Media Articles

EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 8, 2007

Leak fills Salem basement with 50 gallons of oil

"They said it was 50 gallons and a leak in the oil tank, but in actuality it was 250 gallons plus that spilled in the basement and 50 plus gallons spilled out the vent and down the foundation of her home. In actuality, the driver overpressurized and exploded the homeowners oil tank."

Read entire article and "You Decide!"

By Cyra Master , Staff Writer

SALEM - The state Department of Environmental Services is investigating an oil leak that spewed 50 gallons of heating oil into the basement of 21 Martin Ave. Tuesday morning.

The Salem Fire Department responded to the home at 10:26 a.m. when notified of the leak, Capt. Joe Kamal said.

A split in the 275-gallon oil tank may have been responsible for the spill, which occurred during a delivery of No. 2 heating oil from Haffner's Service Stations Inc., Kamal said.

About 50 gallons of the fuel, which is combustible but has low flammability, flowed into the finished basement, damaging the floor and part of the ceiling, causing "extensive damage," Kamal said.

One person was home at the time and was examined by paramedics, but did not need medical treatment. Haffner's has contracted two companies to conduct the cleanup, which will take a few days, Kamal said.

DES was notified of the accident and will follow the cleanup to ensure that the water supply is safe and no environmental damage is caused.

Haffner's began pumping out the oil Tuesday afternoon and set up a temporary fuel tank to keep the home heated. The residents will not be able to stay in the home for a few days, Kamal said.

Link to Original Article in Lawrence Eagle Tribune




EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

May 27, 2007

Oil spill leaves family fuming - and in hotel

Cyra Master

SALEM, N.H. — Fallen white reindeer scatter the lawn of 21 Martin Ave., reminders of the winter holiday long passed.

Michael Demers jokes the reindeer succumbed to fumes from an oil spill that contaminated the basement of his mother's home in February.

But in general, nearly four months later, Demers is struggling to find humor in a situation he says has been handled poorly by the companies involved.

Demers charges that he and his mother were exposed to hazardous vapors from the oil spill, that the property has been contaminated and its value is in jeopardy. Because of his complaints, the oil company responsible for the spill terminated the contract, he said.

As soon as the weather warmed up, he said, Suzanne Demers received a letter from E. Haffner Fournier of Haffner's Service Stations Inc., asking her to find another oil provider.

The letter alleges that a "serious flaw in the heating oil tank and associated piping" was partially to blame for the spill.

"The letter really ticked me off. It fumed me," said Michael Demers, who with his mother has been living in an extended-stay hotel since the spill, paying their own way once the insurance money ran out.

Fournier wrote that in trying to save Demers the expense of fixing the problem, "the inevitable happened and your tank ruptured."

When reached by phone, Fournier would not comment on the letter and referred questions about the cleanup to his insurance company.

The spill occurred Feb. 6, when a driver from Haffner's was filling the oil tank in the Demers' finished basement.

According to the Salem Fire Department report, the tank appeared to have been overfilled.

Bill Evans, a representative from the state Department of Environmental Services, said residential oil spills are very common and make up most of the calls his office deals with each year.

One of Demers' major concerns was the lingering odor from the No. 2 fuel oil. The oil can cause skin and eye irritation, dizziness, nausea, and overexposure can cause respiratory tract infection and damage to internal organs, research has shown.

A test in early March conducted by Enpro Services Inc., an environmental service company hired by Haffner's, showed the levels of hazardous gas compounds did not exceed 2 parts per million in the basement.

But Demers continued to complain about the odor, saying it made both him and his mother feel dizzy and nauseated. Demers asked visitors who noticed the odor to write letters documenting it.

On March 21, Sy Mahfuz of Persian Rug Galleries wrote that he was "uncomfortable with the strong odor of oil and could not stay in the basement for very long because of the smell."

Salem Health Officer Brian Lockard wrote a similar letter, but cautioned Demers that his inspection was cursory.

After making several complaints about the smell, Demers said, he asked Enpro and his insurance company both to test the air quality at the end of April.

Elevated gas compound levels of between 22 ppm and 142 ppm were found along the basement wall in that test. Safe limits set by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health for many of those compounds is 100 ppm.

These results led to further testing, which revealed that a small amount of oil had seeped into the groundwater beneath the basement.

Demers has battled with Enpro and the insurance company overseeing the project for Haffner's, challenging test results and plans of action.

But a representative from Ambrose Environmental Management Inc. said the time line for residential spills varies site by site.

"This one's had a wrinkle," said Tom Wigglesworth, a field services representative for Ambrose, before declining to comment further.

Another representative from Ambrose reached by phone would not comment.

Demers said he thinks the cleanup has been treated as an insurance issue, instead of an environmental one. He fears the value of the property will decrease because future buyers must be informed of the spill.

"(They) said from the start, 'We'll get you back to normal,' and they've given us a song and dance and it's four months later, " Demers said last week while Enpro workers pumped a peroxide solution into the soil under the basement.

Demers and his mother will likely be staying in the hotel for a few more weeks as they await the results of groundwater and soil tests.

"I'm doing this for my mom, looking out for her best interest," Demers said. "Her property has zero value. We just want our house back to normal like we were promised."


