Claims – Pollution Legal Liability

March 30, 2020

Who Pays When Remediation Goes Wrong? A Federal Court’s Evaluation of Contractor Liability

Source:, March 26, 2020
By: Michael S. Kettler, Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (“CERCLA”) has been a prodigious generator of litigation for decades. First, the government sought to compel potentially responsible parties (“PRPs”) to clean up contaminated sites. Then, those PRPs who were found liable or who settled with the government sought contribution from other PRPs. Now, even after these interminable disputes over liability for remediation costs are resolved, the implementation of costly remedies can give rise to yet more litigation if those remedies fail. A recent decision by the federal district court in Philadelphia in Cottman Avenue PRP Group v. AMEC Foster Wheeler Environmental Infrastructure Inc., arising from one of the earliest CERCLA Superfund sites, is an example of this last type of case and offers important lessons both for parties responsible for remediation and the contractors they hire to fulfill those obligations. Read more.

March 5, 2020

UMKC decides to demolish apartment building with extensive water damage, mold

Source:, March 4, 2020
By: Sarifa Jackson

After two years, campus leaders at the University of Missouri-Kansas City are making a final decision to demolish the Oak Place Apartments.

The apartments, located at Oak and 51st Street, were purchased by the school in 2012.

But in March 2018, the school found extensive water damage and mold, forcing UMKC to close the apartments, which house up to 500 students. Hundreds of students had to relocate. Read more.

March 3, 2020

Huntsville Housing Authority confirms radon problems identified by investigation, doesn’t tell tenants

Source:, February 23, 2020
By: Brad Schmidt and Anna Claire Vollers

The Huntsville Housing Authority found high levels of radioactive gas inside more than 60 public housing units last fall but never told the tenants they were breathing cancer-causing radon.

Residents of Butler Terrace Addition knew nothing until reporters from and its affiliate, The Oregonian/OregonLive, made contact with some of them last week. Read more.

January 17, 2020

Pollution exclusion means no coverage for this dry cleaner defendant

Source:, January 16, 2020
By: Greg Meckbach

A British Columbia court ruling in favour of Intact Insurance Company and Economical Mutual Insurance Company is now final.

A Vancouver-based dry cleaners that wanted to make a pollution-related claim with the two insurers, under commercial general liability policies, cannot appeal the coverage dispute to the Supreme Court of Canada, the top court announced Thursday. Read more.

December 4, 2019

Flurry of lawsuits against Seattle Children’s detail human toll from mold infections

Source: Seattle Times, December 3, 2019
Posted on:

The six patients came from as far as Alaska. They ranged in age from a 17-year-old girl to a 2-month-old boy. Binding them together: harm they endured after a stay at Seattle Children’s hospital, according to three lawsuits filed Monday.

The complaints against Children’s begin to tell the human stories behind the failures its executives disclosed two weeks ago, acknowledging the hospital’s air-handling system likely led to mold-based infections in 14 patients over 18 years. Six of those patients died. Read more.

December 3, 2019

Seattle Children’s facing lawsuits over mold infections

Source:, December 2, 2019
By: Kate Walters

Seattle Children’s hospital is facing lawsuits over mold-related deaths and infections.

One claim filed Monday on behalf of four children is seeking class action status.

The suit claims all four children were infected with Aspergillus mold while they were patients at the hospital. Three have since died. Read more.

November 19, 2019

Residents claiming vibrations from former Lakewood Hospital site damaged homes

Source:, November 16, 2019
By: Emily Bamforth

Residents are claiming that vibrations from construction at the former Lakewood Hospital site are causing damage to their homes, according to city documents. The city promises to address any damage.

Lakewood officials held a meeting with residents of Belle and Marlowe Avenues adjacent to the hospital site on Wednesday to explain the vibrations coming from the site, as well as to share information about contamination found between bedrock and a floor slab in part of the former hospital. Read more.

November 12, 2019

Seattle Children’s hospital again closes some operating rooms because of mold

Source:, November 11, 2019
By: Ryan Blethen

Seattle Children’s has closed three of its operating rooms because of the same fungus that forced the shutdown of all the hospital’s operating rooms earlier this year. The hospital is also looking into two new infections caused by the Aspergillus mold. Read more.

November 11, 2019

Dry cleaning carcinogen detected in 14 homes in Burlington

Source:, November 4, 2019
By: Elizabeth Gribkoff

State environmental officials are looking to remediate contamination from a dry cleaning chemical found in elevated levels in 14 Burlington homes before winter.

At a joint fiscal committee meeting on Monday, lawmakers approved a request from the Department of Environmental Conservation to spend up to $150,000 from the environmental contingency fund for the work.  Read more.

November 11, 2019

Cleanup Underway at Former Cleaners Site Spreading Contaminant

Source:, November 8, 2019
By: Michael Olohan/span>

A two-story office building built on the site of a former dry cleaner at 137 Broadway was knocked down recently as the first step in a long-term site remediation plan put into motion by the State Department of Environmental Protection.

“It’s PCE (perchlorethylene) contamination in shallow ground water underneath the site that’s slowly moving in the direction of a nearby bank,” DEP spokesperson Larry Hajna said Oct. 25. Read more.