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B.F. Goodrich Co. v. Murtha

ELR Citation: 23 ELR 21080
Nos. No. N-87-52 (PCD), 815 F. Supp. 539/36 ERC 1705/(D. Conn., 01/12/1993) Motion to file third-party claims granted in part, denied in part

The court denies the motion of a coalition of responsible corporate defendants for leave to file third-party contribution claims against a large number of individual homeowners and small businesses in a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act suit, but permits the coalition to file third-party claims against municipalities. The court holds that the coalition could assert third-party contribution claims against municipal generators, because there was an adequate basis for allowing the filing. The court permits the coalition to implead each party against whom a claim is sufficiently substantiated, legally and factually. Expert witness testimony as to the makeup of municipal solid waste and its generation by the municipal generators, though not conclusive, could be admissible to substantiate a third-party claim. The court rejects the coalition's motion to add 1,151 prospective contributors as third-party defendants, because the coalition, in a mere opinion regarding the generic qualities of such waste, failed to show that each homeowner and small business had actually generated hazardous waste. The claims against the nonmunicipal generators were not well-grounded in fact, and thus, the third-party claims are disallowed.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
John J. O'Leary Jr.
Pierce, Atwood, Scribner, Allen & Lancaster
One Monument Sq., Portland ME 04101
(207) 773-6411

Counsel for Defendants
Mark Mininberg
Mininberg & Associates
315 Whitney Ave., P.O. Box 9444, New Haven CT 06534
(203) 562-4386

William A. Butler
Powell, Goldstein, Frazer & Murphy
1001 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 6th Fl., Washington DC 20004
(202) 347-0066