Superstorm Sandy, which made landfall near Atlantic City, N.J. on October 29, 2012, brought virtually unprecedented destruction to a large swath of the northeastern United States including, in particular, coastal New Jersey, New York City and nearby Long Island. Hundreds if not thousands of structures, many of them private homes, were completely destroyed or substantially damaged, most by flooding and record storm surges, some by wind. Millions were left without electric power for days and in some cases for weeks. Businesses throughout the region and beyond were severely impacted, and more than 130 people were killed. Total losses, while still speculative, have been estimated to be in excess of $50 billion.
This whitepaper represents an overview of some of the legal issues that unquestionably will arise as a result of the storm, and is intended, among other things, to act as a guide for parties affected by the storm in addressing these issues at the present time, and also in the future. Although the nature and identity of the claims – and claimants – are seemingly endless, we concentrate herein on several different categories of damage claims that might be asserted by and against affected persons and businesses including building and structural claims, construction delay claims, toxic and environmental claims, and climate change/global warming-based claims.
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