Schnitzer West: Indemnity and Cleanup of Hazardous Substance
In 1996, after the Seattle Commons initiative was rejected by the voters, many pieces of property which had been assembled for the proposed park were resold for development. One of those parcels was purchased by our client, who intended to develop it as part of the corporate campus for a major on-line retailer. However, the property had a historic legacy of contamination from its prior use as a wood waste facility and gas station.
After negotiations with the seller of the property broke down, we were asked to enforce the indemnity which our clients obtained guaranteeing that the property would be cleaned up. This litigation involved assessing the contamination, defending the cleanup which was undertaken by our clients, and then prosecuting a cost-recovery action to recover those cleanup costs from the seller. After bringing a successful summary judgment motion focusing the case on the cleanup issues, the case was settled and the client obtained indemnification from the seller and recovery of its cleanup costs.