Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Environment - Still more on "No preemption for state statutes of repose"
The case’s impact should be limited by the fact that only a handful of other states currently have statutes of repose. In these states, victims of exposure to toxics that cause harm with long latency periods will not be able to sue those responsible for their injuries because they are unlikely to discover their harm until after the statute of repose has run. The federal government, which supported CTS in seeking dismissal of the lawsuit, is now likely to avoid liability for allegedly exposing marines and their families to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
The decision continues a trend in which the Court has interpreted CERCLA far more narrowly than the lower courts, which frequently have emphasized the broad, remedial purposes of the statute. The majority almost dismissively notes that “almost every statute might be described as remedial in the sense that all statutes are designed to remedy some problem.” Environmentalists may take some small consolation in the fact that Justice Breyer joined Justice Ginsburg in dissent. Five years ago when the Court last interpreted CERCLA narrowly, Justice Ginsburg was the lone dissenter.
Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 10, 2014 02:39 PM
Posted to Environment