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7th Circuit: Marathon owes more for abandoned locations

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Owners who leased properties in Michigan and Indiana that were used as Marathon gas stations – some of which were neglected, abandoned and condemned while Marathon leased them – will be paid more than the $269,000 a District judge in Fort Wayne awarded.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opened the door for a greater judgment against Marathon for claims that began with its environmental cleanup of underground gas storage tanks at fewer than a dozen locations where it did business. Contract terms called for Marathon to remove underground tanks and return the properties as near as possible to their prior condition.

But Circuit Judge Richard Posner wrote for the panel that locations in Adrian and Michigan Center, Mich., were abandoned and ordered condemned while Marathon was still paying the lease. District Judge Theresa Springmann of the Northern District of Indiana wrongly denied double damages permitted under Michigan law governing the doctrine of waste and erred in dismissing other claims, the panel ruled.

The “contract and waste claims concerning these buildings should not
have been dismissed,” Posner wrote for the panel in Bitler Investment Venture II, LLC, et al. v. Marathon Petroleum Company LP, et al., 12-3722.

“So the judgment awarding damages for waste regarding the four Michigan properties is vacated with directions to the district court to double those damages,” Posner wrote, which would result in an award of $538,000. “(T)he dismissal of the contract and waste claims relating to the buildings on the properties in Adrian and Michigan Center is reversed and that aspect of the case is remanded for trial.”
 
The plaintiffs argued Marathon’s breach of lease and committing waste on the properties were guided by anti-competitive motives. Plaintiffs sought damages in excess of $9 million in litigation that also included a commercial property in Angola, Ind.


 

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  1. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  2. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  3. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  4. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

  5. Dear Fan, let me help you correct the title to your post. "ACLU is [Left] most of the time" will render it accurate. Just google it if you doubt that I am, err, "right" about this: "By the mid-1930s, Roger Nash Baldwin had carved out a well-established reputation as America’s foremost civil libertarian. He was, at the same time, one of the nation’s leading figures in left-of-center circles. Founder and long time director of the American Civil Liberties Union, Baldwin was a firm Popular Fronter who believed that forces on the left side of the political spectrum should unite to ward off the threat posed by right-wing aggressors and to advance progressive causes. Baldwin’s expansive civil liberties perspective, coupled with his determined belief in the need for sweeping socioeconomic change, sometimes resulted in contradictory and controversial pronouncements. That made him something of a lightning rod for those who painted the ACLU with a red brush." http://www.harvardsquarelibrary.org/biographies/roger-baldwin-2/ "[George Soros underwrites the ACLU' which It supports open borders, has rushed to the defense of suspected terrorists and their abettors, and appointed former New Left terrorist Bernardine Dohrn to its Advisory Board." http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=1237 "The creation of non-profit law firms ushered in an era of progressive public interest firms modeled after already established like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People ("NAACP") and the American Civil Liberties Union ("ACLU") to advance progressive causes from the environmental protection to consumer advocacy." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cause_lawyering

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