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Gurley v. West Memphis, City of

ELR Citation: 37 ELR 20152
Nos. No. 3:04CV00148JLH, (E.D. Ark., 06/13/2007)

A district court held that a potential responsible party (PRP) may seek contribution from a city under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act for cleanup costs incurred at the South Eighth Street Landfill in West Memphis. The city argued that the PRP is barred from bringing this contribution action because of the judicially approved settlement between the city and other private-party PRPs. The PRP, however, was not a party to the litigation underlying that settlement and had no opportunity to participate in or object to that settlement. Applying the contribution bar, therefore, would be inconsistent with the plain language of §113(f)(2) as well as basic principles of fairness.