Link to Original Article in Lawrence Eagle Tribune




EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

December 26, 2007

Cleanup from heating oil spill drags on nearly one year later

By Gordon Fraser , Staff writer

SALEM - Nearly a year after a home heating oil spill at the home of Michael Demers, the house still reeks of petroleum, and several environmental officials said it might stay that way.

"I've never had (a cleanup) that's gone on this long, where the individuals have been displaced this long," said Bill Evans, an oil spill expert with the state Department of Environmental Services.

Workers from Haffner's Oil spilled the No. 2 fuel oil on Feb. 6. And although the cause of the spill is under dispute - a Fire Department report said the tank was overfilled, while the company said a "serious flaw in the heating tank and associated piping" caused the spill - the oil company's insurance has been paying for the environmental cleanup.

But state regulators don't require the company to return the property to its original condition. They only require the company to get pollutants to a level within state limits.

That means the house might still smell strongly of fuel oil when the cleanup is finished. As long as air quality reports show the pollutants are within state guidelines, there's nothing regulators can do, Evans said.

"Aesthetically, there may be odors that are noxious, or at least not aesthetically pleasing," he said.

That has Demers - who lived in the 21 Martin Ave. home with his mother, Suzanne Demers - worried that the cleanup will stop after the next round of test results.

"I'm saying there's still an odor in here," he said.

The environmental company hired to do the cleanup acknowledges the property won't be restored to its original condition.

"Our goal, again, is to achieve the state standards," said Geoff Brown, vice president of Enpro Environmental Services, the cleanup company.

And Brown's company is on the verge of meeting that standard.

"I think we're getting very close," he said. "But again, what we will rely on are the results (of tests last week)."

Demers is furious because he and his mother - who have been living in an extended-stay hotel in Andover, Mass., for more than 320 days - have already become sick from the fumes, he said.

He spends time in the house watching cleanup crews, and his mother has visited the house as well, he said.

Demers now said he wishes Haffner's had bought his $320,000 home outright when the spill first happened. By now, he said, Haffner's insurance company has likely paid more than the home's value for the cleanup and for housing the Demerses in a hotel.

An attempt to reach the insurance company - Acadia Insurance of Westbrook, Maine - was unsuccessful. And Brown, of Enpro, said he didn't know how much the project had cost.

But Demers wants cleanup crews to replace the foundation walls in his home and excavate large areas of contaminated dirt and groundwater. The basement has a concrete floor, but fuel oil seeped into the joints between the floor and the walls, contaminating the soil underneath, Brown said.

Demers wants the land restored to its original condition.

That isn't going to happen unless Demers sues Haffner's and wins, said Evans, of the Department of Environmental Services.

It's also an approach Evans said he wouldn't recommend, because it could irreparably damage the house itself.

Although, he said, "I can understand Mike's frustration, because it normally doesn't take this long."

"It just seems to me that the insurance company is doing the best they can with the situation," said Haffner Fournier, who owns Haffner's.

Link to Original Article in Lawrence Eagle Tribune




EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

April 20, 2008

Salem house still uninhabitable 14 months after oil spill

By Gordon Fraser

SALEM — More than 14 months after a home heating oil spill left the home of Suzanne Demers uninhabitable, she and her son, Michael Demers, are still out of the house.

Now, Michael Demers is calling for the insurance company paying for the cleanup to give him and his mother a new house.

"Either take it down and rebuild or offer something that would be comparable," said Michael Demers in a telephone interview last week.

But it isn't clear whether Acadia Insurance, which is paying for the cleanup, would even consider buying the Demers' home at 21 Martin Ave., especially after it spent thousands of dollars trying to clean up the oil spill.

The house is valued at $333,900, according to Salem's database of home values, run by Vision Appraisal Technology.

"We have a policy of not commenting on individual claims," said Kay Whitmore, spokeswoman for Acadia. "Obviously, it's a claim that has to be thoroughly investigated. We have to follow our process here."

A worker from Haffner's Oil spilled No. 2 fuel oil at the Demers home on Feb. 6, 2007.

And although the cause of the spill is under dispute — a Fire Department report said the tank was overfilled, while the company said a "serious flaw in the heating tank and associated piping" caused the spill — the oil company's insurance has been paying for the environmental cleanup.

Bill Evans of the state Department of Environmental Services said he has never seen a home heating oil spill take so long to deal with. Evans has been overseeing the cleanup process since the spill.

"Back a number of years ago, the longest I had was somebody was out of the house six months," Evans said.

The state oil specialist added that the cleanup company, Enpro Environmental Services, has conducted its work "piecemeal," which likely slowed the process down.

"They seem to have managed the site kind of piecemeal," Evans said. "So, at one point, they would excavate one area and at another point they would excavate another spot."

Geoff Brown, the Enpro engineer handling the cleanup, could not be reached last week. But in an earlier interview he said the company was committed to finishing the cleanup as soon as possible.

"Our goal, again, is to achieve the state standards," he said in December.

Evans said the cleanup might be resolved after the latest round of testing is reported at the end of April. That will show levels of contamination in the air and water.

But Michael Demers said he won't be satisfied, even if the cleanup is officially declared complete.

