Archive for June, 2018

Ninth Circuit Rejects CERCLA’s “Third-Party Defense” In Connection with Tax Auction Sale

Thursday, June 7th, 2018

Ruling on a matter of “first impression,” the Ninth Circuit in California Department of Toxic Substances Control v Westside Delivery LLC, 2018 WL 1973715 (9th Cir. Apr. 27, 2018) held that real-estate purchasers who buy contaminated land through tax-sale default auctions are in “contractual privity” with prior owners and thus, may be subject to CERCLA liability.  Because the site was contaminated by the prior owner who shared a “contractual relationship” with the purchaser, CERCLA’s “third-party” defense did not apply.

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