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Indian Harbor Insurance Co. v. United States

ELR Citation: 41 ELR 20234
Nos. 10-680, 41, (Fed. Cl., 07/05/2011)

The Federal Claims Court held that the U.S. government need not indemnify developers for remediation costs they incurred complying with state agency orders concerning property formerly used as a military base. The developers' insurance company sought reimbursement from the government under the 1993 National Defense Authorization Act. Section 330 requires a third-party claim for personal injury or property damage. Here, the orders and oversight by the state agencies do not constitute such claims. The statute envisions a claim by a third party alleging damage to its own person or property. Here, the state has not been harmed in its person or property nor does it appear threatened by future speculative harm. There is a distinction between a state enforcing a generally applicable environmental regulation pursuant to its police power and, as the insurance company argues is the case here, the state bringing a legal claim on behalf of its citizens. Here, the state engaged only in the former. As such, §330 does not apply.