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Allyson Cunningham

Ally Cunningham is a Partner at Lathrop GPM LLP in the Environmental & Tort Practice Group. She focuses on the areas of environmental, toxic tort and other crisis-related litigation. Ally’s national practice consists of trials, arbitrations, administrative proceedings, mediations and negotiations to resolve high stakes, technical, complex disputes involving environmental and tort liability and at times, related insurance coverage disputes. These high-stakes cases often involve large groups of claimants and demand a deep experience in both mass tort and class action law. Ally advises clients on compliance and permitting under federal and state environmental laws and regulations, including the Clean Water Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund), and the Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA).

Ally’s litigation experience includes complex, nationally profiled toxic tort claims, including class actions, contribution claims under CERCLA and state counterparts, and general tort and business claims. Her key wins include defeating class certification on pleadings alone, and dismissal of putative class actions at the summary judgment stage, and voluntary dismissals of high-profile class actions related to alleged exposure to radioactive materials from the Manhattan Project. Her work on complex environmental litigation includes cost-effective management of pretrial discovery, including ESI disputes, and motions practice, playing a key role in securing summary judgments and voluntary dismissals and defeating class certification at the pleadings stage. Ally is presently defending numerous complex putative class actions, mass actions, and individual toxic tort and odor nuisance cases in South Carolina, Illinois, Missouri, Texas and Tennessee.

Ally's extensive experience handling highly technical issues in state and federal regulatory matters and in litigation uniquely positions her as a thought leader on emerging contaminants, particularly PFAS. Her PFAS experiences includes defending multi-plaintiff tort claims, advising clients on regulatory compliance, remediation, and litigation avoidance.

Ally also works closely with clients to manage and address crisis-related litigation. She strategically implements a multifaceted approach to every client problem with a combination of litigation defense, regulatory compliance, and where appropriate, government and public affairs work. Building off her work as a lobbyist before attending law school, Ally works with clients to identify a holistic solution to the most complex problems. 

Representative Experience

  • Defended and won dismissal for a national waste management company in a series of multiplaintiff federal court actions asserting cancers and other personal injuries were the result of alleged exposure to residual Manhattan Project radioactive waste stored in various areas of St. Louis County.
  • Defended numerous Price-Anderson Act lawsuits, including a putative class action, alleging widespread damage and illnesses due to radioactive exposure.
  • Successfully defended and secured dismissal of an approximately 10,000-home propose class action alleging property damage and physical injuries resulting from odor and emissions from a Texas landfill.
  • Worked as part of a team charged with pursuing a coverage action after a national waste management client was denied insurance coverage for litigation expenses and remediation efforts related to four landfill sites. The insurer ultimately agreed to resolve the case for an eight-figure payment, which successfully opened additional layers of excess coverage.

Presentations

Publications

Professional Affiliations

  • Missouri Bar
  • Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Women in Agribusiness
  • Associate Member, The Missouri Law Review

Community Involvement

  • Missouri Court Appointed Special Advocates (MOCASA), Statewide Board of Directors
  • Mizzou Alumni Association, Boone County Chapter, Board of Directors
  • Missouri Court Appointed Special Advocates (MOCASA), Board of Directors
  • University of Missouri Alumni Association

Honors

  • Selected among The Best Lawyers in America®, "Ones to Watch," 2021-2022
  • Order of the Coif
  • Parrish Scholarship
  • Covington Scholarship
  • CALI Excellence in Contracts Award
  • CALI Excellence in Land Use Award
  • Judge’s Award for Excellence in Constitutional Law
  • Senninger Powers Excellence in Copyright Law Award
Photo of Allyson  Cunningham
F: 816.292.2001

Assistant

Donna Tanking
816.460.5751

Court Memberships

  • Missouri
  • Kansas
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit 

Education

University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 2012

University of Missouri-Kansas City, B.A., summa cum laude, 2009