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

Aug 18, 2014

Sixth Circuit Holds That Settling PRPs at Superfund Sites Are Limited to Contribution Claims Against Other PRPs

The interplay of two remedies for recovery by Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) of their cleanup costs at contaminated sites has been a lively topic of debate ever since Congress added Section 113(f) in 1986, clarifying the right of parties held jointly and severally liable for cleanup costs to seek recovery of a share of those costs from other PRPs who had not contributed toward cleanup. In 2007, the Supreme Court in United States v. Atlantic Research Corp. held that both Section 113 contribution claims and the pre-existing remedy under Section 107 for cost recovery were available to PRPs, depending on… Read more