Baker Botts Earns Dismissal of New Jersey Natural Resource Damages Case for Clients Hexcel Corp. and Fine Organics Corp.
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 24, 2022 – On August 19, 2022, Baker Botts attorneys secured dismissal of New Jersey’s suit against clients Hexcel Corporation and Fine Organics Corporation for natural resource damages (“NRD”) claims.
The state brought suit against Hexcel and FOC in April 2022 to recover alleged damages to groundwater associated with the companies’ former chemical manufacturing facility in Lodi, New Jersey. New Jersey asserted five claims against the companies, including under the state Spill Act, the Water Pollution Control Act, and common law.
Hexcel and Fine Organics moved to dismiss all five claims based on multiple independent bases, including that both companies previously resolved their liability for NRD to the state related to the Lodi facility as part of a 2013 settlement resolving the state’s claims associated with the Newark Bay Complex and the Diamond Alkali Superfund Site. Baker Botts partner Martha Thomsen argued the motion on August 18 before Judge Rachelle L. Harz, who agreed that the 2013 settlement encompassed groundwater claims related to the Lodi facility. Judge Harz issued an order dismissing the entire suit on August 19.
The case is New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection et al. v. Hexcel Corporation, et al., No. BER-L-1864-22, in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Bergen County Vicinage. The Baker Botts team includes partners Joshua Frank, Martha Thomsen, Alex Dunn, and associates Jen Golinsky Baseman and Linn Bumpers from the Environmental, Safety and Incident Response Section in Washington, D.C., and partner Rich Harper from the Litigation Department in New York.
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