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Freeman v. Glaxo Wellcome, Inc.

Citation: 30 ELR 20146
No. No. 98-9508, 189 F.3d 160/49 ERC 1289/(2d Cir., 09/16/1999)

The court holds that a pharmaceutical company that sold unused chemicals to a vitamin manufacturing facility is not a party liable for contribution under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). The court first finds that the definition of "disposal" contained in CERCLA refers to "waste" and, therefore, only transactions that involve waste constitute arrangements for disposal. The court next finds that CERCLA liability will not be imposed for the mere sale of a product, without additional evidence that the transaction included an arrangement for the disposal of a hazardous substance. There is no evidence on the record before the court to support an inference that the transaction was anything more than a sale. Additionally, the vitamin manufacturer, in connection with a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency investigation, represented that the sale involved virgin chemicals and not wastes. Therefore, the pharmaceutical facility did not arrange for disposal of a hazardous substance as a matter of law and cannot be found to be a responsible party liable for costs under CERCLA.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Christopher R. Carpentieri
Law Offices of Christopher R. Carpentieri
826 Broadway, New York NY 10003
(212) 673-7200

Counsel for Defendant
Robert M. Hallman
Cahill, Gordon & Reindel
80 Pine St., New York NY 10005
(212) 701-3000

Before Kearse, and Pooler, JJ.