NJ Court Holds Public Trust Doctrine Trumps Exclusivity Element of Trespass Claim
Last month, the Atlantic County Superior Court issued its ruling in New Jersey Dep’t of Envtl. Prot., et al. v. Deull Fuel Co., et al., No. ATL-L-1839-18 (N.J. Super. Ct. Law Div. Aug. 8, 2019), denying a motion to dismiss the State of New Jersey’s common law trespass claim but granting the motion to limit plaintiffs’ remedy for public nuisance to abatement. The Deull Fuel case is one of the pending lawsuits in which the State is seeking to recover natural resource damages (“NRDs”) pursuant to its role as trustee of the state’s natural resources. NRDs compensate the state for injury to natural resources caused by a discharge of hazardous substances.