consultant malpractice

Bankruptcy Courts Rules Bank May Not Seek Cost Recovery for Contaminated Site Purchased in Auction Sale

Pete Seeger’s popular song from the 1960s “Where have all the Flowers Gone?” has the haunting recurring lyrics “When will they ever learn”. This song came to mind when we came across another case of a bank taking title to contaminated property without doing any environmental due diligence. In this case, Suburban Bank and Trust …

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Problems Emerge with New CREC Definition

After a little more than six months after ASTM issued its new E1527-13 Phase 1 standard practice, problems are emerging over the new definition Controlled Recognized Environmental Condition (CREC) definition. The difficulties are related to the definition itself and differences among state environmental programs. Before discussing the CREC problems, a little background might be helpful …

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EPA Recognizes E1527-13 But Preamble Raises Specter of Retroactive LIability For Past Phase 1 Reports that Did Not Assess Vapor Intrusion

On December 30th, the  federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final rule in the Federal Register  (78 FR 79319) recognizing the new ASTM E1527-13 phase 1 standard practice as an approved method for complying with the All Appropriate Inquires (AAI) rule. As explained below, while the preamble to the final rule is an improvement to …

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2nd Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Negligence Claim Agst Consultant

We have previously discussed Ridge Seneca Plaza, LLC v. BP Prods. North America, No. 6:06-cv-06333 (W.D.N.Y. 3/28/11) where the federal district case from the western district of New York ruled that a purchaser could not bring a malpractice claim against a consultant who had been retained by a bank. . We picked this case because it …

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Ct Allows Claim Agst Consultant For Missing Contamination at Lowe’s Site To Proceed

Some time ago, we discussed the $14MM lawsuit filed by Lowe’s Home Centers  against a consultant. Lowe’s alleged  that the consultant failed to identify all areas that had been contaminated with PCBs and the store opening was delayed because of complications associated with the previously unknown PCB-contaminated soil was improperly disposed. The matter eventually settled Another …

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Failure to Identify Dry Wells and Review Building Dept File at Heart of Consultant Malpractice Case

Southern Wine & Spirits of New York vs. Impact Environmental Consultants, 2013 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 2081(App. Div.-1st Dept 3/28/13) involves a common source of contamination in Long Island and other suburban areas of New York City-dry wells and septic systems. The parties have yet to begin discovery but based on the motion papers filed …

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Mass Ct Rules Contractual Limitation Period Unenforceable

When hiring an environmental consultant, clients are often asked to execute an engagement letter that typically addresses the pricing for the Phase 1 and other logistical information. Attached to the engagement letter will be what often looks like a pre-printed form of terms and conditions that govern the performance of the services to be provided …

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Consultant Unable To Escape NJ Contaminated Fill Case

We have previously reported on how disposal of fill material tends not to be well-regulated. During the real estate bubble demand for aggregate was at a premium. Due to the scarcity and cost of aggregate or fill material, contractors often use pulverized construction debris from other construction sites as fill material. Despite the fact that …

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Consultant Not Liable to Residents of Housing Complex For Not Identifying Vapor Risks

A California state court dismissed a negligence claim brought against an environmental consultant by residents of the infamous Ujima Village low income housing complex for failing to identify health risks associated with a former oil storage facility. The 300-unit Ujima Village complex had been constructed on a portion of the former 122-acre Athens Tank Farm …

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Ct Upholds Limitation of Liability in Consultant Negligence Case

When retaining environmental consultants, one of the key issues to review in the consultant’s standard terms and conditions is the limitation of liability (LOL) clause. This clause frequently seeks to cap the consultant’s liability at the amount of its fees. Because consultants are usually expected to carry at least $1MM in liability coverage,  clients often want consultants to be liable …

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