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United States v. Conservation Chem. Co.

ELR Citation: 14 ELR 20207
Nos. No. 82-0983-CV-W-5, 589 F. Supp. 59/20 ERC 1427/(W.D. Mo., 02/03/1984) Ruling on nature of liability

The court denies defendants' motions to dismiss a cleanup action brought under §7003 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and §106(a) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), ruling that at least the latter provision imposes liability that is strict and, when the injury is indivisible, joint and several on off-site generators of hazardous waste. The court rules that because past off-site generators are liable under CERCLA §106(a) it need not rule on the RCRA issue at this time.

Following United States v. Price, 13 ELR 20843, the court rules that the government's complaint states a cause of action under CERCLA §106(a) even though it does not allege negligence. Following United States v. Chem-Dyne Corp., 13 ELR 20986, it rules that liability under CERCLA §106(a) is joint and several where the injury is indivisible.

Finally, the court denies defendants' motion to dismiss for failure to join other generators as indispensable parties, ruling that joinder is permissive in the case of jointly liable persons. The court puts aside for later resolution the other issues raised in defendants' motions to dismiss.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Kenneth Josephson, Ass't U.S. Attorney
549 U.S. Cthse., Kansas City MO 64106
(816) 374-3122

Counsel for Defendants
Terry Karnaze
Niewald, Risjord & Waldeck
2500 Commerce Twr., Kansas City MO 64105
(816) 842-3512

Jerome T. Wolf
Spencer, Fane, Britt & Brown
106 W. 14th St., Kansas City MO 64105
(816) 474-8100