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City of Pomona Secures $48M Jury Verdict in Tainted Water Trial


Irell & Manella LLP and SL Environmental Law Group PC secured a $48 million jury verdict for the City of Pomona in an environmental trial over contaminated water against mining company SQM North America Corp.

In 2010, the City of Pomona filed suit contending that SQM was responsible for contaminating the city’s water supply by selling fertilizer to local farmers that contained perchlorate. The case was tried twice previously, with SQM prevailing both times, and included three appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

In the latest trial, Irell was brought on to serve as co-counsel with SL Environmental Law Group PC. The Irell trial team includes Jason Sheasby and Lisa Glasser. The case is City of Pomona v. SQM North America Corp., 2:11-cv-00167 (C.D. Cal.).

The case was recognized as one of California's 10 largest plaintiffs' verdicts in 2021 by the Daily Journal. 

Coverage in Law360,, Bloomberg Law and the Daily Journal can be found here, here, here and here (subscriptions required).


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