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Churches Sued for Damages to a Neighboring Property

Landowners may face liability if their actions result in environmental damage to neighboring properties.


Key point. A church should understand three things about liability for environmental damages to a neighboring property: (1) such damages often are excluded from coverage under conventional liability insurance policies; (2) churches should not acquire property by purchase or gift without conducting an environmental site assessment; (3) churches might be protected by satisfying certain requirements under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act.

A Connecticut appeals court ruled that two churches jointly owning property could be responsible for environmental damage they caused to a neighboring property due to a leaking fuel tank.


A man (the plaintiff) purchased residential property in 2004. In preparation for his purchase, he hired a home inspection company to perform an inspection. The inspector noted that there was minor oil seepage from an oil tank ...

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  • June 14, 2021

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