Why is it important to hire experts, even on things that seem rather "obvious"? When it comes to litigation, lay persons should not rely on their own observations and beliefs when it comes to scientific or technical matters that experts should address. The Zdziebloskis learned this the hard way when they unsuccessfully attempted to convince a New York federal court about the underground seepage of pond water from their property.
When is a tenant liable as an owner under the federal Superfund law (aka CERCLA)?
In a recent opinion, Town of Windsor v. Avery Dennison Corp., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27264 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 1, 2012), the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York allowed a town's claims of strict liability for ultrahazardous activities and trespass against a neighboring manufacturing company to proceed, while dismissing the town's private nuisance claim.
In 2003, the New York Legislature passed the Brownfield Cleanup Program, ECL § 27-1401 et seq. The benefits of the Brownfield Cleanup Program ("BCP") are many: the developer receives a liability release from the State following DEC oversight during the cleanup of the property. The most coveted benefit, however, is a tax credit of up to 22% based not merely on the cost of cleanup but also on the cost to redevelop the site. A few New York City developers have reaped enormous rewards on $100+ million developments.