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Emerson Enterprises LLC v. Kenneth Crosby NY LLC

ELR Citation: 41 ELR 20122
Nos. No. 03-CV-6530 CJS, (W.D.N.Y. Mar. , 03/15/2011)

A district court held that the former owner of contaminated property may be held liable under tort and the New York Navigation Law for failing to report or prevent the spread of that contamination. There are triable issues of fact as to whether the owner “caused or contributed to the discharge” at the site by failing to report past suspected dumping or by failing to take some kind of remedial action to prevent the spread of contamination. The former owner's motion for summary judgment was therefore denied as to the current owner's claim under §181(5) of the Navigation Law. Similarly, the former owner's motion for summary judgment was denied as to claims for negligence, strict liability, public nuisance, waste, equitable or implied indemnification, and restitution. But the owner was entitled to summary judgment on the current owner's CERCLA, RCRA, and New York Environmental Conservation Law claims since there was no evidence that the former owner released, stored, or disposed of hazardous substances.