Disclosure of Environmental Liabilities

Settlement Reached in Securities Class Action Suit For Inadequate Environmental Disclosure

The 2009 bankruptcy filing of Tronox, Inc. has spawned some interesting litigation. A trial commenced in May in the bankruptcy court for the Southern District of New York where a Litigation Trust formed as part of the Tronox reorganization plan is seeking $25B in damages from Kerr-McGee, a subsidiary of Anadarko Petroleum. Tronox, a manufacturer …

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NJ Lawyers Raise Concerns About Transparency of LSRP Program

On May 7, 2012, the New Jersey Site Remediation Reform Act, N.J.S.A. 58:10C-1 et seq. (SRRA) became fully effective. With limited exceptions, all site remediation projects in the state of New Jersey regardless of when work began must proceed under the supervision of a Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) and without New Jersey Department of Environmental …

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Vapor Intrusion and Statutes of Limitations

Statutes of limitations (SOL) establish the time period for bringing a cause of action. SOLs are designed to encourage resolution of disputes within a reasonable period of time before facts or evidence is lost through the passage of time, death or disappearance of witness as well as the loss of memory. The SOL will differ …

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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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Bank Not Liable for Failing To Disclose Environmental Issues At Foreclosure Sale

In Rhima v JPMorgan Chase Bank, 2012 U.S. Dist.LEXIS 70492 (N.D.Tx. 5/18/02), plaintiff was the successful bidder at a foreclosure auction for a warehouse property. The advertised terms and conditions of the foreclosure sale offer indicated that bidders would be provided with environmental reports and access to the property for inspection but the sale was …

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Non-Reliance Clause Bars Walk-Away Bidder From Recouping Diligence Costs

The Delaware Supreme Court ruled that a bidder that declined to proceed with a $170 million could not recover recoup $1.2 million in due diligence and negotiation costs. In RAA Management, LLC v. Savage Sports Holdings, Inc., 2012 Del. LEXIS 271 (Del. 5/18/12) , investment fund RAA Management (RAA) was invited by an investor bank …

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11th Circuit Affirms No Liability For Developer In Florida Bombing Range Case

The latest installment of our “Home on the Bombing Range” series takes us to Florida at the site of what is now known as the former World War 2 Pinecastle Bombing Range (PBR). Virgilio v. Ryland Group, Inc., 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 10094 (11th Cir. 5/18/12) is a class action lawsuit brought by purchasers of …

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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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Appeals Court Reverses Judgment For Seller Who Failed To Disclose Wetlands on Disclosure Form

We have reviewed several cases where sellers have been held liable for failing to adequately disclose environmental conditions in mandated property condition reports even where the property is sold “as is”. Another example is Wise v. Hays, 943 N.E.2d 835 (Ind. Ct. App. 2011), a state appeals court reversed a grant of summary judgment  in …

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