Bradley R. Sugarman serves as chair of Bose McKinney & Evans’ Environmental Law Group. Brad is a partner and assists clients in environmental issues, including regulatory compliance, litigation and insurance coverage. Brad regularly appears in state and federal courts, defending clients in complex litigation involving toxic tort and environmental cost-recovery matters. He also represents clients in a variety of industries in administrative enforcement proceedings related to accusations of violations of environmental, health and safety regulations and laws. In addition, Brad negotiates permits under the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. Recovery of insurance for environmental liabilities is another important component of his practice, helping clients to offset costs of remediation. Equally important is his assistance to corporate and municipal clients to draft agreements and to conduct environmental due diligence related to commercial and real estate transactions, in efforts to limit exposure to environmental liabilities.
Brad is an adjunct faculty member at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law where he teaches a course on environmental and toxic tort litigation. He is also a frequent speaker and regularly contributes articles to the Indiana Lawyer, and other publications, regarding environmental law.
Vermont Law School, South Royalton, Vermont (J.D., 1998)
Hastings College of Law, San Francisco California (Law Student Exchange Program)
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia (B.A., 1994)
DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana
Honors / Awards
The Best Lawyers in America® Environmental Law and Insurance Law (2018-2024); Indiana Super Lawyers (2015-2019)
- First chair defending gas station owner and operator against a class action brought in federal court seeking personal injury and property damages under Indiana common law and asserting a citizen suit under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
- First chair litigation counsel defending prior landowner against claims brought by current landowner under Indiana’s Environmental Legal Action Statute. Case went to bench trial in Marion Superior Court. Prevailed at the close of the plaintiff’s evidence on Trial Rule 41(B) motion. Successfully defended appeal which resulted in published opinion.
- First chair litigation counsel defending landlord against toxic tort claims and an Environmental Legal Action claim brought by adjacent landowners alleging that exposure to TCE vapor had caused multiple personal injuries. Prevailed on summary judgment as to all claims and successfully defended on appeal.
- Co-first chair litigation counsel defending toxic tort claims asserted by nearby landowners who alleged they drank well water contaminated by vinyl chloride released from client’s facility. Prevailed on motions to exclude plaintiff’s causation experts and on summary judgment.
- Second chair litigation counsel defending prior owner of manufacturing facility from mass tort action brought by adjacent subdivision, developer and home builder.
- Assisted litigation team in defending electric utility against CERCLA claim asserted by U.S. EPA for contaminated manufactured gas plant site; assisting in preparation of CERCLA contribution claim against one of the responsible parties.
- Assisted litigation teams in bringing plaintiff’s toxic tort claims, including class action against a nationwide service station for contaminating adjacent neighborhood, and mass tort action against manufacturer who released chlorinated solvents into an adjacent neighborhood and underneath local high school.
Regulatory Compliance and Permitting
- Environmental, health, and safety audit and self-reporting for client with multiple facilities. The audit resulted in self-reporting numerous violations (CAA), but no enforcement action or civil penalty.
- Regularly advise clients on liabilities for ownership, leasing, and licensing of contaminated sites under CERCLA and state laws and options for minimizing liability.
- Obtain and review Phase I and Phase II Environmental Assessment Reports
and pursue insurance coverage for multiple contaminated sites; obtained full reimbursement for investigation and remediation at three multi-use retail shopping centers.
- Obtain Comfort Letters and No Further Action letters. Prepared air, water, and industrial pre-treatment permit applications and assisted in negotiating final permits for medical device company, automotive manufacturer, distillery, and insulation manufacturer.
- Counseled client on installation of solar panels at former Superfund Site and negotiated terms of lease with site owner.
- Counseled client on participating in power purchase plan with local utility and potential regulatory impacts.
- Counseled client on the application of RCRA to human remains and cremation ash.
- Counseled client on the potential implications of unknowingly distributing products containing HCFC-141b in the stream of commerce. Counseled clients on beneficial reuse determinations and requirements under Indiana’s solid waste management laws and regulations.
Defense of Enforcement Actions
- Defended manufacturer against RCRA violations asserted by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) and negotiated Agreed Order, Supplemental Environmental Project, and reduction in proposed civil penalty.
- Defended State environmental enforcement action against manufacturing client for air permit violations and negotiated reduction in proposed fine and permit modification to avoid future compliance issues.
- Defended State environmental enforcement action against medical device company for violation of storm water regulations and negotiated mitigation agreement and obtained a reduction in proposed fine.
- Worked with team in defense of EPA enforcement action against electric utility for numerous alleged air violations and multi-million dollar fine.
- Defended demolition and construction contractor against asbestos management violations before the Indiana Office of Environmental Adjudication.
- Responded to IDEM Special Notice of Liability (SNL) letter alleging the client had contaminated former uniform laundry facility with chlorinated solvents in the 1990s.
- Successfully lead investigation of activities at the site; prepare multiple affidavits and corporate records for submission to IDEM; and successfully negotiated IDEM’s formal retraction of SNL letter.
- Responded to complaint letters issued by the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration (IOSHA) alleging potential violations of Indiana’s Occupational Safety and Health Act.
Real Estate and Business Transactions and Contracts
- Assisted municipal power agency in drafting and negotiating power purchase agreement, provided advice on potential liabilities for acquisition of generating facility, and obtained transfer of environmental permits.
