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December 14, 2004Client Alert

U.S. Supreme Court Issues Important Decision Impacting CERCLA Contribution Rights

On December 13, 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an important decision in Cooper Industries, Inc. v. Aviall Services, Inc. which interpreted the scope of a private party’s right to seek contribution from other responsible parties pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”). Specifically, and as discussed more fully in this Alert, the Court held that private parties who voluntarily incur response costs to clean up hazardous substances may not seek contribution from other potentially responsible parties utilizing Section 113(f)(1) of CERCLA. If you are currently undertaking investigation or remediation efforts, or involved in CERCLA contribution litigation, this decision may directly impact your interests.
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