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Seattle Brownfield: Cost Recovery and Insurance

Marten Law represented the former owner of property in Seattle, Washington contaminated by multiple commercial and residential underground oil storage tanks. The former property owner partially remediated the site and then sold it for urban redevelopment. Marten Law was engaged to pursue a cost recovery action against a major oil company that formerly owned and operated a service station on the site for almost five decades.

We filed suit, conducted discovery, and successfully negotiated a settlement with the oil company that recovered almost all of the former property owner’s $1 million remedial action and litigation costs. While developing the property as multi-unit condominiums, a subsequent owner incurred costs remediating residual soil contamination on the site and made cost recovery claims against our client. Marten Law defended the former property owner against the developer’s claims and also identified several applicable insurance policies, against which we filed claims for our client. We successfully settled both the developer’s claims against our client and our client’s claims against their insurers. The insurance recovery fully covered the former property owner’s settlement with the developer.

When we completed our work on the matter the client had recovered almost all of its remedial action, litigation, and settlement costs.