MONTGOMERY, ALA. (March 20, 2009) – On March 19, 2009, Beasley Allen attorneys filed suit in the Circuit Court of Tuscaloosa County, Ala., on behalf of plaintiff Susan Turner for damages to her property, incurred as a result of a leaking underground storage tank. Defendants include Chatham Oil Company, Inc.; and Alabama Underground and Aboveground Storage Tank Trust Fund.

The lawsuit alleges an underground storage tank located at Speedmart Fuel Center at 3850 University Boulevard East, Tuscaloosa, Ala., owned by Chatham Oil Company, Inc., incurred a leak, releasing gasoline and related products, contaminating the soil and groundwater on the property. In August 2007, Mrs. Turner noticed a strong odor of gasoline on her property, also located on University Boulevard East, and saw gasoline sheen on surface water on her property.

After testing by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), it was determined that gasoline has contaminated the Plaintiff’s soil, surface water and groundwater. Soil samples also indicate the presence of hazardous materials such as Benzene, Ethyl Benzene, Xylene and MTBE, in quantities that exceed the allowable Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL).

The lawsuit alleges the Defendants had a duty to ensure petroleum products stored in the underground storage tanks were secure, and had a duty to adequately install, monitor, inspect, test, evaluate, assess, repair and maintain the UST, which they failed to do. Defendants are charged with negligence, wantonness, trespass, nuisance and strict liability. Turner is represented by Beasley Allen attorneys Alyce S. Robertson, Rhon E. Jones, and Christopher D. Boutwell.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there are about 625,000 underground storage tanks nationwide that store petroleum or other hazardous substances. According to EPA regulations, it is the responsibility of an owner or operator of an underground storage tank system to take immediate action to stop the release of petroleum or other hazardous substances from the UST and to ensure there is no threat to the safety of people located in the area of the release.

Studies indicate that one gallon of petroleum can contaminate one million gallons of water, and that one pin-prick size hole in an UST can leak 400 gallons of fuel per year. Gasoline, leaking from service stations, is one of the most common sources of groundwater pollution.

For more information, visit

Filed Complaint – UST .pdf

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