The house's foundation has settled because of soil excavations, a frozen water pipe burst in February and caused water damage, the house was robbed once in November and the whole place still smells of heating oil, Demers said.

"The bottom line is, our property is totally depreciated," he said.

Michael Demers said his mother finished paying off the house shortly after last year's oil spill. And while both want to keep the house, Demers said, he just wants to get the situation resolved as soon as possible.

The soil below the house meets state health standards right now, Evans said. But the water quality reports have shown naphthalene contamination, which over time can cause cataracts and lung inflammation, according to the federal Environmental Protection Agency's Web site addressing the chemical.

Evans said the naphthalene levels are low, but still violate state standards for healthy water. The Demers' house gets its water from the town of Salem, though, and no drinking water well has been contaminated, Evans said.

The levels of air contamination are still unclear, but Evans said the air could meet state health standards and still smell like heating oil.

As for Demers, he said he will likely take the issue to court.

"We're going to, probably, seek legal avenues," Demers said. "Our whole lives have been nothing but devastated."


Link to Original Article in Lawrence Eagle Tribune




EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

August 4, 2009

Family moves back to oil spill site

By Jarret Bencks

More than two years after an accident filling an oil tank covered their basement with oil, the Demerses finally moved back to their property at 21 Martin Ave. yesterday. But they still haven't moved back into the house.

A tractor-trailer delivered a 70-foot mobile home for the family to live in, ending a 28-month extended stay at a hotel in Andover, Mass.

Michael Demers, 41, and his mother, Suzanne, 63, have been unable to live at the residence after the basement floor of the ranch-style home was covered with more than 230 gallons of heating oil when a routine tank fill-up went wrong on Feb. 6, 2007.

An arduous remediation ensued. The oil was cleaned up by Enpro, a contractor hired by Acadia, the insurance company for the fuel provider, Haffner's Oil. Enpro also did some excavation, followed by private contractors hired by Demers finding more work to be done.

Although the state Department of Environmental Services declared in July that the house could be lived in again, Demers claims he can still smell the odor of oil and doesn't want to move back in. The foundation is cracking because of the extensive excavation work done in the basement, he said.

"They may have satisfied the state of New Hampshire, but they are far from satisfying our family," Demers said.

Who is at fault for the spill has been a point of dispute. Haffner's has claimed the accident was a result of improperly installed piping at the house, while Demers claims a Haffner's serviceman overfilled the tank.

Demers said he wants a new home built, but hasn't been successful in negotiating with Acadia. The house is valued at $320,000, according to Vision Appraisal Services.

Staying in a hotel for more than two years cost thousands of dollars, he said.

Haffner's Oil and the Department of Environmental Services did not return calls seeking comment yesterday.

Demers said he believes there is a flaw in the way the state tests oil remediation sites and suspects other people in New Hampshire have had similar problems.

"There's a problem here and I'm sure I'm not the only one," he said.


Link to Original Article in Lawrence Eagle Tribune




EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

September 30, 2011

Family waits for trial over fuel contamination

By Doug Ireland

direland@eagletribune.com

BRENTWOOD — Nearly five years after an oil spill forced a Salem family from their home, their negligence case against Haffner's fuel company is finally going to trial.

Opening arguments are to start soon after being postponed yesterday afternoon. Lawyers for Haffner's and Suzanne and Michael Demers waited outside the courtroom for nearly two hours before learning another trial would delay their case.

Attorneys were told the trial would start this morning at 9, but it has been rescheduled. The jury was chosen Monday, and the trial is expected to last several days.

Michael Demers and his mother, Suzanne, claim the Lawrence-based firm is responsible for the more than 230 gallons of heating oil that covered their basement floor at 21 Martin Ave. The Demerses say their oil tank was overfilled, while Haffner's claims the accident in February 2007 occurred because of a faulty tank and piping.

Haffner's insurance company, Acadia Insurance, spent thousands of dollars to clean up the oil. Two years ago, the state Department of Environmental Services said the pair could return home, but they claim it is still unlivable and seek damages from the company.

"It's been a heartbreaking experience," Suzanne Demers said.

For 28 months, the Demerses lived in an Andover hotel before moving into a 70-foot mobile home trucked to their property. They have lived there ever since.

The oil was cleaned up by a contractor, Enpro, which also excavated the property. Contractors hired by the Demerses then found more work was needed. Michael Demers has said the house still reeks of oil and he wants a new one.

The extensive excavation cracked the foundation, he said.

In 2008, the property was assessed at more than $330,000, but has dropped to $191,300, according to Vision Appraisal Services.

The home is only assessed at $55,000.

Bill Evans of the state Department of Environmental Services has said water quality reports have shown naphthalene contamination. The chemical can cause cataracts and lung inflammation over time, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The naphthalene levels were low, but still violated state standards for healthy water, Evans said.

Although representatives for Haffner's have commented little on the case, Michael Demers has been outspoken in his demands the company pay for the cleanup — and give him and his mother a new home.

Demers and supporters of the family have protested on numerous occasions outside Haffner's Lawrence office.

Yesterday, he and his mother sat outside the courtroom waiting for the trial to start. He declined to comment on the case, saying it could jeopardize the trial.

Shortly after the Demerses and the attorneys entered the courtroom, they learned the trial had been postponed.



