State of New York v. Solvent Chemical

Plaintiff sought contribution under the Comprehensive Environmental Response and Compensation Act (CERCLA), 42 U.S.C. 9601-9675, for both past and future costs of cleaning up industrial pollution. The district court awarded contribution for past cleanup costs but declined to issue a declaratory judgment as to future contribution. The court reversed the denial of a declaratory judgment and held that the judgment would serve a useful purpose in settling the legal issues involved, the judgment was not being used for procedural gamesmanship or a race to res judicata, it would not increase friction between sovereign legal systems, and there was no better or effective remedy. The court noted that it would not matter that a declaratory judgment of liability alone would not finalize the controversy and offer relief from all uncertainty. Numerous other issues raised on appeal were decided in a summary order issued simultaneously with this opinion. View "State of New York v. Solvent Chemical" on Justia Law