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United States v. ARG Corp.

ELR Citation: 41 ELR 20271
Nos. No. 3:10-CV-311, (N.D. Ind. , 08/04/2011)

A district court granted a city's motion to dismiss a company's third-party complaint against it for reimbursement of cleanup costs the U.S. government incurred responding to hazardous substances at an industrial site formerly owned by the company. The government filed suit against the company under CERCLA for costs it incurred removing hazardous substances that were disposed of on the property during the time the company owned the property. The company then filed a third-party complaint against the property's current owner, the city. But for the city to be liable to the company for the government's costs, it must have accepted responsibility for these cleanup costs. Here, the clear and unambiguous language in the purchase and sale contract between the company and the city demonstrates that the company—not the city—is responsible for remediating hazardous substances that arose while the company owned the property. Accordingly, the company's third-party complaint against the city must be dismissed for failure to state a claim.