Sole Shareholder Of Company That Owns Contaminated Property Can Be Held Liable Under CERCLA As Current Operator


In the case of Litgo v. Martin, 2011 WL 65933 (D.N.J. Jan. 7, 2011) the federal District Court of New Jersey held that a shareholder of a single-purpose entity that owns a contaminated facility is liable as a current operator under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 9601 et al. (“CERCLA”). In 1983, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“NJDEP”) was ordered to clean up a property located in Newark, New Jersey. NJDEP removed drums of hazardous waste from the Newark site and stored them at a warehouse located at 40 Haynes Road, Somerville, New Jersey (the “Site”). The warehouse at the Site was determined to be contaminated with hazardous substances.

While the remediation at this Site was being conducted by NJDEP, plaintiff Sheldon Goldstein entered into negotiations with the current owner of the Site. On August 6, 1985, the current owner of this Site entered into an agreement to sell the Site to plaintiff Goldstein. Subsequently a dispute broke out over the sale of the Site and the Court ultimately ordered the plaintiff Goldstein to take title to the Site. On February 14, 1990, plaintiff Goldstein took title to the Site and pursuant to the contract of sale assumed the obligations to clean up the Site. On April 14, 1990, plaintiff Goldstein transferred the Site to plaintiff Litgo New Jersey, Inc.

Please see full article below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

Written by:

Published In:

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Cole Schotz | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.