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State v. Monarch Chems., Inc.

ELR Citation: 13 ELR 20482
Nos. No. 42778, 456 N.Y.S.2d 867, (N.Y. App. Div., 11/18/1982)

Affirming the trial court, the court rules that a hazardous chemical handler's landlord may be liable for the tenant's tortious pollution of the public water supply if the landlord negligently selected the tenant, continued to exercise control over the property, or failed to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition. Because the appellant landlord may have known of the hazard on the property and because and landlord had a covenant to repair and power to enter, the court affirms the trial court's refusal to dismiss the claims. Further, the court rules that the state environmental statutes do not preclude the state from seeking common law relief. Appellant's claim of estoppel based upon state issuance of a pullution permit is foreclosed because appellant failed to raise the claim below. The court holds that neither the Toxic Substances Control Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, nor the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act preempts a state tort action. Finally, on procedural grounds, the court refuses to consider appellant's motion for a more definite statement of the complaint.

Counsel for Appellant
Carl W. Peterson Jr.
Hancock, Estabrook, Ryan, Shove & Hust
14th Floor, 100 Madison St., Syracuse NY 13202
(315) 471-3151

Counsel for Respondents
Catherine R. McCabe, Ass't Attorney General
Environmental Protection Bureau, Justice Bldg., Rm. 247, Albany NY 12224
(518) 474-8481

Daniel L. Gorman
Young & Gorman
22 Riverside Dr., Binghamton NY 13905
(607) 722-3426