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United States v. Carolawn Co.

Citation: 14 ELR 20699
No. No. 83-2162-O, 21 ERC 2129/(D.S.C., 06/15/1984) Ruling on corporate officer liability

The court rules that § 107(a) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) imposes personal liability on corporate officers who are responsible for the operations of a hazardous waste disposal business. The court rejects the argument that defendants, two individuals who allegedly were officers of a corporation owning a hazardous waste disposal site and who for a time allegedly owned the site as individuals, are entitled to judgment on the pleadings. There is a material factual dispute with regard to the claim against one defendant, and CERCLA unquestionably imposes liability on disposal site owners. The court rules that defendants also might be found liable as operators of the site. Corporate officials responsible for day-to-day management of hazardous waste disposal activities may be held personally liable under CERCLA. In addition, defendants failed to demonstrate that plaintiff cannot pierce the corporate veil to reach them personally.

Counsel are listed at 14 ELR 20696.