CIANJ was granted special status as “amicus curiae” in what could be a precedent-setting case before the state Supreme Court. Our attorneys joined in arguments this week on behalf of a small family-run laundromat facing a huge liability.
Keith Lynott of McCarter & English argued the state Department of Environmental Protection cannot hold Sue’s Clothing Hanger responsible for groundwater contamination that occurred miles away, when it never proved the pollutants came from the laudromat. The DEP’s stance flies in the face of basic principles of laws that require a connection or nexus.
The trial court and the appellate division ruled against the DEP, but if the Supreme Court reverses the decision the precedent could be devastating. Every business that uses chemicals would run the risk of being held liable, if they operated in proximity to a spill site. A decision is expected by the end of June.