Subrogating and recovery of claim payments made as a result of environmental contamination and/or cleanup costs. This includes both common law and contractual subrogation as well as recovery rights under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA or Superfund), which provides for the statutory right of subrogation for insurers who issue Pollution Premises Liability policies. MWL’s lawyers have a great deal of experience in this area, including some with past experience as Superfund lawyers in other states.
Environmental subrogation cases are similar to property subrogation but have the additional baggage of being heavily involved with regulatory schemes that demand a heightened knowledge of this area of the law. The same immediate investigation, testing, inspections, and use of experts is required. But with environmental losses, management of the loss scene is especially critical. Experts must evaluate exposure risk to people as well as natural resources. Groundwater sampling, hydrological studies, interviewing key witnesses, and obtaining all regulatory compliance documents is an absolute necessity. Working with government regulators is about relationships.
This area of subrogation is steeped in applicable regulations and statutes. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA” or “Superfund”) gives the subrogated carrier a right of reimbursement from the owner or operator of a facility from which a hazardous substance has been released. Most states have similar statutes and regulations which allow similar opportunities, such as the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act, the New York Oil Spill Prevention, Control and Compensation Act, the Massachusetts Hazardous Material Release Prevention and Response Act and others. Instead of giving up on subrogation in smaller environmental losses because they might be cost-ineffective to pursue, MWL believes in utilizing all available favorable law and holding the feet of those accountable to the fire. We have a long list of environmental and natural resource experts, chemists, hydrologists, and hydraulics experts which we draw from in finding the right person to assist in these cases. Allow us to review your claim for subrogation potential.