Mar 15, 2017

Company That Settled CERCLA Liability in Bankruptcy Can Pursue Contribution Claim

Bankruptcy Law & Judicial Estoppel

In January, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit reversed a District Court’s ruling that a company that settled its CERCLA liability with the federal government in a bankruptcy proceeding was barred from seeking contribution against another PRP.  Instead, the 10th Circuit ruled in Asarco v. Noranda Mining, Inc., No. 16-4045 (10th Cir. 1/3/17), that Asarco is allowed to pursue a claim against another PRP for contribution for amounts Asarco overpaid in its settlement with EPA. Asarco filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2005.  In 2009, a global settlement agreement with EPA under which Asarco paid $1.79 billion… Read more

Jul 25, 2013


In 2005, the Georgia Legislature abolished joint and several liability in tort cases. Because those changes applied only to claims arising after their enactment, cases applying those changes in the law are only now reaching the Georgia appellate courts. The Georgia appellate courts are beginning to work through their ramifications. In District Owners Assoc., Inc. v. AMEC Environmental & Infrastructure, Inc., Case No. A13A0621 (decided July 8, 2013), the Georgia Court of Appeals addressed whether or not there exists a right of contribution among tortfeasors after the abolition of joint and several liability. The case was a premises liability claim… Read more

Apr 2, 2012

Eleventh Circuit Issues Important Decision on Remedies Available Under CERCLA

By Andy Thompson, In a March 6, 2012 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held that parties who enter into a consent decree with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) following an EPA enforcement action and then seek recovery of cleanup costs from other potentially responsible parties (PRPs) are limited to a contribution claim under § 113(f) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and may not simultaneously pursue a cost recovery action under § 107(a) of CERCLA. In the case of Solutia, Inc., et al. v. McWane, Inc., et al., the… Read more