Chris McDonald is the managing partner of Shook’s General Litigation and Business Services Division and a former member of the firm’s Executive Committee. He has concentrated his practice in the area of environmental, regulatory and toxic tort law and has experience with indoor air quality, crisis management and food safety issues. Much of his work involves complex, high-stakes matters where he provides clients with innovative approaches to quickly and effectively reach positive outcomes. He has significant experience in environmental and toxic tort litigation in federal and state courts and has significant experience in counseling clients on a broad range of environmental, regulatory, transactional and standard-setting issues. He has experience with a number of environmental statutes, including Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. He also has experience with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Act. He has participated in trials in both state and federal court.

A significant part of Chris’s practice has focused on advising clients on regulatory and standard-setting initiatives, including those relating to indoor air quality issues. He also focuses on advising clients relating to litigation avoidance and preparedness and crisis management. Much of his work deals with complex scientific and technical issues.

Representative Matters

Representing group of companies as common counsel in large complex environmental litigation in the Northeast relating to state Superfund claims.

Representing mining entity in resolving CERCLA matter in the Midwest.

Represented company in property and personal injury litigation arising out of allegations of harm from spreading of residue as a fertilizer.

Represented large company in transactions involving multiple fueling stations and addressing environmental issues relating to stations.

Represented business owner in litigation involving water intrusion.

Represented animal pharmaceutical company in toxic tort claims alleging exposure from ultimate land application of product. First trial resulted in a defense verdict.

Represented large agricultural cooperative in a nuisance, trespass case involving groundwater contamination and ultimately presented oral arguments to the Kansas Supreme Court on the appeal.

Counseling retailer on environmental permitting and compliance program.

Represented large product manufacturer in formulating a lawsuit to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency issuance of risk assessment report.

Represented large chemical manufacturer in private party litigation involving remediation of landfill site in New Jersey.

Represented large chemical manufacturer in purported class action involving claims of contaminated drinking water in New Jersey. Class was not certified and actions of individual plaintiffs dismissed on statute of limitations grounds.

Represented large manufacturers in toxic tort, chemical exposure cases.

Represented large product manufacturer and participated in indoor air quality rulemaking proceedings of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in Washington, D.C.

Represented large product manufacturer in proceedings and an appeal related to standard setting activities of a U.S. standard setting organization.

Represented large manufacturers in a private party cost recovery action under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act.

Represented large company in what, at the time, was the largest bankruptcy in Kansas in resolving environmental issues related to reorganization, which included a major refinancing.

Represented large petroleum companies in separate private party cost recovery actions involving the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, trespass and nuisance claims.

Represented equipment manufacturer in cases involving leaks from underground storage tanks.

Publications

Christopher M. McDonald, David B. Thorne & Dale Johnson II, Legal, Rebuilding Headaches From Mold May Last Long After the Storm Leaves 5:23 Real Estate L. & Industry Rep. 820 (2012). 

Rod Smith - quoting Mark Anstoetter, Christopher McDonald & Madeleine McDonough, Supply Chain Crisis: SHB Attorneys 'Go Distance,' Feedstuffs, June 2010, at 26.

James Andreasen & Christopher McDonald, Agricultural Sustainability Standard Could Affect You, Pork Exec, November 2008, at 4. 

Jeff Crider - quoting Chris McDonald multiple times, What if? Planning Can Help Assure an Organized Response to a Crisis, Drovers, December 2005.

Christopher McDonald, Legal Ramifications of Unethical Engineering, ASHRAE Journal, September 2005.

Christopher M. McDonald, Mold Litigation - Protecting Yourself Against Risk, ASHRAE Journal, November 2004.

Keith T. Borman and Christopher M. McDonald, Mold Litigation: The Perfect Storm, For the Defense, April 2003.

Chris McDonald, Mold Litigation: On the Brink, ASHRAE Journal, March 2003.

Christopher M. McDonald and James O. Neet, Jr., Jury Returns $32 Million Judgment in Mold Case, Environment, 2001.

Jim Neet and Chris McDonald, Protecting and Managing Environmental Documents, Journal of Environmental Permitting, 1993.

Presentations

IAQ & Mold: Legal Issues and Liability Concerns for Engineers, Presented at Omaha and Lincoln Nebraska Chapter Meetings; March 13 and 14, 2012.

IAQ & Mold: Legal Issues and Liability Concerns for Engineers & Related Industry Professionals, Presented at Kansas City ASHRAE Chapter Meeting; February 7, 2011.

Document Management & Discovery - How Documents & E-mails are Used in Litigation, Presented at Northeastern Oklahoma ASHRAE Chapter Meeting in Tulsa; January 13, 2011.

Document Management & Discovery - How Documents & E-mails are Used in Litigation, Presented at Mobile, Alabama ASHRAE Chapter Meeting; February 9, 2010.

