Webcast

Retail Gas Station Litigation: Spills, Leaks, Hazardous Wastes and Leaking Tank Exposures

Streams live on Friday, April 24, 2020 at 02:30pm EDT

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Course Information

Time 60 Minutes
Difficulty Intermediate

Course Description

Gas stations are everywhere, and (in spite of the arrival of the electric car) will not be going anywhere in the near future. This is good news for car owners who happen to need to fill their tanks, but can frequently be bad news for residential and commercial neighbors of these facilities. Gas stations store gasoline, and sometimes heating oil waste oil, underground.  While underground storage tanks are constructed more soundly today than they were in the past, there is always a risk that they will leak - and when they leak they cause serious property damage and personal injury. Drinking water supplies can be contaminated, odors from these operations can be tortuous, and tank overfills, though rare, may destroy wildlife when petroleum enters storm drains. In addition, the inevitable soil and groundwater cleanups that follow are prolonged and expensive.

In this program, Stuart Lieberman and Michael Camastra, attorneys with the Lierman Blecher law firm, will provide an overview of the legal issues relating to gas station leaks, spills, and releases. Stuart Lieberman is a former New Jersey government lawyer who has litigated countless gas station release cases in his thirty-four years of practice, and Michael Camastra brings the perspective of both defense and plaintiff-side litigation. The program will benefit personal injury lawyers, real property lawyers, government counsel, insurance counsel, attorneys in the petroleum industry, brownfields and redevelopment counsel and local and state officials. 



Learning Objectives:

  1. Assess liability for gas station leaks
  2. Identify the common resulting harms and impacts of leaks and spills
  3. Associate common chemical hazards, such as MTBE, the BTEX brothers, PCBSs, TCE, and PCE with the harms they can cause
  4. Discuss the impact that tank ownership can have on litigation strategy
  5. Analyze when distributors and big oil companies can be held responsible for tank leaks
  6. Use age dating and “fingerprinting” to assess evidence in gas station litigation
  7. Find government funds that are available for cleanups
  8. Identify the role of insurance in the litigation process 

Credit Information

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Faculty

Stuart Lieberman

Lieberman, Blecher & Sinkevich

Mr. Lieberman is a founding member of the firm Lieberman & Blecher. He is a former Deputy Attorney General for the State of New Jersey who was assigned to the Environmental Protection Section. Mr. Lieberman was also a partner in a New Jersey law firm that was extensively engaged in the practice of environmental law.

Stuart J. Lieberman is a co-author of New Jersey Brownfields Practice, a book that describes legal aspects relating to the sale of contaminated properties in New Jersey. A frequent lecturer on environmental subjects and a weekly syndicated columnist, he has represented many municipalities, businesses and individuals in regulatory and land use matters as well as litigation in these areas. In addition, Mr. Lieberman has worked heavily in the area of regulatory takings and groundwater contamination.

Mr. Lieberman represents clients in environmental matters, defective product and fraudulent claims, land use and general litigation.

Mr. Lieberman is a member of the Mercer County Bar Association and the New Jersey State Bar Association, where he serves on the Board of Consultors for the Real Property Section. 

He has successfully litigated many cases in New Jersey state and federal courts, and has prevailed in two New Jersey Supreme Court cases. The most recent case, Raleigh Avenue Beach Association v. Atlantis Beach Club, was a landmark decision regarding beach access in the State of New Jersey.

In addition, Mr. Lieberman and Lieberman & Blecher, P.C. are counsel to the Passaic River Coalition, an organization committed to protecting valuable water resources in the State of New Jersey. Mr. Lieberman is also counsel to the Coalition for Health and Public Safety, a public charter composed of several municipalities in northern Bergen County who have organized to address public health and safety threats in the area. Most recently, Mr. Lieberman became a member of an ASTM International sub-committee and is lending his environmental legal experience to that organization as it develops a standard for qualification as an expert environmental forensic scientist in civil and criminal litigation.



Michael E. Camastra

Lieberman, Blecher & Sinkevich

Michael E. Camastra joined Lieberman Blecher & Sinkevich as an Associate Attorney in June 2018 and focuses his practice on business transactions, environmental law, environmental compliance, zoning, land use and regulatory matters.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Camastra practiced with a large international law firm in Philadelphia where he represented clients in defense and coverage matters, including multiple environmental contamination coverage lawsuits. There he counseled clients through the litigation process and gained invaluable experience in all aspects of the litigation process including, drafting pleadings, conducting depositions, negotiating settlements and preparing for trial.

Mr. Camastra attended Villanova University School of Law and focused his legal education on environmental and business law. While at Villanova, he served as the Managing Editor of Student Works on the School’s Environmental Law Journal. Mr. Camastra was a two-time member of the School’s UCLA/VLS Game Day Sports Case Competition team (placing second in the 2015 competition) and a member of the School’s Fordham National Basketball Negotiation Competition team.

Mr. Camastra graduated Magna Cum Laude from the College of New Jersey with a Bachelor of Science in Criminology. Mr. Camastra is a member of the New Jersey and Pennsylvania State Bars.

Mr. Camastra is a lifetime member of the National Eagle Scout Association and is an avid golfer.

Education

VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW

  • Juris Doctor, 2016

THE COLLEGE OF NEW JERSEY

  • B.A., 2013


Practice Areas

Awards, Affiliations & Memberships

BAR ADMISSIONS

New Jersey, 2016
Pennsylvania, 2016