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7th Circ. Defines 'Ownership' In CERCLA Suit

Law360 (September 22, 2008, 12:00 AM EDT) -- A private party that holds legal title to real estate only as a “security interest” during the sale of the property cannot be held liable for cleanup costs under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, a federal appeals court has ruled in a case involving a derelict paint factory in Chicago.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit said on Friday that the definition of “owners” who face cleanup liability under CERCLA does not include parties that already sold the hazardous property...
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