9th Circ. Defines 'Owner' For Liability Under CERCLA

Law360, New York (July 23, 2010, 3:07 PM EDT) -- Ruling on a question of first impression, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has concluded that the owner of a property when cleanup costs are incurred is the current owner for purposes of determining liability under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act.

The Ninth Circuit affirmed a lower court's ruling Thursday that Hearthside Residential Corp. was the “owner and operator” under CERCLA of a tract of wetlands known as the Fieldstone Property in Huntington Beach, Calif.

The appeals court held that...
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