How important is it that timely notice of an environmental claim be given to your insurance carrier? And just what is "timely"?
EPA has just extended to tenants the Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser ("BFPP") protection, by which Congress previously exempted certain prospective owners from harsh Superfund liability. Even where the landlord loses its BFPP protection, the new EPA enforcement guidance memo allows tenants to hold onto it, assuming the tenant can meet certain requirements.
In our last post, "Bankruptcy Does Not Discharge All Liability to Cleanup a Contaminated Site: Part I," we discussed the background of In re Mark IV Industries, Inc., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110595 (S.D.N.Y., Sept. 28, 2011), describing the events that led up to the filing of the lawsuit and the Bankruptcy Court's decision. In this post, we will discuss the decision of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on appeal.
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York recently confirmed that a party's liability to clean up a contaminated property was not discharged as part of a Chapter 11 reorganization, since such liability was not a "claim" under the Bankruptcy Code. See In re Mark IV Industries, Inc., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110595 (S.D.N.Y., Sept. 28, 2011).