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Case Summary Citation

California Department of Toxic Substances Control v. Westside Delivery, LLC, 888 F.3d 1085 (9th Cir. 2018)

Abstract

The Ninth Circuit’s recent decision in California Department of Toxic Substances Control v. Westside Delivery, LLC reminds prospective purchasers of tax-defaulted property of their responsibility for due diligence.The case addressed the reach of the third-party defense to a CERCLA cost recovery action. The court determined that CERCLA’s third-party defense did not apply to a company which purchased a contaminated property at a tax auction because of its “contractual relationship” with the former owner-polluter and because the relevant contaminating acts occurred “in connection with” the prior polluter’s ownership of the site.

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