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United States v. Westinghouse Elec. Corp.

Citation: 14 ELR 20483
No. No. IP 83-9-C, 22 ERC 1230/(S.D. Ind., 06/29/1983)

The court rules that a manufacturer of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) has no liability for indemnity or contribution under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) or the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) to a PCB user that faces liability for cleanup of a site containing its PCB wastes. Westinghouse Electric Corp., the PCB user, filed a third-party complaint against Monsanto Co., the manufacturer. The court first dismisses Westinghouse's claims of breach of warranty, negligence, product liability, and fraud tied to the sale of PCBs in 1971 because the statutes of limitations for these claims have run. The court then rules that Monsanto would not be liable for indemnity or contribution under § 106(a) of CERCLA or § 7003(a) of RCRA. The statutes do not create a private right of action for Westinghouse. Monsanto has not generated or disposed of any hazardous waste, and is therefore not directly liable under the statutes. The statutes do not expressly or implicitly create a right of contribution or indemnity against Monsanto; neither does equity require or empower the court to fashion such a right.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Charles Goodloe, Ass't U.S. Attorney
46 E. Ohio St., Rm. 274, Indianapolis IN 46204
(317) 269-6333

Deborah J. Schmall
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-2704

Counsel for Defendant and Third-Party Plaintiff
Joseph B. Carney
Baker & Daniels
810 Fletcher Trust Bldg., Indianapolis IN 46204
(317) 636-4535

Counsel for Third-Party Defendant
Byron G. Tabler, Michael R. Fruehwald, John J. Kish, John C. Rothhair
Barnes & Thornburg
1313 Merchants Bank Bldg., Indianapolis IN 46204
(317) 638-1313