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Levin Metals Corp. v. Parr-Richmond Terminal Co.

ELR Citation: 16 ELR 20360
Nos. No. C-85-4776 SC, 23 ERC 1814/(N.D. Cal., 12/20/1985)

The court holds that a private party may not sue independent third parties under §107 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act unless it has incurred its own response costs consistent with the national contingency plan. Parr-Richmond, defendant in a state court suit for fraudulent transfer of property contaminated with hazardous substances, sought a declaration of third parties' liability under CERCLA for the current site owner's cleanup expenses. Allowance of such an action would contravene the fundamental principle that a party may assert only its own legal interests, and not those of other parties. Accordingly, the court dismisses defendant's third-party complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).

[A related decision appears at 15 ELR 20791.]

Counsel for Plaintiffs
William J. Bush, Malcolm Leader-Picone, Gerald D. Marcus, Stephen B. Peck
Hanson, Bridgett, Marcus, Vlahos & Rudy
23rd Fl., 333 Market St., San Francisco CA 94105
(415) 777-3200

Counsel for Defendants
Arthur R. Albrecht, Benjamin H. Ballard III, James E. Ratcliff Jr.
Thacher, Albrecht & Ratcliff
Suite 700, 300 Montgomery St., San Francisco CA 94104
(415) 981-1434