Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Lockheed Martin Corp. v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

Jul 9: In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, Case No. 12-4108. An unpublished opinion that does not set precedent. Appealed from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio at Akron. Lockheed Martin Corporation appeals the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Lockheed sued Goodyear under Federal and State law seeking to recover costs spent in the environmental cleanup of a facility known as the Airdock. The Appeals Court affirmed the district court decision.
    On March 13, 1987, Goodyear and GAC [Goodyear Aerospace Corporation] entered into a written agreement with Loral Corporation, under which Loral agreed to buy all of GAC's assets and assume all of GAC's liabilities (the "Asset Purchase Agreement"). Although Goodyear, rather than GAC, held legal title to the Airdock, Goodyear transferred it to Loral pursuant to the Agreement. Ten years later, Loral merged with Lockheed, and Lockheed became the Airdock's owner.
    In partial summation, the Appeals Court said, "In sum, the terms of the Asset Purchase Agreement show that the parties viewed the Airdock as an 'asset[] . . . of GAC' under § 2.1, which means that any liability associated with the Airdock was a 'liabilit[y] of GAC' under § 2.2. The Agreement therefore transferred Goodyear's liability for cleaning up the Airdock to Loral." Additionally, the Appeals Court said, "After selling the Airdock, Goodyear did not cause or contribute to the release of any PCBs upon Haley's Ditch. Thus, Goodyear is not liable for the costs of cleaning up Haley's Ditch under Ohio law."
    Access the complete unpublished opinion (click here). [#Remed, #CA6]
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