Wednesday, November 14, 2012

As 'Sandy' loomed, NJ court created a Spill Act storm


Gibbons attorney Uzoamaka N. Okoye writes to alert clients and friends:

On October 29, 2012, as Hurricane Sandy began its assault on the State, a New Jersey Appellate Court in New Jersey School Developments Authority v. Marcantuone created its own “storm” in Spill Act jurisprudence by holding that purchasers of contaminated property prior to September 14, 1993, can be liable under the Spill Act if they failed to conduct due diligence prior to purchase. 

In reaching this conclusion, the Appellate Division held that the long-standing 2001 decision in White Oak Funding, Inc. v. Winning had been superseded, in part, by the 2001 amendments to the Spill Act (“2001 Amendments”), which had been adopted a few weeks before the White Oak decision and became effective a week after the decision.  

The decision has implications for property owners who thought they had no Spill Act liability because they had done nothing to contaminate their pre-1993 acquisitions. 

You can read the entire Real Property and Environmental Law alert here.

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