Case Study – Subrogation Support / Tank Spill

File Issues

  • The driver of a transport truck stopped for lunch at a service centre (400 series highway). He was unaware that one saddle tank was leaking diesel fuel.
  • An emergency response contractor responded, preventing the flow of diesel before it migrated off the pavement.
  • The operator of the service centre called in a consultant who confirmed that there were likely no impacts under the pavement and took three soil samples at the edge of the pavement close to where the fuel was migrating.
  • Analyses of the soil samples had some petroleum hydrocarbons in one of the three samples. The consultant excavated the soils at the side of the pavement, he contended that lube or hydraulic oil may have leaked instead of diesel.
  • The operator of the service centre attempted to recover costs from the insurer of the truck.
Pario’s Assignment
  • On behalf of the insurer of the trucking firm, Pario was to confirm (after the fact) that the impacts were from the alleged release (or not).
  • To comment on the approach and associated costs of the remediation.
  • Pario’s Methodology
  • Pario reviewed the initial investigation and costs of the consultant.
  • Pario reviewed the cost of the cleanup.
  • Pario interviewed the emergency response contractor, examined the repair bill for the tractor, and examined the site air photos, the laboratory results and the chromatographs.

File Outcome

  • Pario commented that the initial investigation and costs of the consultant were reasonable.
  • The consultant had mobilized the wrong equipment to conduct the cleanup; therefore, there was a second visit and Pario commented that the cost of the remediation was higher than it should have been.
  • The eye-witness accounts confirmed it was the diesel tank that leaked and that the impacts did not migrate off the side of the pavement.
  • The chromatograph for the one sample with petroleum hydrocarbons were clearly not diesel fuel but asphalt and possibly some old oil. The consultant was aware of the results in the one sample but suggested that lube oil or hydraulic oil may have leaked and proceeded with the cleanup.
  • The area where the samples were taken was immediately adjacent to asphalt pavement and in a location where all the surface run-off from the parking area was directed.
  • The repair invoice for the tractor clearly indicated that the saddle tank was the only repair to the vehicle.
  • The result – the settlement was for the consultant’s initial investigation which was considered reasonable; however, all other costs including remediation costs and subsequent consulting costs were not paid out by the trucking company’s insurer. End-of-story; a significant savings was  by our insured as a result of Pario’s involvement in this file.