On Demand

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

1h 1m

Created on April 24, 2020





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 

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