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Pellettieri Rabstein & Altman Assists in $20 Million Dollar Settlement from Ciba Geigy for Tom River Residents

Pellettieri, Rabstein & Altman, in conjunction with the Law Offices of Keith, Bartels, recently settled a claim valued at approximately $20 million dollars, involving the release of industrial chemicals and compounds from the Ciba Geigy facility in Toms River. The result was a contamination of neighboring land, including that of approximately 700 homes.

Over the course of 10 years of investigation and litigation, the two firms were able to establish that this contaminated release caused substantial property damage and decreased property values, as reflected in the substantial settlement.

We were proud of the effort, creativity and energy put forth by both offices to finally bring this lengthy litigation to a successful conclusion. The homeowners in the properties involved had lived with the cloud of this chemical release for many years. In order to bring this matter to a head, "class representatives” were selected so that representative stories as to what had happened to those in the area, could be presented to the Court.

It took the collaborative effort of both lawyers and staff, putting together the necessary information that led to this financial resolution, reflecting the damage caused to the property owners in the area. The investment in time and funds created an enormous risk for the attorneys involved, as they went through the lengthy process of investigation, gathering of information, pursuit of witnesses and consultation with experts to develop the clear picture needed to convince both the defense and the Court of the need and rightness of a settlement valued at $20 million. 

Art Penn, Esq. from our office worked tirelessly, creatively and forcefully with attorneys from the office of Keith, Bartels. Their joint effort was one of total cooperation and absence of ego, as the two firms pressed the battle until its recent conclusion and final approval of settlement before the Court in Middlesex County on June 11, 2011.   

Without the intensity of this effort and the years of work behind it, the damage to these property owners would have gone unrecognized and uncompensated.

                                                      Andrew M. Rockman, Esq.

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