Justices' Guam Ruling May Give New Life To CERCLA Claims

Law360 (June 2, 2021, 5:42 PM EDT) -- Reversing the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court recently held that Guam's settlement of Clean Water Act liabilities did not give rise to and trigger the statute of limitations to bring a contribution claim under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, or CERCLA, also known as the Superfund law.

Just four weeks after oral arguments, the court issued its decision in Guam v. U.S. on May 24, holding that a contribution claim under CERCLA's Section 113(f)(3)(B) only arises when the settlement of underlying environmental liabilities specifically resolves CERCLA liability.

The court concluded that...

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