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Showing 3 posts in Indiana.

On August 22, 2019, the Seventh Circuit held that a plaintiff had sufficiently settled its cleanup liability under a settlement agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the State of Indiana, which triggered the plaintiff’s right to bring a contribution claim, but that the statute of limitations on the plaintiff’s contribution claim had run. See Refined Metals Corp. v. NL Industries Inc., No. 1-17-cv-2565 (S.D. Ind. Aug. 22, 2019). Read More »

One of the finest lines that environmental attorneys walk is in protecting communications between counsel and a retained environmental consultant from disclosure in litigation.  In a recent case out of the Northern District of Indiana, Valley Forge Ins. Co. v. Hartford Iron & Metal, Inc., No. 1:14-cv-00006 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 14, 2017), the Court found that communications between counsel and consultants retained by the counsel  were not protected by the attorney-client privilege, in large part because the consultants also performed remedial work.  However, as the work was done "in anticipation of litigation" with, among others, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) and EPA, substantive communications were protected by the attorney work product doctrine.   Read More »

A little creativity goes a long way and cash-strapped municipal entities need all the creativity they can get. But it doesn’t always put money in your pocket. And such was the result in Emergency Services Billing Corporation, Inc. v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 11-2381 (7th Cir. Feb. 2, 2011) which upheld a trial court’s determination that automobiles owned and used for personal purposes are not “facilities” under CERCLA and hence drivers (and their insurance carriers) are not liable for “response costs” incurred in responding to motor vehicle accidents. And thus the Volunteer Fire Department of Westville, Indiana, cannot recoup the amounts it spent in responding to the four separate, unrelated auto accidents that were the subject of the collection efforts. Read More »