In Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Co. v. U.S., 129 S. Ct. 1870 (2009), the U.S. Supreme Court tackled two unsettled areas of the law under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act. The decision addresses what activities or states of mind make a defendant liable as someone who has arranged for the disposal or treatment of hazardous substances. The court resolved a split in the circuits on the definition of “arrange” by looking the word up in Webster’s Dictionary. As simple as this approach may sound, it was nothing short of revolutionary in some circuits. The court’s ruling on the issue of apportionment was more evolutionary than revolutionary. While most courts had acknowledged that CERCLA liability may be apportioned in appropriate circumstances, many courts took a restrictive view of what circumstances were appropriate. However, in BNSF the Supreme Court appeared to endorse a permissive approach to apportionment, holding that a district court’s apportionment decision will not be reversed as long as it is reasonable. While there have been only a few circuit court CERCLA apportionment decisions since BNSF, the most recent appears to advocate a return to a more restrictive view. This 90-minute webinar will address the sometimes murky standard for arranger liability that predated BNSF and examine post-BNSF case law to demonstrate the refreshing level of clarity the decision delivered to this area of the law. It also will examine post-BNSF case law and the extent to which recent decisions are inconsistent with the Supreme Court’s ruling.Specifically, the panelists, Anthony G. Hopp, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP, Colin Patrick O’Donovan, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP, and Paul S. Kline, ThreeRivers Management, Inc, will discuss:
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Anthony G. Hopp and Colin Patrick O’Donovan, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP and Paul S. Kline, Three Rivers Management, Inc.