U.S. Supreme Court Drastically Curtails Liability Under CERCLA

This post was written by Steve Nolan and Lou Naugle.

On May 4, 2009, in Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. United States, the Supreme Court addressed two issues under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. §9601 et seq. (CERCLA), which it had never reached before. The first issue was the reach of the useful product defense, which has been generally recognized in principle by the lower courts. The second was the question of what showing is required of defendants to avoid joint and several liability that, for more than 25 years, the lower federal courts have imposed almost as a matter of course.

To see the entire article, click here.