ASARCO LLC v. Atlantic Richfield Company, LLC, No. 18-35934 (9th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
After Asarco entered into a settlement agreement and consent decree with the government, it filed a contribution action under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) against Atlantic Richfield. The district court entered judgment in favor of Asarco, finding that Asarco had incurred $111.4 million in necessary response costs for the cleanup of a Superfund Site and that Atlantic Richfield was responsible for twenty-five percent of that sum.
The Ninth Circuit held that the district court erred in its determination of the necessary response costs incurred by Asarco by including speculative future costs in its tabulation of necessary response costs eligible for contribution under CERCLA. However, the panel held that the district court did not err in allocating responsibility for twenty-five percent of the response costs to Atlantic Richfield. Accordingly, the panel vacated and remanded in part, and affirmed in part.