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Gadsden Indus. Park, LLC v. United States

ELR Citation: 47 ELR 20127
Nos. 15-cv-0956, (N.D. Ala., 10/03/2017) (Ott, J.)

A district court held an Alabama industrial park owner can't pursue claims against the federal government for damage to its property that occurred during a Superfund cleanup. As part of the cleanup, EPA disposed of, cut, severed, tore up from the ground, and removed roughly 1,400 feet of track owned by the park owner. The owner brought an action under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) to receive compensation for the destruction and removal of its property from the site. The court held that the government is protected from suit by the “discretionary function” exception to the FTCA, which clears the government of liability for the performance of a discretionary function or duty. Since the Plaintiffs never claimed that EPA removed the rail line for any other reason than cleanup, there is no way to infer that their removal was outside EPA's discretionary authority under CERCLA. The case was dismissed.