Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

Differential Dev.-1994 Ltd. v. Harkrider Distrib. Co.

ELR Citation: 37 ELR 20014
Nos. No. H-05-3375, (S.D. Tex., 01/09/2007)

A district court held that a party potentially responsible for the cleanup of property contaminated by hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), but not able to bring an action for contribution under §113(f) of that statute, may not bring a cost recovery or contribution action against another potentially responsible party (PRP) under §107(a). The court reasoned that CERCLA §107(a) does not give a private PRP a statutory right to bring a cost recovery action against other PRPs. Congress created a separate contribution remedy in §113(f), subject to specific conditions and limitations not included in §107(a). Nor is there an implied right of contribution under §107(a) or federal common law. Hence, the plaintiff's CERCLA cost recovery and contribution claims against a dry cleaning chemical supplier were dismissed. The court declined jurisdiction over its remaining state-law claims. Although U.S. courts of appeals have split on the CERCLA issue, the Fifth Circuit has yet to rule on the subject.