Comments for the Article

(Click on links to article to add your own comments or to "like" existing comments)


Link to Original Article in Lawrence Eagle Tribune

  • Classic case of the big company vs the little guy. If Haffner's could make these people wait another 5 years they would happily do it instead of doing the right thing and make good on their mistake. It is common for oil companies to blame their customers for oil spills- what else can they do, pay for their mistakes? Haffner's is a second rate oil company that boasts cheap oil- well that is not the only thing that is cheap- they will cheap out on your repairs if they mess your house up too. Profits are huge for Haffner's and I hope this trial gives them a black eye- they deserve it.






EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 13, 2011

Fuel company found not liable for spill

By Doug Ireland

direland@eagletribune.com

BRENTWOOD — A jury found Haffner's fuel company is not liable for hundreds of thousands of dollars in contamination to a Salem home damaged by an oil spill in 2007.

The weeklong trial in Rockingham Superior Court ended with Haffner's being cleared of negligence in the civil lawsuit filed by Michael and Suzanne Demers of 21 Martin Ave.

Michael Demers said yesterday he was still in shock after jurors, who deliberated less than hour, came back with the verdict Tuesday afternoon. "We proved our case above and beyond the evidence," he said. "It's a great injustice."

Haffner's office manager Peggy Willett said the company is relieved the legal battle has ended.

"We are simply glad it's all over with," she said. "We're just happy with the way it turned out."

Demers and his mother claimed the Lawrence-based company was responsible for more than 230 gallons of heating oil that covered their basement floor.

The Demerses said their oil tank had been overfilled; Haffner's claimed the incident in February 2007 occurred because of a faulty tank and piping.

For 28 months, the Demerses lived in an Andover hotel before moving into a 70-foot mobile home placed on their property.

Michael Demers said he doesn't know what he and his mother will do next.

They are out of money and the home still reeks of oil. There is also extensive mold, he said.

"Something went wrong and my mother is the victim here," Demers said.

"The only other alternative is my mother is going to have to file for bankruptcy."

Filing an appeal is unlikely because they can't afford another legal fight, Demers said

He said he's even considering contacting the producer of the television show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" to see if there is interest in repairing his home.

He's also looking for help from contractors or anyone else willing to make the home livable again.

The state Department of Environmental Services ordered Haffner's to pay for the cleanup.

The company spent about $400,000, Haffner's attorney Gary Burt said.

The lawsuit also was brought against Haffner's insurance company, Acadia Insurance, and two firms involved in the cleanup, Ambrose Environmental and Enpro Services.

Representatives for the three companies testified during the trial, as did the Haffner's employee who delivered the oil, Burt said.

An environmental expert testified for the Demerses.

The Demerses sought approximately $225,000 for damage to their property and $160,000 in additional living expenses.

DES officials said the pair could return home two years ago, but Demers disagrees. Excavation done to remove the contamination cracked the foundation, he said.

In 2008, the property was assessed at more than $330,000, but has since dropped to $191,300, according to Vision Appraisal Services. The home is assessed at $55,000.

Link to Original Article in Lawrence Eagle Tribune Part 1

Comments for the Article

(Click on links to article to add your own comments or to "like" existing comments)

  • what happened to the $214,000 you got from your own ins co? this is above and beyond the $400,000 paid by haffners ins com.

  • heyseussmcgodModerator10/14/2011 02:55 AM

    Haffners, really bad publicity, i wont buy your gas!

  • Mr. Demers here is the application link for Extreme Makeover.

    http://a.abc.com/media/primeti...

    Lets all nominate this family they have been through enough. We can argue all day about who did what and who is to blame but this family needs a new home so nominate them today!

  • We could use any and all the help we can right now. We live at 21 Martin Ave. in Salem and it would be most appreciated. We have a mold specialist coming tomorrow.

  • I am curious, and forgive me if I have some of the details wrong. Haffners delivered the oil and admitted the error. Their insurance company paid for the clean up (which is why we buy insurance - to cover our buns). If the people that cleaned up the spill didn't do it properly, shouldn't you sue them? Was the verdict in favor of Haffners because of that reason?

    I feel for you and your mom. It sounds like a bad situation. It also seems to me that your mom was not looking for a "free ride", but just compensation for her legit losses. But it seems to me that Haffners admitted wrong and then paid for the repair (via insurance). If the repair was wrong that is not Haffners fault and can't be held liable for that.

    Your thoughts are appreciated.

  • 230 gallons seems about right if no oil entered the tank, but if they overfilled the tank then that would mean that they poured over 400 gallons of oil and didn't realize it??? I don't know, seems a bit off.

    If Haffners was the regular maintenance company and regular maintenance was actually being performed, I could see where they'd be liable, but if the maintenance wasn't being done, then that's on the homeowner.

  • Was it faulty piping that caused the leakage? Did the homeowner regularly have the system and piping inspected? Are there records of this regular maintenance? Its easy to go after the big pockets to fix a problem but if there was not any preventative maintenance performed then I would place the blame squarely on the homeowner. Hey Haffners won and still lost $400K so nobody really won in the end. except the attorneys.

  • preventative maintenance was haffners responsibility, a young irresponsible tank filler was busy on his cell phone and did not realize the issue until it was too late.

