Businesses

Effective Advocacy for Businesses

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Moakley Federal Courthouse, Boston, MA.

When American Fiber & Finishing, Inc., discovered subsurface oil contamination at its western Massachusetts property, it was confronted with the legal responsibility for a costly cleanup. AF&F pursued an action in Federal District Court of Massachusetts against the company from which it had purchased the property five years before. AF&F alleged that the oil spill was from subsurface oil tanks that had been installed, used, and decommissioned by the seller before AF&F owned the property.

After the District Court dismissed all of AF&F’s claims, AF&F retained Martin Levin to work on the appeal. On careful examination of the record, Mr. Levin observed what he considered to be a fatal flaw in the District Court’s exercise of jurisdiction over the case. The First Circuit Court of Appeals agreed that the District Court lacked the authority to decide the case, and directed that the judgment be vacated.

Mr. Levin re-filed the case in Massachusetts state court. He defeated the defendant’s effort to have the case dismissed there. After extensive discovery and motions practice, Mr. Levin negotiated a settlement in which the defendant agreed to substantially share in the multi-million dollar cost of cleaning up the contamination.