Byline: Derek Hawkins
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Case Name: Valbruna Slater Steel Corporation, et al. v. Josyln Manufacturing Company, et al.
Case No.: 18-2633; 18-2738
Officials: BAUER, HAMILTON, and ST. EVE, Circuit Judges.
Focus: CERCLA Claim Time-barred
This case is about an on-and-off, decades-long effort to stop an Indiana steel mill's pollution. Valbruna Slater Steel purchased the mill (or the "site") in 2004, and it quickly got to work on needed, but costly, cleanup efforts. Valbruna then sued Joslyn Manufacturing Company, which last operated the site in 1981, to recover costs under both the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and Indiana's Environmental Legal Actions statute (ELA).
Joslyn's fault is undisputed; its operation of the site started the pollution problems. But Joslyn defended itself in the district court on claim-preclusion, statute-of-limitations, and contribution grounds. The district court decided the CERCLA claim was not precluded...