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Esso Standard Oil Co. v. Rodriguez-Perez

ELR Citation: 36 ELR 20110
Nos. No. 05-1722, (1st Cir., 06/14/2006) Counterclaims dismissed

The court affirms the dismissal of individuals' state-law counterclaims against a gasoline company that was suing them under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) for contamination at a service station. A magistrate judge dismissed the individuals' counterclaims as time barred. The individuals then filed a motion for reconsideration. While that motion was pending, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Cooper Industries, Inc. v. Aviall Services, Inc., 543 U.S. 157, 34 ELR 20154 (2004). The magistrate judge then denied the individuals' motion for reconsideration and, at the same time, ordered the company to show cause on its CERCLA claim in light of Cooper Industries. The company then moved for voluntary dismissal of both its CERCLA and RCRA claims. The individuals then filed a motion to vacate the judge's previous judgment, arguing that it lacked jurisdiction. The magistrate judge correctly denied their motion. While it is true that the judge lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the CERCLA claim, it retained jurisdiction under RCRA. The magistrate judge, therefore, had supplemental jurisdiction over the individuals' state counterclaims when it ruled that those claims were time barred.

[A prior decision in this litigation is digested at 35 ELR 20220.]