Environmental Protection

Law Firm Secures $2.5 M Judgment in Superfund Case

Jaeckle Fleischmann's environmental practice group recently secured a court order for payments totaling more than $2.5 million in the successful representation of Solvent Chemical Company and its parent company ICC Industries, Inc., in a Superfund case, according to a press release from the firm.

In one of the most complex Superfund matters to be tried in New York, Jaeckle first assisted Solvent and its parent company ICC in negotiating 1997 consent decrees to settle litigation commenced under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act. The decrees required implementation of an environmental cleanup at Solvent's former chemical facility in Niagara Falls, N.Y., and ICC's separate decree guaranteed its subsidiary company's performance.

Construction of the remedy at the site, which was paid for by Solvent Chemical at a cost of $9 million, was completed in 2003. Operation and maintenance of the groundwater pump and treatment system will continue for the foreseeable future.

During the cleanup, Jaeckle attorneys pursued third-party complaints against more than 60 parties, including former owners, operators, and waste generators who sent hazardous substances to the site. In implementing the site cleanup, Solvent found itself unavoidably having to address contamination migrating to the site from adjoining facilities operated by DuPont and Olin, who were added to the litigation. After entering into settlements totaling over $2.6 million with all parties, except DuPont and Olin, Jaeckle attorneys tried the case before U.S. District Court Judge John T. Curtin in a six week trial in 2007. The firm mounted a successful defense to a counter claim asserted by Olin seeking to recover a portion of costs Olin incurred cleaning up Gill Creek, which runs through the area of the Olin, DuPont, and Solvent facilities. Olin sought to recover more than $2.2 million from Solvent and ICC, but the court, accepting the allocation proposed by Jaeckle Fleischmann, allocated just $8,041 to Solvent on Olin's Gill Creek claim and dismissed that claim against ICC.

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