When environmental and insurance coverage issues recently intersected to threaten our client’s efforts to create a group home for veterans, CMM was able to swiftly turn things around.

Our client, a property management company, was preparing a property for rent to Suffolk County for a veterans’ group home. The client hired a company to spread fill to level the property.  After the job was completed, our clients learned that the fill allegedly contained construction and demolition debris, which the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) sent notice was unacceptable. According to the DEC, the fill was also placed into an area adjacent to freshwater wetlands without a permit.

Our client submitted a claim with its errors and omissions insurance carrier, but was denied coverage because the consent order entered into with the DEC did not reference the client, only the property owner. Fred Eisenbud, chair of CMM’s Environmental & Land Use practice group, reviewed the policy and contacted the insurance carrier to argue for reversal of their coverage position based on his reading of the insurance contract.  In a victory for our client, less than a month later, the insurance carrier indeed reversed its coverage position and agreed to provide coverage to our client without reservation.

Eisenbud’s efforts have helped the client resume its work as cost efficiently and with as little distress as possible, allowing the renovation of the property to continue to ultimately serve as a home for veterans. CMM is grateful to have played a role in helping this critical work continue.