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On March 15, 2019, the EPA issued a final rule that will ban the retail sale of methylene chloride containing products for consumer uses.  Methylene chloride is a solvent that is currently, but not for much longer, commonly found in consumer paint and furniture strippers.  It is sold by hardware stores and home improvement retailers. The EPA’s action is based on the adverse effects to consumers using methylene chloride.  It has been documented that short-term…
The odds of OSHA showing up at your worksite have increased for construction employers engaged in excavation and trenching.  OSHA recently announced an update to its National Emphasis Program (“NEP”) to prevent trenching and excavation collapses after a spike in construction fatalities.  The October 2018 update focuses on both increased enforcement and education activities by OSHA Area Offices. The updated NEP instructs inspectors to initiate an investigation whenever they observe an open trench or excavation,…
Property owners who suffer damages as a result of contamination must be aware of time limitations to recover damages.   A New Jersey appellate court recently upheld the rule that, unlike recovery of cleanup costs in contribution actions under the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act, recovery of other damages under tort theories, such as lost sales, lost rental values and the like, remain subject to the six-year statute of limitations.  In 320 Assocs., LLC…
The New Jersey Supreme Court recently held that an insurance company was not required to show it was prejudiced by an insured’s late notice in order to deny coverage under a claims made policy.  In Templo Fuente de Vida Corp. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company, Templo Fuente de Vida Corp. (“Templo”) engaged Morris Mortgage Inc. (“MMI”) to find a funding source for Templo’s purchase of real estate.  MMI identified Merl Financial Group, Inc. (“Merl”)…
The New Jersey Supreme Court recently clarified the elements needed to sustain a claim for nuisance and trespass in the environmental context.  Generally, plaintiffs assert claims under common law such as nuisance and trespass to recover non-cleanup costs associated with environmental contamination.  In Ross v. Lowitz, the defendant homeowners tested an underground storage tank (“UST”) on their property and discovered that the UST leaked.  They subsequently notified their insurance companies.  The contamination on the defendant…
In New Jersey, if a policyholder is required to sue its insurance company for coverage, Court Rule R.4:42-9 allows a policyholder to recover attorneys’ fees if it is successful in obtaining coverage.  The purpose of this rule is to discourage insurance companies from attempting to avoid their contractual obligation and force their insured to expend counsel fees to establish coverage for which they already paid premiums.  In Occhifinto v. Olivo Construction Company, the New Jersey…
The New Jersey Tax Court recently ruled in Methode Electronics, Inc. v. Twp. Of Willingboro, Docket Nos. 019012-2010 and 014098-2011 (Tax January 22, 2015) that the assessment on contaminated property located in Willingboro, New Jersey must be reduced to a mere nominal amount due to its undevelopable condition.  In Methode, the property owner manufactured printed circuit boards on a 3-acre parcel.  As a result of the owner’s manufacturing activities, the property became contaminated with volatile…
The New Jersey Tax Court recently ruled in Methode Electronics, Inc. v. Twp. Of Willingboro, Docket Nos. 019012-2010 and 014098-2011 (Tax January 22, 2015) that the assessment on contaminated property located in Willingboro, New Jersey must be reduced to a mere nominal amount due to its undevelopable condition.  In Methode, the property owner manufactured printed circuit boards on a 3-acre parcel.  As a result of the owner’s manufacturing activities, the property became contaminated with volatile…