Washington Court Gives Property Sellers and Buyers Another Reason to Beware of Cleanup Liability

The Washington Court of Appeals has raised the stakes for parties involved with a real estate transaction where a heating oil underground storage tank may have been used on the property. As a result of the ruling, property buyers, sellers and even lenders should pay much closer attention to the risks associated with heating oil tanks than they had previously.

The 3-0 published decision in Grey v. Leach, issued on December 13, held that a former property owner who contributed to contamination, even when such contribution occurred without intent or negligence, is not an "innocent purchaser" protected from liability under the Washington Model Toxics Control Act ("MTCA"). The court also held that a release of heating oil from a residential tank is not a "domestic purpose." This case is the first time that an appellate level court in the state of Washington has interpreted either the "innocent purchaser" or "domestic purpose" defenses.

Please see full article below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

Published In: Environmental Updates, Finance & Banking Updates, Commercial Real Estate Updates, Residential Real Estate Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Lane Powell PC - Environmental Law Blog | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »