Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

Boston & Me. Corp. v. Massachusetts Bay Transp. Auth.

ELR Citation: 39 ELR 20269
Nos. No. 09-1185, (1st Cir., 11/24/2009)

The First Circuit held that a transit authority's state law contribution claims against a railroad operator for contamination that occurred more than 20 years ago are barred by a 1983 consummation order entered in bankruptcy. The June 30, 1983, consummation order discharged the railroad operator from bankruptcy, stating that it was "free and clear of all claims." Because the railroad operator filed for bankruptcy in 1970, prior to the 1978 enactment of the Bankruptcy Code, the order was issued under §77 of the Bankruptcy Act of 1898, which provides much broader relief to bankrupt railroads than to bankrupt non-railroad parties. Here, the authority's contribution claims arose prior to the 1983 discharge. Moreover, at the time of the 1983 discharge, the transit authority clearly had both sufficient knowledge and a contingent claim that was subject to discharge by the consummation order. Accordingly, its contribution claims are barred.