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Multi-Party, Residential Oil Spill Litigation

Greenfield Hill, Fairfield Homeowner

Client, a Greenfield Hill, Fairfield homeowner, discovered that uphill neighbor's underground oil storage tanks had been improperly abandoned and Number 2 fuel oil had been allowed to leak into the ground for many months, causing what one Department of Environmental Protection official called, "The largest residential oil spill we have ever seen in this state." The oil migrated through the soil and groundwater at the client's property, destroying vegetation and landscaping and contaminating the soils before ultimately reaching a stream and pond on the clients' property. Representation initially involved monitoring the remediation to ensure proper restoration of the clients' property. After the primary insurance carrier had paid the policy limits of one million dollars, and extensive additional environmental remediation remained, multi-party litigation ensued on the complex litigation docket involving the plaintiff client homeowner, the neighbor, the fuel oil company, the primary insurance carrier, the excess liability insurance carrier, and the insurance agent. The matters between the plaintiff homeowner client, the neighbor and the fuel oil company successfully settled during mediation, while the litigation between the insurance companies, the insurance agent and the fuel oil company are pending. Bodnar, et al. v. Allen, et al., UWY-CV-04-4005365-S, Complex Litigation Docket.

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