Friday, May 30, 2014

Mercury site defendants liable for $6.13M cleanup in NJ

                               Kiddie Kollege site following demolition – SJ Times photo

The Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey informs its members today that:

Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced a significant legal victory for the State’s environmental protection efforts earlier this week.

A Superior Court Judge found multiple defendants liable for a total of $6.13 million to cover the cost of cleaning up mercury contamination at the site of Kiddie Kollege, a former day care center in Franklin Township, Gloucester County.

Superior Court Judge Anne McDonnell found that, despite their denials of legal responsibility, current property owner Jim Sullivan Inc., former owner the Navillus Group, and other “Sullivan Defendants” are liable for costs related to the clean-up and removal of mercury discharged by a thermometer-making factory located on the property before Sullivan bought it and leased it for use as a day care site.

Also legally responsible for clean-up costs are previous property owner Philip J. Giuliano and the now-defunct thermometer manufacturing company he owned, Accutherm, Inc.

According to the Court’s ruling, all defendants share a total liability of $2.04 million for the Kiddie Kollege property remediation, but Giuliano and Accutherm are liable for an additional $4.09 million because they failed to comply with a Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) directive that they clean up the original contamination caused by their unlawful discharge of mercury at the site.

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