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Showing 107 posts in Contamination.

Stanford University can proceed with its lawsuit against HP Inc. and Agilent Technologies, Inc., the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled on September 19, 2022, holding that because certain soil contamination was a “continuous” or abatable nuisance or trespass, Stanford’s nuisance and trespass claims were not time barred and could continue.  Accordingly, the court denied HP and Agilent’s motion for summary judgment on Stanford’s nuisance and trespass claims. Bd. of Trs. of the Leland Stanford Junior Univ. v. Agilent Techs., Inc., No. 18-cv-01199 (N.D. Ca. Sept. 19, 2022). Read More »

The post was authored by summer associate Nik Hansen.

The State of Delaware brought claims against former PCB manufacturer Monsanto Company for the environmental contamination caused by PCB products in Delaware waterways. On July 11, 2022, in State of Delaware v. Monsanto Co., C.A. No. N21C-09-179, the Delaware Superior Court found that the State failed to state valid claims for public nuisance, trespass, and unjust enrichment against Monsanto. In its three-part holding, the Court held that product-related public nuisance claims are not cognizable in the state of Delaware, that the State does not have standing to bring trespass claims against resources it holds in public trust, and that unjust enrichment cannot be brought as a stand-alone claim in the superior court. Read More »

On May 18, 2022 in York et al. v. Northrop Grumman Corp. Guidance and Electronics Co. Inc. et al., No. 21-cv-03251 (W.D. Mo.), a Missouri federal court dismissed Plaintiffs’ complaint alleging negligence, nuisance and trespass from alleged groundwater contamination, finding the claims were preempted by an existing consent decree. Read More »

On April 21, 2022, in Tomas Vera et al. v. Middlesex Water Co. (MID-L-6306-21, Superior Court of New Jersey, Middlesex County), a New Jersey Superior Court judge granted plaintiffs’ motion for certification in a case stemming from PFAS contamination of the county’s water supply.  Defendant Middlesex Water Co. (“Middlesex”) sent notices to customers on October 22, 2021 and November 8, 2021 advising that testing showed levels of Perfluorooctanoic Acid (“PFOA”) of 36.1 parts per trillion, well above the 14 parts per trillion maximum contaminant level (“MCL”) standard set by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“NJDEP”).  The notices further advised of health concerns potentially associated with PFOA, recommended that customers with “specific health concerns, a severely compromised immune system, have an infant, are pregnant or are elderly” seek advice from a health care provider, and recommended installing a home water filter to reduce levels of PFOA in the tap water or use bottled water for drinking, cooking, or preparing beverages for infants. Read More »

There are surprisingly few cases addressing whether, for an entity to be liable as an arranger under CERCLA, it must have known that the disposed substance was dangerous or hazardous. On March 10, 2022, in City of Las Cruces and Dona Ana County v. The Lofts at Alameda, LLC, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico became the third federal district court to answer this question directly.

Two local government entities sued American Linen for cost recovery and contribution, alleging its decades-long operation of dry cleaning facilities caused them to incur costs to remediate a plume of contaminated groundwater. Specifically, the plaintiffs asserted that American Linen instructed its employees to dispose of PCE-laden wastes off site and that it contracted with a truck hauler to transport these wastes to a dump site three miles away. American Linen moved to dismiss, arguing principally that at the time of disposal, it did not know the wastes were hazardous substances. Read More »

In Borough of Edgewater v. Waterside Construction, LLC, et al., 2022 WL 557903 (D.N.J. Feb. 24, 2004), Plaintiff Borough of Edgewater (“Edgewater”) brought Spill Act claims relating to PCB contaminated material which was used as fill in a public park project.  At issue was whether Arconic, as a prior owner of the property from which the fill was obtained, was “in any way” responsible for contamination resulting from use of the fill at another property.  The Court held that, because Arconic had no control over the property, and hence the fill, at the time of its subsequent use, it was not liable to the Borough under the Spill Act. Read More »

On Tuesday, February 8, 2022, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the Southern District of Alabama’s dismissal of admiralty claims against the United States for oil-removal damages holding first that Oil Pollution Act of 1990’s (“OPA”), 33 U.S.C.S. § 2701 et. seq., does not authorize a claim against the federal government, and second, the OPA’s comprehensive remedial scheme displaced the Government’s sovereign immunity waiver in the Suits in Admiralty Act of 1920 (“SAA”). See Savage Servs. Corp. v. United States, Slip Op. No. 21-10745 (11th Cir. Feb. 8, 2022). Read More »

Rejecting federal officer removal and federal question removal theories, the Fourth Circuit affirmed the District of West Virginia’s remand of a state tort suit against the remediators of an EPA-permitted Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) site.  W.V. St. Univ. Bd. of Govs. v. Dow Chem. Co. et al., No. 20-1712, __ F.4th __, 2022 WL 90242 (Jan. 10, 2022). Read More »

What happens when a property owner agrees with a regulator and a prior owner/operator to accept a commercial-level clean-up with institutional controls, but before the remediation is complete and the deed restriction recorded, a new owner takes title and insists on a clean-up to residential standards? Under New Jersey’s Industrial Site Remediation Act (ISRA), who wins? The remediating party, ruled the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, on December 7, 2021, in an unpublished decision captioned Cozzoli Machine Company v. Crown Real Estate Holdings, Inc., No. A-1733-19. Read More »

On November 17, 2021, the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed a decision of the lower court that the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company (PRIDCO) was prima facie liable under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), 42 U.S.C. § 9601 et seq., that it could not avail itself of the contiguous property owner defense, and that the selected response action was not arbitrary or capricious.  The decision is particularly noteworthy in that the only identified contamination was in the groundwater under PRIDCO’s property, with no evidence that the source of the contamination was any activity on PRIDCO’s property.  Nevertheless, the Court held that because the movement of groundwater constitute a continuous “release,” CERCLA liability attached. Read More »