  • There was no faulty piping. The integrity of the system was fine. The fill pipe was in the front of the home's breezeway and the vent pipe was in the back of the same breezeway. The Demers would always leave windows open on each side of the breezeway each and every time Haffner's delivered oil to the property. Haffner's had made 50 or more deliveries to the home with this exact set up over a 10+ year period. They also had it written on every delivery ticket that printed out for this home (presumably for the benefit of any deliveryman who may have not delivered to the home before) that this was the set up. It is the responsibility of the oil delivery person (and not the homeowner) to make sure he/she can hear the vent pipe before they pump oil (with its associated contaminants) into a customer's home. Haffner's did not lose anything. The cleanup was paid for by Haffner's insurer, Acadia Insurance Company. Whethr they paid $50,000 or $400,000 is not the issue...the issue is whether the cleanup was performed up to reasonable standards.

  • Correct, unfortunately State Standards are poor at best in the NH. If this was Mass this case would have had a whole different outcome. I have actually been in the house a few months ago. The oil smell is overwhelming. I guarantee that if any of the commenters on this site went in the house, they would come out saying there is NO way I could live here. With clean up costs and legal fees I bet close to one million was spent, They could have got out for 250 to 500 and got them a new house, that is all they wanted. Sometimes outcomes can be tragic, but the extreme makeover idea is great if anyone deserves it is Mrs. Demers!!!
    Sean

  • It's not so simple. The cleanup company only has the legal obligation to get the property back up to NH Department of Environmental standards. Under NH law, Haffner's, as the statutorily responsible party, had to pay for the cleanup (funded by Haffner's insurer). This is ordered by the state and the homeowner has no say in the process of who comes in to perform the cleanup. The "cleanup" is only up to so called "state standards" and those standards vary from state to state. Under negligence law (as opposed to standards imposed under the cleanup statute in New Hampshire), the tortfeasor (here, Haffner's, who overfilled and overpressurized the oil tank) is obligated to return the plaintiffs (Demers) to the position they were in prior to any oil contaminating their property. This is virtually impossible because not all the contaminants will ever be removed from the property (which is typically the case in any appreciable residential oil spill). Nonetheless, Haffner's should be obligated (under straightforward tort based negligence law) to return this family as close as possible to where they were before the spill. The south foundation cinder block wall of this home (which was impacted from both the outside through the vent pipe and the inside due to its proximity to the overpressurized oil tank) sustained significant oil impact and the Demers felt (supported by expert evidence) that this wall should have been replaced. In short, while the cleanup contractors ultimately reached state standards (albeit quite slowly), it was the Demers' theory that Haffner's should still be held liable, based on common law negligence principles, to remove and replace the heavily impacted south foundation wall...again, a tortfeasor (Haffner's) in a negligence action is responsible for returning the innocent party to the same position he/she was in prior to the negligent event...if you can't remove all the oil from the home, the question becomes should you at least have to get them as close as possible to where they were (oil free) by removing and replacing a heavily impacted foundation cinder block wall. The cleanup company is not legally obligated to return the family to where they were pre-spill, but only has an obligation to the state to bring the property up to so called "state standards." Haffner's, on the other hand, has a greater obligation under traditional tort based negligence principles, to return the Demers (at the very least) to a position as close as possible to where they were pre-spill.

  • How sad. The same thing happend (different company) to a family member and the oil company paid in full to repair the tank and floor and for hazmat etc to come and clear it. While I do not know the details of the case, it is still sad that this company didnt help its customers. (the other company did not pay to relocate as they stayed with family members and it was all fixed in less then 3 months).

  • HAFFNER'S was ordered by the State of New Hampshire to clean up this site. DES lists HAFFNER'S as [RESPONSIBLE PARTY] Not the DEMERS'. HAFFNER'S Insurance Company ACADIA Insurance Company-- hired [ENPRO Services Inc]. and [AMBROSE Environmental Management Inc.] to clean up this site and it took them 14 MONTHS to acheive minimum State Standards... [ Which means there is still oil below the homes foundation and there is still oil in the block wall foundation omitting into the home and we live on wetlands ] ENPRO and AMBROSE attempted to move us in this home 22 DAYS after the oil spill that Haffner's caused and there was over 50 tons of contaminated soil below Mom's foundation and we complained of strong vapors in the home that were making us sick. and they did not find the contamination and remove it for over a year after the spill and allowed it to enter the ground water. They displaced us from our home for an extended period and expected us to move in when the home still reeks of oil. In the court case against HAFFNER'S, ACADIA, ENPRO, AMBROSE, we had experts testify that ENPRO and AMBROSE were neglegent... and did not properly characterize the site and our opinion that they botched the clean up from the get go 14 months to clean up an oil spill!!. It is my opinion that they had no defense other than to Character assassinate us throughout the trial. 4 lawyers against 1. We did in fact prove our case clear and convincingly above the perponderance of the evidence the jury in our opionion paid no attention to the overwelming evidence presented at trial and did not do their duty...SHAME ON YOU!!....My Mom is the VICTIM of this tragedy and the companies involved will have to look in the mirror each day knowing that they screw over my Mom...They may have won their battle in court but the war is not over... I will set up a WEB-SITE so that our supporter's will be able to view and look at the documented evidence, video of the clean up in this case and judge for themselves what an in justice that has occured here [ please look for it it will be set up early next week]... On behalf of my Mom and the Demers family we would like to thank from the bottom of our hearts our Attorney [ who recieved no compansation and put his heart and soul fighting for us] all the readers and supporters and friends that have followed this story and stood by us for nearly five years...God Bless You!!
    Michael Demers

