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Mishawaka, City of v. Uniroyal Holding, Inc.

ELR Citation: 39 ELR 20049
Nos. No. 04-125, (N.D. Ind., 02/26/2009)

A district court held that the corporate successor to various legal entities at a former industrial site is not liable for various environmental cleanup expenses at the site. The city that filed suit against the successor failed to present sufficient evidence to establish that the successor is liable for the city's cleanup costs. Prior settlement agreements between the successor, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the city do not establish successor liability by admission, and the city's use of the settlement agreements to establish liability is expressly prohibited by Rule 408 of the Federal Rules of Evidence. The court also rejected the city's argument that the successor is collaterally estopped from challenging its successor status. Further, the successor did not retain liability based on language contained in assignment agreements with a subsidiary. Nor is it liable under the equitable doctrine of successor liability.