Lou Ferreira is a senior partner with more than 27 years of complex trial experience. His practice focuses on commercial litigation, insurance coverage and environmental, safety & health issues.
A seasoned litigator, Lou has significant experience in high-stakes litigation including successfully defending a class action filed against a utility by residents of a town in Washington asserting that the utility was liable for flooding as a result of the operations of its upstream dams. Lou successfully defended a port in Washington from a $20 million lawsuit brought by developers alleging breach of contract to develop a large mixed-use waterfront project on the Columbia River.
Best Lawyers in America© has consistently recognized Lou as one of the leading lawyers in insurance law. Lou frequently represents insureds in suing their insurance companies and has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars from insurance companies for his clients. He has successfully litigated a large number of cases seeking coverage under general liability policies, E&O policies and D&O policies as well as resolving a number of large first party losses involving the complete loss of manufacturing facilities as a result of fires or explosion.
Lou is AV Peer Review Rated for Energy & Environmental, Martindale-Hubbell’s highest peer recognition for professional ability and ethical standards. He represents clients in an array of environmental contexts, including issues related to negotiation of consent decrees with governmental agencies, lawsuits between potentially liable parties to allocate the cost of environmental cleanups, suits against insurance companies to recover the costs associated with environmental liabilities and Citizen Suits under the Clean Water Act. Lou has tried cases under both the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Recovery Act (CERCLA) and advised clients with sites on the Superfund National Priorities List regarding cleanups. Lou defended a client in a CERCLA and Washington Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) case brought by the Washington State Department of Transportation involving a former manufactured gas plant in Washington State. Although the client admitted liability under CERCLA at trial, the State was denied 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 , Lou subsequently sued the Washington State Department of Transportation under Washington’s Model Toxic Control Act on behalf of the same client and won a $7.6 million judgment based upon the Department of Transportation’s actions at the site having contaminated an adjacent waterway. Lou also represented this client in obtaining insurance recovery for its environmental liabilities and with respect to natural resource damages claims under CERCLA.
Lou has represented a number of clients in OSHA and other types of regulatory enforcement actions involving workplace fatalities and other catastrophes. Lou is experienced in managing multi-agency investigations, coordinating evidence preservation and making sure clients have the right experts involved to protect their rights and to understand the root causes of such events.
Lou regularly advises companies on a wide range of risk management issues including regulatory compliance, contractual allocation of risks as well as advising clients with regard to the procurement of a wide range of insurance products necessary to deal with their unique issues.
Prior to joining Stoel Rives, 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. He also served as a special forces medic in the U.S. Army.
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