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February 2018

Hartford Partner Cullen Guilmartin Obtains Defense Judgment After Trial On Behalf of a Soil Remediation Contractor

Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani Hartford Partner Cullen Guilmartin obtained a defense judgment after trial for the firm's client, a soil remediation contractor, in Connecticut Superior Court.

The plaintiff, the head of the bank and finance practice group at Latham & Watkins, alleged that the defendant, a licensed environmental professional, did not properly oversee or document the removal of an underground storage tank located on a property the plaintiff purchased. The plaintiff further alleged that more than 100 tons of soil had to be removed after he demolished the existing foundation and that the defendant did not adequately disclose the remaining contamination in its remediation report. 

Gordon & Rees's Guilmartin argued that the defendant did not owe the plaintiff a duty of care and that the defendant did not breach any cognizable standard of care as the underground tank was removed in accordance with Connecticut DEEP Guidance which allows contamination to remain under a building’s foundation.  Moreover, Guilmartin proffered that the report referenced the remaining contamination, but that the plaintiff, who was not qualified to interpret the report, simply misread it. Guilmartin, along with Senior Counsel Keane Aures, presented the defense during a two-day bench trial before Judge Dubay in Hartford Superior Court.  After post-trial briefs, Judge Dubay, in a short six-page written decision, rendered judgment in favor of Gordon & Rees's client, holding that the defendant did not breach any standard of care and that the plaintiff misread the defendant’s remediation report.

The Hartford team would like to thank Kimberly Blake of the San Diego office for referring the case.

Cullen W. Guilmartin



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