January 01, 2018

Avoiding criminal liability after a flood: Lessons from Hurricane Harvey

Kevin D. Collins and Sara M. Burgin

Imagine that you are your company’s general counsel or senior environmental, health, and safety (EHS) lawyer and have just suffered through the disruption and displacement caused by a hurricane and subsequent flooding. Your facilities have been offline, some employees have lost their homes, and business units are attempting to recover. The news media report that the local district attorney has opened a criminal investigation of one of your facilities because she is not satisfied with how the facility prepared for the storm. What could you have done differently—prior to the storm—to have helped the facility be better prepared?

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