Scarinci Hollenbeck has achieved a significant Appellate Division victory for its client Allwood Investment Company in Allwood Investment Company v. Jogam Corp., et al. The case was tried by John M. Scagnelli, Partner and Chair of the Environmental and Land Use Law Group, and by William Sullivan, Esq.

In the case, Allwood brought suit under the New Jersey Spill Act, as well as under principles of strict liability and for breach of lease, against its dry cleaner tenant, Jogam Corp. Allwood asserted that Jogam had contaminated, the soil and groundwater on its property with PCE, a dry cleaning chemical, as well as with related solvents. Allwood sought to hold  Jogam liable for all cleanup costs. It also asked the Court for an injunction ordering Jogam immediately to investigate and remediate the contamination. Jogam denied liability and asserted a contribution claim against Allwood under the Spill Act.  At trial, however, Jogam failed to establish that either Allwood or Jogam’s predecessors on the property had actually discharged any hazardous substances. Superior Court Judge Thomas LaConte accordingly issued an injunction against Jogam, ordering it to remediate Allwood’s property. The court further ruled in favor of Allwood, awarding it $800,000 in attorneys’ and consultants’ fees and costs. Defendant Jogam appealed to the Appellate Division, but the court affirmed the trial judge’s decision in all respects.

As Mr. Scagnelli explained: “The Allwood case is important because it confirms that under the Spill Act and common law, a party must show actual discharges of hazardous substances in order to obtain damages and injunctive relief.”

For more about the legal case and final verdict, please visit https://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/opinions/a5439-13.pdf

Contact Information:

John M. Scagnelli, Esq.
jscagnelli@scarincihollenbeck.com

William Sullivan, Esq.
wsullivan@scarincihollenbeck.com

About John Scagnelli:
John M. Scagnelli’s environmental law practice encompasses the entire environmental law field, including environmental compliance, environmental litigation, environmental auditing, environmental permitting and environmental counseling. He serves as environmental counsel for banks and lending institutions, commercial and industrial companies, states and municipalities, real estate development organizations, and other organizations. His environmental work includes remediation projects and litigation relating to state environmental statutes.

About William Sullivan:
William C. Sullivan represents clients with respect to a wide variety of land use and redevelopment projects, energy infrastructure projects, environmental permitting and compliance, site remediation, and related litigation. He represents both public and private entities in regard to energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, including advice on State and federal funding opportunities and other financial incentives, contracting for efficiency and renewable projects, and regulatory approvals related to these projects. Mr. Sullivan’s litigation experience includes cases related to land use development, contaminated site remediation and environmental and commercial insurance coverage disputes.

About the Scarinci Hollenbeck Environmental and Land Use Group:
Scarinci Hollenbeck’s attorneys have significant experience in representing clients in environmental lawsuits in federal and state courts and in proceedings before administrative agency tribunals. They are proficient at handing broad spectrum of environmental contamination and toxic tort claims, including remediation and litigation under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund) and the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act.

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