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United States v. Parsons

Citation: 19 ELR 21423
No. No. 4:88-cv-75-HLM, 723 F. Supp. 764/30 ERC 1209/(N.D. Ga., 08/09/1989) Punitive damages awarded on reconsideration

On the government's motion for reconsideration, the court holds that six of seven defendants in a cost recovery action under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act are liable for punitive damages under § 107(c)(3) for failure to comply with an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrative order. The court previously denied summary judgment because the administrative order gave defendants 72 hours to respond, and it was not clear from the record that EPA waited 72 hours to begin the cleanup. The government's new evidence shows that EPA's removal action began after the 72 hour period expired. The court refuses to grant summary judgment on the punitive damage issue against one defendant, since there is a dispute concerning whether he made a good faith effort to comply with the order.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Jon Mueller
Land and Natural Resources Division
U.S. Department of Justice, P.O. Box 7611, Ben Franklin Station, Washington DC 20044
(202) 633-2000

Daniel Caldwell III, Ass't U.S. Attorney
1800 U.S. Courthouse, 75 Spring St. SW, Atlanta GA 30335
(404) 331-4216

Counsel for Defendants
William Frulla
Morgan Keegan Tower, 50 N. Front St., Memphis TN 38103
(901) 567-8000