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Monday, March 13, 2017

GREG AND RENEE MATEJEK VS. MARTHA AND GUY WATSON, ET AL. A-4683-14T1

GREG AND RENEE MATEJEK VS. MARTHA AND GUY WATSON, ET AL.
A-4683-14T1
In this action, one condominium unit owner sued neighboring unit owners, seeking their participation in an investigation of the site for the purpose of removing the cloud on title imposed by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's open file, which was initiated years earlier when oil was found in a nearby brook. At the conclusion of a bench trial, the judge granted the relief sought by plaintiffs, and one of the neighboring owners appealed, arguing the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act limited plaintiffs' private cause of action to a claim for contribution that required proof of defendants' actual discharge of contamination. The court agreed with the trial judge that an equitable remedy was appropriate -- and not precluded by the Spill Act -- and affirmed the judgment that compelled all the impacted property owners to initially share the cost of an investigation, subject to adjustment by later litigation if necessary.