The legal fight over accountability for a day-care center housed in a former mercury thermometer factory continues in New Jersey, with plenty of buck-passing and legal maneuvering by the owner of the property.
[social_buttons]The real estate broker, Jim Sullivan III, who bought the contaminated building and later rented it out as a day-care center says that he did not believe a cleanup was necessary. He also never informed the operators of the day care of its history.
Convenient for him, huh?
A class action lawsuit was brought against Sullivan by attorneys representing nearly 100 children who attended the Franklinville day care before it closed in July 2006. Testing revealed that it contained hazardous vapors, and beads of mercury were found in cracks of the floors and ceiling joists.
The first trial, scheduled for February 18, will focus on Sullivan’s defense that he and other family members do not legally own the building. They claim that the title should be voided due to discrepancies in paperwork, and said that the municipal and state Department of Environmental Protection did not properly notify them of the toxic condition of the building.
I say that’s a bunch of bullshit.
They owned the building enough to rent it out, didn’t they?
They knew it was a former mercury thermometer factory, didn’t they?
Sullivan says that his father set up Navillus Group General Partnership for him and his three siblings, and Navillus then bought the tax-sale certificate for the property. He also claims that the attorney who filled out the paperwork did not put the partnership name on the forms, but instead put Navillus LLC. Sullivan’s argument is that the LLC does not exist.
“I’m not sure how that all got confused. I’ve read in the litigation about all of the confusion of all of that. I don’t know the legal differences between the two [a partnership and a limited liability corporation].” – Sullivan
Wait a minute. A licensed real estate broker and appraiser does not know the difference between a partnership and an LLC?
The b.s. is getting deep…
Sullivan also said that he was given a copy of a 1996 “Mini Pollution Report.” In that report, prepared by the EPA, investigators said that droplets of mercury were found on the floor and detected on the walls.
Yet no further cleanup was done. Why?
The day care, Kiddie Kollege, was operated for over two years before being shut down. Five days a week, ten hours a day, kids were exposed to mercury, and now the owner wants to claim that he doesn’t really own it.
If this guy gets off with a slap on the wrist, it will be another victory for weasels disguised as attorneys and another loss for parents who trust the system.
I say let’s slip a little of that mercury into Jimmy-boy’s bed and claim we didn’t know it was toxic…