- Regularly reviews Phase I Environmental Site Assessments for compliance with the “All Appropriate Inquiries” standard of the Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser exemption to CERCLA-based liability.
- C.W., et al. v. Textron, Inc., 807 F.3d 827 (7th Cir. 2015).
- CSX Trans., Inc. v. Appalachian Railcar Services, Inc., 509 F.3d 384 (7th Cir. 2007).
- Anthony Wayne Corp. v. Elco Fastening Sys., LLC, 2016 WL 687887 (N.D. Ind. Feb 19, 2016).
- 5200 Keystone Limited Realty LLC v. Filmcraft Laboratories, Inc., et al., 30 N.E.2d 5 (Ind. Ct. App. 2015).
- Neal v. Cure, 937 N.E.2d 1227 (Ind. Ct. App. 2010), trans. Denied.
- KB Home Indiana, Inc. v. Rockville TBD Corp., 928 N.E.2d 297 (Ind. Ct. App. 2010).
- U.S. Fidelity & Guar. Ins. Co. v. Hartson-Kennedy Cabinet Top Co., 857 N.E.2d 1033 (Ind. Ct. App. 2006).
- Markland v. Jasper County Planning and Development Dept., 829 N.E.2d 92 (Ind. Ct. App. 2005).
- PSI Energy, Inc. v. Home Ins. Co., 801 N.E.2d 705 (Ind. Ct. App. 2004).
Appearances / Publications
Seminars and Presentations
- Presenter, Indiana Chamber Environmental Conference, Environmental Issues Affecting Municipalities (October, 2018)
- Presenter, Mackrell International Webinar, Infrastructure Projects in the U.S. (June, 2018)
- Presenter, Indiana Chamber Environmental Conference, Case Studies in Environmental Compliance (October, 2017)
- Speaker, Indiana Environmental Permitting and Reporting Conference (May, 2017)
- Presenter, Strafford Webinar, CERCLA Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser Defense: Securing & Maintaining Liability Protection (March, 2017)
- Speaker, Indiana Environmental Conference, Trends in Civil and Criminal Enforcement of Environmental Law (October 2016)
- Presenter, Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission, Brownfields Legal Issues and Insurance Recovery (2016)
- Speaker, Indiana Commercial Board of Realtors (2016)
- Speaker, Commercial Real Estate Conference (2016)
- Speaker, Indiana Environmental Permitting and Repertory Conference (2016)
- Speaker, Indiana Environment Conference, Environmental Audits, Self-Disclosure and Environmental Inspections (2015)
- Speaker, Indiana Environmental Management Conference, Panel Discussion of RICE NESHAP (2014)
- Presenter, Year in Review 2010, Environmental Law Update, Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum (December, 2010)
- Author, “Hazardous Waste Rule Changes May Impact Indiana Businesses,” Indiana Lawyer (March 2017)
- Author, “SCOTUS Affirms Wetlands Determinations Subject to Review,” Indiana Lawyer (September 2016)
- Author, Arsenic: IDEM Announces Use of New Screening Levels, Environmental Law Insight (July 11, 2013)
- Author, SCOTUS to Review Decision Invalidating CSPAR, Environmental Law Insight (June 25, 2013)
- Co-Author, Paper Violation or Environmental Conspiracy? Wal-Mart agrees to pay $82 million for nationwide improper hazardous waste management (July 23, 2013)
- Author, Potential Federal Legislation Setting a Clean Energy Standard?, Environmental Law Insight (Dec. 9, 2011)
- Author, Indiana to Recover Civil Penalties for Ryland Homes for Stormwater Violations, Environmental Law Insight (October 13, 2011)
- Author, Indiana’s Environmental Legal Action (“ELA”) Statute of Limitations: 6 Years or 10?, Environmental Law Insight (March 9, 2011)
- Author, Indiana’s Environmental Legal Action Statute: Court Interpretations, Environmental Law Insight (February 8, 2011)
- Author, Indiana Court of Appeals Clarifies Landlord Liability for Toxic Torts, Environmental Law Insight (December 7, 2010)
- Author, The Scope of an Environmental Professional’s Negligence Clarified?, Environmental Law Insight (October 12, 2010)
- Author, Seventh Circuit Upholds Indiana’s Pollution Exclusion Jurisprudence, Environmental Law Insight (September 13, 2010)
- Author, Clean Water Act Citizen Suit Against Ethanol Plant Settled, Environmental Law Insight (August 10, 2010)
Appointments / Memberships
- American Bar Association, Environmental Law and Natural Resources Committee, member (2000-present), including Sections on Environment, Energy and Resources; Renewable, Alternative and Distributed Energy, and Environmental and Toxic Tort Litigation (2010-present)
- Indiana State Bar Association, Environmental Law Section, Chair (2004-2005), member (2000-present)
- Indianapolis Bar Association, Environmental Law and Litigation Section, member (2000-present)
- Bicycles for Humanity Indiana, Inc., co-founder and board member (2010-present)
- Beyond Monumental, board member (2018-present)
- Indianapolis Air Pollution Control Board, member (May 2015-April 2016)
- Indiana Air & Waste Management Association, Member
- Indiana University McKinney School of Law adjunct professor