Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Supreme Court Denies Hearing Solutia Inc. v. McWane, Inc. Appeal

Oct 9: The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal by Solutia Inc. in the case decided by the Eleventh Circuit in March of this year [See WIMS 3/7/12]. In the Appeals Court case Plaintiffs-Appellants Solutia, Inc. and Pharmacia Corporation (Solutia & Pharmacia) appealed the District Court's grant of summary judgment against their claims under § 107(a) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).
    The appeal was a matter of first impression involving whether parties subject to a consent decree may file claims for cost recovery under § 107(a) of CERCLA, or whether their remedies are limited to filing claims for contribution under § 113(f) of CERCLA. The Appeals Court notes that, as the Magistrate Judge noted in his thorough ruling granting summary judgment, "[t]his case is complex, in terms of its underlying facts, its litigation history, and the legal issues it presents." The Appeals Court ruled, ". . .Solutia & Pharmacia limited their arguments to the content of the Partial Consent Decree, and the definition of the Anniston Lead Site contained therein. They never actually argued prior to the grant of summary judgment, as they do now, that they 'voluntarily incurred costs unrelated to the Consent Decree.' Nor did Solutia & Pharmacia cite the properties by name that they now urge should be exempt from summary judgment.
    Access the SupCt Order (click here, page 3). Access the SupCt docket  (click here). Access the complete 11th circuit opinion (click here). [#Remed, #CA11, #SupCt]
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