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Miller v. Mandrin Homes, Ltd.

ELR Citation: 39 ELR 20011
Nos. No. 07-1285, (4th Cir., 01/08/2009) Aff'd

The Fourth Circuit held that the lower court properly dismissed homeowners' Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act and state law claims against the former property owner. The homeowners alleged that the house and lot were contaminated by toxic substances. They hired an expert witness, but his opinions were not sufficient to allow a reasonable juror to find in the homeowner's favor. The expert stated that the detection of volatile organic compounds in the homeowners' sump "is indicative" of groundwater contamination. This phrase, however, does not show that he believed there actually was groundwater contamination or, more to the point, that he could testify that it was his scientific opinion that groundwater contamination existed. The homeowners, therefore, were unable to provide more than speculative evidence regarding the contamination of their home, and summary judgment in favor of the former property owner was appropriate.

[A prior decision in this litigation can be found at 37 ELR 20057.]