Tuesday, May 6, 2008

OSI, Inc. v. U.S.

May 5: In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, case No. 07-10941. As explained by the Appeals Court, OSI, Inc. (OSI) appealed, for the second time, the grant of summary judgment in favor of the Government on OSI’s claims relating to the Air Force’s use of certain land -- including, in part, land now owned by OSI -- as a landfill during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. OSI brought tort claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), claims of cost recovery under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), and a citizen suit under the Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA). The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the Government on all claims and the Appeals Court agreed and affirmed that decision.

The Appeals Court said, According to the Government, because there is an ongoing CERCLA remedial action taking place, CERCLA bars challenges (including a RCRA citizen suit) to the ongoing cleanup. Because we agree with the Government, we do not reach the merits of the summary judgment question. The Eleventh Circuit concluded, "The district court lacked jurisdiction to hear OSI’s RCRA citizen suit claim while the federal facility remedial action was ongoing. Because the remaining aspects of OSI’s appeal are without merit, the district court’s grant of summary judgment is affirmed."

Access the complete opinion (
click here).