Benjamin A. Krass

Ben positions his clients to succeed by his experience bringing environmental cases for more than a decade, the close relationships he builds with his clients and his attention to every aspect of a client’s case.

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Current Role

  • Of Counsel, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP

Recent Success

  • Represented the state of New Hampshire from 2003-2016 in litigation against major oil companies for statewide contamination of the state’s waters with the chemical and gasoline additive MTBE
  • Helped obtain settlements of $136 million from approximately a dozen defendants prior to or at the commencement of trial and participated in the three-month trial against ExxonMobil which resulted in a $236 million jury verdict against ExxonMobil. The jury verdict was affirmed on appeal by the New Hampshire Supreme Court. New Hampshire v. Exxon Mobil Corp., 126 A.3d 266 (N.H. 2015), cert. denied, 136 S. Ct. 2009 (2016). 

Experience

  • Prior to joining Hagens Berman, Mr. Krass was a Partner at Pawa Law Group where he gained extensive experience representing the states of New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont in MTBE litigation.
  • Litigated nearly every aspect of the New Hampshire MTBE case for over a decade and participated in the three-month trial against ExxonMobil, including by handling the examination of expert and state witnesses.
  • Involved in all of his prior firm’s other major environmental cases, including American Elec. Power Co. v. Connecticut, 131 S. Ct. 2527 (2011), Native Village of Kivalina v. ExxonMobil Corp., 696 F.3d 849 (9th Cir. 2012), and Green Mt. Chrysler Plymouth Dodge Jeep v. Crombie, 508 F. Supp. 2d 295 (D. Vt. 2007). Played a significant role in preparing evidence and cross examination in the multi-week Crombie trial.

Activities

  • President, Board of Directors, Transportation Children’s Center (2016-2017)

Notable Decisions

  • State of New Hampshire v. Exxon Mobil Corp., 126 A.3d 266 (N.H. 2015) (upholding $236 million jury verdict following three-month trial against petroleum company for polluting state’s groundwater)
  • Connecticut v. American Electric Power Co., 582 F.3d 309 (2d Cir. 2009) (reinstating global warming tort case filed by states and land trusts), rev’d on other grounds, 131 S. Ct. 2527 (2011)
  • State v. Hess Corp., 161 N.H. 426 (2011) (holding that, under parens patriae doctrine, a state suing a polluter for groundwater contamination may recover as damages the cost of treating private well contamination)
  • New Hampshire v. N. Atlantic Refining, Ltd., 999 A.2d 396 (N.H. 2010) (upholding personal jurisdiction over oil company in MTBE litigation); New Hampshire v. Hess Corp., 982 A.2d 388 (N.H. 2009) (affirming proper service of process on two oil company defendants in MTBE litigation)

Publications

  • “Behind the Curve: The National Media’s Reporting on Global Warming,” 33 B.C. Envtl. Aff. L. Rev. 485 (2006)
  • “Global Warming As A Public Nuisance: Connecticut v. American Electric Power,” 16 Fordham Envtl. L. Rev. 407 (2005)
  • “Comment: Combating Urban Sprawl in Massachusetts: Reforming the Zoning Act through Legal Challenges,” 30 B.C. Envtl. Aff. L. Rev. 605 (2003)

Languages

  • Spanish

Personal Insight

Ben is a competitive runner and enjoys winter mountaineering, backpacking, gardening and spending time with his family.