Thursday, December 16, 2004

Hmm, so much for that CERCLA contribution claim

In Cooper Industries, Inc. v. Aviall Services, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court held that a party may not sue potentially responsible parties for contribution under the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) after the plaintiff has incurred cleanup costs but before the plaintiff itself has been sued for cleanup costs.

Does this mean it just doesn't pay to clean up before being sued, if there is someone else ought there who is also potentially responsible? There is some kind of chicken and egg problem here.

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