Posted by: tommtn | January 22, 2015

Upcoming CLE Regarding Settling CERCLA Cases: Executing an Effective Strategy

I am pleased to announce that I will be speaking in an upcoming Strafford live webinar, “Settling CERCLA Cases: Executing an Effective Strategy” scheduled for Tuesday, February 24, 1:00pm-2:30pm EST.

CERCLA litigation typically involves numerous players, and a result CERCLA settlements present complex legal and strategy issues.  The CERCLA plaintiff must consider with whom it will settle, how to negotiate the best deal, the standard that will apply to the settlement, what protection the settling defendants will receive from future claims and the effect of the settlement on the balance of plaintiff’s claims. Careful navigation of these issues is necessary to maximize the amounts recovered in settlement, minimize the likelihood of further litigation and protect the plaintiff’s ability to seek contribution and cost recovery from other parties.

When settling CERCLA cases from a defense perspective, counsel must establish and carefully implement a settlement strategy that minimizes settlement obligations and adequately protects the client from future claims.  Many CERCLA defendants focus on the risk of future CERCLA 107 or state law claims. These are important considerations; however, there is also a risk that non-parties may file a RCRA citizen suit. There is conflicting law on this—some cases hold that such claims are not barred unless specific RCRA statutory criteria are met, while others hold they are barred as disguised contribution claims, and yet others hold that such claims may be barred for other reasons.

All settling parties need to evaluate whether to work with a PRP group or individual parties to strengthen settlement negotiations.  Another important consideration is whether to bring in the government if it is not already invovled.

Our panel will provide guidance to counsel for parties of CERCLA litigation on settlement strategies and implications, for both plaintiffs and defendants. The panel will examine potential future claims the parties may face, the need for careful consideration when determining with whom to settle, strategies to maximize settlement recoveries for plaintiffs, minimize settlement payments for defendants, maximize protections for settling defendants and the order in which to settle. The panel will offer best practices for executing the settlement strategy, both for private party CERCLA settlements and settlements with the government.

We will review these and other key issues:

  • What factors should plaintiffs consider when determining with whom to settle?
  • How does a settlement with a state or federal government affect the claims of the settling parties? What if the settlement involves only private parties?
  • What is the scope of protection available to settling defendants?  What can be done to maximize that protection?
  • What steps can counsel take when settling CERCLA litigation to reduce the likelihood of future claims?

After our presentations, we will engage in a live question and answer session with participants so we can answer your questions about these important issues directly.

I hope you’ll join us.

For more information or to register

Or call 1-800-926-7926 ext. 10
Ask for Settling CERCLA Cases on 2/24/2015
Mention code: ZDFCT


Thomas A. Bloomfield, Senior Attorney
The Gallagher Law Group
Boulder, Colo.

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