Riker Danzig prevailed in a CERCLA action brought by Champion Laboratories against our client Metex Corporation, a manufacturer of metal textiles, alleging that the groundwater contamination underlying its manufacturing site in Edison was the result of releases of industrial chemicals that had taken place at Metex's neighboring site. Champion sought to recover costs it had incurred related to the Edison site, presumably as part of its cleanup efforts. Following a 25-day bench trial conducted earlier this year in U.S. District Court in Newark, Judge William Walls ruled in an Order and Opinion issued on August 13th that the costs expended by Champion did not further the site's cleanup, but instead were incurred in an attempt to shift liability to another party, making the costs unrecoverable under Section 107 of CERCLA. The Court further found that Champion had failed to establish that Metex was the source of contamination on the Champion site.
In his Opinion, Judge Walls adopted our proposed factual findings and hydrogeological analysis on nearly all issues and entered judgment for Metex on all counts of the Complaint. Environmental Practice Chair Dennis Krumholz and Litigation Associate Maha Kabbash tried the case for Metex.