common law

District Ct Holds Vapor Intrusion Is Imminent and Substantial Endangerment

The recent decision in Sisters of Notre Dame De Namur v. Mrs. Owen J. Garnett-Murray, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78747 (N.D. Cal. 6/6/12) is the latest example of how vapor intrusion has become a game changer for toxic tort and RCRA litigation. Vapor intrusion was the only potential exposure pathway since groundwater was not used …

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Contamination at Heart of Litigation Over Failed Subdivisions

The Great Recession caused hundreds of residential development projects to ground to a halt. Not surprising, these failed projects have spawned lots of litigation. An interesting Maryland lawsuit involves allegations of fraud and misrepresentation of environmental issues at a development site, and has ensnarled a foreclosing lender. In U.S. Home v Settler’s Crossing, 2010 U.S. …

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State Appeals Ct Affirms Note Purchaser Cannot Bring Nuisance Action For Contamination

It is no secret that distressed debt investors are eagerly looking for opportunities to purchase defaulted or underwater loans. One strategy used by investors with a healthy risk appetite is to purchase promissory notes secured by contaminated property at deeply discounted pricing. The investor then brings an RCRA 7002 action seeking an order requiring the …

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Environmental Saga Involves Successor Liability, Bankruptcy and Environmental Justice

The most recent decision in Flake v. Schrader-Bridgeport Int’l, Inc., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30372  (M.D. Tenn., Mar. 23, 2011) is just another chapter in this long-running environmental saga involving a successor liability, bankruptcy, toxic tort and environmental justice issues along with a piece of American automotive history. This well-traveled case began in a Tennessee county …

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Claim For Contaminated Fill Barred By Statute of Limitations

The movement and disposal of fill material from demolition sites tends not to be well-regulated. During the real estate bubble when demand for aggregate was at a premium, unsavory actors in the industry exploited the regulatory gaps. These companies would charge clients to dispose of contaminated fill, pocket the fees and then sell the materials …

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California Appeals Court Rules Reopening of NFA Letter Does Not Trigger Contractual Indemnification

Anyone who has negotiated the purchase of a gas station is aware that these agreements are incredibly complex. The contracts have dense definitions, dependent and inter-related provisions, and grant broad discretion to the sellers in determining the scope and conduct of the cleanup. A buyer who does not retain an environmental attorney who has previously …

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Texas Supreme Court Rules Injection Well Permit Not Shield To Tort Actions

In FPL Farming Ltd v Environmental Processing Systems, L.C., 54 Tex. Sup. J. 1744 (2011), the petitioner FPL Farming (FPL) owned two tracts of land that it used for rice farming. In 1996, Environmental Processing Systems (EPS) applied for a permit to operate two Class III injection wells on land adjoining one of FPL’s tracts. …

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Montana Supreme Ct Allows Lawsuit To Proceed For 25 Year Old Plume

In what may be one of the more important common law pollution cases of the past few years, the Montana Supreme Court ruled that property owners may proceed with lawsuit alleging damages from contamination that has migrated from a railyard that had operated by Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Company and its predecessors from …

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County Liable to Developer for Migration of Landfill Gas

A federal district court ruled that a Maryland county government was liable to a developer for damages resulting from the migration of landfill gas from a closed landfill to a planned development community. The court held that developer was entitled to recover response costs under CERCLA and that the subsurface migration of methane gas and VOCs …

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