Asarco LLC v. Union Pacific Railroad Company
Partner Norton A. Colvin, Jr. represented Union Pacific Railroad in the defense of a §113(f) CERCLA contribution claim seeking to recover response costs from Union Pacific Railroad Company. Asarco alleged it paid more than its apportioned liability share of the environmental clean-up costs at the Coeur d’Alene CERCLA Superfund Site relating to its past mining activities. Asarco further alleged that Union Pacific’s historical activities in the area contributed to the environmental damage and, therefore, Union Pacific was liable to repay Asarco, LLC under CERCLA. United States District Court Judge Edward J. Lodge presided over a thirteen-day bench trial in the case after which the parties filed post-trial briefing. In his written findings of fact and conclusions of law, Judge Lodge held that Asarco, LLC had not proven it had a right to bring a CERCLA contribution claim against Union Pacific Railroad Company and that Asarco, LLC had released its CERCLA claim against Union Pacific Railroad Company in the parties’ prior settlement agreement.