  • Haffner's installed our heating and air conditioning system in our home and delivered oil to us for over 12 years prior to the spill. Clearly, they knew of our piping at our home it was written on the delivery ticket. The environmental cleaning companies AMBROSE and ENPRO our expert testified did not remediate or characterize and assess the site from the get go the spill properly and the NHDES said publicly [in prior articles]that they peicemealed the site causing the delayed clean up. [which was the longest residential home heating oil clean up in the Stae of New Hampshire... It is our opinion they taking a bad situation and making it worse and if they would have aggressively remediated the site it could have been completed in a much shorter period of time. and we would not of been out of our home so long running out of money. Thank you for your concern... The JURY we believe did not pay attention to the facts of this case...we just wanted our home back in the condition it was before the spill...These facts will be available soon on a web site.
    Mike

  • HAFFNER'S was ordered by the State of New Hampshire to clean up this site. DES lists HAFFNER'S as [RESPONSIBLE PARTY] Not the DEMERS'. HAFFNER'S Insurance Company ACADIA Insurance Company-- hired [ENPRO Services Inc]. and [AMBROSE Environmental Management Inc.] to clean up this site and it took them 14 MONTHS to acheive minimum State Standards... [ Which means there is still oil below the homes foundation and there is still oil in the block wall foundation omitting into the home and we live on wetlands ] ENPRO and AMBROSE attempted to move us in this home 22 DAYS after the oil spill that Haffner's caused and there was over 50 tons of contaminated soil below Mom's foundation and we complained of strong vapors in the home that were making us sick. and they did not find the contamination and remove it for over a year after the spill and allowed it to enter the ground water. They displaced us from our home for an extended period and expected us to move in when the home still reeks of oil. In the court case against HAFFNER'S, ACADIA, ENPRO, AMBROSE, we had experts testify that ENPRO and AMBROSE were neglegent... and did not properly characterize the site and our opinion that they botched the clean up from the get go 14 months to clean up an oil spill!!. It is my opinion that they had no defense other than to Character assassinate us throughout the trial. 4 lawyers against 1. We did in fact prove our case clear and convincingly above the perponderance of the evidence the jury in our opionion paid no attention to the overwelming evidence presented at trial and did not do their duty...SHAME ON YOU!!....My Mom is the VICTIM of this tragedy and the companies involved will have to look in the mirror each day knowing that they screw over my Mom...They may have won their battle in court but the war is not over... I will set up a WEB-SITE so that our supporter's will be able to view and look at the documented evidence, video of the clean up in this case and judge for themselves what an in justice that has occured here [ please look for it it will be set up early next week]... On behalf of my Mom and the Demers family we would like to thank from the bottom of our hearts our Attorney [ who recieved no compansation and put his heart and soul fighting for us] all the readers and supporters and friends that have followed this story and stood by us for nearly five years...God Bless You!!
    Michael Demers

  • If your oil tanks are inside the house then the delivery person does not enter your house. They connect the hose to the filler line and next to it is a whistler line. The air rushes out of the tank through the whistler line makes a noise and when the tank is full the noise stops. If you say "Fill my tank" then they run it until it stops whistling. If your lines are broken or the tank is not properly sealed then the delivery person has no idea what is happening inside the house. That is how the oil has always been dilivered and it is up to the home owner to have the tank checked out when they get the yearly furnace checkup which includes changing the in line filter from the oil tank. Again it is the problem of the home owner to keep it repaired and in full working order. I have dual 250 gallon tanks and check and inspect it fully every year.

  • Don't know much about filling tanks so please bear with me. What if the tank filling operator is to preoccupied with something else so as not to notice the whistling? Does the hose have an auto shutoff or is it entirely up to the tank filler?
    Thanks

  • The Haffner's driver that delivered the oil the day of the spill, it was his first day on the job. He went outside while the oil was filling up came back in and the whistle had already went off! He admitted it was his fault so ur facts are irrelevant for this situation...

  • This was not someone trying to get a free ride! This woman raised four children as a single mother and worked her whole life to support them. She bought and paid for her own house. The house still wreaked of oil after the cleanup. The insurance company stopped paying living expenses, now she has nowhere to live and will probably have to bankrupt. I don't know where these jurors learned their sense of justice. In my opinion, they were wrong.

  • Your facts are incorrect,nice bad mouthing someone when you are too stupid to recant. For your ignorant comments ,i hope the same 4 you!

  • Hey spinner, I'm 44 and I was working prior and during this tragedy you need to get the facts straight boozo we told the absolute truth at trial. Perhaps you should not comment on facts you are clearly not aware of...and maybe your not the type to fight for your mom.Get a life.

