Purchaser Found “Contributing to” Contamination for Failing to Provide Access for Remedial Activities

Purchaser found contamination after closing and filed lawsuit under citizen suit provision of RCRA 7002 . Defendant brings counterclaim asserting that plaintiff is obstructing remediation by denying access. Court denies plaintiff motion to dismiss on grounds that its obstruction could be construed as active storage of wastes and allowing continued leaching of wastes. Therefore, plaintiff could be actively “contributing” to the hazardous waste condition. Carlson v Ameren Corp., 2011 U.S. Lexis 5997 (C.D.Ill. 1/21/11).

Once again, plaintiff is exposed to liability from counterclaims filed in response to a complaint. It is very important for plaintiffs to evaluate their potential defenses to liability and try to correct any deficiencies prior to filing lawsuit.

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