Detroit, MI asked in Mergers & Acquisitions for Michigan

Q: If I bought a company last year and found out recently that the prior owner had left behind environmental contamination,

who is responsible for that? Our contract didn't address it.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth
  • Salem, MA
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Did the owner disclose the existence of the contamination issue? Was he aware of it? If you own the property you are responsible, but can seek reimbursement from the prior owner especially if he caused or was aware of the contamination. I would contact an attorney in your area who is familiar with environmental law and has a corporate partner if possible to review your agreements and to determine the extent to which you can seek indemnity from the prior owner.

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