July 07, 2020 Articles

Remediation Life Cycle and Environmental Class Actions

Valuing properties in the assessment stage and repair stage presents challenges.

By Orell Anderson

Academic real estate journals are filled with pricing studies on the impact of hazardous waste and environmental contamination on real estate. But the majority of these studies focus on the impact of these environmental conditions once they are well established.

In contrast, professionals working in environmental litigation are often faced with estimating damages due to environmental contamination that is not yet fully characterized or that is in active remediation. Valuing properties in the assessment stage and repair stage presents challenges. An additional complication arises when plaintiffs attempt to certify a class comprised of such properties for an environmental class action lawsuit. A close examination of geography and relevant timelines is crucial for accurate estimates of property value diminution, if any.

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