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Oil Spills

If oil is spilled at your home or business, don't assume those at fault will clean up their mess.

Under the Navigation Law, the discharger of oil or the party who delivers oil to your home or business is strictly liable for all damages associated with the spill.  This includes the cleanup or the remediation of the spill site and all indirect and direct damages which result from the spill.  Many land owners are unfamiliar with their rights after an oil spill occurs on their premises.  Oil is a toxic substance that can have devastating effects on your home and property. The Navigation Law protects your rights and will provide adequate compensation for the damages you sustain.

The oil companies are responsible for damages including:

  • The full cleanup of the spill;
  • Alternative and additional living expenses (if the home is uninhabitable due to odor, etc.);
  • Damage to personal property (fabrics, sheets, clothing, children’s toys etc.) due to volatile organic compounds [VOC];
  • Damage to your home and property; and
  • Compensation for all direct and indirect damages including attorney’s fees.

In addition, homeowners can also seek Diminution of Value of their home. When an oil spill occurs, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is involved and the spill in your home becomes public record.  Homes are generally worth less as a result of the oil spill, often significantly less.

Homeowners hire our firm to fight for their rights.  We advocate on behalf of our clients for the harm they have suffered when an oil spill occurs in their home or their business.

Things to Consider

You are entitled to reimbursement for all money that you have spent as a result of the oil spill at your property.  This includes money spent on clean-up or remediation, hotel expenses if you could not reside in your home after the spill, dining out if you could not cook or eat at home following the spill, the replacement of clothes or cloth furniture that may have absorbed the odor of oil following the spill, and more.  If you had a spill and are reading this, you should immediately begin to assemble a list of expenses that you have incurred as a result of the spill.  We will work hard to get you reimbursed for all of those expenses, and if the reimbursement is not immediately offered by the oil discharger, then you may also be entitled to interest on top of the expense.

Protect Your Rights

In our experience, we have found that it is helpful to homeowners to get our team involved immediately.  The people that you typically speak to after a spill – employees of the oil company, employees of the remediation company, insurance agents, etc. – they all generally are working for the oil discharger, to mitigate the damage caused to their employer as a result of the oil spill on your property.  Let us work for you and protect you and your family or business.  They have trained professionals on their side, and you should have the same benefit.

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Facing a legal challenge and have a question? Contact us today and receive a free case evaluation from one of our experienced attorneys.

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