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Litgo New Jersey, Inc. v. Jackson

ELR Citation: 38 ELR 20028
Nos. No. 06-2891, (D.N.J., 01/04/2008)

A district court granted a motion to dismiss Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, and New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act claims filed against the state environmental agency and its commissioner in connection with a hazardous waste site in Somerville, New Jersey. The agency and the commissioner are entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity. The court rejected the plaintiffs' argument that the commissioner's counterclaims constituted a waiver of Eleventh Amendment immunity. The counterclaims seek to hold plaintiffs accountable for the remediation of the Somerville site through the enforcement of a prior court order and RCRA. These counterclaims arise from the plaintiffs’ own causes of action seeking injunctive and declaratory relief on the scope of the commissioner's responsibilities to clean and remediate the Somerville site. Within the posture of this litigation, the commissioner asserts counterclaims that implicate the apportionment of liability for the costs of remediating the Somerville site, and do not leave her, or the state agency, exposed to claims arising from other causes of action absent an express waiver by consent to suit.