  • This woman worked her whole life to support four children and finally was able to buy and own her own home. The house wreaked of oil after the supposed cleanup and the insurance company stopped paying living expenses. This is a travesty of justice. I don't know where the jurors learned their sense of justice, but they got this one wrong. No one trying to get a free ride here.
    MB

  • Again the only ones who wins are the attorneys.

  • Only Haffners attys, Bottom line they shelled out way more than what was needed to solve the issue. Seriously......They put in between 300 and 400 hundred thousand to fix a house worth maybe 150-200. That is @#$% stupid!!! Could have bought them a new home in a diffrent location for considerably less.
    Sean

  • Smell the house and I guarantee you will change you theory along with the other 6 other people that liked your comment. It may be hard for some people to believe but some law suits are actually viable

  • I say the jurors did the right thing. you had to be there and hear both sides. the home owners lied about what happened and tried to scam some cash.

  • Go to the house, smell the oil, mold, see the cracks in the foundation. Now it is only appraising at 55,000. Even you, ...who clearly has an ax to grind will have ZERO rebuttal.
    Sean

  • Spinner, you still commenting why don't you read all the prior articles on this case and become better informed. The clean up contractors [ENPRO]took 14 months to clean up this site...to a minimum State Standards [ which means there is oil in the soil] They continuously lied to us ... We were told over and over by ENPRO and AMBROSE that the site was cleaned and they just kepted finding more contamination... Why is that? They are supposed to be the proffesionals...Right? The state of New Hampshire issued a "SITE INVESTIGATION" nearly a year after the spill occured... You say we tried to scam some cash. That's absurd...we simply wanted our home back the way it was...and our opinion is that AMBROSE and ENPRO caused the delay... Were you one of the jurors in this case?

  • Mr. Demers, you will always have people hoping against you. Just get up in the morning and hold your head up high and fight the good fight. You can appeal, and the home makeover petition would be a great idea. This has to have dropped all the home values in that general area.
    Sean

  • you kinow maybe you should get a job becaues I know for a fact that you have not worked in 7 years. .. YOU tried to scam the system and it did not work for you so go cry to somebody else and stop lying you got your time in court so give it up.

    LOSER!

  • Scam the system........The house is #$#$#!!!! Uninhabitable thanks to NH's antiquated enviro laws. Again you want to deviate from the facts and grind the ax with Mr. Demers. Take your dislike for Mr. Demers out of the equation and just think about his mother who has worked hard her whole life and never ever filed a suit before.

  • No shame on them for lying about what happened. it was cleaned up.. you do not know both sidesof the story. for once justice prevails and they do not get 1 million dollars.. that is what they were really going for.. !

  • 1 million really is fair considering that atty costs and attempting to repair the house cost that much. For the people who say it is cleaned up. I will offer 1,000 dollars to all the big mouths that say it is cleaned up to live there for just one short month. ANY TAKERS. Make sure you have health insurance.

  • OK........SERIOUSLY FOR ALL THE TOUGH FOLKS THAT CONTINUE TO SAY THE HOUSE IS LIVEABLE, AND THE SUIT WAS JUST A BIG FARCE TO MAKE $$$$. I DON'T SEE ANY OF YOU TAKING MY OFFER, SO I WILL RAISE IT TO $2000 CASH TO LIVE THERE FOR 1 MONTH. "GUEST" SINCE IT IS SO CLEAN YOU SHOULD BE ALL OVER THIS OFFER.
    Sean Brown

  • You are clearly the son of Haffner's! You did not clean up the oil spill to meet state standards! You halfassed the job! All u care about is money ur company is heartless and selfish and for that you will get urs one day karma isn't pretty GOOD LUCK IN LIFE! u are scum :)

  • You are right! Ashley...the Guest commenting must be David Fournier vice president of Haffner's. I say"Impeach David"...I vote Richard for President he would of made sure mom's home got fixed right away a long time ago I just know he would...He seems like a nice guy...I like Rich!

  • I feel so bad for her ... Suzanne Demers is a victim. How can a company spill so much oil and not know it? All she wanted was to get her home back the way it was before the oil was delivered/spilled.

    Why should anyone have to settle for minimum standards, especially if there are still harmful fumes that could make her sick?? Her home should have been restored to the condition it was or better prior to the oil spill.

    I can't believe Haffners insurance spent almost $400K on this accident. Hind-sight being 20-20 they should have done the right thing and rebuilt her house. It would have been a win-win for both parties and Haffner's would have came out of top as a company that does the right thing even when it is not popular.

    If that's the way Haffner's does business and takes care of their customers then I would seriously look at using another company. Buyer beware ... it will happen again. Hopefully your Mom won't be the next victim.

  • ACADIA INSURANCE COMPANY INC.
    BEDFORD,NH
    HIRED CONTRACTORS ENPRO AND AMBROSE
    [ACADIA] MONITORED THE CLEAN UP AT THIS HOME... THAT TOOK 14MOS. TO CLEAN TO A MINUMUN STATE STANDARD?? [WHICH MEANS THERE IS OIL IN THE SOIL]... THE LENGTHY CLEAN UP ALLOWED IT TO ENTER THE GROUND WATER!!...WE LIVE ON WETLANDS!!... AND ACADIA PAID $400,000... MORE THAN WHAT THE HOUSE WAS WORTH?? [AMBROSE WAS PAID $71,000 AND ENPRO WAS PAID MORE THAN $300.000]
    BOOOooo!!!

