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Briargrove Shopping Ctr. Joint Venture v. Pilgrim Enters., Inc.

ELR Citation: 29 ELR 21123
Nos. 98-20262, 170 F.3d 536/(5th Cir., 04/07/1999)

The court holds that it lacks jurisdiction over an appeal from a judgment that assessed Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act response costs and damages against a dry cleaning company for perchloroethylene contamination at a shopping center. The court first holds that the district court's judgment was not a final decision or final judgment that would give an appellate court the power of review. The court then holds that the district court did not certify its judgment for appeal under Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(b). Neither the declaratory judgment nor the final judgment entered by the district court exhibited an unmistakable intent to enter a partial final judgment under Rule 54(b). The district court nowhere mentions Rule 54(b), neither of the parties submitted a motion mentioning Rule 54(b), and the district court did not issue any orders or memoranda discussing the substantive concerns surrounding a Rule 54(b) certification. Moreover, the fact that the district court labeled its order as a final judgment does not suffice to make the order appealable. There remain various other claims and cross-claims that have not been decided.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Rudy A. England
Haynes & Boone
1000 Louisiana St., Ste. 4300, Houston TX 77002
(713) 547-2018

Counsel for Defendants
Michael A. Pohl
Law Offices of Michael A. Pohl
1111 Bagby St., Ste. 2450, Houston TX 77002
(713) 652-0100

Before Duhe and Garza, JJ.