Company Favorably Settles Case: Allegations of Causing Ground Water Contamination

The Issue
Certain residents had filed suit against a company that had begun industrial operations in the vicinity of their homes.  Those residents claimed that the operations had caused gas to contaminate their water supply.  The company did not believe their operation was causing the infiltration, but needed the facts to prove it.

The Challenge
The company’s legal team needed research to prove that the area’s ground water had preexisting gas seeping up from the ground and the gas was not entering the ground water supply as a result of the company’s operations.

Keys to the Investigation
Acting resourcefully, the CSI team obtained critical information and furnished it in the most effective and useful way for the legal case.  CSI launched a thorough, multi-faceted investigation that included its in-house counsel, who was involved in interviewing long-time residents and creating basic affidavits that would help create a factual record for court. 

The team began with detailed background research, accessing various regulatory agencies’ available public records using the open records laws available in that jurisdiction.  The team interviewed property owners in the area, conducted property searches at the courthouse and through online databases available to licensed private investigators and law enforcement, reviewed real estate histories and searched for previous civil and criminal lawsuits related to properties.

After finalizing affidavits, a notary travelled with the investigator to authenticate signatures so that the affidavits created by the legal team could be used by the defense team at summary judgment.  This process conveyed to plaintiff’s counsel that not only was the defense prepared to go to battle, defendant’s exposure to liability was not nearly as high as initially thought. 

The Result
This comprehensive investigation brought to light a history of gas infiltration in the water supply long before the inception of the company’s industrial activities.  As the plaintiffs’ cases unraveled, they were pleased to settle for an amount of money that was much more reasonable than what might otherwise have been.