Voggenthaler v. Maryland Square, No. 10-17520 (9th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
These five appeals concerned seepage over several decades of a toxic dry cleaning chemical into the ground under a Las Vegas shopping center. The court concluded that the application of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), 42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq., to soil and groundwater contamination in Nevada did not offend the Commerce Clause; Maryland Square had not shown that it qualified for an exception to CERCLA liability, and it was clearly responsible for reimbursement under Nevada state law; NDEP was entitled to summary judgment against the operator, SBIC, on the CERCLA and state law claims; the district court did not decide the issue raised by Maryland Square's motion for reconsideration, so remand was required to determine whether Maryland Square had Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, 42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq., liability for exposing the contamination to the elements; SBIC was liable to the previous owners under the indemnification provisions of the 1968 and 1982 leases; and the district court erred in holding Melvin Shapiro liable on his personal guaranty because the guaranty operated only prospectively and there was no evidence of spills occurring after he signed the guaranty.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on October 4, 2013.