Exasperated Couple says "NY Legal System has Failed Us" After 8 Years
LIDO BEACH, N.Y., March 5, 2013
LIDO BEACH, N.Y., March 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- After eight years of living with the foul stench of heating oil in the crawl space of their home, and after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees seeking justice, Lynn Eskenazi and Steve Kritzberg are still waiting at the courthouse door to have their lives, home and peace of mind restored.
And even though all involved parties signed a stipulation agreement a year ago, the insurance companies are still engaging in delaying tactics to avoid making payments. (Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Nassau, Index No: 017248/06, Stipulation and Order of Partial Settlement, February 13, 2012, Judge F. Dana Winslow.)
In October 2005, Lynn and Steve affirmed that the oil collecting in the crawl space of their home was coming from the property of their neighbors, Robert and Debra Mackoul, immediately to the east.
From the time the oil was discovered in 2005, several soil boring tests have established there was no trace of oil on the west side of the Eskenazi/Kritzberg residence, only on the east side where it was migrating west from the Mackoul's property.
"Test after test by our environmental consultants, and by insurance testers, the New York State DEC, have confirmed that the oil is flowing through the ground water from east to west to our home," says Eskenazi. "Tests also have proven that the oil leak did not originate from our tank, which is on the west side of our house. New York State Navigation law makes it very clear that we are entitled to have our home and property restored to its original pre-spill condition, a remedy confirmed by earlier court hearings. But the legal system has failed us. After eight years, we are still being denied getting our property cleaned up, which state law and the courts have said we are entitled to."
To finance their legal battle against two insurance companies, Lynn & Steve used all their savings and their boys' college funds. Furthermore, the legal battle has cost Lynn's parent's $625,000 from their retirement funds and an additional $500,000 + is still owed to her lawyers and environmental consultants. To top it off, they lost two cars to hurricane Sandy.
During times of heavy rains, the stench of fuel oil is so strong that Lynn, Steve and their children are sometimes forced to vacate their home and move in with family until their home becomes habitable again.
"You can see why Steve and I are so exasperated," says Eskenazi, "The courts have agreed our lives should be restored but seem incapable of making that agreement happen. If the courts cannot bring about final resolution, hopefully the Governor and/or Legislature can take action to end our eight years of horror. The legal system has failed us."
The next hearing is Thursday, March 7, 2013 @ 9am. Justice Winslow's Courtroom Nassau County Supreme Court, 4th Floor 100 Supreme Court Drive Mineola, NY 11501 (516) 493-3400