ROSELAND, N.J./January 20, 2006 -- Jeffrey W. Moryan and David Mairo obtained a dismissal on behalf of client Motiva Enterprises, LLC in its defense against a lawsuit brought by forty-three property owners for gasoline contamination, including the additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE).
In 2000, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection discovered that a Texaco service station, owned and operated by Motiva, had discharged gasoline and found high concentrations of MTBE in a local municipal well in Camden County, NJ. Two years later, the property owners filed a lawsuit claiming that the release from Motiva’s service station contaminated their property and that the stigma associated with this had reduced their property values. The plaintiffs offered the testimony of Daniel McDonald, a licensed appraiser with twenty-two years of experience assessing property values in New Jersey, as well as other experts.
Connell Foley argued that Mr. McDonald was unqualified to testify because he had no experience appraising contaminated properties or serving as an expert in such cases. Furthermore, the defense claimed that Mr. McDonald used a flawed methodology to arrive at his estimates.
The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey ruled in favor of Motiva and ordered the exclusion of the testimony of Mr. McDonald. The Court dismissed the lawsuit, finding that without the expert’s testimony, the plaintiffs had failed to present enough evidence for a trial.
The decision has received attention in various legal periodicals, including a piece in BNA’s Daily Environment Report which is attached here.
For more information concerning the case, please contact Jeffrey W. Moryan at (973) 535-0500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Reproduced with permission from Daily
Environment Report, No. 36, pp. A-10 - A-11 (Feb.
23, 2006). Copyright 2006 by The Bureau of National
Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) <http://www.bna.com>