Mark R. Cuker


Mark Cuker is one of the foremost environmental litigation attorneys in the country. Some of his high-profile toxic tort cases – most notably the Toms River case – have been profiled in books, television news programs and on the internet.

Toms River Book

Toms River involved children who were developing cancer at an alarming rate — so high that the New Jersey town was designated a “cancer cluster.” The community demanded answers, and shepherded by Mark Cuker and his team, they discovered that the town’s drinking water had been polluted by chemicals like styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN) trimer and by-products of dye manufacturing for decades.

Mr. Cuker represents persons exposed to PFAS pollution from military bases in lawsuits against the United States government. One such case, Giovanni v. United States, resulted in a landmark ruling by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals that the United States can be required to pay for medical monitoring due to exposures at military superfund sites. Mr. Cuker has also sued the US military under the Fifth Amendment of the US constitution seeking just compensation for landowner, whose property was polluted by chemicals dumped at military bases

He has also sued industrial polluters in New Jersey (Solvay) and New York State ( St Gobain in Hoosick Falls and Taconic Plastics In Petersburg) for PFAS contamination of drinking water.

 Environmental toxic dangers are routinely downplayed by the authorities or the perpetrating sourceso communities need to be concernedeven skepticalabout what theyre told. And they need an advocate.

His practice also concentrates on consumer advocacy and challenging unfair business practices on behalf of small businesses.

Representative Cases

Mr. Cuker has successfully represented consumers in three cases before the New Jersey Supreme Court:

  • Strawn v. Canuso: Representing purchasers of new homes near a landfill against developer for fraudulent concealment of the nearby toxic waste dump.
  • Perez v. Rent-A-Center: Ruled that rent-to-own contracts charged illegal and exhorbitant interest, leading to a $109 million settlement.
  • Muhammad v. County Bank: Decided that payday loan contract provision banning class actions is ‘unconscionable and unenforceable’.

Select cases, past and present:

  • Giovanni v United States established the important precedent that the Government can be sued under Pennsylvania’s Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act to provide medical monitoring for persons exposed to PFAS
  • In re: Wachovia Corp. “Pick-A-Payment” Mortgage Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, Ralston v. Mortgage Investors, Grp., Inc., Monaco v. Bear Stearns Resid. Mortg. Corp., Peel v. BrooksAmerica Mortg. Corp: Obtained class action settlements that recovered hundreds of millions of dollars paid by the nation’s biggest banks to homeowners and borrowers who entered into predatory and deceptive Option Adjustable Rate Mortgage (“Option ARM”) loans that were designed to strip them of the equity in their homes.
  • In re: Toms River Cancer Cluster: Represented 69 families with childhood cancer in claims that the cancer was caused by the chemical contamination of drinking water.
  • In re: Paulsboro train derailment: Representing citizens and first responders claiming injury and damages from negligent operations of Conrail leading to spill of 20,000 gallons of carcinogenic vinyl chloride.
  • Albert’s Pharmacy, Inc. et al v. Catamaran Corporation: Representing independent pharmacists who claim pharmacy benefit manager illegally inflates patient’s costs for prescription drugs, overcharging insurance plans and underpaying pharmacies.
  • Minnix v. Solvay: Representing private well owner in West Deptford, New Jersey whose well was contaminated by PFC’s (Perfluorinated compounds).

My parents owned a small mom & pop business; a convenience store. They had been victims of persecution, and I grew up with the strong sense of what happens when injustice is unrestrained. I wanted to make things better in some form or fashion, and thats why I went into law.

Mr. Cuker is a member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates, the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Associations and Trial Lawyers for Public Justice.

He is also a member of the Board of Directors of TEACH (Toxic Environments Affect Children’s Health).

Mr. Cuker is rated “AV Preeminent,” the highest rating given by legal publisher Martindale-Hubbell.

In 2006-2010 and 2013-2017 he was named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer for class action/mass torts and environmental litigation.

Articles, News & Events

Mr. Cuker is sought after by news media for commentary and analysis. He is a frequent speaker for the legal community, civic groups and others who seek up-to-the minute information on legal issues affecting consumers, businesses, municipalities and the environment. His news appearances are listed on the news and blog pages of this website.

Featured speaker: Generic and Brand Name Drug Liabilityat the Eighth Annual Judicial Symposium on Civil Justice Issues, November 2013, George Mason University School of Law.

Mr. Cuker’s articles have been published in:

  • The Pennsylvania Bar Association Quarterly
  • The Toxics Law Reporter
  • The Pennsylvania Law Weekly
  • The Philadelphia Daily News
  • The National Trial Lawyer
  • The Villanova Law Review 

A sampling of Mr. Cuker’s articles:

  • Off The Track: Without Greater Freedom to Hear Scientific Expert Opinion, Pennsylvania Risks Core Principles, Pennsylvania Law Weekly, 25 Pennsylvania Law Weekly 732 (2002).
  • Caselaw Out of “Wack”:  The Abuse of Frye to Prove Medical Causation in civil Cases, 23 Pa. Law Weekly 253, 278 (2000).
  • Taming the Super Fund Monster, A Plaintiff’s Perspective on Case Management, 10 Toxics Law Reporter 921(1996).
  • Medical Professionals Liable for Child Abuse, 19 Pennsylvania Law Weekly, 1301 (1996).
  • Litigation in the 1990’s, Brave New World or Same Old Story, National Trial Lawyer (July 1990) p. 17-24.

Mark Cuker

Areas of Practice

Contaminated Water
Flint, Michigan Water Contamination
Willow Grove and Warminster Base contamination
PFOA and PFOS Contamination
Independent Pharmacy Litigation against Pharmacy Benefit Managers (“PBMs”)

Bar Admissions

New York
New Jersey
U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals
United States Supreme Court
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
United States Court of Federal Claims
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

Awards & Honors

Pennsylvania Super Lawyers: 2006 -2010, and every consecutive year since 2013
“AV Preeminent” Rating Martindale-Hubbell

Associations & Affiliations

National Association of Consumer Advocates
Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association
Trial Lawyers for Public Justice
Board of Directors of TEACH
(Toxic Environments Affect Children’s Health)


Villanova University Law Degree (1975)
second in class of 217, editor of the law review

Temple University (1972)
magna cum laude



When I look at an environmental case, I focus on the people affected and how science supports our claim. It can be a tiny detail, finding a specific toxic chemical or data that can turn a case in our client’s favor. It’s my job to find the “needle in the haystack.”