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No End Around for the CERCLA Statute of Limitations



by Christopher W. Smith
Morris Polich & Purdy LLP - Los Angeles Office

February 11, 2014

Previously published on January 28, 2014

While historically federal courts have been somewhat reluctant to enforce the statute of limitations in CERCLA cases, the Third Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision in Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection v. Beazer East, Inc., Case No. 13-1209 (3rd Cir. Jan. 2, 2014) is an example of how that reluctance is eroding. The statute of limitations in CERCLA cases varies depending on whether the claim is cost recovery (three years) or remedial action (six years). In Beazer, the State of Pennsylvania went well beyond the three-year period and attempted to frame its claim as a remedial action in order to avoid dismissal. The district court dismissed the action and the Third Circuit agreed, finding the CERCLA claim was time-barred.


 

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Christopher W. Smith
Morris Polich & Purdy LLP
 
Los Angeles Office
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Government
Litigation
 
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