From the outside, Lynn Eskenazi and Steven Kritzberg have a beautiful home in Lido Beach. However, it’s what’s lurking in the crawl space underneath that’s anything but pretty – heating oil. An estimated 1,000 gallons of oil leaked from their next door neighbor’s tank.
Their neighbors’ tank was removed in 2006. Ever since then, for 8 years, Lynn and Steve have been trying to get their next door neighbor’s insurance companies to pay for the cleanup. Engineers say the home has to be demolished, the soil cleaned out and then the house rebuilt.
But Hanover Insurance and One Beacon Insurance have filed appeal after appeal. Lynn, a photographer, and Steve , a plumber, have spent more than $1.3 million to pay for lawyers and environmental experts, even wiping out their son’s college funds.
“We have spent all our money, my parents have helped us,” said Eskenazi, “they spent their entire retirement fund, and they have no more money.”
“We’re really in trouble, we want to end this, we want to get on with our lives,” said Kritzberg.
In 2006, Hanover Insurance signed an agreement saying it would clean the couple’s property to a maximum of 300 thousand dollars. They money never came, but what did come were years of court dates and appeals.
A year ago, all sides agreed to settle. Both insurance companies signed on the dotted line , agreeing to pay for the demolition of the couple’s home, the remediation and the rebuilding. A judge ordered the work to be done, but still nothing happened.
A spokesman for Hanover Insurance says they’re continuing to work through the claim process with Eskenazi family. A spokesman for One Beacon said they can’t comment on current litigation.