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Daigle v. Shell Oil Co.

ELR Citation: 22 ELR 21486
Nos. Nos. 91-1093 et al., 972 F.2d 1527/35 ERC 1841/(10th Cir., 08/18/1992)

The court holds that claims for medical monitoring costs, filed by residents near the Rocky Mountain Arsenal hazardous waste site in Colorado, are not recoverable as response costs under §107(a) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). The court concludes that the definition of "response costs" does not encompass long-term health monitoring for early detection and treatment of chronic disease, and CERCLA's legislative history reveals that both houses of Congress considered and rejected the recovery of private damages unrelated to the cleanup effort. Further, the court observes that CERCLA §104(i) empowers the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry with a scheme for assessing health effects of actual and threatened hazardous substance releases. The court also holds that the district court properly dismissed claims based on the Federal Tort Claims Act, failure to warn, and ultrahazardous activity/strict liability.

Counsel for Plaintiffs-Appellees, Cross-Appellants
Anthony Roisman, Ann C. Yahner
Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll
1401 New York Ave. NW, Ste. 600, Washington DC 20005
(202) 628-3500

Howard Sedran
Levin, Fishbein, Sedran & Berman
320 Walnut St., Ste. 600, Philadelphia PA 19106
(215) 592-1500

Counsel for Defendant-Appellants, Cross-Appellees
Linnea Brown, Edward J. McGrath, Robert Tuchman
Holme, Roberts & Owen
1700 Lincoln St., Ste. 4100, Denver CO 80203
(303) 861-7000

Edward J. Shawaker, David A. Carson
Environment and Natural Resources Division
U.S. Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 514-2000