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United States v. Vertac Chemical Corp.

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas
79 F.Supp.2d 1034 (1999)


Facts

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (plaintiffs) filed suit in federal court against Hercules, Inc. (Hercules), Vertac Chemical Corporation (Vertac), Uniroyal Chemical, and others (defendants) to recover cleanup costs under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of a 93-acre tract of land that had sustained wide-spread soil and groundwater contamination due to leaking drums filled with hazardous waste. From 1961 to 1976, Hercules produced herbicides, including Agent Orange, at the site. Subsequently, Hercules leased the site to Transvaal, Inc., which eventually became Vertac. Vertac continued production of the hazardous chemicals until the state and federal governments intervened and shut down the production facility. After a jury trial, the district court found Hercules and Uniroyal jointly and severally liable for $90 million in cleanup response costs. The court then determined the allocation of costs to be borne by the parties.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Howard, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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