Document Management & Discovery - How Documents & E-mails are Used in Litigation; IAQ & Mold: Legal Issues and Liability Concerns for Engineers;  and Legal Ramifications of Unethical Engineering Conduct, Presented at Salt Lake City ASHRAE Chapter Meeting; February 4, 2010.

Environmental Law: Climate Change -- Emerging Business Issues and Opportunities, Presented at SHB Fifth Annual Corporate Counsel Institute in Kansas City, Missouri; January 24, 2008.

Mold -- Legal Issues and Liability Concerns: Where Are We Now?, Presented at ASHRAE Winter Meeting in New York City; January 22, 2008.

Indoor Air Quality and Mold: Legal Issues and Liability Concerns for Engineers and Litigation and Discovery in the Computer Age: Engineering Issues in a Hypothetical Mold Case, Presented at Twin Tiers Chapter of ASHRAE in Binghamton, New York; October 16, 2007.

Indoor Air Quality and Mold: Legal Issues and Liability Concerns for Engineers and Related Industry Professionals, Presented at ASHRAE Chicago Chapter Meeting; May 8, 2007.

Failing to Practice Food Safety: Legal Issues, Presented at Food Safety & Security Summit in Washington, D.C.; March 8, 2007.

Crisis Management, Presented as part of panel at National Grocers Association Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada; January 30, 2007.

Indoor Air Quality and Mold: Legal Issues and Liability Concerns for Engineers and Related Industry Professionals, Presented at ASHRAE Greenville, S.C., Chapter Meeting; November 16, 2006.

Legal Implications: Employment Issues, Dealing with Government Authorities and Commercial Obligations, Co-presented with Lori Schultz as part of Operation Resilient Guard Pandemic Preparedness Summit: What Every CEO Needs to Know, hosted by Business Executives for National Security; October 26, 2006.

Agroterrorism and Food Security: Civil Litigation and Legislative Issues, Presented at the International Symposium on Agroterrorism, hosted by the Heart of America Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in Kansas City, Missouri; September 26, 2006.

Litigation and Discovery in the Computer Age: Engineering Issues in a Hypothetical Mold Case, Presented at ASHRAE's Region IX meetings in Kansas City, Missouri; August 11, 2006.

Protecting Your Profits: An Open Discussion on Crisis Management within the Food System, Presented by Food 360­° as national teleconference with Jonathan Bernstein and Craig Watz; April 27, 2006.

IAQ and Mold -- Legal Issues and Liability Concerns, Presented at ASHRAE Lexington, Ky., Chapter Meeting; February 17, 2006.

Indoor Air Quality and Mold Legal Issues and Liability Concerns for Engineers and Litigation and Discovery in the Computer Age: Engineering Issues in a Hypothetical Mold Case, Presented at ASHRAE Shreveport, La., Chapter Meeting; February 16, 2006.

Indoor Air Quality and Mold Legal Issues and Liability Concerns for Engineers, Presented at ASHRAE Pennsylvania Central Chapter Meeting; February 9, 2006.

Crisis Management in an Ever-Changing Agribusiness Arena, Presentation given at Agribusiness Council Meeting in Kansas City, Missouri; January 27, 2006.

Food for Thought: Environmental, Litigation and Other Legal Issues Affecting Agribusiness and the Food Industry, CLE Presentation given at Fifth Annual Kansas Bar Association Agricultural Law Conference in Wichita, Kansas; October 14, 2005.

Mold in the Building Environment, ASHRAE Satellite Broadcast originating from WEVA studio in Washington, D.C.; April 13, 2005.

Legal Aspects of Engineering Ethics, Seminar given at ASHRAE Summer Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee; June 27, 2004.

Solving Water Intrusion and Mold Problems in Missouri, Lorman-sponsored Seminar in Kansas City, Missouri; October 29, 2003.

Indoor Air Quality and Mold: Legal Issues and Liability Concerns for Engineers and Related Industry Professionals, Seminar given at ASHRAE Summer Meeting in Kansas City, Missouri; June 29, 2003.

Mold and Indoor Air Quality Concerns, Presentation given as part of Education and Energy Seminar sponsored by Kansas Gas Service in Topeka and Hutchinson, Kansas; April 15-16, 2003.

Potential Liability for Sick Buildings, Presentation given to Buildex Conference Sessions in San Francisco; November 19-20, 2002.

Potential Liability for Sick Buildings, Presentation given to ASHRAE Atlanta Chapter Meeting; November 12, 2002.

Potential Liability for Sick Buildings, Presentation given multiple times as part of workshops sponsored by Oklahoma Natural Gas Company in the fall of 2002.

Potential Liability for Sick Buildings, Presentation given multiple times as part of workshops sponsored by Kansas Gas Service in the spring of 2002.

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly: What Every ASHRAE Member Should Know About How Documents and E-mails Are Used in Litigation, Recorded January 13, 2002 at ASHRAE Winter Meeting in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Confidentiality of Environmental Documents, Presentation to the Missouri Safety Council; 1994.