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Raytheon Aircraft Co. v. United States

ELR Citation: 38 ELR 20010
Nos. No. 05-2328, (D. Kan., 12/21/2007)

A district court held that an aircraft company that filed cost recovery and contribution actions against the United States under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) for trichloroethylene contamination at an airport site in Kansas is precluded from recovering as costs those amounts that it has already received through insurance settlement agreements. CERCLA §114(b) does not apply to insurance proceeds or amounts received through other contracts. Nonetheless, insurance payments and other payments or credits constitute a significant allocation factor under CERCLA that the court is required to consider in its allocation determination. The company argued that the United States is not permitted to offset the amounts the company received through insurance settlement agreements because the insurance payments it received are a collateral source. But the collateral source rule does not apply in the context of CERCLA. CERCLA articulates a policy against double recovery. Crediting the amount of the settlements reached with private parties is necessary to avoid double recovery by one party.

[A prior decision in this litigation can be found at 37 ELR 20100 and a related decision can be found at 38 ELR 20010. ]