owners, dry cleaners, utilities, pole treating companies, manufacturing entities, trucking companies, forest products companies, and municipal governments to recover insurance proceeds to cover the costs of environmental cleanups.
  • Represented a number of owners, developers and contractors in coverage litigation related to construction defects including representing VanPort Homes, Inc. in a precedent setting bad-faith action awarding extra-contractual damages upheld by the Washington Supreme Court.
  • Represented the Pacific Lumber Company in obtaining insurance coverage of lawsuits seeking various types of environmental damage arising from a long legacy of redwood logging in Northern California.
  • Represented a number of clients in insurance coverage disputes seeking coverage for property losses from fire, equipment breakdown.
  • Represented clients to obtain coverage for various business-related lawsuits under Directors & Officers policies.
  • Represented design professionals such as architects and engineering firms in obtaining coverage for professional malpractice.
  • Represented large apartment owners seeking insurance coverage for class action lawsuit alleging carbon monoxide exposure and wrongful death.
  • Represented entities to obtain coverage for damages caused by forest fires.

Environmental Matters:

  • Defended a public utility in a CERCLA case brought by the Washington State Department of Transportation involving a former manufactured gas plant. Although the client was liable under CERCLA, the State of Washington was denied any recovery for the approximately $6 million spent on cleanup due to its failure to comply with the regulations in the National Contingency Plan. The case was upheld on appeal by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In a subsequent case involving the same gas plant site, Lou sued the Washington State Department of Transportation under Washington's Model Toxic Control Act on behalf of the utility and won a $7.6 million judgment based upon the Department of Transportation's actions at the site having contaminated the adjacent waterway. Lou is currently representing this client with respect to natural resource damages claims asserted by the trustees for this site.
  • Represented a client with respect to environmental issues posed by former pole treating site. This included negotiating with the Environmental Protection Agency and engaging in emergency response actions, administrative proceedings culminating in a consent decree and advising on a broad scope of sediment remediation issues.
  • Represented various companies in environmental cleanups under Washington's Model Toxic Control Act and defense of related nuisance/trespass, Clean Water Act and breach of lease claims.
  • Represented large manufacturing entity as plaintiff against seller of multiple manufacturing facilities across the United States in action that recovered costs of cleaning up chlorinated solvent contamination at those facilities based upon the failure to disclose the contamination.
  • Represented a barge operator in civil and criminal investigation into environmental matters associated with the sinking of a work barge in the Columbia River.
  • Represented ship owners and operators in federal criminal investigations of environmental releases.

Forest Product Related Matters:

  • Represented paper and lumber mills nationwide in various OSHA enforcement actions, environmental enforcement matters and wrongful death matters.
  • Represented defendants in civil actions brought by the Oregon Department of Forestry seeking recovery for fire suppression costs associated with forest fires that burned thousands of acres of forest land.
  • Represented defendants in civil actions brought by landowners whose homes or property were damaged by forest fires in Oregon and Washington.
  • Represented Pacific Lumber Company in several lawsuits successfully obtaining insurance coverage for lawsuits alleging legacy environmental damage associated with landslides and erosion resulting from logging of redwoods in California.
  • Represented Oregon Forest Industries Council with respect to a federal Clean Water Act citizen suit case seeking to regulate forest roads as point sources.
  • Represented buyers of federal timber in civil litigation involving contract disputes with the U.S. Forest Service.
  • Represented forest owners in civil actions arising out of landslides, alleging pollution of rivers and streams, product liability actions, and wrongful death actions.
  • Represented pole treating companies with respect to alleged toxic exposure, products liability lawsuits, environmental cleanup ligation, and insurance recovery actions.
  • Represented lumber mill owner in recovering insurance for mills damaged or destroyed by fire.

Construction Matters:

  • Represented a painting contractor on the I-5 Interstate Bridge with regard to a barge sinking that resulted in a civil and criminal investigation. Also successfully represented the same contractor in an action against the Oregon Department of Transportation arising out of the project.
  • Represented a large multi-family housing owner/developer nationally in various construction defect matters, insurance coverage disputes, and various personal injury matters, including a class action lawsuit involving exposure to carbon monoxide and alleged multiple fatalities.
  • Represented numerous developers of condominiums in construction defect litigation and insurance coverage for construction defects.
  • Represented a municipal owner in a $20 million lawsuit brought by developers for breach of contract to develop a large mixed-use waterfront project. Judgment was entered for owner.
  • Represented engineering firm in an action involving the collapse of a tower crane that resulted in a fatality and significant property damage.

OSHA/MSHA Matters:

  • Represented a mine operator in a catastrophic accident in which four miners were killed, including participating in the MSHA accident investigation and the subsequent administrative enforcement action.
  • Represented wind farm owner in OSHA investigations arising out of the collapse of a wind tower resulting in a fatality, and another accident involving serious burns to a wind farm technician.
  • Represented steel mills in several fatality inspections by Oregon and federal OSHA. Successfully defended a steel mill from an enforcement action dealing with alleged toxic exposure and resulting in one of the largest civil penalties ever sought in Oregon. The majority of the state's allegations were ultimately dismissed.
  • Represented a large public utility in multiple wrongful death actions involving electrical issues.
  • Represented several paper mill clients nationwide in various governmental agency investigations and civil actions arising out of fatal and serious accidents, toxic tort exposures, and releases of hazardous substances.
  • Represented a large metal products manufacturer in an enforcement action arising out of an explosion that destroyed the mill.
  • Represented a refinery client in a Process Safety Management citation arising out of a large fire at a refinery.
  • Represented manufacturing entity in multiple enforcement proceedings involving toxic exposure, fatalities and other safety and health violations.
  • Represented microchip manufacturer with regard to toxic exposure investigation by OSHA arising out of alleged low level cumulative exposures causing illness in the high tech industry.
  • Represented a coalition of business entities in litigation challenging WISHA's promulgation of Washington's ergonomics standard. The standard was overturned by voter initiative while the case was pending on appeal.
  • Represented TriMet regarding investigations into fatal accidents during light-rail construction work and in developing safety management programs for construction and tunneling operations.

Professional Honors & Activities

Publications and Presentations

  • "Contribution and Indemnity" (coauthor), chapter of the Oregon Torts Manual, 1992, and supplemental updates, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2004 and 2012
  • Lou is a frequent speaker on environmental, insurance coverage and risk-management issues

Civic Activities

  • Commissioner, Fire District No. 13, Clark County, Washington
  • Special Forces Association

Education

  • University of Idaho College of Law, J.D., 1989, summa cum laude
  • Washington State University, B.A., 1985
  • Academy of Health Sciences, Graduate, Special Operations Medical Supervisor (U.S. Army), 1986

Admissions

  • Oregon
  • Washington
  • U.S. District Court of Oregon
  • U.S. District Court of Eastern Washington
  • U.S. District Court of Western Washington
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims

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