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Ford Motor Co. v. Michigan Consolidated Gas Co.

ELR Citation: 41 ELR 20180
Nos. No. 08-CV-13503, (E.D. Mich. , 05/05/2011)

A district court, on motions for reconsideration and for leave to amend counterclaims, held that a gas company may seek recovery costs under CERCLA and the Michigan Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act against the plaintiffs in the case. The plaintiffs seek recovery of costs they have incurred and will continue to incur in connection with environmental impacts allegedly caused by the gas company and its predecessors at a manufactured gas plant in Dearborn, Michigan. The company filed counterclaims for contribution and cost recovery, and the court dismissed the cost recovery counterclaims on the ground that the company did not sufficiently allege that the costs were “necessary” as required under both CERCLA and the state statute. Plaintiffs contend that the company, in its proposed amended counterclaim, has again failed to alleged sufficient facts to withstand a motion to dismiss and that the counterclaim is therefore futile. But the company has corrected its previous deficiencies and its allegations are sufficient to withstand a motion to dismiss under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). Accordingly, the counterclaims are not futile, and the court granted the company's motion to amend.