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C. Greene Equip. Corp. v. Electron Corp.

Citation: 19 ELR 20502
No. No. 87 C 4695, 697 F. Supp. 983/(N.D. Ill., 08/29/1988)

The court holds that the seller of electrical equipment that later leaked polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) is not a responsible party under §107(a)(3) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), since the seller did not "arrange for disposal" of the PCBs. The buyer incurred cleanup costs after the Environmental Protection Agency brought an action against it under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The court holds that the seller is not liable under CERCLA §107(a)(3). The sale of the equipment was legal under TSCA, and the equipment was totally enclosed and did not leak at the time it was sold. The buyer's own inspection of the equipment at the time of sale disclosed no evidence of leakage, and the seller had not used the equipment at all. Although the equipment was sold for a fraction of the price that new equipment would cost, there are insufficient facts to infer that the equipment leaked PCBs. Moreover, the seller made no contract to transport the equipment to the buyer's facility, nor did it enter into a specific transaction regarding the PCBs themselves. The seller claims that it sold the equipment to make space for expansion, not to dispose of waste, and the buyer has provided no evidence to support an inference to the contrary.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Jeffrey Segull, Robert M. Fritzshall
Fritzshall & Gleason
309 W. Washington, Chicago IL 60606
(312) 263-6100

Counsel for Defendant
Mark Crane, Thomas Kivlahan
Hopkins & Sutter
Three First National Plaza, Chicago IL 60602
(312) 558-6600