  • AMBROSE ENVIRONMENAL MANAGEMENT INC. DANVERS, MA.
    "MANAGED THIS LENGTHY CLEAN UP" AND WOULD REPORT BACK TO [ACADIA]
    THE LENGTHY CLEAN UP ALLOWED IT TO ENTER THE GROUND WATER...WE LIVE ON WETLANDS!!AND THERE IS A STREAM APPROXIMATELY 25FT FROM THE SPILL!!!... AMBROSE WAS PAID $71,000
    BOOOooo!!!

  • ENPRO SERVICES INC.
    NEWBURYPORT, MA.
    "CONDUCTED THIS LENGTHY CLEAN UP" AND WOULD REPORT BACK TO [AMBROSE] WHO WOULD REPORT BACK TO [ACADIA]
    THE LENGTHY CLEAN UP ALLOWED IT TO ENTER THE GROUND WATER...WE LIVE ON WETLANDS!!AND THERE IS A STREAM APPROXIMATELY 25FT FROM THE SPILL!!!... [ENPRO WAS AT THIS SITE 135 TIMES???.] AND WAS PAID MORE THAN $300,000 NEARLY THE VALUE OF THE HOME!!!

    * A web site will be available soon so that the viewers and supporters can see for themselves and JUDGE FOR THEM SELVES THE DOCUMENTS AND PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE PRESENTED AT TRIAL...ALSO Including ACTUAL VIDEO TAPE that was taken during the course of this "LENGTHY CLEAN UP"
    BOOOooo!!! SHAME ON YOU CLEANUP CREW!!!

  • Will the real delivery driver...PLEASE STAND UP!!...PLEASE STAND UP!!...Only you can make it right!!

    (Edited by author 8 months ago)

  • I came to the home within an hour after the spill.
    Driver Didn't you say at trial the spill outside the home was the size of a PIZZA BOX? [ in case you did not know they excavated 18 tons of contaminated soil outside the home!!] Didn't you say YOU DID NOT REMEMBER HOW MUCH SPILLED in the basement? IT COVERED MORE THAN HALF OF THE FLOOR!! [The jury was shown a picture of you cleaning up floor several hours after most of the 200 galllon+ oil had been mopped up] Were there 5 DELIVERY TICKETS MISSING out of the book? WE NEVER RECIEVED THE DELIVERY TICKET THAT DAY? You said in prior [removed] comment you seen tattoo on Gerald Troisi [The only one home when the spill occured] How did you see a spider web tattoo in the dead of winter? He does not have a spider web tattoo!! Now who's the real DONKEY? Court case is over but the TRUTH will come out!! At trial, it is our opinion that we proved that Haffner's had underestimated the actual amount of oil spilled on the property!!!

  • HAFFNER'S was ordered by the State of New Hampshire to clean up this site. DES lists HAFFNER'S as [RESPONSIBLE PARTY] Not the DEMERS'. HAFFNER'S Insurance Company ACADIA Insurance Company-- hired [ENPRO Services Inc]. and [AMBROSE Environmental Management Inc.] to clean up this site and it took them 14 MONTHS to acheive minimum State Standards... [ Which means there is still oil below the homes foundation and there is still oil in the block wall foundation that was heavily impacted and still omitting petroleum vapors into the home ] We live on wet lands and every time the water table rises the oil in the soil rises with it!!! Haffner's installed our heating and air conditioning system in our home and delivered oil to us for over 12 years prior to the spill. Clearly, they knew of our piping at our home as it was written on the delivery ticket. IT IS OUR OPINION The JURY DID NOT PAY ATTENTION TO THE FACTS OF THIS CASE AND THE OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE THAT WAS PRESENTED AT TRIAL!!!...NULIFICATION BY THE JURY!!! We just wanted our home back in the condition it was before the spill...IT IS A GREAT INJUSTICE!!
    Haffner's did not lose anything. The cleanup was paid for by Haffner's insurer, Acadia Insurance Company
    HAFFNER'S DOUBLE BOOOooo!!!TO YOU!!!

  • Was it faulty piping that caused the leakage? Did the homeowner regularly have the system and piping inspected? Are there records of this regular maintenance? Its easy to go after the big pockets to fix a problem but if there was not any preventative maintenance performed then I would place the blame squarely on the homeowner. Hey Haffners won and still lost $400K so nobody really won in the end. except the attorneys.

  • $400,000 for cleanup. When this happens the offending company is supposed to raze the house and give the people a new one because of this type of stink. I hope everyone that uses Haffner's can see how nasty they really are. This decision is very suspicious and it sounds like legal malpractice to me. Did the jury visit the home and smell the oil? Did the Demerses spill all that oil or did Haffner's? Disgusting! Spend $300,000 and just get the victims a new house.



Link to Original Article in Lawrence Eagle Tribune Part 2


Union Leader Articles







"New Hampshire Eagle Tribune - July 5th 2013

"New Hampshire Eagle Tribune - June 4th 2013

"New Hampshire Eagle Tribune - November 12th 2012

"Salem Patch - October 19th 2012

"New Hampshire Eagle Tribune - September 25th 2012"