CERCLA

Ct Grants Summary Judgment in Maryland Square Vapor Intrusion Case

We have been periodically posting updates on the progress of the landmark Voggenthaler v Maryland Square, LLC vapor intrusion case from Las Vegas, Nevada.  In the most recent ruling, the court granted the motion for summary judgment filed by the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection (NDEP) seeking cost recovery under CERCLA.  2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS …

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Environmental Saga Involves Successor Liability, Bankruptcy and Environmental Justice

The most recent decision in Flake v. Schrader-Bridgeport Int’l, Inc., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30372  (M.D. Tenn., Mar. 23, 2011) is just another chapter in this long-running environmental saga involving a successor liability, bankruptcy, toxic tort and environmental justice issues along with a piece of American automotive history. This well-traveled case began in a Tennessee county …

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Failure To Timely Report Release Raises Triable Issue Sufficient to Preclude Summary Judgment

Ameripride Services. v. Valley Indus. Services, 2011U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55634 (E.D.Ca. 5/12/11) discussed how delays or failure to comply with CERCLA reporting requirements may impact a claim for contribution or cost recovery. In this case, Texas Eastern Overseas, Inc (TEO) conducted industrial dry cleaning at a facility until 1983 when it sold the property to …

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Court Finds No Successor or Parent Liability For “Indirect” (Grandparent) Corporation

In Precision Brand Products. v. Downers Grove Sanitary District, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88009 (N.D. 8/811), the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (“IEPA”) detected TCE in private wells  serving a residential community adjacent to the Ellsworth Industrial Park (EIP) in Downers Grove, Ill in 2001. The federal EPA conducted an investigation and issued PRP notices. A …

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No Arranger Liability For Migration of Contaminated Groundwater

Hobart Corp v Waste Management of Ohio, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148224 (S.D.Ohio 2/10/11) is an obscure decision from 2011 but has some complaint drafting lessons. This case started off as a classic CERCLA contribution action for a landfill cleanup. The plaintiff entered into a settlement with EPA to perform an RI/FS and then decides …

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Acquisitions Bring CERCLA Liability to Banking Conglomerate

From a purely legal standpoint, the recent ruling In Tennessee v. Roane Holdings Ltd., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143703 (E.D.TN 12/14/11) was not unusual. The court ruled on a motion to dismiss that a party who had entered into an administrative order on consent could not bring a cost recovery action under CERCLA section 107 …

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11th Circuit Rules Parties To Consent Decree Limited to Contribution Claim

The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit joined the 2nd,3rd and 8th Circuits in holding that a PRP that incurs response costs pursuant to a consent decree may only recover its costs through a section 113(f) contribution action and may not bring a 107 cost recovery action. In Solutia v McWane, 2012 U.S.App. LEXIS …

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Owner Incurs $1MM On Cleanup But Ct Says No “Due Care”-Owner Waited Too Long to Act

The second our series of recent cases involving the due care element of the CERCLA third party defense is State of New York v Adamowicz, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102988 (E.D.N.Y. 9/13/11) where a property owner was unable to establish that it exercised due care despite spending over $1MM addressing environmental concerns at its site. …

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Reports of the Demise of CERCLA “Arranger” Liability Proving to Be Premature

In Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. United States, 129 S.Ct. 1870 (2009), the United States Supreme Court held that to establish that a defendant is a CERCLA “arranger” or generator under § 9607(a)(3), a plaintiff must  establish that the defendant intended to dispose hazardous substance. The court said that while an entity’s knowledge that a product …

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