Elissa Preheim is an experienced litigator who focuses her practice on toxic tort, environmental and complex commercial litigation, with an emphasis on class actions and professional liability. She has significant experience litigating toxic tort lawsuits, Clean Water Act litigation and natural resource damages claims related to contaminated sites, including medical monitoring, personal injury and property damages actions.
Ms. Preheim regularly litigates high stakes matters involving parallel proceedings, including federal and state Superfund proceedings. She was a member of the trial team in Clean Water Act litigation relating to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and she has litigated other high profile toxic tort matters, including the Hoosick Falls PFAS litigation. Ms. Preheim has significant experience working with environmental, technical and other scientific experts.
In her auditor liability and securities litigation practice, Ms. Preheim has successfully defended against actions by the SEC, PCAOB and class and derivative plaintiffs, including securities fraud class actions, shareholder derivative and breach of fiduciary duty litigation. Her clients include directors, officers and accountants, including in financial reporting, complex accounting and auditor liability disputes.
By court appointment, Ms. Preheim serves on the Board on Professional Responsibility of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. She previously served as Chair of a Hearing Committee of the DC Board on Professional Responsibility, hearing attorney disciplinary matters.
Ms. Preheim graduated summa cum laude from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, where she was Executive Articles Editor of the Indiana Law Journal. She subsequently clerked for the Honorable Bruce M. Selya at the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
- Honeywell, in defending a putative class action seeking property damage and medical monitoring and approximately 50 individual personal injury and other suits related to PFAS chemicals and drinking water in Hoosick Falls, New York. Baker v. Saint-Gobain.
- Honeywell, in defending suit brought by water district alleging property damages related to PFAS chemicals and drinking water, part of multi-district litigation in South Carolina. In re: Aqueous Film-Forming Foams Products Liability Litigation.
- Honeywell, in obtaining early dismissals of a putative federal class action and other toxic tort suits related to alleged soil and surface water contamination from a former industrial landfill. Andres v. Town of Wheatfield.
- Warner-Lambert, in defending toxic tort litigation related to PFAS chemicals and drinking water. Village of Harriman v. Nepera.
- Coty Inc. in defending against allegations that certain CoverGirl products are falsely advertised because they contains PFAS.
- BP, as member of trial team in Clean Water Act litigation relating to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and as counsel in related natural resource damages (NRD) assessment.
- Former chemical company in successfully settling two class actions seeking US$1 billion in damages for alleged diminution in property values and personal injury from groundwater plume associated with former fertilizer manufacturing facility.
- Agrico Chemical, in defeating or favorably settling class action and individual toxic torts suits seeking property damages and medical monitoring related to alleged contamination from former pesticide manufacturing operations. Moore v. Agrico.
- International Minerals & Chemical Company, in obtaining dismissals of multiple suits alleging property damages and increased health risks from naturally occurring radioactive material related to mining operations.
Product liability, Mass Tort and Class Action: Toxic Tort - Defense (2022)
Environment: Litigation (2021-2022)
- JD, Indiana University, 1996, summa cum laude
- BA, Northwestern University, 1993, Phi Beta Kappa
- District of Columbia
- Numerous Federal Courts
- US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, The Honorable Bruce M. Selya
- Vice Chair, Board on Professional Responsibility, District of Columbia Court of Appeals
- Board of Visitors, Indiana University Maurer School of Law